Dear 100 Hour Board,
While I should know by now, I am never certain how to act/what to do when a repairman is in my house. Do I stay in the same room while trying to avoid hovering and interfering with his work? Do I try to do something productive but interruptable in another room e.g. folding laundry? Do I just put on Netflix or some computer game? Am I totally overthinking this?
-Adulting is Hard
You're definitely overthinking. They don't really care what you do as long as you don't interfere with their work, or do something inappropriate. I'm the type of person that likes to know what the problem is and what they are going to do to fix it, so I tend to stick around and ask questions and watch what they are doing. I have this idea that maybe if I pay enough attention I can fix the problem the next time around.
That's just me, but you could go in a different room, or leave the house altogether (although I wouldn't advise that for security reasons). Whatever you do, make sure to let them know how they can contact you in case they have questions, need to show you something, or finish and are ready to receive payment.
I hope that helps!
-Sunday Night Banter
P.S. I think your overthinking is making adulting harder than it needs to be. Just relax a little and don't worry if you don't have everything figured out because neither do the rest of us.
From my experiences with repair men, they are used to awkward tenants (like myself), and so don't seem to mind if I'm hovering to see what they're doing (like the third time I put in a request to fix my toilet--I wanted to make sure something was getting done), or if I'm off quietly in another room to myself.
There was once a time our landlord warned us that a repairman would be going to each of our apartments to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. So I did what any other rational 24 year old would do in my situation - once I heard the repairman knock, I hid in the bathroom. We got our batteries replaced and I didn't have to worry about what to do while he was there. Win win.
-guppy of doom
Carl is the oddball and his Tongan etiquette will come out and start offering him water and food from our fridge in case they're hungry. They've all declined the food, but sometimes they'll accept the water. Ever since we moved we've had this 'free box' with things that DI wouldn't take (or want).
Examples: Brand new neon green shoelaces, a box of cake mix we weren't interested in, a large DFCU water bottle, strawberry daiquiri drink mixer, mini lotions I received but never used, a never worn green scarf from my 2013 Daphne Halloween costume, milk chocolate candy we had (I don't find chocolate to be worth the lactase pills if they aren't filled with caramel, peanut butter, etc.), and who knows what else.
Carl wants to ask them to go through the box and take anything they find interesting. I find this to be embarrassing. Thankfully, I've convinced him not to do that.
We've also been upgrading our furniture to prepare our nursery and many people have come by. He will also want to offer that free stuff to potential buyers. We had someone who bought our small dresser almost take our 4 foot Christmas tree! But his wife said no.
But when it comes to me and repairmen? I just sit on the couch surfing the Internet on my laptop. That way if they need to talk to me I'm available, but I can also just be an introvert and make minimal conversation if need be.