My friend Nick did a good job with Valentine’s Day yesterday. He paid me awfully nice compliments in a card (I am evidently brilliant, gorgeous, funny, and sexy!) and he brought a heart-shaped pizza for us to have for dinner. That’s right, a heart-shaped pizza. That pizza is going to get its own post, but not tonight.
Tonight, I need to ask you all how a woman goes about hiring a handyman, because I need one, bad, and I don’t have the first clue about to get one.
“Hang on, Mary,” you say. You purse your lips and put a hand on your hip. “We’re glad to hear you’re eating heart-shaped pizzas and getting cards, but we’d be really glad if this Nick person was handy.”
I dissolve into giggles.
“Not that kind of handy! Mary! Now, seriously: What do you need fixed? Can’t Nick help you?”
I pull myself together and I thank you for your concern. One of the I like spending time with Nick is because he is extremely helpful. He’s fixed my internet, my phone, my icemaker, my computer. He always tidies the kitchen when he’s over and sometimes I go into the bathroom and something looks strange and I realize the sink is totally free of toothpaste bits and this is because Nick enjoys rinsing things. It’s wonderful.
But though he tried his dead-level best, Nick can’t fix my dishwasher, and I need that dishwasher fixed. Now.
So I need a handyman, or a fix-it guy — or girl, or marmoset for heaven’s sake. I literally do not care, as long as they/it knows about water pressure and, like, “parts.” Because a girl working full time and going to grad school full time cannot have a broken dishwasher. Cannot, cannot, cannot. The hopeless, helpless, panicked feeling I got when I opened the dishwasher for the fifth time and saw the dishes were not clean but in fact now dirtier with hardened, shellacked food and soap on them? That was a bad feeling. I can’t. I need my dishwasher to wash the dishes I put inside of it. It’s not so much to ask, right? Please?
Beyond that, I need some heavy pictures hung. I need a new faucet installed in my bathroom. I need a new medicine cabinet stuck on the wall. I need a chain on the light in the pantry. I need the vent cover thing in my closet to stop falling of the blinkin’ wall or I’m going to start throwing my body against it until it goes in its home.
Tell me how to hire someone trustworthy to help me do these things. Please?
Now, of course I know there are services online, but it’s the wild west out there. I live in a big city. It’s a shot in the dark, trying to find someone who won’t take advantage of my household fix-it ignorance. Believe me, I’ve been here before: I hired a handyman a year ago to do a few things and it was an awful experience. He did a poor job. It was so expensive. Afterward, the dumb, big corporate company kept calling me and texting me with advertisements and things. Ugh.
Angie’s List might have worked years ago but Angie sold that business awhile back and now it’s just big, corporate, plastic companies who buy space on the thing. I asked Dion, one of the maintenance guys in my building, if he knew anyone who did this kind of work; he didn’t. (And yes, my building has maintenance staff, but they do building stuff, common area stuff, water shut-offs and the like. They don’t hang pictures and they don’t do fridges, washers, dryers, etc.)
What I’m hoping is that one of you dear people has a brother in Evanston who is the best handyman in three states and you can give me his number. Or you have been using the same handyman for 20 years and why, he/she lives right down the street from me! This is what I’m hoping, because I don’t know what else to do.
Thanks, everyone. I need you. Perhaps more importantly: The dishes need you.