Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Blink Therefore I Am.

I’m fully electrified again. The generosity and sheer goodwill of people can be astonishing.

Joe, (and his son) who had done the catastrophic work on the electricals for the garage, found a retired electrical inspector in the village (I knew this man but didn’t know of his prior profession) who came over at 10 in the morning and finished off the job at 8 o’clock that night.

It was an awful ‘tangle’, he said to me, one of the worst he’d seen. It would’ve been better if he had rewired everything from scratch as it would have been a nice short day for everyone but where you’re ‘untangling’ it takes forever, each switch, each light, each circuit. He had the patience of Job. A solid man of few words, very upset at what had been ‘done’ to me. I assured him the fellows had the best of intentions, they really thought they knew what they were doing.

At the end of all this I asked him how much I owed him, him being a master electrician ‘n all. He hemmed and hawed, said he’d hate to charge me too much would $20 an hour be OK? OMG. I can’t even imagine what this would have cost in Toronto. I paid him the money, asking him was he really sure? He looked relieved. He said he was afraid it might to be too much.

I tested all the new lights and plugs, I didn’t need to, but he was like the proud father of a newborn. Everything worked beautifully.

Then to top all this off, Joe shows up today wanting to refund ‘all’ the money I paid him or at least paying me back the money I had paid the electrician. I said of course not. He had not wilfully ‘bad-wired’ me and the rest of his work had been superb. He looked as if he could cry.

He’s back next week to build me a ramp for the garage.


  1. It's all relative I think, $20 probably means something quite different where you are now than what it means in Toronto! But nice to get someone to be so patient about a tangled mess! Good it's done! And yes, village life is really quite different, a welcome change in many ways

  2. There are still tradespeople in NI who're that conscientious, will only charge a fair rate for the job and fall over themselves to be helpful and give you exactly what you want. But I fear they're a dying breed and there won't be so many of them in the years ahead.

  3. A good workman is like Gold dust, I am glad you found one don't let him go!

  4. I'm glad you're all sorted out now. You were so lucky to have an expert there. Sometimes things just work out really well, don't they? Of course, after they initially go to pieces. Luck was on your side in the end.

    Bad wiring sure can be dangerous, though. You were too nice to Joe, but I guess in a little community you have to be. You don't want to get on the wrong side of people, do you?

    Do you have a propane tank or do you cook with an electric stove and how do you heat your house?


  5. Ah - a happy ending with smiles all round. I'm pleased to hear it turned out well, and that you can now be confident in the work done, WWW. I'd keep an eye on Joe and the ramp though - a tangled ramp isn't good. ;-)

  6. The small world is a personal world. In the big city everything is so detached. My house cleaner is also my friend (I may have her clean, and then go home to change and come back to a dinner party). She cleaned yesterday and when it was time to pay she said she had overcharged me last time by mistake, so it was very cheap this time. But since this is a small place I know which helpers not to hire, too.

    Joe sounds like a nice guy, but do check the ramp.

  7. kindness, honor and decency all around! what a wonderful story.

  8. As someone who is looking forward to having my house rewired, I like this post!


    P.S. I think you have to close the quote in the link to Riverdaughter's blog. If you do it will show up and Shakesville will become a link.

  9. @Annie:
    Actually the economy is booming here in NL, unlike the rest of Canada so I really did get a bargain!
    Newfoundlanders pride themselves on old fashioned values of neighbourliness and honesty.
    He's coming back to wire the utility room and wire the kitchen properly.
    No I don't have propane, I had considered it. I'm on wood, BBQ (which is propane), a portable baking oven, 2 electric rings, a convection oven and a toaster oven. It sounds complicated but it isn't. The wood stove handles all my cast iron pots.
    All the rest of the work is fine, the wood floor, shelves, etc. As long as he doesn't touch the wires I'll be OK (fingers crossed!)
    After a disaster with my painting I'm overly cautious now!
    It restores the ol' faith, doesn't it?
    Good luck with it and thanks for alerting me to broken link. I've fixed and tested now!


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