Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pride in your work... from where does it spring?

This week we got our first taste of the monsoons and while the cool rain and cloud cover made conditions delightful outdoors, we did get some outdoors indoors.
This photo shows several leaks that occurred in our new condo addition during the rains. It was enough to have us putting buckets out, mopping and moving stuff when we'd rather be sitting and gazing out at the lightning.

I climbed up to the area and found this brick wall riddled with voids and holes in the mortar (not to mention the drainpipes that were disassembled and left on the roof). Somebody didn't give a damn, and the contractor who paid this bricklayer didn't check his work.

Anyway, this morning at 6am, I mixed up a batch of mortar, climbed up and patched the holes after wetting them down. We could, and maybe should have called the contractor to complain, and maybe we still will do that, but for now the problem is fixed. We're ready for the next rain, whether the contractor does anything or not.

In my experience, this kind of shoddy workmanship is more common in Mexico than the US.
It's particularly scary if you are trusting someone to fix your boat or car. I, for one, do almost all of my own repairs. It's cheaper and safer in the long run, but I do get tired of the constant job lists. I believe I have too many things and have embarked on the task of getting them to someone else, but that's kinda' off-topic. Another blog.

I learned pride in my work... a sense of craftsmanship, from Mrs. Mary Chandler. She was my art teacher from the 2nd grade to the 6th. A year after entering junior high school, she was my teacher again, and moved with me into high school. I'm surprised I didn't find her in my college classes, but she was instrumental in getting me into college level art classes at Carnegie Institute of Technology at the tender age of 14. She had engineered a scholarship for me.

Mary made me work through the hard parts, when I would have said, "Hey, that's good enough!" Good enough wasn't good enough. When I saw the results of the extra effort and attention to detail, it seemed worth it all.

In this world we all need someone like Mary. Even bricklayers.

1 comment:

1st Mate said...

But would the bricklayer listen? Laying brick isn't generally considered art. There he was, up on the roof in the hot sun, nobody to oversee him, and I think he just wanted to get it done. Anyway I'm grateful you got up there and fixed it, and I hope we won't be seeing more leaks with the next rain.