Tuesday, December 23 2003
The granite countertops we're getting for the kitchen are made and installed by a New Jersey company called All Granite and Marble. They had a good selection of granite, and they were the most responsive to inquiries of all the companies Gretchen contacted, although they were considerably less so than the concrete countertop people had been. (I still need to think of a project that incorporates all the free counter samples that were mailed to us.) Anyway, all the people at All Granite and Marble seem to be Russian, and the speak Russian amongst themselves when they're not dealing with customers. I don't know if it's the Stoli or what, but their customer relations could use an upgrade. It's nowhere near as bad as, say, the automotive department at the Hudson Valley Mall Sears, but it's still maddening at times. They promise to call back and then don't, or when they do call and get our answering machine, they immediately hang up without leaving a message. Then the other day after they came out to make templates in our kitchen, Gretchen called to find out when they'd come out to do the installation, and they told her it would be Tuesday, that is, today. So, knowing how they are, she called them this morning to find out when today that they'd be coming. They told her they had her scheduled for the 30th! Gretchen immediately raised a ruckus, telling them how she'd taken the day off from work so she could be around for the installation, and that she had made plans to be baking all evening for the holidays and she couldn't work in her kitchen with no counters. These were all lies of course, but they had the desired effect, and somebody named Blaze told her he'd see what he could do. Blaze really took charge of the situation, and called us repeatedly throughout the day to keep us informed.
At around sundown the three installers arrived from New Jersey with the three pieces of granite countertop. In the course of an hour or so they installed it completely, along with the undermount sink. As they worked, I had no idea what they were talking about because the only language they used was Russian. It might have been a New Jersey tradesman pidgin dialect though, because they seemed to be using the English word for sink.
After the countertops were installed and I wrote the fat check for the balance owed, I commented to the lead installer that they were beautiful, but he didn't even acknowledge me. Maybe he thought I was making a pass at him and that I was unworthy. With his bleached and zhuzhed his hair, he certainly looked gay to me.
The granite used in our countertops was a type called Green Fashion. It appears to be from Brazil. It's mostly comprised of ovoid nodules of dark grey-green and white but there are also occasional inclusions of rust-colored pockets.
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