I had a situation last week, and particularly on Friday which absolutely infuriated me. I kept my mouth shut for the most part, though, and simply avoided the confrontation. That situation, though, caused both Feyma and I to make some re-evaluations about our future. I will explain how this will affect our future in a future post, either later this week, or perhaps next week, so stay tuned for that.
If you are a regular reader, you will likely remember, starting back in February 2010, we had trouble with our neighbors. The first problem was that they had rented out space to a Call Center operation, which operated at night, and they were very noisy, which woke us up every night. It caused me to go over there in the middle of the night two or three times to ask them to please keep the noise level down so that people in the neighborhood could sleep. In March, it happened that the owners of this building behind us took us to Barangay Court, and they were embarrassed soundly when the Barangay Captain basically told them that they were in the wrong, and they should keep the noise level down.
Then, a month or so later, these same neighbors started building a new commercial building even closer to the property line of our property. I wrote about that in an article in which I said that watching the construction workers was like watching a circus act.
Well, over the past month or two, Round Two in the battle with our neighbors seemed to get underway. Their new building is only an inch or two from our property line. I don’t really care about that so much, because it is actually fairly normal here. However, while constructing the building, the workers have been encroaching onto our property. We have a hollow block building where our maid irons clothes that is right at the back property line, and also a storage shed there. When the workers are working, they are always standing on the top of each of these buildings. I would not mind much, but when we were brought to court, the owners over there accused me of trespassing for even going to the gate of their property to talk to them. Well, these workers are not going to the gate, they are standing on our roof!
The storage building has only a tin roof, with the corrugated roofing tin. We just put that roof on about a month ago, it is brand new. I kept telling the workers not to stand on the building because that roofing tin is not heavy duty enough to support somebody standing on it. In fact, they had already damaged it a couple of weeks ago, because regardless of my requests, I keep catching them standing on the roof.
Well, last Wednesday, I was working in my office, which is on the second floor. I had the curtains closed and could not see outside, but suddenly, I heard a very loud crash, and immediately after that our maid was screaming very loudly. I quickly opened the curtains to see what was going on, and I saw that our storage shed had a hole in the tin roof. The workers had dropped a hollow block from the third floor of the building under construction and damaged our roof. In addition, the hollow block landed only about 2 feet from the head of our maid and her young daughter. She was washing clothes in that spot at the time. If the hollow block had landed on the maid or her daughter, I am quite sure it would have either killed her, or seriously injured her.
Well, the workers immediately owned up to the blame that they had accidentally dropped the hollow block. It damaged 3 panels of our storage shed roofing. They promised that they would fix it on Thursday, as it was late in the day and the hardware store was already closed on the day they did the damage. They put a tarp over the roof in case of any rain overnight. We explained to the workers, very sternly, that we were not happy, and that somebody could be seriously injured by such an action. They promised to take corrective measures, put up a net between their building and ours, and to be more careful. Again, they promised to fix the roof on Thursday too.
Well, when Thursday came around, the workers did not show up on their job next door, nor did they fix our roof. This was very strange, because they had never missed a day or work next door. We just didn’t say anything, though, to see what would happen.
On Friday, the workers showed up. They had one piece of roofing tin with them, even though they had damaged several sheets two days before. Feyma told them that they needed to replace all damaged pieces. At this point, the lady who owns the property came out and started yelling at Feyma very loudly. I was inside the house and could hear her very clearly, it was so loud. She told Feyma that only one piece would be replaced. Feyma got very mad at her and yelled right back that all damaged pieces were to be replaced, and at that point the lady realized that she was in trouble, so she just left.
Next, about an hour later, the workers started replacing the one piece of roofing tin. Feyma went out and reminded them that they needed to replace all damaged pieces, and also they needed to paint the tin, because the roof was brand new, and it was painted before they damaged it. At this point the lady’s husband came out and started yelling at Feyma. He told her that we wanted everything so fancy, and they didn’t like it. They would not be painting the metal. Feyma tried to explain that the pieces that were damaged were painted, but he just kept yelling at her. It was really a big scene. I had already decided, and Feyma agreed with me, that I was not even going to go outside because I did not want to be involved in the problem, since last time we had problems, they told us flat out that they hate foreigners. So, we thought it best for me to just stay out of the dispute altogether.
I will tell you, at times, yesterday, listening to them yell at Feyma, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke, I was so mad! I maintained my cool, though, and stayed out of the dispute. I could tell, though, that it was very hard on Feyma.
Anyway, these people seem to be downright crazy lunatics. All of our dealings with them have lead to problems in the past, so we are at the point that we don’t even want to see or hear from them. Since they live just on the other side of the fence, though, it can be difficult.
So, I’m hoping for a better week this week! Last week was enough stress for me.