Archive for the 'Business' Category

Jeopardy Question: What is 75?

Answer: The number of hours it takes to play musical dryers.

At 2:00 PM Sunday, July 5th, one of our cleaners notified Scott that the Lakeview Lodge’s (LL’s) dryer was not working. She was in the middle of a quick turn and needed to get the laundry dried, folded, and put up before the guests arrived at 4:00 PM. Wow. What to do? How can one get a dryer repaired or replaced in less than two hours on a Sunday afternoon–during a holiday weekend no less?

My Hero immediately took command of the situation. He asked me to clear out the laundry room as much as possible. He got the dolly out of the shop (or wherever it lives). He climbed up onto and then down behind our dryer, unplugged it, and disconnected that pesky accordion exhaust tubing. He then began trying to “walk” it forward. You can’t slide it because the linoleum beneath is in two sections, and the feet will catch on the edges. And bear in mind that our laundry room is quite small, with only about three feet of clearance in front of the washer and dryer, and the laundry room door doesn’t open all the way because it hits the dryer. Always has. 24 years.

Well, I’m not sure how he did it, but somehow, Scott managed to get both the dryer moved forward and the laundry room door open, and together (he did almost all the work) we lifted the dryer out and onto the dolly. Then I held the lower edge of the dryer for balance while Scott nearly ran with the dolly around the side yard (we could’ve been on America’s funniest home videos), across the bumpy front yard, and up the side of the driveway (there’s more of a hill there than I realized) and around to the back of the Durango. I had assumed he was going to put the dryer on the trailer, but no. We were now about to lift the dryer up into the Durango, and I wondered if it would fit.

“Have you measured to make sure it will fit?”

“No. Would you go get me a tape measure?” I took off and returned quickly with my ACME Central Bank of Branson triangular multi-tool from the junk drawer.

Lying on its side, the dryer would be 29 inches “high,” and the opening was nearly 31 inches. Plenty of margin. Thankfully dryers aren’t heavy, and we lifted it up and slid shoved it the heck in. And with a hearty “Hi Ho, Silver!” Scott was off in a flash. I was a bit embarrassed at the dust and grime on the dryer, but there was no time to do much of anything about that.

While he drove our dryer to the LL, Scott talked with our ace handyman, Dave, about options. Where to put the defunct LL dryer? Could it be repaired? If he went to Lowe’s and ordered a new dryer on Sunday afternoon, when could it be delivered? We obviously couldn’t leave the guests dryer-less.

Thankfully, I like to hang clothes out, so leaving me dryer-less was not a problem, but I got to thinking that if Andrew needed to do laundry, well, he wasn’t about to hang his out, so I guessed he’d have to go to the laundromat. In his spare time. Oh, whatever. He’s only been doing laundry every few weeks, so hopefully he’d be okay till the LL thing was resolved and our dryer came home. Hmm… I wondered how long that would be.

With our dryer gone, all the you-know-what that had built up under, behind, and around it over the past several years was suddenly revealed, so while Scott was gone, I did some serious work on the now-exposed portions of the laundry room floor. It was pretty nasty. I also brought in a TV table and set things up in there to be temporarily functional for me, and over the next few hours, I found out what happened.

Steve, another member of our staff, met Scott at the LL to haul out the non-functioning dryer and hook up ours. In all of our vacation rental homes, including the LL, the laundry room is down a flight of stairs from the main floor, and in most of them there’s only one door, the front door on the main level. But the Lakeview happens to have a sliding glass door off its lower level, and that made all the switching-out processes a whole lot easier. They loaded the LL’s dryer into the Durango (thankfully it was also less than 31 inches wide!), and Scott drove it to Dave’s house, because Dave had told him that he thought if he took the back off the dryer, he might be able to figure out why it wasn’t working. So Scott dropped off the dryer at Dave’s house and then came home.

I never did hear if the LL’s dryer actually made it inside Dave’s house or if it just hung out on his driveway tethered to an extension cord. But wait, don’t dryers take 220 volts? Can they even use extension cords? I don’t know, but the next day I heard that Dave had determined that the belt was broken. He ordered one from amazon for a grand total of $7.87, it arrived Tuesday, he installed it, and voila!, the dryer worked fine! So Wednesday morning Scott took the Durango back to Dave’s house and reversed all the driving, lifting, hauling, and switching he’d done on Sunday.

With the sweet result that the LL’s own dryer is now tumbling away at the Lakeview, our dryer is tumbling away at our house, I was only dryer-less for 75 hours, the LL was only dryer-less for 90 minutes, and Dave, Scott, and Steve saved our small business one heck of a lot of money. Great job, and thank you, guys!!!

Simply unbelievable

One of our cleaners went to clean one of our vacation rental homes on Thursday afternoon.  I was in the area, and she called me to tell me it was pretty bad and to please “come and see.”  Which I did, and I was appalled.  There is really no way to describe what these guests did to this house, but I will say that it normally takes an average of seven man hours to clean it, but it took 32 man hours to get this place into decent shape for the guests arriving the next day.  All three of our cleaners worked like crazy until 2:00 a.m., and the list of issues, damages, and problems (which I numbered in an excel spreadsheet) came to 58.

Word to the wise who frequent vacation rental homes:  If you’re REALLY out to get your friendly vacation rental home owner, try throwing food against the walls; pouring coke on beds and a recliner; dumping ALL the pieces from ALL the games and puzzles (together) all over the floor, into various drawers and cabinets, and out in the yard; drizzling syrup down the kitchen blinds; breaking the dispose-all and the upholstered dining room bench; doing a spray painting project on a dresser; ruining numerous pans and baking supplies by burning food onto them; leaving a great deal of raw and/or bloody food in the fridge; and flecking and/or dripping bright red nail polish liberally throughout the house on bedding, furniture, and a jacuzzi tub.

Suffice it to say that our cleaners and our handyman are the very, very best!

Buying a house

Trying to get inspired for a post today. . . I guess the time has come for me to publicly state that we are in the process of buying a vacation rental home.  My natural tendency is to worry and get stressed about all the details, but I am choosing to resist all that and stay calm and peaceful.  Thankfully, Scott is  graciously allowing me to not play a major role in this endeavor, and that helps a lot.

The plan is for us to close and take possession on Friday, and then the first set of guests arrives on Monday.  It’s a good thing the house is virtually fully furnished, because it’s looking to be a busy weekend, just moving in the stuff we’ve been acquiring and getting it all squared away.  God’s grace is enough, and it will all be well.

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