If You Don’t Want a Job, Do It Poorly

I am retired and to tell you the truth, I don’t relish days and days sitting around the house. I go out and meet friends or enjoy the sights of Belfast. It is a vibrant city full of life and scenic countryside. Hiking, taking photos, visiting friends and relatives – that is what it is all about. I know how to pass the time profitably. I pepper the extended hours with sports, games, movies, and other forms of recreation and entertainment. There is a lot to do in my town. I can sit in a café and watch the tourists admire the scenery. I am, in fact, part of it. I suppose I look colorful and authentic. I don’t mind playing the part.

The work years were fun and rewarding as I advanced up the ranks and made more money over time. Now, my wife thinks I am a lazy lout. I don’t deserve this epithet. She wants more help around the house. I say okay if it is limited to the yard. My first foray into vacuuming was a real disaster. Frankly, I wasn’t sure why she asked. A good vacuum practically works by itself. Why did she pass the chore to me? It wasn’t my usual task. I am willing to rake the leaves, clean the windows, mow the lawn, mop the kitchen, or take out the trash. After that, leave me alone.

The appliance we have to tackle the carpet is top of the line – a Shark from The Vacuum Challenge – so there is no excuse for incompetence. It is state of the art with simple instructions for easy operation. A child could do it. It should have been a breeze. For some reason, we didn’t get along and the job was done poorly. Maybe I did it on purpose, thinking that “if you don’t want a job, do it poorly.” I think you’ll agree that in certain circumstances, this is good advice. I was not asked to touch the vacuum again and I was the subject of a post on Facebook too.

Here is what happened. From the moment I turned the machine on, it started to growl and rebel. It sounded like it had nuts and bolts inside the body of the device. I ignored it and proceeded to maneuver it around the carpet. It spit out dust. In a panic, I stopped to let it get its bearings, and then I moved on. It cooperated for a few turns around the floor before the cord got entangled like some kind of skinny snake that had escaped from the backyard pond. I undid the knot, let it calm down, and finished the job. There were telltale signs remaining on the rug. My wife was not pleased. I took the nasty vacuum into the garage and emptied the accumulation, what remained of it. I turned it on and it seemed good as new, but by this time (no surprise), my wife had lost confidence.

“Let me do it,” she snapped.