20.2. A Contractor with An Opinion

"If you don't get your candy-ass people off my site and let me get this goddamn job done, I'll pullmymen out of here and let you build it yourself!"

"Afternoon, Bud, I said. I couldn't think of anything else to say. Bud Zalansky was the prime contractor for our construction work, and prime contractor for just about all of the work that went on around Enderby. If there was a building going up in this area, you could bet that old Bud had a hand in it. He had been a fixture on the commercial and residential construction scene for almost thirty years, and right now I had a feeling the fixture was going to let go from the ceiling and crash down on my head.

"Don't 'afternoon' me," he growled. "You've got people all over me trying to tell me how to do things." He spat on the ground as he tried to wrestle his pants up over his impossibly huge gut.

Until today I had not dealt directly with any of the construction contractors. That was no accident; they intimidated the hell out of me. So I left that to Sheila.

I looked up into Bud's grizzled face. "I'm not sure I understand the problem, Bud." I looked back down at his chest. The view was less disturbing.

"Aren't you listening, son? You got a bunch of know-it-alls running around here telling me my business and I don't like it." He produced a pack of cigarettes from somewhere in his jeans and shook one out. "Let me tell you, Hyler was a better place when Al Burton was here. Now there was a man you could ...

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