The Devil in the Details

Dearest Rachel –

Yes, I told you I was going to continue to make that pun every time the folks from Detail Kitchens work with me on the remodeling of the kitchen and the laundry room. Consider yourself lucky I didn’t make such a pun that time we went shopping for appliances. Besides, it’s a title that’s still appropriate for some of the stuff I had to deal with later on in the day.

In any event, I suppose you can tell from the title that we were working out the last of the, well, details of the build proposal before finalizing the contract and sending the order off to the manufacturers in Plato, Minnesota. Lisa showed me the final drawings, and noted we still needed to confirm about a few things, like a silverware drawer and a spice rack. I made a choice on the drawer, but I concluded that a spice rack (like the one the folks have, for example) wouldn’t be necessary, since anything I might store behind the rack would more likely be kept in the pantry. Besides, you already have me trained to use a standard drawer and labels on the caps to manage spices; no sense in messing with what works.

Everything else felt more like just signing off on decisions that had already been made. Indeed, I almost questioned the need for today’s meeting, as most of this had already been settled. But, it turns out, I don’t know everything that goes on behind the curtain, and drafting a contract for construction is more involved than just me picking out a style and color of cabinetry, and taking it to the check-out counter. There are so many other arrangements that have to be made behind the scenes. Thankfully, I don’t have to get into that; that’s what I have Lisa for.

Of course, I occupied a portion of her time by relating my situation for the past couple of weeks. It was probably more than she needed to know about, but she did make the mistake of asking ‘how are you,’ which I generally find myself asking my interlocutor whether they really want all that detail from me. If they answer in the affirmative at that point, I figure that any time consumed by my response is kind of on them.

So she probably wound up staying longer than she intended; which had to be somewhat uncomfortable, as she never took either her mask or her coat off. Still, since she did receive my check for the first installment, I figure it was worth her while.

Actually, it turned out to be beneficial in another way as well, as I explained that our bathroom remodel (which also used Plato cabinets) only had a problem with keeping the marble shower area clean. But in showing it to her, I also wound up pointing out that the rubber bumpers on the one cabinet had melted (because of the heat lamp). She also observed that our vanity and medicine cabinet had still never been installed, since we left the room unpainted for so long (until Ellen gave us our last anniversary present by taking care of that I think while we were away in San Antonio and New Orleans). She offered to get in touch with Mike, and arrange for this to be updated and installed as well. So, we’ll actually have three rooms updated throughout the course of this project, and you’re going to miss out on it all. Sorry about this.

Once Lisa was done and on her way, I headed upstairs to my (relatively) new home office, hopefully to make some progress on the church financials – at least, I could get the bank statements reconciled. While I did get that mostly taken care of, I was distracted by the fact that I needed to file my claim for the scrapped vacation. It wasn’t exactly intuitive; when it asked for the destination country, what do I fill in? I flew to Switzerland, but the cruise was supposed to take us to the Netherlands, so… which was it? Even my travel agent, when I called her for help, didn’t have an answer, and put me on hold to talk to the resident expert at the agency. According to him, I was supposed to select Switzerland, since that’s where the flight landed.

The next detail was itemizing the various bills I was claiming for reimbursement. There seemed to be only one segment to fill in, and I didn’t want to put just one invoice in and hit ‘Complete,’ or I’d not get everything back that I was entitled to. It took some looking around before I realized there was a small button with a tiny plus sign on it that I could click on to add invoices to, so each individual transaction could be tallied up separately. At least, the invoice from the cruise line separated the cost of the cruise from that of the flight (which I did take, and therefore couldn’t rightfully claim) and that of the insurance payment itself (which I wouldn’t want refunded, as that would negate my right to getting any of the rest back).

The next step, uploading the invoices, was the easy part. But after that, the website asked for proof of payment. Well, I haven’t even gotten the credit card statements yet, let alone made payments on them, but I did look them up and made screenshots of the relevant transactions. Hopefully, that will suffice.

I’d like to think that I put all the ducks up there, and that they’re all in a row, but I do worry. Insurance companies are notorious for wanting all the eyes dotted and all the tees crossed, and if you slip up in one place, you can just forget about getting your money back. The trouble is, I’m not gonna know if I did it right or not until they come back and let me know if the claim was accepted or rejected.

So, as usual, honey, wish me luck. I do believe I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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