Gerard hadn’t expected outright mutiny. It stopped him in his tracks. His crew seldom complained but tonight they carried out their duties with a variety of emotions from anger to frustration to moderately annoyed. A few had simply gathered up their gear and walked.
He hadn’t wanted to ask them to stay the extra couple hours required to finish the job, it was a long weekend, and everyone had plans. Still, the contract stipulated the job be finished at 6:00 today. It wasn’t as though they weren’t reaping the benefits of the overtime.
He grabbed a hammer and nails and began on the last doorway while the others finished painting behind him. It would take an hour to an hour and a half at most if they all pulled their weight. He smiled his thanks to each member of the team that stayed. There’d be something extra in their stocking at Christmas, he’d make sure of it.
An hour and forty-five minutes later, he let them all go. All that was left was washing the floors, one last check, turning out the lights and at 6:00 pm handing over the keys to the new owner of the beautifully restored manner.
As he stood inside the front door peering up at the beautiful 12-foot ceiling, with its unfinished wood glowing, the aged burnished appearance the highlight of the entrance, he’d been delighted the owner hadn’t wanted to change history. He’d updated the plumbing and electrical to receive the new high-end appliances that would require the extra juice. The owner had requested a light subtle glow on walls where wallpaper had once hung, and she’d been right. Even though it looked far different from its original state, it held the elegance, prestige and glory of earlier days.
He heard the car arrive and with his tools in hand, backed out the door bumping into a tall elegant woman and dropped what he was carrying and grabbed hold. When she’d caught her balance he said, “Sorry, Ma’am I didn’t realize you were that close.”
“No problem.” She paused, “You are the contractor we hired aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Good, would you mind staying for a few moments, I have something I’d like to discuss with you.”
“I’ll take my gear to the truck and I’ll be back,” he assured her wondering what she wanted to discuss.
She’d entered and left the door slightly ajar, but he knocked anyway. “Come in.”
Walking toward her he handed over the keys, “These are yours I believe.”
“I had Geoffrey, the assistant on the project, keep me posted and I received regular updates on the work and I was very pleased, am very pleased. The reality is far more incredible than the pictures conveyed.”
“I was wondering if you’d be interested in taking on a couple of similar projects, both located locally. One is for an elderly man who simply wants a refresh (he’d revamped the place already) and the other is a total gut job.”
“After seeing the quality of your work, I’d be relieved if you took both on. Your reliable, your work as I said is incredible, and you’re easy to deal with.” On a smile, she added, “I’ve worked with a lot of contractors who have made my life hell.”
“The next project isn’t scheduled until after the new year. They’re leaving on a world tour and won’t be around and have left me in charge of the project. It’s an interesting concept for a house of this style but I think it will work beautifully.”
“I won’t make a decision until after I’ve seen the properties and seen what is involved and expected. I’ll give you my decision then.”
“Good, how does next Friday sound?”
“Thursday would be better, I have other appointments Friday and I’m leaving town for several days.”
“It’s a date!” She coloured up a bit, “Not a ‘date date’, a date.”
Smiling Gerard added, “Either way, I’m interested.”
Nadia smiled. “Promising!” and as she turned to walk away, added, “I’ll hold you to that then.”