I arrived at the house a few minutes late and walked quickly up the sidewalk to meet my wife and the sales rep for our new house who are standing out front. I say my hellos as we’re introduced to Jonathan, a young man who looks younger than he probably is. Jonathan is going to be leading our walk-through of the house.
The walk-through is one of the last things we’ll do prior to moving into our new home. We have witnessed the birth of this house since it was nothing more than a pile of dirt with a sign out front that said “Lot 9, model 2A”. Over the past 7 months we have watched as the foundation was poured, framing was put up, walls appeared, plumbing and electrical were laid, cabinets were installed, stucco was sprayed, doors were hung, walls were painted and flooring was installed. Now, as we walk through our pretty-darn-near-done-house, we’re being asked to bring a critical eye and let them know what we want done to make this house perfect at move-in.
As we begin the inspection, Jonathan explains to us that this is his first walk-through done on his own. I smile politely and we continue on. Jonathan follows us, clip-board in hand, as we walk through the house. He dutifully writes down major items such as chipped tile, scratched windows and broken window hardware while, at the same time, sticking bits of blue painters tape to wall scuffs and other small concerns. As we get to the master suite we begin our inspection in the bathroom. We dutifully check for tile issues and inspect the cabinets for dings. Eventually Andrea and I end up in the separate small room that houses the toilet. I can’t imagine finding much wrong in such a small space but I do my duty and check behind the toilet, behind the door and even the ceiling. As I’m done with my inspection I start to leave the room and as I do my gaze falls to the ground. And then I see it. It’s unmistakable. I’m certain of this because I clean toilets at the Y from time to time. Yes, there is a urine stain at the base of my brand new toilet.
We head out of the room where Jonathan is waiting, hard hat on, clip board in hand, and he smiles as we make eye contact. I point to the toilet and say, “Uh, it looks like there’s a urine stain at the base of the toilet.” Jonathan’s smile disappears and a look of pure embarrassment replaces it. I’m certain he has not had this pointed out to him on any previous walk-through’s he has done with his boss – and now he’s facing it on his own. As he rushes to the room to see what I meant, he utters the only thing one can say at this point.
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