The handyman at my prior condo (that I was renting) was just a random, unlicensed guy that my very handy landlord (the Thai woman) would boss around and train to do stuff. When she wanted roof repairs, she did the same thing. She never hired trained, licensed people, just locals. It was great for smaller jobs, but the roof was always leaking for the three years I lived there. And she kept going back and forth to Thailand to be with her mother, so anytime I wanted anything to be done during the winter season, I had to wait for her to come back. It was annoying. But he was pretty good, hence the reason I asked him to help me twice — once with one of two bidets and then to help me replace my built-in microwave. But I did anywhere from 50% to 75% of the work. I needed him more for strength than skill, which blows my mind to even type.

As far as the lady who let her grandson do all the work, it sounds about like him. He tried to show up with a friend of his who was on disability. That fool tripped over boxes, kept accidentally turning my kitchen light off from leaning on it, leaned over the stove and turned the fire on while we were holding the microwave less than three feet above it and with my knee about six inches away. I yelled “Get this Fire Hazard out of my f**king home right now!” That handyman was supposed to be hired to fix my parents’ bathroom tiles. I called my mother immediately and told her if the handyman shows up with Mr. Fire Hazard, he’s gotta go. I found out that not only was his “handyman partner” not a licensed worker but he used to be a full-time college educator in business. (Or maybe it was history?) Still. Though. Why. Are. You. Here?

The handyman lied and said they did all kinds of jobs together. But before Mr. Fire Hazard turned my stove on (and after turning off my lights 3x) he went on and on about his work as a professor and all he ever fixed before was a few light bulbs. I was pissed. I have not hired that handyman since then because he has a terrible habit of showing up with family members or random people without asking for permission first. If you need a helper, give me a heads up. Don’t just show up with Mr. Fire Hazard or your niece slurping away on a McDonald’s cup in my hallway. He was reasonably good though, just had that annoying habit of surprise visitors.

I do, however, miss my handyman in an apartment I lived in for eight years. He was outstanding and would fix stuff so well and leave my place so neat that I had no idea if he even was in my apartment, which was kinda creepy. So I keep his number on file for emergencies. He was late all the time and always claimed he was coming “tomorrow” when it was really 3–4 days later, but he was superb.

Still though, nothing beats saving yourself money like doing it yourself.

Again, let me know how your dream board turns out. I used Google Slides for mine since I don’t have a posterboard. I already recycled all my magazines so I didn’t have anything but the Internet to work with. I just downloaded images instead of printing them out. I taped the finished dream board to my wall right next to the laptop I’m typing on so I could stare at it all the time.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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