The other day the S.O. and I were down at the museum doing some minor stuff, like finally putting up street numbers near the front entrance. The Baraga Village Fire Department sent out a letter about 15 years ago reminding business owners and residents to put numbers on their structures to make them easier to find in an emergency, but just about everyone (including the museum) ignored the advice. I always kind of wonder how Fed Ex and UPS manage to find people because there are quite a few buildings without street addresses now.
Anyway, a few months ago I decided to invest in a set of numbers. If nothing else, FedEx would never have an excuse again for not being able to locate us. Naturally, given how busy we were with more important things, those numbers just sat on the table in the office for awhile. But we finally got around to putting them up. . . and while we were putting up the numbers, a fellow in an SUV pulled into the parking lot. I thought he might have a question about the contents of the museum or ask for a tour.
I was wrong. He had stopped to critique the paint job on the new siding. Did we, in essence, know that it looked like shit? This struck me as being a rather odd opening gambit for a conversation. Did the fellow not know that he might actually be speaking to the people who had done the painting? Apparently not, because telling him that (a) the work was done by volunteers who didn't get paid a dime, and (b) we knew it had to be second coated and it would be taken care of in the Spring did not stop him from continuing to tell us how bad it looked. It was actually a little baffling. I mean, it's been warm lately but everyone knows you can't paint or stain anything once temperatures drop below the mid-50s. So just what did he expect us to do now?
After he finally ran out of insulting things to say about how sucky the building looked, he volunteered the information that he's a contractor who does both carpentry and painting. I asked him if he had a card -- he had to do a little digging, but he found one. He then left, which I figured he'd do once we'd asked for contact information.
I don't think he was even out of the parking lot before the card was confetti on its way to a trash can. If he'd had brains enough to just say that he'd noticed the museum hadn't quite finished the siding project before winter hit and let it go at that, he might have had a shot at hearing from us next Spring. But when I was one of the people who got covered with oil stain and wound up dismayed by the realization we were going to have to second coat? Yes, we know the coverage isn't what we had hoped it would be. Do we want some stranger rubbing that fact in? In a word, No. So good luck trawling for contracting jobs, dude, but here's a hint: next time figure out who you're talking with before you start running your mouth.