Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When Tile Attacks

I've been learning a lot about residential remodeling since I met my husband. Some of it is mundane, like the difference between eggshell, semi-gloss, and glossy paint. Some of it is more sinister. Today I learned that ceramic tiles are pure evil.

See this pretty tile, the blue one? Not the glass tiles, they are innocent.

Well, my mission was to get it here today in "quarter round". This is quarter round. I collected about five of them in different colors trying to find a match. Looks pretty benign, huh? Just wait.

It was critical that it get here today because it is the very last piece the tile installer needed. If it didn't get here he would couldn't finish and the painters couldn't get started on time, and we are under a very tight deadline. I already spent a considerable amount of time tracking down the right color due to a screw up with the original order with the designer.

So I placed my order on Monday with a company nearby, who had to ship it from their warehouse in Texas. They were to ship it Tuesday to arrive today. I called yesterday afternoon to get a tracking number, and after some difficulty finding my order I was told they didn't have the number yet, but was assured the order shipped, and I could call today at 7:30 a.m. to get the tracking number. When I called this morning, same thing, trouble finding my order, but I got the tracking number and found that the package was at FedEx's warehouse and was guaranteed by 3:00. I was hoping against hope that it would come earlier so I could take it to the job site. I checked a while later on-line and the package was out on the truck.

I hung around the house all day, and no package. I even went downstairs around 1:00 to check if maybe a neighbor was going out when FedEx came and they signed for it and left it, not knowing it was urgent. I went back on-line around 2:00 and it said package delivered at 11:50 a.m., to the wrong city. You cannot imagine the dread I felt about having to call and tell my husband he would not have it today, or at a usable hour tomorrow.

I immediately realized that the salesperson forgot to change the ship-to address to mine, and shipped it to their warehouse. No wonder they could never find my order. I was screwed. There was no way I was going to drive to their warehouse and get the tile, and get stuck in traffic on the way back. We stayed in the house all day, I didn't dare even go out for a little while and leave a note asking FedEx to leave it. It was that serious. At this point my son needed to get fresh air and run around, not be forced to ride around in the truck. Did I mention the $45 I paid for shipping?

I called, got the person who took my order, told him what happened and yet again he had trouble finding my order. I had to give him the tracking number. He then told he would ship it to me and I would have it tomorrow. I said no way. I asked why they thought I kept calling for the tracking number for an order being shipped to them? And why would I have paid $45 for something unless I really needed it? He put me on hold. Finally he said he was coming up here that evening and could drop it off but not until after 5:00p.m. I said great, as long as my husband had it by 6:00 in the morning.

I made the call to my husband. He was dubious. But I was confident. The guy was either nice and wanted to do right, or was not going to let anyone find out he made a mistake. Either way I didn't care, as long as I got it. A while later, while starting dinner I was horrified to see blood streaks on my son's face. I couldn't find a cut. Then I realized it was his hand bleeding, and the blood was from him sucking his finger. I found a cut on his knuckle. On the floor was a broken quarter round tile. Yes, I let him have quarter round tile, knowing he likes to throw things, knowing tile breaks, especially when thrown onto... a tile floor like our kitchen. They just seemed so solid. Genius.

It was one or the other of these evil pieces of ceramic:

Obviously the tile nation had come together to give me grief. First by stressing me out by colluding to get the tile guy to mis-ship my package, and then by tempting me with their beauty to to the point of allowing my son to sort and carry them around, and ultimately cut himself.

So he's bleeding, not too badly, but it is getting everywhere. It won't stop because it's his knuckle, which he keeps bending and sucking on. Can't keep pressure on it. Try a tight band-aid, he chews it off. Try holding his arm up, he screams from the imposition of not being able to use his hand. I'm trying to help him and hoping that the tile guy doesn't show up right then. To my credit, I did not attempt to take a photo for you, my dear internet, I dealt with his pain.

I think of the irony that I'm desperately waiting for tile while dealing with a tile-related injury. Thankfully my husband drives up. Dinner and bedtime proceed. No tile comes, though. Finally, after father and son are sleeping and I'm trying to come up with a post here, I see a car outside. Thankfully it was the tile guy. I rush to the door so he won't ring the bell and wake the baby. I go downstairs, crossing my fingers that they are the right color and shape, wouldn't that be the icing on the cake getting the wrong thing after all that? They are correct. I peek in the bedroom to let hubby know so he won't be awake all night worrying about the job.

All that fuss for this. Eleven blue tiles. From Hell:


Offshore Wife said...

I feel your pain. Remodeling or even finishing a house is sometimes a pain. This reinforces what I know will be my life as soon as we move back to the states. We have a brand new house that has to be finished including 3 bathrooms full of tile. EEK!

Janice said...

Watch yourself with all that tile!

You know, it seems like you need to add 30% to the amount of time you think things will take in remodeling.