Saturday, April 03, 2004

Issei and Nisei

I have few interesting anecdotes for today, other than to say that I am fulfilling my horoscope and have had a lovely and house-frau-like weekend so far. Game Night (see Kristin's blog for details) was much fun, and this morning for the first time in the '04 season we got out on the water and sculled to our heart's content. My body remembered all the old moves pretty quickly and its was like coming home. Errands, unpacking, blah. The reason we gather here today is for me to tell you about my plumbers.

The apartment that I *just* moved into last weekend was having toilet issues. Leaking, potential damage of sub-floor structural elements, etc. necessitating a whole new toilet. On the one hand, YAY, new stuff! No bum shall have used it but mine!!! Oh, the joy. On the other, the plumbers-in-residence for this complex are not, shall we say, punctual. Or reliable. Or sticklers for taking care with their work. After knocking on my door at 10:30 Thursday night (sans warning!) to drop off the hardware, they failed to meet an appointed installation time last night and just showed up again, unannounced, in the middle of my Zen weekend this afternoon. They made quick work of the issue, but left in their wake a soaked and filthy bathroom floor, the detritus of boxes and packing material in my living room, and a totally soaked and trashed throw rug in my bedroom. Havoc? She was wreaked, my friends.

What threw me most about the whole thing, though, was the dynamic between the 2 men. They were both Japanese--one rather old (70+), the other probably in his late 30s to early 40s. Despite what you would assume to be the obvious workflow here--that is, older = wiser and the finesse/brains part of the operation and the younger man supplies the brute strength/labor--it was quite the opposite. The older man scurried to and fro in my apartment and out to the dumpster hauling the old out and the new in, speaking little and taking much berating and bossiness from the younger man. Now, I have no idea what their deal is, professional or personal, and there may exist many mitigating circumstances for what I saw. But I just got to thinking about the archetype of generational wisdom and respect, and how that was so utterly lacking here. I felt like offering the older man a comfortable seat and cup of tea and telling the younger man that he owed me cleaning costs and where to shove his attitude. Damn whippersnappers.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home