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Day 24: Call Out to Builders, Lawyers or Just Decent Humans

I was going to rant and ask your advice about the scumbag outfit that call themselves building professionals who are working next door, especially if you, yourself, are a builder, a lawyer or just a decent human being. Today it's spurting concrete over our walls and pipes. Also, lying. When asked why they hadn't got back to us about a meeting with the arborist they wanted to organise, they stated that they had already had it, effectively before they asked if we wanted to be involved? Maybe the back-pedal was because I dropped the clause 'From the legal advice I have received ...' into the email I sent in response. Was it wrong to let them know they weren't going to walk all over me with their 'We won't be paying for anything further regarding the tree we caused to fall down' (I paraphrase of course). And why do I have to start every email to them with 'I hate to have to nag, but ...'. Do you think that if there was a 'man' in this household, we would have these same issues? Are they a continuing line of misogynists?

Oh. It turns out I did rant and rave about it.

List_Addict               Irene

I had no photographers today. They had good excuses but I think they were running from the mad (and ranting) woman in the attic. But I did discover this handy little button on my normal camera that took a photo of you if you looked at it. So I could have a semi-normal, multiple image shoot. Although sometimes I had to look at it quite closely (see above). From there it was simply down-loading the photos onto the computer, sending them to my phone on bluetooth, putting them into Diptic frames, and wi-fi'ing them to my blog. Easy. (Photographers please come back. I promise to be sane.)

The Outfit
Dress: Primark, London
T-shirt worn as a shrug: Barkins, South Wharf
Necklace: Diva, Chadstone
Shoes: Havaianas, Chester
A place-dropping kinda day

Who wore it better?


  1. Every now and again common decency and respect for others skips a Generation. Sadly this has given rise to and promoted the ever increasing litigious society we live in, on account of the breathtaking selfishness of others.

  2. My advice:

    1. Take a photo record of your house asap, every crack, every wall, every window etc. Put them all in a book. In the past builders would do this (on big jobs) to prove they hadn't caused damage. In this day and age, when you can do things by computer, no harm in emailing them a copy to put them on notice that you are watching them. Key is, when new cracks etc appear, you can prove they weren't there before, and as you have emailed a copy, you can prove the date the photos were taken and they can't argue with that.

    2. don't start your emails with "I hate to nag". Instead, keep things simple - structure along the lines of [this is what you have done], [this is what I want you to do to fix it].

    2. Avoid adding an ultimatum (is that how it's spelled?), ie, don't tack on "or else I will ...", it actually weakens your argument.

    3. Do add a deadline, make it reasonable, if they don't meet the deadline, then send another email saying something along the lines of "as you have not rectified your ... in the time frame I requested, I am going to commence ..." In this case the ... should be some form of legal action, eg complaint to VCAT - I'm not sure what options are available, I'm afraid you will need to research that yourself.

    4. If they still don't response, commence the legal action. If they respond and ask for extra time, it's up to you whether to agree or not depending on the explanation they give you.

    5. The key thing to remember is it's best to try to work it out between yourselves, because then you have the best chance of getting what you want. If you actually do end up at VCAT for example, you are left to the whim of the "members" (I think that's what the judges are called at VCAT) - ie a third party with no actual interest in the outcome (in other words, "impartiality" won't necessarily work in your favour and you give up control. While you are a party to the negotiation you have control.)

    6. Don't feel the need to be nice, although, building rapport is a very good negotiation tactic - people will do things for you without thinking if they like you. One way of doing this is to "acknowledge" (whether you truly believe it or not is another issue) that they are not trying to make your life hell, they just have a job to do and are under a lot of pressure to get it done. Having said that, I suspect a better tactic with builders is to start by throwing your weight around and being tough, which will get their respect, and follow up when the time is right with the nicey-nicey stuff.

    7. If you're worried that the above is too much like game playing, well that's exactly what it is. The builders are playing a game with you, are you going to let them win?


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