Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Another cultural phenomenon that I just.don't.get.


Last December, we found that the shower in our guest bathroom was leaking under the floor tiles. This resulted   in paint (lead based, I'm sure), peeling from the saturated interior wall and staining our wood baseboards black. 

We notified management, and they set up a crew to come fix the problem. Starting Christmas morning, we had jackhammers going, concrete dust permeating the air, and a useless shower. This lasted a week. 

After one week of digging up the tiles, then re-applying cement layers, they said the job was complete and we would need to wait one more week to use our shower. We asked that they repaint the section of wall that the paint had peeled away on, and they said they would come back. Someone else had to do that job.

Seven months later, still no paint.


So, a month ago, we reported that the shower was again leaking, but this time into our master bedroom (from the back wall of the guest shower). Our wall was starting to peel, the baseboards and floor turning black. We were told the workers would come back to fix the shower leak the next day. We would need to be home all week.

Sal and I cancelled all of our plans for the week and sat.

And sat.

And sat..

No workers.

Finally my husband's assistant got hold of the supervisor and was told we would receive a call 24 hours before the men would start. I resumed normal life, and got Sal out of the house for some fun. 

Two weeks later, a call. They would start Monday. It would take 10 days. Each day they will arrive at 8:30.

Day one. 8:30. Nothing. 

Day one. 11:00. Nothing.

Day one 3:45. Workers arrive. Want to work until 7:30! 
(I told them they must quit at 5:30, so my family can have normal dinner, bath and baby bedtime)

Days, 2-8, exactly the same..they'd say 8:30, they'd show whenever the heck they wanted to. They jackhammered, made dust, left plugged power saws out and available to my curious toddler and stared at me while I prepped food in the kitchen (presumably waiting for cement to dry? This guy watched me for the better part of an hour while his partner smoked in the bathroom). From what I could see, they were doing the same layered cement "fix" as last time. 

Anyways, after a "bad talk" with my husband's assistant, they finally showed up on time the last day. They caulked the joints and said we could use the shower today. 

Okay, how about replacing floor boards and painting walls?

Someone else must do this, I'm told.

The painter and floor person will come another day.

Wtf?! Isn't 10 days enough? We're going crazy here.

To top it off, Nick examined the shower when he got home last night, and found that there are gaps in the caulk-job, and some sections aren't caulked at all.

Thankfully, my friend downstairs speaks mandarin and is having the same bathroom demo (and caulking problem), so she complained to them for me today. 

Supposedly tomorrow I will be visited by the caulk engineer, painting captain and floor guru.

For being professionals at their jobs, they sure do mediocre work at best.

Unfortunately, this is commonplace here in China. 

Mediocrity sucks.

*** Friday update***

Workers arrived on time, photo bombed my Skype conversation with my mama, helped the,selves to a glass in my kitchen to mix caulk in (what happened to the trigger tubes of caulk?), pulled up the hardwood in our bedroom that needed replacing....

...and this is what I'm left with for what I'm being told will be another week while the subfloor dries.

Seriously? This is right outside our master bathroom which, being pregnant and all, I tend stumble to least four times a night. This is an accident waiting to happen between my frequent bathroom trips in the dark and having a curious toddler in tow.

I hate to complain but I'm seriously 'bout to lose my shttt here.

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