My son won a few dollars with a third place finish in an entry to the TV show “America’s Funniest Home Video.” He used the money to splurge on a fancy basketball hoop for his kids…and, mostly for himself. He got the best heavy duty adjustable backboard set he could find.
This backboard of thick heavy glass attaches to a large steel post which needs to be bolted to a slab of concrete in a four foot hole 21 inches square. The lad did not want to waste a full Saturday day off from work digging a hole and he wanted to be sure it was done right; so flush with “AFV” prize money he contracted with a local company that specializes in just such basketball pole installation.
They came and in one half day dug the hole, filled it with concrete and prepared it for pole attachment. Labor done, money well spent.
When Matt calculated the amount of dirt they left from digging the hole he realized the hole was not dug deep enough and wide enough. It turns out they dug to the specifications of lighter basket installation.
He called and questioned the contractor on the hole.
“Oh it will be fine; those specs are always over the top. That hole is fine, and that pole won’t budge come hell or high water.”
My son said, “That’s just great, but I did contract for the larger hole that the directions specified.”
“That pole ain’t goin no wheres, I guarantee it!”
“That’s great, as long as you guarantee it.”
“Could you just put that in writing?”
“You don’t trust me?”
“Well, I have known you for twenty minutes, but I would like it in writing. You know, just in case it topples over and crushes a car, or a kid.”
“I’ll have to check with the office.”
Today, two weeks later, they came back to dig out the concrete and dig a new larger, up to specifications hole. My son was expecting it to be done on this Wednesday so he could erect the pole and backboard on the weekend when he could gather several neighbors to help. The backboard is very heavy and very cumbersome.
As it was Grandpa Joe Wednesday, I was at his home to supervise.
They dug out the old hole and started a new hole (my son asked for a slightly different location.) They got down about two feet of the required four feet and then filled the hole with water.
“We’ll be back on Saturday. The dirt is too dry and hard to dig; the water will soften it up.”
So now the basket cannot be put up for another nine days when there will be available help.
Not surprisingly, my son is a bit miffed.
I must admit I’d never heard of people who dig holes for a living taking multiple days to dig a four foot hole regardless of how dry the dirt is. I installed sprinkler systems for three summers when I was home from college. Ninety percent of the job was digging holes. We ran into rocks, and sometimes had to tunnel under walks. We never found a hole we couldn’t dig.
Matt thinks these guys are screwing with him in retaliation for his complaining about their specifications error.
I’m inclined to agree.
It’s a hole. It really is not that hard for people whose job it is to dig a hole, to dig a hole!