Measure twice, cut 47 times

Years ago, I worked in a building that was four storeys plus a basement with additional staff and public spaces in it.  There was a drinking fountain in the building–just one– and it was located on the first floor.  I no longer remember if something actually went awry with its plumbing, but I remember clearly that it was pulled our and replaced.  And replaced.  And replumbed.  And replaced.  In the course of about four months, it seemed as though 20+ journey level plumbers worked on that thing.  Between bouts, it seemed to work just fine.  This led those of us working (and thirsting in those pre-waterbottle days) in the building to joke that this particular job was on the plumber’s exam:  you had to work on this water fountain in order to get licensed.

A similarly mysterious work project is now ongoing in my neighbourhood.  A small triplex on a corner lot seems to have a small back stoop with a back door that might be reached by half a dozen steps.  Indeed, there were such steps in place when I first noticed the house.  Then they were cut away and quickly replaced by freshly cut sides and risers.  Which were then taken down a few days later and repalced with a ladder.

I didn’t realize how ongoing this project might be at first (one rarely notices the beginning of a strange event), but it’s now been about a month, during which time wooden steps have come and gone, the ladder’s been propped instead and removed…maybe as many as sixty-eleven times.

There is, undoubtedly, a rational explanation for all this work-with-no-completion.  And, happily for them, I suppose, the tenants do have a front door that appears to have unimpeded access and egress through this time period of stair installation/revocation behind it.

I remember being lectured, when young, to never ask why questions.  Must have been a builder who so cautioned me.


One Response to “Measure twice, cut 47 times”

  1. Marg Says:

    As we get closer to Nov 4th, we are being hit by tons of TV ads all about the propositions, of course. The presidential candidates don’t bother. They’ve already used CA as an ATM to fund the campaigns and the polls indicate that Obama is up around 55 to 33 which is in Ronald Reagan territory. I can remember in past years wondering what it meant to vote yes or no on 7 or 8 or H, etc but some of those numbers have much greater meaning now.

    It was reported yesterday that 20% of San Franciscans have already cast their ballots either by mail or at City Hall and Alameda is extending its hours yet agin to try and ease the long lines.

    On Friday, a large number of high school students from the East Bay marched on the Immigration Services Building to protest the ICE raids taking place in the middle of the night. In the process, they stormed the fare gates in Fremont so BART shut down several stations. Critical mass made their way in costume down Market St. The Castro was dead for Halloween as well as the designated parking lot where the party was to be moved. And we had a rainy weekend. So an interesting preview to the election on Tuesday.

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