Today’s lesson: the door hanger.
The “door hanger” is communication tool akin to a flyer solicitation, like a pizza coupon. It’s stuck to your door providing you with important information. But instead of getting $10 off you pizza order, it’s your HOA notifying you about landscaping work happening around your home. All you will be getting is a headache.
Fast forward to Corona quarantine.
Entertainment for the weekend included chalking our driveway. As we come out, we see a tag on our garage and our front gate.
“Attention Resident - Exterior repair notice…blah blah blah Monday -Friday …. blah blah blah Backyard access is needed blah blah…. keep pets and kids indoors.”
I had to re-read it a couple of times because it seemed like a solicitation. It could have been “The neighborhood is upgrading their windows, we’ll be in your neighborhood on Monday, don’t miss out on this great opportunity to save on double-pane windows.” It seemed like a trick to get you to call and sign up for some lawn service.
The door hanger included a hand-written number.
I save it thinking “Maybe I should call in case it’s a real request.” I also thought, “Look at me, being on the receiving end of the workhorse of communications tool.”
Stanley Kubrick’s The Door Hanger
Before I had a chance to call the number, a three-man crew knocked on our door. We have a dog. A big boxer. He’s already on edge because we are all on Corona-Virus-edge. I hold the dog while Tim answers the door.
Yes, the crew did need access to our yard. They would actually need access to our backyard all week.
Wait - it gets even better — they were going to have to pull up our astroturf.
And here’s the kicker, they couldn’t guarantee the astroturf, that I spent thousands of dollars on, would be back to normal.
As I struggle to hold a barking dog, Tim relays the message from the crew.
[In a 1930’s mobster accent] “Whatdayamean they are going to mess the turf up. Whatdayamean they won’t put things back to normal. I wanna see the Scope of Work, you hear me Chum!”
Tim said, “The HOA hired them.”
I said, “Fine. But I’ma callin’ the HOA.” (I get a 1930’s mobster accent when I get riled up.)
When Tim comes back from the back yard, “They said they would do their best with the turf.”
“Sure, because they heard me yell out 'Scope of Work,’” I said. “Like when we built the casita and I told that contractor what to do with his 'change order.’”
Then the 1930’s mobster subsides, I go back to being Zoe and take the workers gatorades and snacks. Because that’s the polite thing to do when you have workers at the house.
They do work - they dig up my yard. Great. We are in a quarantine within a quarantine. Is this a Kubrick movie. Now I can’t go in the back yard? Soon will I be related to just the mudroom?
The workers end the day while the kids are chalking the front sidewalk again. I get a run down of the rest of the work. There will be an open pit along the wall until Friday, the work needs to be done in steps and needs to dry. But they will be wrapped up by Friday.
By Thursday afternoon I called the number on the card, and very calmly ask for a status on the work. Trying not to worry about the fact these people dug a hole in my backyard on Tuesday and have not come back, or have had to courtesy to update us on the schedule change.
“I was going to call on Friday,” Tim said.
“See here kid, no union guy eva worked a Friday,” I said.
Tim finally gets a call back with a half-assed apology that they got pulled to another job.
And I am in quarantine, without a backyard for a week. And I believe next week I will be in quarantine without a backyard. And I have no clue when this hell, the social distancing or the hole in my back yard, will end.
That concludes today’s communication lesson on the noble “Door Hanger.”