My friend the Prop Master came over today to replace my disgusting kitchen sink with the vintage sink that Ellen found for me. I was prepared to pay him our agreed "Mate Rate" of $20 an hour, but when he arrived at my house he told me that he would install the sink free of charge because I'd let him stay in my second bedroom rent free during his last commercial job.
Oh how I love traded labor. Especially traded labor that involves me doing nothing but giving my friend a house key.
Did I mention that I have the original, impossible to match 1930's deco tile counters in my kitchen? Did I mention that the porcelain-on-cast iron sink weighs 60 pounds?
Even knowing this horrific combination of facts, the sink replacement was still much worse than anticipated. If the Prop Master were not my friend, I would have had to pay a carpenter, a tile mason and a plumber to get that sink installed. It would have cost me over $1000 and would have taken several days to complete the job instead of merely eight hours.
After the first four hours of grueling labor (during which time the Prop Master built a winch out of some rope, scrap lumber and a shovel he found in my garage which he used to swap the sinks out from the underside of the counter), I took the Prop Master to lunch (At this point I'd offered repeatedly to pay him for his work, but he refused each time).
I was only too thrilled to discover that the Prop Master's fiancee was in need of a television, because I happened to have an extra one that I could offer up to him for free as a tip for all his hard work.
He was super happy to give his fiancee an even better T.V. than she was looking at new.
I was super happy that I didn't have to feel guilty that I was torturing my friend and I got a huge appliance out of my house.
Nice is a much better currency than money.
PS: Not one vintage tile was damaged during the sink installation! The Prop Master = Handiest Man Ever.