Saturday, August 11, 2007

How Not to Roof

The people next door are replacing their shingles. And one of the major downsides of the hot labour market in this city is that companies are resorting to having to scrape the bottom of the competency barrel when hiring. At least that's what I assume happened with the roofing company that is doing our neighbour's house.

Jerry came home from work on Tuesday to find 5 guys up on the neighbour's roof, each with a nail gun, but instead of the rapid-fire thunka-thunka-thunka that you would expect to hear from 5 guys with nail guns, there was just the periodic thunka, punctuated by a lot of loud machismo talk projected over the blare of the crap radio station that was blasting from the rooftop. You know the radio station - I'm sure every city is cursed with one -All Nickelback All The Time, with the odd smattering of VanHalen.

Jerry said that he was down in his office trying to get some work done, and was getting a headache from the roof party. And then the neighbours on the other side of us came home and went over and told the lads to turn the music back, which they did. For a while.

When we had our dinner in the back yard later, the radio was back at full blast and the dudes were standing on the roof, each with a cigarette in one hand and a nail gun in the other, watching one guy work. Here is how their conversation went:
"Fuck, that's fucked"
"You're fucked, you pussy"
"Fuck you"
"You're a fucking cunt"
"Fuck you, you fuck"

It got a little tedious after a while, and you know how sound carries on a rooftop. I can't imagine what the parents of all the little kids on our street were thinking.

Now don't get me wrong, I love creative swearing. Some people can take it to an art form that should be celebrated and if these guys had thrown in the odd "he's a right dodgy fuck" or something similar, I would have been highly entertained, but they were so obviously misogynistic machismo cretins whose knuckles dragged when they walked and who had never read a book in their lives, that they were merely offensive.

And then they started firing their nail guns at each other from across the roof.

When I was out in the yard a few days later I found a pile of roofing nails, the barbed
kind (second from the top in the picture), in our yard. This was to be expected. I have replaced shingles before and I know that you can expect to find roofing nails for a year afterward. But I was finding these ones on the other side of our two-car garage! They must have been going for distance when they were firing those ones off in the air. I don't want to think about the consequences of running over one of those with the lawn mower. That would make some wicked shrapnel. I got hit with a stone when I was a kid from a city mower that was cutting grass in the ditch across the road, so I know how those things can fly.

These 5 guys (remember: each with their own nail gun) spent two days on that roof and they are still not finished. Jerry could have done the whole thing in one day with a hammer, and he hates doing shit like that. And then of course it rained for 3 days. And all their shit is still sitting on the roof, piled in the front yard, or parked on the street. Today was a beautiful sunny day, but no sign of the roofers. All their equipment is here, so they're obviously not at another job.

I'm going to find out the name of the company from the neighbour, so I make certain never to hire them, when it comes time to replace our shingles.

I am not one of the seemingly millions of people who are now claiming to have been at Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976, but I am mourning the passing of Tony Wilson today, founder of Factory Records. Tony, thank you for bringing us Joy Division, New Order, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays. Too bad about the Smiths.
RIP Tony Wilson


Allison said...

Wow, I can't believe they were actually shooting nail guns at one another?? Were your neighbours home when this was going on? I always thought my dad was just anal whenever we had construction that needed to be done and he'd hang around making sure the workers weren't pissing about, but clearly sometimes that needs to be done.

Enjoyed your paragraph on Tony. He was not that old. Very sad.

Deb said...

You've replaced shingles?...well I'll be damned. I don't think there's much you can't do.

Roofers are all fucking fucks as far as I'm concerned.

Our roofing (party) went pretty much the same. I could overhear them saying things like "oh shit, I broke this". And then another bone head would pass the joint, laugh and respond with "don't worry about it, they're paying for it".

Barbara Bruederlin said...

No, Al, our neighbours were away; his dad was overseeing the renovs, but wasn't there for the show. Your dad was being prudent, I think.
It's hard to believe that Tony Wilson is gone, isn't it? I knew he was sick, but he went so quickly. I feel like watching 24 Hour Party People now.

Let me backup here a moment, Deb, before you think I am much more capable than I really am. I did things like haul shingles and pick up nails and old shingles and such, not the actual glamour work of nailing.
You had absolute horror stories with your roofing experience! At least mine was going on next door. I imagine it's hard to attract and maintain quality people for a job like roofing.

BeckEye said...

You just need to walk up there, two staple guns in hand, pointed at them, and launch into your own stream of fuck-tastic profanity. It's the only thing they will understand. Something like, "If you fucking fuckers don't stop fucking around up here on my fucking roof, I'm gonna fucking staple your fucking ballsacks to your fucking foreheads you miserable fucking cocksucking fuckbags."

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are my hero, Beckeye! THAT is precisely what I was talking about when I mentioned creative cursing. I bow to your greater powers.

Plus I want to quote you today.

JustRun said...

Wow, if it weren't for the awful annoying "men" and the nails, this post would have been so fun! Really, you told the story nicely, even if it was about a bunch of morons. :)

Oh, and with regards to the last post, YES, GET A MASSAGE if you can. I never started getting them until I started running a lot and training for races. Now, I think I use that as an excuse to get them. They're the best (if you have a good therapist). And, in the last year either because I've become so comfortable with my massage therapist or because I'm always so tired, I've started falling asleep during. The mark of a good massage, they tell me. I don't care, as long as I wake up feeling great, which I do.

John Mutford said...

This sounds like a Dale post.

mellowlee said...

OMG, what a bunch of apes! Hopefully they will be done soon so you won't have to put up with their crap.

I need a massage today. Took Dev to get his eyebrow pierced, and my neck and shoulders are all in knots from the stress! (it turned out great tho)

Serah said...

Breaking news to me, where have I been I didn't know of Tony Wilson's passing. That's sad - too soon.
I think I am going to have to watch 24 Hour Party People for the millionth time now. I love that movie. It's pretty amazing that he was so involved in such a great time in the music industry.

Anonymous said...

Roofers, as a rule, are armed and dangerous, except they're usually that way in the bar. On the roof, they usually roof. And puke (because of the bar the night before), thus the multi-tasking and completely toxic dumpster on your lawn.

Nice to find a good entertaining Canadian blog out there. You have a zillion links, and I'm going to check out a bunch of them (discovered you via Chris @ Some Guy's Blog).

- Cooper

Anonymous said...

Some Guy's Blog is on Johnny Yen's list, not yours. I'm way too old for this linky stuff.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

They actually came back on the weekend to move one of the 3 trucks they had left on the street all week, Justrun, but not of course to do any actual work. I glared at them the whole time, because I excel at passive-agressiveness. So the fun continues!
Massages as a reward for exercise sound like a brilliant idea.

Who knew that Dale and I live in the same neighbourhood, John? He never comes out of his basement.

I hope you post some pictures of Devon's visit, Mel! Especially of the eyebrow that was the cause of so much stress.

Tony Wilsom sure played a big role in ushering in some great music, didn't he, Serah? We did the same thing last night - watched 24 Hour Party People for the millionth time. What a fun film. And even though the scene of Ian Curtis' suicide is pretty flawed, I still find myself pleading with him as it approaches to please don't do it. It never helps though.

Hi Cooper! Welcome! Yikes I didn't realize that puking was an integral part of roofing. I'm certainly going to have to watch my step for the next few days!
I know what you mean about the linkages. Sometimes you can keep following links until you no longer know where you are or how you got there. It's all good though.

Joe said...

This is a mark of my cultural ignorance, but I had no idea that Canada had redneck retards like we do. Now I know better. Are you sure these weren't illegals from the USA? Like, from central Indiana or someplace?

Beth said...

What complete dumb arses*! You should report the firm to your local better business bureau.

Hadn't heard about Tony Wilson's passing until I read your post. Thanks for the news.

*Trying to be creative for you.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Your story reminds me of the time I was in a tire shop and some of the tire jockeys were throwing darts at the other tire jockeys, who were tryng to catch them bare handed.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I wish I could claim they were illegals, Bubs, but I afraid I have to disillusion you, we have more than enough redneck retards here as well. It was a nice dream though.

Arse is one of my favourite words, Beth! I feel all Scottish when I say it.
Sad about Tony Wilson, innit? He was 57.

Hi Dr Monkerstein, welcome over here! I have a feeling there was way too much testosterone and not nearly enough brains in that tire shop that day.

phlegmfatale said...

Those roofer guys sound like a bunch of dirtbags. I hope they've finished, by now, and good luck picking up the schrapnel before the mower finds it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There was a lone guy working (quietly) on the roof when I got home from work yesterday, PF. I'm not sure where all the yahoos went, but I didn't miss them.

Dale said...

Oh Barbara, I think when my neighbors aren't home, they must be out roofing in your part of the country. They do go missing for days at a time. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't next door.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Your neighbours are travelling roofers, Dale. It all makes sense now.

Anonymous said...

Please follow up on this roofer.

I live in the same wonderful neighbourhood as you and there was a nail gun incident just off of Lake Placid drive the beginning of the year where a jr high student was nearly hit by the 5 or so yahoos on the roof, (seriously they sound like the same crew)

Neighbours several houses away were finding an abundance of roofing nails in their yards front and back. I believe this crew was from Okotoks? Father/sons outfit?
Long story short Police called, but kind of left there after that. Asses willing to shoot nails at kids aren't the sort most want to complain about in case of revenge.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hey you're a neighbour, Blondie! How cool!

I don't know if this crew was from Okotoks and I didn't see any father figures amongst them, but I'll find out details from my neighbour. Thanks for the heads up - that kind of shit can't be allowed.