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     Oooo—I have to be really careful. I'm not out to ruin anyone's reputation, but I need to vent. Like I said, my house and two rentals needed some loving care.

     One rental house's garage needed an electrical outlet and a light. At home I had three ceiling fans needing work. My friendly electrician of so many years left earth a while ago for a better place so I needed a new one.

     I asked friends and a tradesman I use regularly for referrals. The tradesman's office manager spoke up. "Oh, yes. So-and-so's the best! We use him for all our electric." I'm not naming him 'cause I'm not out to ruin any. . . you understand.

     "So-and-so" met with me soon after. I showed him the jobs and all went well, especially when he said he could also replace the crumbling fence at the other rental. Yay! One less problem to solve.  

     After a week went by, I called "So-and-so." I got voicemail. Two days later I called again. This time he answered and told me he was working on my estimates. Never heard from him again.

     For the handyman I got a solid reference from a close relative. This guy has done all her handyman repairs for years. I met him, showed him the projects to be done and he said he'd be out Saturday for the first project, re-hanging the closet door.

     No show. On Monday I called. No answer. I texted. I waited. I called. This time he answered and said he couldn't get the part for the closet door because businesses would only sell him the whole door. You know what? Took me less than a minute on Amazon the next day to find the part.

     One Friday night he called at dinner time. Was I home? He could come in an hour. I said no, how about Saturday? Yes, he'd come late afternoon. I waited. My daughter waited. He didn't come. Haven't heard from him since.

     The leaking roof. I called the friendly roofer my son recommended. "The number you're calling has not set up a voicemail box." On my third try, the roofer answered and said he'd schedule me in. He didn't. A week later I left voicemail that the leaks were getting worse.

     No call-back.

     Two days later, the sun came out and I texted—can you come today? Yes. He came; climbed onto the roof, puttered around; charged me a hundred and said he hoped his fix would hold, but that I'd prob'ly be calling him in a few days to say it didn't. Huh?

     I don't exasperate easily but this was crazy! This was exasperating!!! I lay in bed the other night, exasperating. And then I saw the light. "Take charge!" I said to me.

     Next morning I Yelped for a five-star electrician. I called Anson Electric. Dave called back, came out the next day, installed the garage outlet, put in the lights a few days later and programmed the new remote for one of the ceiling fans at my house that same day.

     I Googled Alpine Fence. Curt met me at the house two days later and as of today, the fence is up. My handy son and daughter fixed the closet door with the Amazon parts. You know, it pays to take charge. Sometimes. . .  

     Three nights after the roof patching, the roof leaked. I Yelped. Found a five-star roofer, called, got voicemail. Three days later I called again. ‘Did you get my message?" "Oh, I haven't checked my messages." A couple of days later, I called again. He said he'd check his schedule and get back to me. Never heard from him again.

     If you need help at your house, best not to call me. . . I'm still recovering from a severe case of exasperation.

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