Category Archives: review

Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum in Fort Myers, Florida: How Do You Sucketh? Let Me Count the Ways

I guess I shouldn’t complain about what I considered to be terrible service from Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.  I’ve learned that it helps if you try to look at the positives you get out of an experience, so, with that in mind…

On May 14, 2012, we contracted with Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum for what should have been a very small job.  We wanted to have paving stones put in over the asphalt deck that already surrounded a very small, existing pool, plus a cage (or, screened enclosure) put up around it.  We didn’t get it in writing on our contract, but we both remember the owner of the company telling us it should be done in three weeks; two weeks to secure the building permit, and one week to do the job.  With gobs of gunk and leaves and decaying shingle shit falling into our little pool, it needed cleaning several times a day, and we were really thrilled to think it would be done so quickly.

Lesson #1:  Always get your project completion date in writing.  Thank you, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!  This new knowledge is invaluable!

As you can see, the project area is incredibly small.

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On May 22, we gave them a down payment for half of the project.

Lesson #2:  Companies we have since contracted with for other projects have told us that you should never do that.  You only pay a certain percentage after the job has been completed to a certain stage.  Thank you again, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!  You taught me just how gullible an asshole I was!  I’ll never fall for stupid stuff like that again!  Whew!  Boy, you saved me from all kinds of future anguish!

Well, four weeks later, we still hadn’t heard back from them.  We were desperately trying to learn patience from this, something I’m told the bible wants us to practice.  I guess Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum was just doing Jesus’ work,  bless their hearts.  But, we finally couldn’t stand it anymore.  We called them.  We didn’t get a return phone call.  We called them again.  No return phone call.  A pattern began.  A call, no return, a call, no return, lather, rinse, repeat.  We got angry.  Then we got angrier.

Lesson #3:  Yes, patience, my child.  Anger gets you nowhere.  Repeated phone calls get you nowhere.  You must also learn tolerance for those less fortunate than yourselves.  Some people are special and struggle through life with an inability to follow through on direction.  We must smile, and remember that it is really much more important to allow them the needed time to watch YouTube videos than do their jobs.  We must remember that they’ve been given this job at Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum because no one else would hire someone who behaves like such a c**t for such an important position as administrative assistant.

Oh!  I forgot to introduce a primary character in our saga! Let’s just go ahead and call her The C**t.   I mean, that’s how we referred to her for four months.  The C**t fielded all phone calls to the company owner.  (In fact, he never did return a single one of our calls.  The C**t even hinted at the fact that he was probably avoiding us.) Then, The C**t began not returning our phone calls, either.  When we did get her on the phone, she was rude, condescending, snippy and insulting in attitude.

Lesson #4:  It’s good to always be reminded that you’re an idiot.  I must always forget I have any intelligence or worth as a human being and remain humble, thanks to The C**t who works for Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.

I believe it was to shut us up that we were given a start date for the pavers to be laid.  We waited at home.  No one showed up.  We called (yeah, we went through that whole farked-up sequence again) and called and called. Finally, we were told someone would be out the next day.  We waited at home.  No one showed up.  We called.  Oh, fuck it.  Let’s just call this The Pattern.

Did you know that it was possible for every staff member (except the one poor dear who had to answer the phone) to be in a meeting every hour of every working day?  Neither did we!  My, what busy people they were!  We finally decided to expand on The Pattern.  We said that we knew the “meetings” were bullshit, and we were calling every half hour until we got satisfaction.

Lesson #5:  Sometimes, it does pay to be an asshole!  Thanks for letting us win one, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!

On July 10, 2012, a crew finally came out to install our pavers.  It took them two days, and they looked very nice.  We were thinking that we were closing in on completion of this project.

Lesson #6: AHAHAHAHA!  I really was a gullible asshole!

Now we were faced with the problem that the surface surrounding the pool was two inches higher than the bottom of our sliding glass door.  The contract stated they would be raising this door before completion.  What we didn’t know, was that the little trough between the pavers and the door would fill with water whenever it rained (and south Florida has lots of rain in the summer!) and flow into our house.  With every rain.  All the time. Night and day. We had to bail and mop and bail and mop and bail…  Oh, let’s just call this Pattern #2!

The C**t and Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum didn’t seem to care much about this. We had to live with Pattern #2 for two months.  Two whole fucking months.

Lesson #7:  It’s OK to swear like a sailor when you’re as fucking pissed off as we were.

We finally got a crew out to put up our cage, after much procrastinating on their part because there was an area that needed a poured footer that they hadn’t considered when they bid the job.  Well, fine.  Send out a concrete guy and pour the damn footer!  More of Pattern #1 ensued until dude came out and did this:

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They had made it seem like it was some huge job, too.  It took him all of an hour.

Now, we resumed Pattern #1 of calling to get the door raised and the cage done while continuing with Pattern #2 of indoor water removal.  A cage crew finally came out.  We were told they would be done in one day.  At the end of day #1, they realized there was “something about the configuration” of our patio that wouldn’t let them install it right.  Day #2 saw a crew come and tear down the cage that was already put up.  They left it in our yard.

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In fact, it stayed in our yard for days and days and days and… Oh, just relax.  I’m not going to name another pattern.  In fact, I’m not going to go into detail about how they had to destroy the top of the tiled, perimeter flower bed you see above to pour cement into the holes in the concrete blocks it was made from, since no one bothered to inspect the job site properly.  In fact, I won’t go into detail about how we had to fight them to get someone out to fix the “finished” cage up to code standards.

We finally went out and moved all the pieces ourselves, since they were killing our grass and we needed to mow.

Lesson #8:  It was a good thing for us to get out there and get some exercise!  I mean, we’re not spring chickens anymore.  We’re not even considered to be middle-aged!  We’re early elderly, and if we hadn’t gone outside and moved all that crap in the hot, Florida sun, we may never have known how out of shape we were!  It’s good for nearly-senior citizens to see how close to a heart attack they really are!  Thank you, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!

BONUS!!  We were now able to add a new term to the family vernacular.  We all now refer to things as “all Bauer-ed up”, or if someone doesn’t show up, they “go Bauer on you”, or “pull a Bauer”.  Through the magic of the internet, let’s try to make this terminology go viral, OK?  😀

So, we resumed Pattern #1 until they finally sent someone out to put up our cage.  That part was finally, finally done.  Now, we just had to get someone out to raise our door so we could stop with Pattern #2, because until you’ve bailed and mopped water with the frequency that we did, you haven’t truly experienced burning, hot hatred and rage with an extreme need for vindication and revenge.  Getting this project done began to consume us.  It was the focus of every conversation.  We lost more than a little sleep over it.  We were fucking Bauering pissed off. We’d also contracted with another company to install hurricane protection on this door, and they couldn’t do it until it was raised.  We lived through one hurricane scare without the protection we’d already agreed to pay for.  So, OK.  I admit I might have turned them in to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation with a complaint of fraud at around this point, too.

Our slider was finally removed.  A footer was poured.  We now had a huge hole in the side of our house.

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We couldn’t lock our house.  We lived in fear of rain.  The little room the slider led into had a cabinet with all of our dry food in it.  I began imagining lizards in my Cheerios.  I could barely sleep at night, for fear of critters joining me in bed and zombies lurching into my house.  (Hey, it’s southern Florida.  We have zombies.)  We had this huge hole in our house for four days.  FOUR FUCKING BAUERING DAYS.  A crew came out to fix it, and we were told the footer was poured wrong and it had to be fixed to do it properly.

WRONG!  This is when The C**t was informed that I’d already bookmarked the pages to the local “call for action” news teams, and if they didn’t fix it that very day, they’d be on the 6:00 news.

Funny how that motivates people.

So, it took four months to complete a job (and much of it very shabbily) that was promised to be done in three weeks.  A very small job, as you can see:

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Final Lesson #8:  You have to be Bauering nuts to sign a contract with Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.

Li’l Ol’ Shallow Me


As a single woman in her forties, I did a lot of internet dating. In fact, many of my friends looked upon me as something of an expert in how to weed out the weirdoes and make every date count. I didn’t arrive at that level of expertise without having made some horrific errors, though. Dating four new men in one week was one of them. All told, I’m not sure how I could have avoided this one…

On line, Bill’s picture had him in a group of other men, on a tropical vacation. In the individual picture, his face was partially obscured in shadow. I didn’t think much about either piece of initial evidence, as this was in the early days of internet dating and pictures weren’t as easy to post as they are today. All I knew for sure was that his communications with me were hysterically funny and he never failed to make me laugh. When we finally worked up to a phone conversation, he didn’t let me down. His voice was melodious and his humor remained intact. A face-to-face meeting was called for.

I arrived at the tavern we’d agreed upon and began scanning the room for him. I saw a man at the bar that was looking my way, and even given the distance between us, I knew enough to start praying that this wasn’t my date. Of course, it was.

Bill came to the door and introduced himself. I should have earned an Oscar for my performance as Woman Who Must Mask Her Facial Expressions Because She Is Shallow And Truly Aghast At The Appearance Of Her Date. Bill’s face was deeply scarred from adolescent acne. I could deal with that. His hair was longish and nearly bald on top. The acne scars also covered a good portion of his nearly bald head. I could deal with that. But, his hair was very greasy and stringy and he was sporting a very bad comb over. Now, I found myself attempting to deal with some things that were more difficult manage, and losing that battle.. I had to repeatedly force myself to remember that looks weren’t everything. He was a truly charming man and I needed to give him a chance.

We settled in at the bar and ordered drinks. Conversation flowed easily, but I began having difficulty dealing with yet another aspect of this man’s appearance. You see, as we talked, white strings of dried spit began expanding between his lips and from his tongue to the roof of his mouth. This white crap collected in thick, crescent moons in both corners of his mouth.  All I could think of was, “Take a drink! Wet your mouth! Make it go away!” Of course, he did eventually take a drink and the white threads disappeared, only to return as he began to speak again and again and again. I found myself focusing on this with abject horror. It was like the guy was chewing on spider webs. I was ready to gag. Had I owned a cell phone at the time, I would have pulled the old Go To The Ladies’ Room And Have Someone Call Me With An Emergency trick to get me out of that place.

Of course, given enough to drink, he had to get up and go to the bathroom at some point. When he returned, there was something slimy and greenish coming out of his left nostril. I was horrified. As he breathed, it moved in and out of his nostril in sync. He must have noticed my horrified stare and excused himself to go to the restroom again.

In a nanosecond, I pictured how the end of this evening could happen if I stayed. No way was there going to be a kiss. The thought of him hugging me and potentially getting his greasy hair and snot all over me was my next thought. I didn’t hesitate and am only mildly ashamed to admit that I set a new land speed record on my dash out of the door.

The Wii Chronicles. Wii One…Learning That I’m Fat

In an effort to stop an embolism from coursing through our brains due to the inactivity of our middle-aged, overweight bodies, we pretended we knew what we were doing and bought a Wii. Immediately, we added a Wii Fit to the ensemble.

Hey, I already admitted we were only pretending to know what we were doing.

The first thing I learned to do with it had nothing to do with exercise, but had everything to do with just screwing off. I learned how to create a Mii. Miis are the little computerized figures that represent yourself and anyone else that you desire. I often desire George Clooney, so I plan to make a Mii for him in the near future.

Once we realized that our individual Miis could interact with other Miis of our choosing, we made several other family members, too. My son, my much despised son-in-law (for the boxing games) and my elderly mother, amongst others, all became members of our Wii community. Facial features, hair color, glasses, wrinkles, height and body appearance were added into individual figures that were given the appropriate names. After a couple of days of playing with Miis, I felt brave enough to finally step onto the balance board.

The first assault to my psyche was when the Electronic Kommandant insisted on measuring me.

So, like a good, fat broad, I put in my height and what I guessed was my approximate weight. The damn machine then shortened my Mii down proportionately and plumped it up to look like a little bowling ball with limbs and glasses. It then announced in its annoying little Wii voice, “Oh! That’s obese!” My little Ina Mii stood off to the side, already huffing and puffing without even exercising, and hung her head in shame. It was with great restraint that the balance board didn’t get hurled into the TV at that time.

Somehow, it measured my BMI and other things that fat people generally don’t want to know about. Then, it asked to weigh me, for real. The greatest fear of my existence was about to take place, all in the comfort and privacy of my own den. I took a deep breath, and allowed the dreaded deed to occur. The annoying little Wii voice then announced, “Oh! You really are obese!”

So, I immediately entered a password to protect my weight from Kevin’s eyes.

I have to admit, I know that weight wasn’t accurate. It was taken on carpeting instead of a bare floor, I wasn’t naked, I’d already had breakfast and lunch and hadn’t made a doody, yet. These are all important criteria for obtaining an accurate weight in my delirious little world.

Once my password was in place, I went back to the Mii Plaza and played with making fake people again. The humiliation and pain of actually moving my body could wait for another day.

To be continued…

Afraid of My Own Shadow

It’s been a long time since I inhaled a book. I used to be able to read one in a sitting or two, but now this time frame has been stretched into months. While I’ve read some very wonderful tomes this way, I haven’t felt carried away by one in a very long time. It finally happened again last night.

A long, hectic weekend at work was culminated by a family gathering at our house yesterday. The grandchildren ran amok, as usual. When everyone finally left and the place was cleaned up, I went right for the Ultimate Recliner and my book. Kevin turned on a movie and we disappeared into our own little worlds for awhile. My plan was to read for about an hour, then head up to bed.

An hour later, my eyes were still wide open and the pages were flying beneath them. Kevin was beginning to nod on the couch and finally turned the TV off to head upstairs. I told him I’d be up shortly, as I could tell something good was about to happen. I hadn’t felt that consumed with reading something in a long, long time.

Alone downstairs in our tiny, darkened den, I continued. The only light was the one illuminating my page. A half an hour later, it happened. Stephen King’s own brand of horror began. I was riveted and entirely absorbed by each page. He creeped me out and horrified my senses, just as he used to do when I was a younger woman. Success! I felt I could sit up for half the night and finish the book; something I haven’t done in years.

Except for one little problem.

I was now too frightened to continue. My eyes began furtively darting from the printed page to the darkened rooms around me. My concentration broken; my imagination set free. What was that sound? Did the dog just raise her ear? Why won’t the cat come in here with me? I tried to read more, but started to picture an otherworldly creature waiting in the next room to grab me with outstretched arms, covered in dripping seaweed. I was doomed. No. Read more. I must read more and get past these images. If I could only get to a safe spot in the book, I could make it upstairs more easily.

Upstairs. I had stairs to climb. Stairs that I was certain would be covered in wet footprints. Stairs that would have sand and seashells on every riser. Stop that! I attempted to read more.

But, I then found my overactive mind going through the motions of buttoning up the house to go to bed. I would have to leave the darkened den, where the only light was burning. Something would surely grab me before I got across the dining room to turn on another light. No! Stop it! I would then pass through the kitchen and lock the door to the sunroom. I would turn on all of the lights as I went to give me comfort. I would lock the dog in the mudroom, then systematically turn off the lights and go upstairs like a big girl.

Go upstairs. How could I go up those stairs? There were things waiting to scare me, to grab me, to horrify me on those stairs. How was I ever going to be able to take the time to empty my bladder before going to bed? I was certain there would be something waiting in the bathtub for me. My imagination knew no boundaries. My heart began pounding and I knew I had to just go for it, as fast as I could.

I zipped through the dining room and hit the lights. The kitchen lights then also went on, the sunroom got locked, the dog was hurried to her bed and the gate to lock her in went up. I left every light blazing and flew up the stairs without looking down at them. I set a new record for Fastest Land Pee and dashed into the bedroom, pulling the door closed behind me.

My hurry to get under the covers woke Kevin, who mumbled something of a query about if I had been enjoying my book. Trembling, I admitted I had scared myself so badly that I left all the lights on downstairs and only came to bed so he could protect me. His sleepy giggles set off a few of my own before I let him wrap me in the safety of his arms as protection against the demons of my Stephen King filled evening.

It felt really good to let a book grab me like that again. Thanks, Steve.

Root Canal Joy


I don’t like dentists. In fact, I absolutely fear them. I had a hideous experience as a child that has colored my views of the profession all of my life. I’ve only found a couple of dentists that provided me with the least amount of stress along with the needed procedures; however, life circumstances such as bankruptcy, loss of insurance and moving gave me the necessary excuses to stop following up with them like a good girl.

 

But, I broke a front tooth last weekend.

 

I found a new dentist based solely on who could get me in the quickest in my new hometown. He did a temporary repair and informed me that I needed a root canal. Now, it’s time to panic.

 

The procedure was scheduled for this morning. I woke up at 3:30 with the knowledge of what I faced barring me from returning to sleep. My bowels twisted and roared. I pouted into my coffee. I sulked through my shower. The fact that I couldn’t put on lipstick depressed me.  I tried to remain focused on the fact that I could wear my new hat to the appointment and look cute.

 

When I arrived at the office, the Coward Patrol was waiting for me. I wasn’t even allowed to get my coat off before I was herded into That Room. There are some very wise people working at this office. Within two minutes of having arrived, the worst part of any dental procedure for me was under way. Yes, I’m talking about the novacaine needle. The dentist is Doogie Dentist, who is a young whipper snapper and up on all the newest techniques to keep me from freaking out like an idiot.  After agood topical had time to set in, he started the injection slowly while flopping my upper lip manually. Perhaps a more accurate description would be that he made my lip plop up and down with his fingers like one’s lip would do while giving a raspberry. For some odd reason, it lessened the pain. Or, perhaps I was so focused on the raspberry motion and feeling quite silly that I didn’t notice the pain as much.   I now settled in for what I was sure was going to be several hours in the chair.

 

The next surprise in store for me was the giant condom. It was at least four inches around. My excitement deflated when I realized it wasn’t a real condom; it just resembled one. He positioned this over my tooth so that it was the only thing exposed. I didn’t need a suction hose drying out my mouth uncomfortably. I could swallow. I didn’t even have to keep my mouth wide open for the entire time. I did, however, experience a series of chin quivers that I found rather embarrassing. I had to manually stop my chin from this odd behavior on at least three occasions. I’m attributing that to being old. The entire experience was enhanced by Daniel Powter singing So You Had a Bad Day on their PA system.  Apropos.

 

The discomfort in my mouth was minimal, but I soon realized that I was having pain in my shoulders, of all places. I could attribute this to the tight grip I had on the armrests. Once I lightened up on that, the shoulder pain dissipated, too. One good thing about the chair was the angle of the tilt. My head was so far back that it entirely eliminated my double chin.

With a start time of 9:30, I was more than a little surprised to be back in my driveway at 10:38.

 

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the suckiest, I give the entire experience a two. It just didn’t suck much. I’ll be going back to Dr. Doogie Dentist.