‘wēmˌtərk’, noun, the combined action of a group of people a husband and wife, especially when effective and efficient there’s minimal squabbling. Similar to ‘team-work’ in theory, but very very different in practice.
Bruce and I had a weam-turk morning today on the Airstream. The challenge: replace the opaque glass in the door with clear glass. I have been annoyed by the opacity ever since we bought the trailer. We camp in all these beautiful places, and you can’t see out? What was Airstream thinking? After I complained about it to Bruce for about three years once or twice, he decided to take action.
That was about two years ago, when he ordered a new window and frame. It shouldn’t take two years to replace a window once you have all the parts, but I’ll fast-forward through those years (*details below for those who are curious) by saying that when you’re sent imperceptibly defective parts for a project, it can take a lot longer than it is supposed to (insert pound-head-into-wall). So last month Bruce finally figured out what the problem was, secured new (correctly produced) parts, and the project took flight.
This involved removing the old opaque window and frame from the door, inserting the new clear glass into the new aluminum frame, then riveting the new assembly into the door. Bruce accomplished all of this smoothly up until the part about “riveting the new assembly into the door.” Which required four hands. Enter weam-turk. And Me 😳.
This was my first adventure in riveting. Bruce was The Riveter on the outside of the door, I was The Bucker on the inside of the door. It involved rivets, compressed air, a rivet gun, cliquots, drills, drill bits, cutters, plastic bags, ladders, footstools, and a fair amount of “instruction”. Sorry we don’t have any pictures of the actual weam-turk, but we didn’t have any hands left over for the camera.
And Voila! We have a great new clear, transparent window in our door and great views wherever we camp (well, maybe not so great at the WalMart campsites, but we’ll forgive those).
*And for those of you who are curious about why this project took close to three years to execute? When Bruce first embarked on the effort, he called Airstream to order the new frame and clear glass. While Airstream would have provided us with an assembled opaque glass and frame, they refused to supply us with clear glass at all, let alone clear glass in the frame. The person he spoke to told him, clearly reading from notes in their system, that they could not sell the clear glass to him, and they could not pass on the name of the manufacturer. Huh?? Bruce scratched his head for a moment and said, “OK, you can’t give me the name of the manufacturer, but will you give me their phone number?” The answer: “Well, there’s nothing here that says I can’t do that, so, sure, here it is… xxx-xxx-xxxx!” Well that was easy.
But then there was the matter of the frame. That, Bruce ordered through our dealer, and it arrived without delay. Sort of. Once Bruce had the clear glass directly from the manufacturer (who, by the way, was perfectly happy to supply it), and the frame from Airstream, he got to the task of trying to insert said glass into said frame. Not. After trying over the course of several weeks on his own without success, he enlisted my help, thinking four hands might be better than two (more weam-turk!). We tried valiantly multiple times over the course of a few more weeks, being creative with various techniques and a few lubricants and I think we destroyed more than one or two gaskets.
We gave up. Frustrated, Bruce called Colin Hyde and asked for his help. Colin said sure, send it over and he’d put it together for us. Tic-toc-tic-toc… A few months later Bruce called Colin and said “What gives?” Colin finally said “It’s not going together” and sent both pieces back to us, still unassembled.
Bruce tried without success to get Airstream to discuss how the thing is put together. They were not helpful, and provided zero advice. We then gave up and went off and used the trailer for a year or so.
After a year of head-scratching (and maybe a little nagging encouragement from me), Bruce wondered if maybe there was something wrong with either our glass or the frame. On that hunch, he decided to order the entire window and frame assembly directly from Airstream, which they were willing to do, but only with the opaque window rather than the clear window we were after. That assembly arrived. Bruce removed the opaque glass from the frame. The opaque glass and our clear glass were identical, but guess what? The new frame and our previously-ordered frame, which had given us so much grief, were clearly a different shapes. Bang-head-against-wall!
The clear glass slipped effortlessly into this new frame, and we quickly, with weam-turk, riveted the new assembly into the door this morning and were off to our first camping trip with our spectacular new window this afternoon. Huzzah!