November 30, 2005

Boiler fixed?

Woohahahaha!!!! Got it fixed??? You got to be the funniest at home!
Honestly my landlord is a decent bloke. But his builders are the worst cowboys you can get!
Yesterday a carpenter came over to cut up the kitchen work top. This was a decent guy. Nice chap, did his work. Even preferred to do his work BEFORE getting the coffee I offered.
After that I called the landlord to say it was done and the plumber could come over. So I don't hear from the landlord until the end of the day, when he returns my calls. He asked me if this plumber had called me back, and I said "are you kidding me? ofcourse he hasn't!". So the landlord gets pissed off as well, and decides to give him a bullocking and have him call me back. A few minutes later he calls back and tells me he left a message on his phone to call me back, which by the way he still hasn't. The landlord stated that he should be able to come around this morning or at least today as a minimum. Ofcourse he won't. I know this guy longer than today...
He is doing the same thing he did when we had a leak. Show up a couple of times. Spend 5 minutes looking around, and leave without having done a bloody thing. And charging for each time he shows up. He is just conning the landlord, and my flatmate and I suffer the consequences.
I can see coming that he shows up tomorrow (not today), look at the, now accessible, boiler, say that he needs parts (or needs to replace the whole damn unit), and comes back a week later to finish the job. Easy money...!
Mean time my flatmate run the risk of being poisoned by carbon monoxide, or worse, having a gas leak that could blow up the whole building!
Another thing that points to this guy being a crook, is that he claims he checked the gas installation when he was working on the leak (ofcourse I asked a copy of the certificate, which should be next to the boiler, but I haven't received it yet). Now I wonder how he can check the boiler, when he can't even access it!!!!

Maybe my flatmate is right. Maybe it is best to get your own house. That way you are boss of what happens in and around the house, and you can fire builders at will, any time you want.

November 26, 2005

Life threat...

Sounds serious? well, it probably is... Last thursday someone actually theratened to kill me.
For the last 1,5 to 2 weeks Lucas and I have been living without heating and sporadically hot water. The boiler had broken (and still is...). Last post I referred to the brain fart that "checked" the boiler. As I got to hear from my landlord, who by the I met and turns out to be a very reasonable guy, he first sends someone to check if the unit was just not incorrectly used, before he sends an expensive mechanic.
Anyway. The builder was supposed to come over on tuesday morning. Needless to say if you know england that the builder showed up on thursday evening. He comes in, walks to the cupboard, looks at the boiler and says that he can't do anything. It is completely build in and he can't access it. He also says that if you "press the button the red light will go out"... Like we haven't done that! I said we did do that every 5 seconds without success and he sais I have to press the button (is this guy deaf or just wants to play dumb???) Though this was actually true, he has been here before and knows the situation. This builder was soo uncaring and arrogant! He said a carpenter had to come to cut up the kitchen and he was not gonna do that. So I tried calling the landlord, who suddenly was not available. Then I call sidekick steve, the "maintenance manager" of the landlord. This wanker is supposed to manage all the maintenance on all the landlord's properties. I try to explain that we didn't have any hot water or heater. He didn't want to understand. I tried explaining for ages and ages (because I wanted it fixed then and there), then I tell him "it's the unit that provide hot water and central heating!", and he still was saying "I don't unederstand can you be a bit clear". SO I get furious and ask him where the hell he was when they were handing out brains, called him a fucking moron and hung up on him. The builder left. My guess is that steve called the builder to check what was broke and what the technical term was and the difference between a heater and a boiler. He obviously didn't know himselve otherwise he would have called me back immediately. Instead he calls me back 5 minutes later on a different mobile phone, and forgets to hide his number, thereby confirming he was indeed absent when they were handing out brains. This guy started swearing, even MY ears were flapping! (and I'm not impressed easily when it comes to swearing) And he said he would kill me if I would take such a tone with him again. He said he was not some cunt (which by the way he actually is, as he proved himself earlier and during that phone call). He asked me if I was listening. I told him I was listening extremely carefully. I asked him again if he was threatening me, and he said yes (he is even dumb enough to admit even that!) I asked again if he was really sure, that he would kill me next time. So I told him thanks and that I heard enough. I told him if he so much as points a funger at me, or threatens me ever again, I would report him to the police and I hung up.
a few minutes later I finally got in contact with the landlord and discussed the whole issue. I told him that this behaviour is unacceptable and I could report this guy to the police for this. To my surprise the landlord said that it may be better if I did just that (something I think is really quite silly...). ANyway, the landlord was also furious and had words with sidekick steve. he took him off our case. He said he couldn't fire him just like that, but steve was no longer allowed to have any dealings with our flat whatsoever.
The next day the landlord shows up himself with some portable heaters. Again we discuss steve, and other issues over a cup of coffee. The landlord explained how much both steve and the builders are a pain in the rear end.
Now all we have to do is wait for a carpenter to cut up the kitchen, the builder to come around and fix the bloody boiler, and we are good to go again. This will probably take up another 2 weeks or so.
Oh, extra piece of information: It has been 2 degrees during the day, freezing at night... nice...

November 22, 2005

British engineering

The British did a marvelous job in engineering some 2 centuries ago.
The voctorian age where engineering ruled, was an age of technical progress and scientific ingenuity. Kingdom Brunel is only one of the famous names of engineers, who's work is well known in the industry.
Steam engines developed at the speed computers do now.
Britain ruled the industrial revolution!

...To bad they stuck to those ages...

Nowadays British engineering can be considered the laughing stock of the industry. Rover just went bankrupt. Not even the Chinese wanted them!!! Jaguar, Aston Martin, TVR, Bentley... All famous names, famous BRITISH names...None anymore British than you or me...

Houses are still build largely from wood! Heating by default is night-storage-heating (a process where cheap electricity at night, heats up bricks, that subsequently release their heat during the day, when no one is at home because they work!).

My water heater broke down (thank god that someone had the idea to put gas central heating in my place... and insulate it as well....). Although I still have hot water, I do not have any heating.
Unfortunately for me it has been freezing in bristol for the last week. yet we haven't been without heating since last thursday. On friday the landlord said someone would come in on saturday. Needless to say no one did... (Famous english "I am lazy and don't give a shit" syndrom). I called the landlord on monday morning and said no one came around. He asked if his side kick hadn't called (another lazy wanker). Ofcourse he didn't! That would mean he would do his job, an dthat is really not possible in ENgland. God forbid you do your job! And it would even be blasphemy if you do it quick, efficient, good and cheap!!! That is just plain heresy!
SO someone would come in on monday evening. Miraculously this "engineer" did come in, not even that, he actually came on time!!!! (normally with an apointment in england add 30-60 minutes for a more realistic time frame).
So this guys starts to play with the buttons. Asks for a manual (which we don't have). Asks us 5 times where the thermostat is, on which we 5 times reply the same answer: there is no thermostat, you have to adjust the temperature using the dials on the heater (direct control, no temperature feedback loops). Basically he did all my flatmate and I had already thought of. Then he gave up and said that he had to get a gas engineer to come in.
Relaly you don't need a "gas engineer" for such a job, just someone that can fix heaters. I bet this guy just came in to stall.
My expectations are that not today, but maybe tomorrow someone comes in, by which I would already have bought a portable heater, and deducted that from my monthly rent (obviously). It will probably be fixed in 2 months time, guessing by how they treated the water leakage that went on for months last time...

It's sad that a once great empire has now been reduced to a third world country, by people that are rather lazy than tired...