There can be no more debilitating combination of words in the English language than “third party subcontractor”.
Its dictionary definition must surely read: “pronoun, common insult, ‘yee-har, move ‘em up, ride ‘em out, raw hide’, about as much use as football boots on a jellyfish”.
To my mind – and I am probably being wildly unfair – despite all the shenanigans with work permits and legal contracts that undoubtedly bind the sub contractor to the contracting agent they are still one step down from tinkers and gypo’s... and only slightly better than those gangs of swarthy, neckerchiefed ruffians who tarmac your drive without your permission and then forcibly present you with an invoice that has been date stamped by the knuckledusters of their accounts clerk who also happens to moonlight as an all-in wrestler down by the docks on a Friday night to earn enough money for his mother’s sex change operation.
When I know work is being carried out by a third party subcontractor I know in my heart of hearts that the work would be more effectively carried out by a team of onanistic chimpanzees.
Clearly the top level contractor tends to agree with me as that is who invariably turns up to perform the work.
The pavements along our street were resurfaced last week. Coldmacked. Some sort of cheapo tarmacadam is thinly applied to the pavement like swirling a teaspoon of soup around the interior of a bain-marie – the object being to acquire a thin but even coating all round that dries in the fraction of the time.
Notice for this kind of work – especially when it stands between you and your own front door – is usually given with enough consideration that you can make alternative arrangements; i.e. either arriving home earlier or later or bunking up with a friend.
Our goodly subcontractor last week gave my street a mean hour’s notice. Most of us – my wife and I included – were at work. The first my wife knew of the resurfacing was when she drove over it to reach our front drive. Meanwhile, when I arrived home two hours later I had to perform the long-jump to get from the grass verge to my own hallowed garden path. The result is that we have two dynamic tyre marks making it look as if my wife constantly skids the car into the front garden and my back heel is forever immortalized to be one day dug up and cooed over by a futuristic Tony Robinson.
The stuff – the “cold mac” – was meant to take a measly hour to dry. Imagine our surprise then when we exited the family domicile the next morning and found the car left further tyre marks in the still soft tarmac when we pulled out of the drive.
The letter of advice slung through our door at the eleventh hour warned us not to step onto the tarmac for an hour after it had been applied lest we disfigure the appearance of the pavement and get tarmac onto our carpets which, the letter writer was at pains to add, would be very difficult to remove.
Plainly we were meant to camp out in the street all night with the kids until sometime the next day. Maybe even stay in a hotel. Or just construct a trebuchet with which we could have launched the kids into their beds through the closed bedroom window.
Cowboys employed by idiots contracted by pen pushing accounts clerks who spent the 57 pence they saved buying a novelty Tippex-mouse.
I can smell the lucky heather from here.