My handyman is coming over tomorrow to check out some rickety windows. I won’t tell you his name because if you knew it, you would call him to be your handyman. He hates getting phone calls, and I want to keep first dibs on him.
My handyman does (many of) those little things that are too small for a real contractor. He reinstalled my deck lights when their wooden bases rotted out. He fixed a minor dormer leak that persisted after $3000 in roof repairs. He replaced the crank on a persnickety awning window in my tenant’s bathroom. Replacing the crank required at least three visits plus a special order for an out-of-manufacture part. The total job took three weeks to complete. His bill was $140.
My handyman is a middle-aged guy who fiddles for fun. He’s lived in Cambridge forever and remembers the days when we actually made stuff like soap and candy in this city and didn’t just sit around thinking all day. He owns couple of houses that he keeps in shape and works on other folks’ places when the mood suits.
My handyman has an unpredictable attitude. He turns away every friend I refer to him and often decides my own need is unworthy. We have a cup of coffee and he explains that I can rewire the light switch and replace the dimmer in my den myself. He’s right, of course; I can replace them myself. I only wanted him to do it to free my time for other things – like thinking. He suffers no patience with such nonsense. My handyman is a stern teacher. If I can do something myself, I should. If I can’t, he might. If he doesn’t want to, I’m stuck and have to search elsewhere.
I always start with him because when he takes on a job he is does it very well, though he’s amusing even when he refuses. I hope my handyman will take on my window repairs. Their condition seems beyond me. But if he refuses, well have a good chat and he’ll give me enough pointers for me to tackle the job. Or not.