Sometimes three acts just aren’t enough to contain the stories life throws at you. Shakespeare knew that, and while I’m no Shakespeare, I’d put my five-act garage door story up against anything The Bard wrote in the home improvement genre.
I AM IN TEARS! This should not be funny at all. It really shouldn't. But it's hilarious. And I'm looking at my own garage door, with the dents and wobbles and am thinking, there's no way I'm telling my landlord about it. Ever.
And this line just made my day. "Killed by a garage door hinge is a shitty way to die in real life, but it’s a fantastic way to kill someone in a book!"
This article made my day... unfortunately at the author's expense! I really needed a good laugh and you delivered...thank you!
I really enjoyed this. Thank you. So many of us can relate to the subcontracting insanity that Home Depot employs. And I'm glad to know it's not just my family that encounters this absurdity in the face of such commonality. Water heaters are apparently just as complex and impossible to replace for experienced plumbers... or at least this one guy in town.
The big box stores are infamous for this type of experience. You get the service rep or sales person who does the initial deal and promises you everything is A-OK. Then they sub-contract the "job" (whatever it is) to perform the actual instillation and that's when the trouble starts. First, they are being paid by "the job" without really knowing what the job is other than its an install. They show up and right away discover something is not quite right that the service rep/sales person didn't catch because they really don't know how to install anything -- they are just the seller. Next thing you know your simple job that was supposed to take just XX days to complete, will take two or three times longer and the install guys are pissed because they may have to eat $$ because of the added time or expense it will take to complete the job. And you, the lucky homeowner, is caught in the middle, often with little or no recourse. And the finished job more often than not, ends up not done nearly as professionally as you thought.
Garage door industrial complex - capitalism has reached its final and most powerful form
Incredible stuff. We had to a replace a bathroom window with atypical dimensions. Contractor made first measurement sometime in early July 2021. Window was just installed on June 15, 2022.
I found you from the Substack Writer Office Hours. Goldmine! Thanks for 'springing' into action with your garage door story. Hoping not to hear about it again over the ten year warranty....for your sake!
Well done sir. Nice use of dialogue to tell the story. https://sites.google.com/view/danger-men-thinking
It's oddly comforting to know that I'm not the only person this type of thing happens to!
The initial conversation with the installers sounds like something out of a movie. I seriously pictured George Clooney in Oh Brother Where Art Thou looking at the two guys when you said "Your dad was killed by a garage door?"
Enjoyed the story, newly subscribed and looking up your book!
Oh man - I'm current 27 days into a "basic" refrigerator repair and this is giving me anxiety! Great post though, haha
Thanks for the laugh out loud and the encouragement to write this kind of story- these every day bits are juicy. Love when he says that’s how you know how shitty this company is
Oh this is sooooooooo delightful.
This mirrors an experience I had with Home Depot's "7 day" carpet installation - that took a whole summer. Never again...
My initial comment is not appropriate to post here. I enjoyed the 5 acts of your garage door replacement.
You had me at “Home Depot installation.”
This was a hilarious and unexpectedly clarifying. As someone who often weighs the pros and cons between living in Spain or North America (in my case, Vancouver, BC), I’m often bothered by the sluggishness and subjectivity surrounding renovations here.
‘¡En Canadá, esto se haría en tres días, macho!’ I scream, my certainty unearned. ‘In Canada, this would be done in three days!’
Once I moved out of my parents’ house, I shared a one-bedroom apartment with three other people for two years. We owned a broom despite having carpeted floors, we could kick the door in if we forgot our keys, and the closet was infested with black mold – in other words, calling someone to fix things wasn’t a high priority compared to ‘our art.’
Though I know my perspective has changed since then, I still hold this idealized notion of Canada as a well-organized country where people strive to cooperate and complete tasks efficiently and lawfully.
Then came COVID.
But let’s not get into that. I realize that BC is not California, despite our shared affinity for kombucha, avocado toast, craft beer, and recreational drugs showing they’re not so different.
After reading this story and the comments about how relatable it is, I may be mistaken in thinking that things move faster in North America (particularly the West Coast) compared to Spain.
Regardless, the schadenfreude I experienced from this story made me realize I should complain less about my renovation and bylaw struggles here in Spain.