Aug 31, 2009
Feelin' Like An Ageist A-hole
We need some stucco work done on our house. A few weeks back a young virile looking carpenter stopped by and gave a great quote, on the job. The problem is soon after he disappeared. We tried calling him several times and got back no answer.
So, Marcos and I became anxious about getting the repairs done. Well, today as we went to get lunch we saw an elderly gentleman doing some cement repair work on the foundation of the diner we go to. I would say the man is around 70-75 years of age. He told us he was retired, but at times takes on odd jobs.
Marcos approached him and talked to him about the job. I appreciated Marcos' proactive initiative at first. However, when the gentleman got up from the bucket and started to talk with us about the job, I realized he was slow moving, a bit jittery, and lacked a certain agility. Man my stomach just turned writing that last part.
Long story short Marcos had the guy come over to see the job, he gave a slightly higher quote than the original carpenter, and it was agreed we would contact him to make plans for him to do the job. I reiterated to Marcos that I had concerns about the fact the job would require the carpenter to climb up at least 8 feet, in order to use a hammer an chisel to section of an area above the window where the stucco was falling apart.
All I could see in my head was the elderly man climbing that ladder and having to use his both hands to do the job, with no one supporting him. The other carpenter has an assistant. It played over and over in my head that elderly man falling to the ground and being seriously injured. I couldn't shake the idea.
So, I called the original carpenter we spoke to and finally got him. Marcos worked out the details for the young guy to come over and start the job, and then I called the elderly man and left him a message that we were going to use our original guy, and that we would keep him in mind for future jobs around the house.
I feel like a douchebag. I canceled the elderly guy out, because he seemed to old and fragile for a job that can be difficult and dangerous. I don't doubt for a minute the older guy was convinced he can do it, but his golden guy physicality left me doubtful.
I'm an ageist asshole, and I just created some karma I'm going to have to face in the future.