Thursday, May 1, 2008
Roof and Peanuts
We are two signatures shy of an agreement on the purchase of a beautiful home. Closing the deal depends on whether or not the roof is sound, and if it needs work, who pays for it. Last week I called my roofer, a really good guy, terrific roofer, tall and lanky, he reminds me of Goofy the Disney character. The roofer knows everything about roofs and does excellent work. So he took a look at the roof on this lovely Spanish-style home we hope to buy. After his look, he told me that ¾ of the roof is shot and needs replaced to the tune of $10,000. So we went to the seller and asked for $10,000 off the sale price. The seller said, wait a minute, that roof is fine, and they proceeded to produce their evidence. Meanwhile, their realtor called our roofer and gave him what-for, calling him a deal-breaker (is that like a combination home-wrecker and ball-breaker?). She demanded proof that the roof is leaking. The roofer replied that he thought we said it was leaking. No one recalls accusing the roof of leaking. Libel, I tell ya! Then I got a faxed memo from the roofer apologizing profusely for destroying the house deal. He sounded miserable, like he might go jump off a roof. Not to worry. I paid him to go out again today and look at the roof more thoroughly on the assumption that there are no reported leaks. I await his report tomorrow. In the middle of the roof drama (roofer calling, realtors calling, faxes, emails, aargh, can’t get any work done), I get a phone call from a guy named Jerry who got my name out of some local directory that listed grant writers. Jerry is looking for a grant writer to help him start a hot roasted peanut stand business in which he intends to hire blind and deaf people to sell peanuts on street corners. When I told Ron about this, he said I should have shouted at Jerry, “ARE YOU NUTS?!” Poor Jerry thinks he’s going to be doing these blind and deaf people a favor setting them up with a job. Maybe he means people who are both blind and deaf. In that case, how does he expect them to make change? Perhaps I should have suggested he include in his business plan people with no legs who push themselves around on square scooter boards. Ironically, his call interrupted me while I was writing a grant to train and place mentally ill disabled individuals in mainstream jobs and I was busy researching the Supported Employment Model, that is built on the belief that, given adequate extra support, severely disabled people (i.e., mentally ill in this case) can make a significant contribution in the workplace, earn a competitive wage, and develop a career path. Bad timing, Jerry. I told him to call the Workforce Investment Board and went to make myself a peanut butter sandwich.