Since moving to the Maritimes we have been amused and grateful for the laid-back rhythm many times. There's no rush to anything, people seem to work on their own schedule, and deadlines are seen as suggestions rather than commandments. People always have time for a kind word, a helping hand, and a bit of gossip, and no one chides you if you're a little late to something.
(though this does nothing to cure me of a life-long struggle with procrastination. how am I supposed to ride the adrenaline rush to the finish line if you keep moving the finish line?)
This attitude has also been annoying, frustrating, and down-right inconvenient since the our arrival--as it seems to apply extra strongly to contractors and tradespeople.
We should have been warned when we arrived at our first apartment, exhausted, sweaty, with fraying tempers, only to find that we had no toilet and the water was turned off. We had to wait a couple of hours just to get in, the bathroom was a disaster, and the new toilet ran constantly for the year we lived there. It only got worse when we bought the old farmhouse. That's when we discovered that many contractors won't even return your call. If business is good and they're not particularly interested in yours, they just won't call back. Those of them who even have any sort of answering service that is.
(yo, contractors--what is UP with that? do you think it's rude to tell me you're not interested in my business? get a machine, return your calls. it's good business AND good manners.)
What's almost more annoying is when they call you back weeks or months later, as if you just called 5 minutes ago, and can't figure out why you're suddenly less eager to talk to them.
(hey, I think it's rubbing off on me! it would explain so much!)
I should probably be in therapy for the headaches caused by trying to get quotes for the old place and for building the new place. And we all know how much fun the stupid steel building has been.
(I'm not even going to link to previous posts. I don't want to go there.)
We can't fault the work ethic though. When they do show up, they get right down to work and they work HARD. It's just contacting them and getting them to show up that's the tricky part.
So when our heat pump broke and I had to call the installer to see about a repair, I thought "here we go again". I have to admit that when he called me back the same day I was pleasantly surprised. He said he'd be there Monday and I didn't hold my breath--but still dragged the kids back from our first day in the city to sit and wait for him.
I was NOT surprised when he didn't call or show up. I WAS miffed though. A broken heat pump will do that to you. The time grew near when I needed to leave to pick up Hubby from work and I called and left a message to that effect, begging for an explanatory callback. When the time had passed I called Hubby, who said to call again and leave a "we're going to be gone for the next couple of hours, period" message. We were both doing that combination of teeth gritting and eye rolling that dealing with the Maritime rhythm usually inspires.
I WAS surprised to call back and get his wife. His gracious, understanding, and chatty wife, who explained that he had thrown his back out on the weekend and spent it in agony waiting to get in to see the chiropractor for some relief. Calling his customers to explain wasn't high on his priority list. I said I understood; how could I not? My side of the family has a long history of back problems and Hubby's side has two generations of chiropractors.
(it's a match made in heaven, but then we moved to the maritimes)
She'd take a message and get him to call back (eye-roll) OR, wait, he's around here somewhere, I'll put him on (eye-roll interrupted).
He got on, all friendly and helpful (they always are. grrrr) but then surprised me. He was feeling better, so why didn't he just head on over now?
Wow, that's great, but I have to pick up my husband from work.
Well, where's he work? No sense you driving into the city, I'll pick him up on my way out.
When I hung up I laughed. LAUGHED.
The Maritime rhythm may be annoying, even to this laid-back girl, but you'd NEVER get that in the city. How many blog
gripes posts have I read about waiting for the cable/phone/insert service/repair guy for days?
Ours is not only coming by at supper time, but he's picking Hubby up from work on his way.
I love these quirky Maritimers.