Friday, May 21, 2010


Well THAT was frustrating.

Holy Jeez.

Nothing like the contractor and the architect arguing away in tremendously technical Catalan and then the foreman chipping in in Spanish, so they all flip over to Spanish for a while then return to Catalan again.  This done with all of them talking simultaneously.  My understanding of the situation bottoms out badly.

Then they all turn to me and ask my opinion.


At one point the architect turned to the guys and fairly loudly stated that his concern was that the chimney works properly, because if not, The Senyora (that would be me) would get on the phone and sh*t all over everyone.  (A very common Catalan saying and not as rude as it sounds, though it sounds pretty rude.)

This was basically true, but it did kinda rub me the wrong way, like I was being entirely irrational in this and any man worth his salt wouldn't give a flying f...risbee that the house was rapidly filling with smoke and the lovely old fireplace was useless.



The man assures me that I ain't seen NOTHING as far as site meetings go, so not to worry.  Not quite like the teachers meetings I'm used to I must say.

In the end this is the deal.  That beam running over the chimney must stay, it holds the roof up and keeps the water out.  This is, I have been reliably informed, a Good Thing.  (DUH), the chimney will be a liner of some kind that will start down at the bottom by the fire and run straight up, well above head height, where it will emerge from the wall, at an angle anything between 30 and 45 degrees and move on upwards.  There was looooooong debate  about the angle (I think), and the contractor is going to talk to the chimney expert guys.  They will also light a fire before the entire thing is closed up an sealed to make sure the sucker draws.  They will also give us a bid for the price before starting work.  A bid probably isn't what I mean, but a price for it anyway.

The wobbly super thin wall will also be removed down for a good distance, like three meters, partially as they have to get the liner in, and partially cause it's so loose.  This is, I believe, also a Good Thing.

I have to say, there are many aspects of all this that I don't really enjoy at all.


I do fine meeting with one of them, or the other, but all together.  Terrible.  They ALL talk at once.  All of them.  Before the next massed meeting I will just mention how deeply frustrating I found the last meeting, and that they were free to all talk over each other, but if they wanted my imput I needed a quick summary that I understand.



Beth said...

I learned many years ago during a home renovation that even the good things in life can cause tremendous stress. (And your new home is definitely a good thing!) The language barrier compounds the stress.
Try to stay calm – keep your eye on the prize.
The devil is in the details…

Anonymous said...

If it can make you feel any better, I can suffer from the same kind of meetings. Only it is on a crappy conference call line with people from all over the planet, yelling in accents each one worse than the other :)

oreneta said...

Beth....thank you, I do remember this from time to time. It does bear reiterating though.

ElP, good lord. that would be terrible. In English or French or both? Gak.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

I can only imagine how frustrating that is. I wanted to pull my hair out during our remodeling and we were all speaking the same language. Although sometimes I thought perhaps their hearing was a little impaired. Selective hearing loss I call it.

oreneta said...

Hula....definitely, it's one of those men are from mars moments too. Man, they just do things differently in some ways.....

J.G. said...

Meetings are the same the world over, except meetings in other languages add a whole 'nother wrinkle. My sympathies!

I'm going to post about this, having just survived a meeting myself.

oreneta said...

Meetings, meetings, sorry yours was terrible too.