BEAN'S BABBLETORIUM

Sink X 4

Allow me to share with you a long story about my sink. It’s quite something.

I love my bathroom sink. It has a shallow cabinet and a sink basin which bows out a bit which makes it perfect for small bathrooms like mine. A small crack appeared in the sink and grew and grew through the pandemic. I really didn’t want to just chuck the sink. Any time I can not contribute to a landfill makes me happy. I contacted the manufacturers of the sink and, of course, they no longer make it (because that would not be money-making for them, of course). I had hoped I could just replace the basin part. No luck.

I looked into ceramic repair, but the companies I called either didn’t return my call or their lines were disconnected. I had to bite the bullet and buy a new sink.

Next came was hours of searching for the right sink with the right dimensions. I finally found one at Wayfair online.

It’s nice right? I thought so, after obsessing over the fact that it’s gray and not black like the medicine cabinet that came with the first sink. Sometimes you just gotta let go.

I thought I would be clever and bypass a plumbers’ insane rates by hiring someone from the website called TaskRabbit. It’s a handyman website which includes the person’s skills and reviews by people they’ve worked with. I’ve used them in the past with good results.

With more hopes of no landfill contributing, I planned on having the installer use the previous sink’s faucet, but knowing that not much ever goes to plan, I went to Home Depot and bought a new one, thinking I could just return it if the original faucet ended up fitting. I also bought a new drain, hoping it wouldn’t be needed either.

The installer came and announced that it’s dangerous to not have an S trap and that he should install one of those too. I actually knew this and welcomed the installing of this feature. He spent many hours installing the whole thing. I paid him, he left, I went to the sink and pulled up the plug lever to find that it stuck in place. Hm. I texted him that it’s stuck shut and he immediately came back, looked at it and decided that he’d need to install the new faucet that I’d bought for it to work. And he’d need to come back.

I was researching how to do it myself because he was an hour late to do the job, when he finally showed up and installed the new faucet. It didn’t drain very well because the plug woulnd’t come up so high when opened, but I accepted the situation and moved on.

The next morning I was brushing my teeth at my new sink when I looked down and spotted – a crack. Right next to the faucet. It would appear that he over tightened the faucet and cracked it.

I got in touch with ThumbTack and all they would offer is $75 towards another service. This guy cost me $500.

I’ve learned my lesson.

Next, I contacted Wayfair to let them know what happened. I asked that they send just a basin (again with the landfill concerns). They told me they would send one along right away (which is impressive since the crack was the fault of the installer). A day later I got an email letting me know they no longer carry it. When I went back to the company they told me they didn’t have just the basin, so they were sending an entire replacement. Would they take back the broken one?

No.

Next I went to Angi’s List which is an online rating and pairing website, to find an actual plumber. I was linked to two options. One, from a company called Monteiro Plumbing, immediately messaged for details. After I provided some, he responded with “About $299 plus parts hun”. I did not respond to him but I did fire him on the spot in my head.

Hun? Is he serious?

He then proceeded to call me twice throughout the day, and email me later in the afternoon with “Wen would you like us to come hun???!”

When he then texted me, I responded with “Thanks but I’m going with someone else. Calling someone “hun” is unprofessional”

“Oh, That’s a first!” he responded.

No, it’s just the first time anyone has actually confronted you about it because women are taught to be kind to men. And also when we push back they are often nasty in response and no one has time for that. I didn’t respond to his revelation because the conversation was done as far as I was concerned.

“I live in your neighborhood” he eventually said, to be neighborly. Not sure how that matters. And then “Well, sorry about that. If the other guy doesn’t work out let me know. My rates are great”

“Sure thing”

So I hired a plumber named GG who showed up after the new sink was delivered. I stood there while he opened it and his face blanched.

“It’s broken, isn’t it.” I said.

Yes…

I had considered opening it when the delivery guys dropped it off but I didn’t want to seem rude (see above about men’s feelings), and I didn’t open it later because clearly something shiny distracted me and I was feeling optimistic.

GG leaned on the box “I feel so bad for you, honey” he said. This time I wasn’t brave enough to call him on it. He would come back when another sink came to replace this one.

Are you keeping track? I now have two broken sinks on my porch and one cracked on in my bathroom.

Wayfair gives me a full refund but again will not come back for the broken one and suggests that “maybe you could donate it to Goodwill!” Yes, because many people would be interested in a shattered sink.

I went to Home Depot and found a new sink that I liked and even had a drawer which the previous ones did not have. So that was exciting (doesn’t take much these days I guess). When set-up delivery I asked the employee if the crew would bring it up onto my porch.

Yes they would.

Well, when I came home from work on delivery day I found that they had not put it on the porch at all, but up one flight of concrete stairs to my home and outside in the elements. I opened my fence to my yard, gracelessly lugged the thing into the yard so it would at least not be out in the open, and covered it with a tarp. Then I crossed my fingers that we wouldn’t get rain.

We got rain. So I crossed my fingers that everything would be OK.

When GG arrived two hours late because of other client emergencies, I was just about to start a meeting with colleagues across the country. We were working together via zoom to decide who would receive a $1500 grant from PhotoShelter for Brands. Members of the UPAA could apply for this grant so it was specifically for university photographers. We had some difficulties getting access to the entries, and then some in the group hadn’t had a chance to read them because of the technical issue, so it was a bit of a clambake.

Meanwhile, my “Bobcat” group chat (named for the mascot of our alma mater) on my phone is blowing up because college friends Dory and Suzanne are traveling from NJ and OH respectively for a girls weekend which will start for me once all the adulting is done for the day. Dory is driving and Suzanne is flying.

GG had removed the new cracked sink and unloaded the top of the new one and put it in the hall outside the bathroom.

We judges are discussing various grant entries when a text comes through from GG with a photo. “Is OK?” it says.

Lots of water damage. No. Is not OK. That same moment a text comes through from Suzanne “Crap! My flight was just canceled!”

I excuse myself from the meeting (I had emailed everyone ahead of time that I had a plumbing situation that may have me stepping away at some point) and go outside to GG. I am paralyzed with indecision. I’m generally pretty good at problem solving but, this one? I have a plumber waiting on me (who mentioned he had a dental appointment in the afternoon), an uninstalled sink upstairs and a water damaged replacement. A meeting that I just bailed on and and the possibility of a botched girls’ weekend.

I ask GG if I call Home Depot and they can replace the bottom part, could he go switch them out? “I don’t have my truck. It’s in the shop and I have my mom’s car” Mom’s car could not move this item.

I go back to the grant meeting and apologize profusely and let them know I need to bow out, and call Home Depot and sit on hold for twenty minutes when I realize I could drive over there in seven.

At Home Depot they are willing to swap out the bottom park only, “Did you bring it with you?”

Of course I didn’t, because that would have been the smart move to make (though admittedly may have been annoying if they wouldn’t do the swap or didn’t have the same piece to swap out).

I head back home and on the way a text comes in from Suzanne saying she has a new flight and she’ll arrive around the same time. {exhale}

I have put some firewood in the back of my VW hatchback because the previous weekend in the Cape was chilly, and I thought we might need to build a fire. So I lug all that stuff out, drop the back seats, and GG and I manage to get it the sink cabinet into the back of the car.

I return to Home Depot and swap them out, GG does a beautiful job installing my new sink which looks great (and has drawers!), and I enjoy a wonderful weekend with my college friends!

(Above, the current state of my porch (it’s quite a landfill contribution though I am hoping to share it with others for repurposing, and my new sink! Below, some shots from the weekend which was really great even with the rain that tropical storm Elsa brought)

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