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Mommy Doc Madness: Overwhelmed

We are on the homestretch of the kitchen remodel and, quite frankly, this last week has been a disaster. Really, you can't make this stuff up. Last Monday, the cabinet company was supposed to be here to put on the cabinet hardware and do a punch list. I decided to swing by the house to grab some lunch (because I was tired of eating out), and the representative from the cabinet company mentioned to me that he didn't have the right number of pulls for the doors. I responded that seemed a little odd because I had gone over the exact number of door hardware pieces we needed with the cabinet company. He counted again, definitely short. I sent a text to the cabinet designer, referencing our previous conversation that was in writing. A few minutes, later she responded: "Yep. Sorry. My bad. I forgot to add the extra pulls." OMG. We had waited 10 days to get this guy there to do the hardware and now we were going to have to wait another 10 to get him back! I left the house mad and tried to pull myself together for my next round of meetings. I came home several hours later and realized that one of the largest and most decorative doors in the cabinets had the wrong hardware. It was supposed to have a handle like a garage door but it actually had a pull. Holes had been drilled in the wrong place. After a few calls, I realized that door would have to be re-fabricated. That process required several coats of paint and glaze. It would be another 10 days before I could get that replacement door. UGH. For a doctor, this would be like starting a surgery without all of the necessary tools and then cutting the incision in the wrong place.

Tuesday, I worked a full day. I was very excited to get home because my appliances were being delivered, and a few of them were being installed. My excitement quickly turned to utter frustration as I walked in the door and realized the wrong dishwasher was installed. Yes, it was stainless steel, and it was the same brand as the other appliances, but it did not match the refrigerator or the stove. I called the contractor who had been there to meet the installer but had not actually seen the dishwasher out of the box. I then called the appliance store. The salesperson was incredulous, insisting that we had indeed ordered the right dishwasher according to the invoice. I explained to him, in no uncertain terms, that we may have ordered the right dishwater but the right one was NOT currently in my house. After some digging, he confirmed that the wrong dishwasher was delivered, and the wrong dishwasher was installed. And, it was actually running a cycle! Are you kidding me? Luckily, my dishwasher was still sitting at the warehouse, and I was assured it would be delivered and installed the next day. For a doctor, this would be like transplanting the wrong organ and expecting it to work! Wednesday, things did not get any better. This was the day the hood liner for the big 48-inch range was to be installed. I got home and was eager to try it out. The bright halogen lights came on nicely, but the fan only clicked when I pressed the button. I thought perhaps I was missing something. After all, this was a "fancy" hood. So, I got out the instruction manual. I tried every trick. Nothing happened. I then sent a text to the builder and learned that, indeed, the hood had come out of the box with a fan motor that did not work! Really? I again called the appliance store, thinking that a brand new hood would be delivered the next day the same way a new dishwasher has been delivered. Nope. Evidently, there is a policy that when something comes out of the box damaged, a GE technician has to come out and certify that it does not work before it is replaced. Oh my word. The next possible day that a service technician could get here was the following Wednesday. Memorial Day messed up the schedule. Ok, I was about to lose my mind. No hood means, of course, that the fabulous range cannot be used safely without an exhaust fan. Another week without a kitchen. For a doctor, this would be like coming up on a person coding but refusing to act until a coroner came to certify that the person was indeed dead! If the person is not breathing, no one needs to certify they are dying! By this point, I was thinking that bad things come in "3's," so I should be good to go. I'd had my three mishaps with construction, so Thursday was going to be a good day. Guess what? Wrong again! I walked in the door Thursday evening after a very long and hard day, and my Nanny greeted me with bad news. Some "very cute inspector" from the city had been there earlier, and he informed her that we had failed the electrical inspection. What??? I asked why, and in her limited understanding of the conversation, he mentioned something about a breaker missing. Sure enough, a few texts later I realized that the electrician had forgotten the ground fault breaker for the kitchen receptacles. He would have to come back and put that in the breaker box. But, we were not sure when we could get that rescheduled. I admit it, I shed a few tears on Thursday. There may have been expletives. This electrician could have burned down my house. For a doctor, this would be like using a cautery device without grounding it. I could almost smell the burning flesh . . . or maybe that was just my anger burning a hole in my head!

I walked around the kitchen Thursday night lamenting the delays and wondering if and when we would ever finish.

Speaking of holes, I then noticed a persistent hole in the granite countertop. A soap dispenser was missing that was supposedly ordered weeks ago. I arrived to work early on Friday so I could flip back through my emails to find the conversation chain wherein I had ordered the extra soap dispenser from the plumbing supply house. Sure enough, I had that in writing. And, I had emailed the representative weeks ago asking when my soap dispenser would arrive. I resent the same email. Immediately, she responded that the extra soap dispenser had shipped weeks ago. I inquired to what address. 200 South College St. That's my office building, not my home! Thousands of people work in that building and there was no suite added to the address. How in the world it was sent to my office, I have no idea. Obviously, it was lost. Her response: "So sorry, will mail another one today." Of course, that's another few days of delay. For a doctor, this would be like ordering a medicine and administering it to the wrong patient. I thought about how construction compares to medicine. If I practiced medicine the way my construction had gone this week, I would have killed five patients and been sued for malpractice! The frustrating part to me is that no one in the process was nearly as concerned about the errors made as me. The homeowner. For a doctor, the patient is the homeowner. I guess I just have a different understanding of doing your best. I remember learning the verse about doing everything you do for the glory of God.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

I don't think the way any of these construction issues were handled brought glory to anyone -- not to any subcontractor, not to any equipment supplier, and not to me. And, if I practiced medicine with the same flippant, nonchalant attitude, I would have no patients.

At the time I'm writing this, the punch list is still pending on my cabinets, I still do not have a refabricated door, and the fan on my gas range does not work. I'm hoping we don't die of carbon monoxide poisoning in the next few days before that fan motor arrives. We are, however, back in our kitchen. And, for that, I am grateful. I would be lying if I said I have handled all of these inconveniences well. I have not. I have been frustrated. I've cried. I have used foul language -- not necessarily in the hearing of my children. But, I've also been convicted. Everything we do must be done with excellence. Lord, help me to care more than my patients about the way I treat them. Help me to do everything I do with excellence, as unto You.

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