Sunday, October 18, 2009

Renovating the Winter's Hut: A Saga in 16 week parts

Le Bruce and his SmartBuild

Rob and I looked at the Excel spreadsheet. Every detail of a kitchen renovation had been given its own line with a dollar figure next to it.
“Wow,” I said it complete awe. “That seems so logical. I feel like I’ve seen something like it before.” I thought very hard. “Wait, I do this kind of budget every single day to create a new book. We have to do it. We are accountable to it.”
Le Bruce looked at me anew. I heard him thinking: “Maybe she’s not a little Jewish Princess after all. Maybe she actually has a brain.” I mental telepathied back at him: “True dat.”
“Natalie is right.” Le Bruce folded his hands over his washboard stomach—one of several clues that he was divorced and dating someone younger. “This is what keeps me accountable to you. I lay out every line item on this spreadsheet and put a dollar figure and a time limit and we stick to the plan. We have never gone over budget and we are never late. Ever.
Emes.” I asked.
Emes.” He responded.
“Well, you can’t argue with him if he says Emes.” I looked at Rob. Ah what the heck, even an Emes needs to be questioned once in awhile.
“OK Bruce,” I said. “If this keeps renovations on time and on budget, why don’t more people do it?”
“Good question, Natalie. I don’t know the answer.”
Rob’s eyes which had lost their characteristic sparkle in recent days became bright again.
“I like this Bruce. I like it very much. Everyone complains about their general contractor’s being full of shit but this seems very honest and clear.”
“It is Rob. Really, I could do a sales job on you, but I don’t have to. SmartBuild speaks for itself.”
“What do you think, Natalie.” Rob asked.
“I’m feeling good about this. I’m feeling relaxed and ready to go.”
“OK. Now that you are relaxed, I am going to take you from Zero to Sixty.”

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