Is Mr. Maintenance Man Back???

On Monday morning I was drinking my coffee and reading emails, just like I always do. I heard Charlie outside talking to someone. The dogs set up a barking fit.

And then a few hours later, I looked out the front window, and thought: That white Toyota sure does look like Mr. Maintenance Man's.

So I walked outside and looked at it. It sure did. I knocked, then tried the door of the shed. Opened the door and looked inside. Wasn't anyone there. 

A little bit later, I saw him and went outside. 

He said he didn't like where he was working. Where he'd already moved his whole family. And as soon as he started working, they docked his hourly pay. 

Made up some excuse about too many maintenance men and not enough work or something to that effect. Then why hire him?

So for two days he's been back here. Hope he stays. 

But now they've gone way up on his rent because he isn't working there, which poses a great problem. And in the two and a half weeks they've lived there, they haven't had a lick of hot water. 

Apparently the place had previously burned. And the person who took care of fixing the gas part did not have the appropriate license to do so. So the city inspector won't let the gas be turned back on. 

What a pickle. 

So I guess if he can't figure anything else out, he'll be here for awhile. 

Suits me just fine. 

I noticed he kept his coat on while he was in that shed. Me, I seldom get cold. I'm walking around in a short-sleeved t-shirt when everyone else is wearing coats and scarves. I've always been that way. 

If you recall, I purchased two Duraflame stoves online last winter. I think because I bought two, I got each one for $130 instead of $150. 

I have one working, but couldn't get the other one to come on this year. So I told him if he could fix it, to leave it over there in the shed and he could take his coat off. 

Later yesterday afternoon, he had taken the back of it off and he showed me where the wires inside had burned apart. That didn't make me feel too awful safe with the one I've got. And terrible for the fact that I'd given him a bad stove.

I got on the phone and called Duraflame. Naturally I got another country. And I was already a bit cranky over having to be on the phone earlier with a doctor's office over a bill they can't figure out, plus the eczema has gotten worse again, so this didn't make me any less cranky. 

The guy told me a technician will call me in the next 48 hours. I told them they needed to replace that part or see if it was on recall. I probably didn't use it more than a handful of times. 

Probably made in China. Do they make anything of quality anymore? I'm beginning to wonder.

I recall when I was a kid, companies were proud of the quality of merchandise they sold. They stood by their product.

I think the concept of  "quality" has gone straight downhill since then.

Darned if I don't wonder if they're being taken advantage of somehow. 

They're in one of those places where all bills are paid. And that usually means they run the show on all your utilities. They only let you set your heat or cooling to a certain degree and then it's cut off. You're stuck. 

And I can tell there's times he's unsure of what he's getting charged for.

Of course I get in the big middle of things and start asking questions. I learned to interview people in college and I guess I never did stop. When I was a kid, I was always asking questions. I was one curious child. 

I sure get my nose out of joint when I think someone might be being taken advantage of because they're from another country and don't speak English very well. Or whatever the case may be.

When I was a youngster, I recall this older girl named Carol who used to torment me when I was in grade school. If I had a little sack of penny candy I'd bought with my dime during lunch hour, she'd push me over and take it away from me.

When I tried to slink my puny self off the school property, looking in every direction for where she was hiding, she'd run up and take that sack away from me. She probably was double my weight.

I don't like to see someone bullied, being taken advantage of, or being lied to. 

He told me his wife is a citizen. He has his green card. I asked him what he needed to do to become a citizen, because I figure he might get better treatment if he had that taken care of. Hopefully anyway. Maybe not. I'm not schooled on these things.

He told me you have to take this citizenship test, and he hadn't been able to tackle it. It's online. He can't yet pass it. 

Of course, you have to remember we have a bit of a language barrier, and sometimes what he says and what I understand him to say are two different things. So don't quote me on it. 

Well, I know next to nothing about all this. But I plunged in anyway.

He told me some of the questions that were on it. Heck, I'd have to look up many of them myself. 

I said: "Well, if we can get hold of those questions, I'll get the answers. And I'll tutor you. And maybe you can pass that test."

I've looked them up. He has to pass all sorts of test, one being how well he understands English, civics, etc. He has to know all kinds of things about the government. 

From what I read, it says you get two chances. I'll have to check into that and see if he's taken it more than once.

He's been back all of two days and I've already handed him a fried stove, and I've signed on to help him become a US citizen, if he'll follow through. 

He's not having very good luck in other areas. When I came home from taking the dogs for a little ride, he was waving his car's back door back and forth. When I got out, I heard water sloshing around. 

He said he guessed all this rain went down inside the door. It wouldn't close all the way. So he'd drilled a hole in the bottom of it and it was slowly draining out on the pavement. 

Heck, you couldn't make up the crazy stuff that happens around here if you wanted to! 

Such is life.


  1. I hope it will all work out for your maintenance man ~ you are such a kind soul!

  2. You are a good person, Brenda, and bless you for trying to help. It must be so confusing to him and I'm glad he has you on his side.

  3. Maybe you can do a post down the line showing some of the interesting to learn what we've forgotten ! :)

  4. Duraflame has a Facebook site. I promise if you post there, someone will get back to you! They monitor the site pretty close! I wish your maintenance man the best. I was a property manager for 10 years and no hot water can be a deal breaker for the lease.

  5. Brenda, you have such a kind and generous heart! I feel so bad for your maintenance man. I truly hope that life gets better for him...

  6. With all the bad stuff going on in the world today, that we hear all too often on the news, it is wonderful and uplifting to hear about the GOOD decent people like yourself. Stories like yours should be on the news!! Always enjoy your blog, Brenda. God bless you!!!

  7. Here's the link to the citizenship questions:

  8. He must also take an English test:

  9. It sounds like he is a very good man. I hope things start to go his way.

    For the excema try Eucerin cream and Cetafil soap. My daughter used to have it and my friend told me to try this. Back then Eucerin wasn;t sold on the shelf. It's the compound that the othere cream are mixed with like Cortsone. It's available on the shelf now.

  10. Brenda, hope things work out for him!

  11. I think if most people took that test, we'd fail. Heck, some of us don't even know what countries border America!

    Sounds like he's had a bit of bad luck, but I'm sure he's glad you're in his corner.

  12. I'm glad he is back for your sake and I love how you are trying to help me. The heater thing is scary. I agree, things aren't made like they use to be! I hate it when others take advantage of people for any reason!

  13. OH- That poor man. I understand your quest to help him. He sounds like a good soul that is being taken advantage of and that is NOT right!
    Scary about your heater-hope you get some satisfaction there. xo Diana

  14. You are an angel for Mr. Maintance man and he needs one.

  15. Sure hope he gets things straightened out soon and with your help, he is blessed. I'm like you, I hate when someone is being taken advantage of. Crazy about your heater burning up like that. I have one in my studio and I hope I don't have the same happen sometime. I sure need it out here in the garage.
    You are so right. They don't make anything like they used to.

  16. Perhaps he is a ILLEGAL MEXICAN, his new employer found out about it and ran him off. Ever think of that?!!!!

    1. Where do you people come from? I saw his green card. Are you so filled with hate?

  17. Replies
    1. No, he isn't. I pity people like you.

    2. And not having an email account where I can address this with you is cowardly. You are hiding behind anonymity. Is that what makes you brave enough to say such ugly things?

    3. If you can't be kind and compassionate why not go back to what ever hole you crawled out of...because that's what we are about here....say hi to Donald for me...

    4. Don't even get me started! Same kind of people who call themselves Christians but who think we should give a big resounding NO to people who desperately need our help to stay alive. Nancy, your Donald remark made me laugh out loud. :)

    5. Brenda, please know I am talking about the in-name-only Christians, not those who truly live their lives with love and compassion. Oh yeah, Kind of like YOU do. :)

  18. I detest anyone being taken advantage of....especially people who have been told all of their lives that the USA is a wonderful place where they will have so many opportunity's to make a better life...then they come here and find prejudice and hate and people more than willing to take advantage of them...We are all just trying to survive in this world...let's help one another...Bless you Brenda for being the good person that you are..

  19. It's dreadful how so many bad things can befall a person. I'm betting the former employer promised better pay just to get someone to take the job and move there, and once they had someone all moved in, they immediately cut their pay with that lame excuse. They probably figured Mr. Maintenance man wouldn't have the gumption to leave. Or, worse still, they figured since Mr. M only had a green card, he'd be happy to have the job (and the apartment with no hot water).

    Thank you for being the good and kind person you are. You're truly a gem!

  20. I sure do wish that in addition to everything else there was an apartment available at your complex for his family. He sounds like such a valuable asset to them and it would be an advantage to have him on call 24/7, too. Good luck with the tutoring, I sure am pulling for him!!

  21. The last couple of years I have worked as a substitute teacher in government classes. I have learned the amendments to the constitution while doing this. There are several online helps. Look up easy ways to learn the amendments. They use fingers and objects to go with each number.

  22. You know what the maintenance man has that makes him a valuable employee, no matter where he was born? He has a great attitude. How often do employers find someone with a great and helpful attitude like he has shown? About once a year, I hear of immigrants being treated in an absolutely terrible manner. The person who left the illegal Mexican comment, geez, someone in her ancestry must have been an immigrant to America, too. Those people who have no identity on-line and leave comments like that should just be deleted. I think they get off on the responses. And, that is really wierd.

    1. I am Native American and sick and tired of Mexicans illegally crossing the border, IMMEDIATELY receiving food stamps, housing and FREE healthcare. Look up the largest race in American prisons at this time; it is blacks followed by Mexicans. These are ILLEGAL Mexicans who have either continued the crime filled life they had in Mexico OR did not obtain jobs LEGALLY so took to robbing, raping or killing. Liberals beware! By saving the bad ones, you may be hurting yourselves!! Also, you can ONLY reply on this website IF you have an email address. So, saying I don't have one to reply back to is a lie. I am unsubscribing to what used to be a good blog but has turned into a pity party.

  23. I pray it works out for your maintenance man. You are a kind and caring friend to him. God bless you for reaching out and showing kindness to this man.
    Let us know if anything changes! I'm praying for favor with the management.

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