Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Life on Site

"Coffee?" asks the site manager.
"Yeah, black" I reply. I have learnt to assume that the milk being offered may be a week old.
"So" I venture, "Have sales told the purchasers their houses may not be completed in time?"

We both glance out through the mesh of the hut window at the twenty or so houses , four bedroom castles set in their own moats of boggy mud with planks of wood leading to each open front door.
"Where is everyone?"

"They're over on the other site"
"Oh", I say, trying not to feel his despair as I sip my  cup of boiling,weak freeze dried coffee.
"Yeah, we need to get the social housing finished on time."
You can always tell the social housing from purchased, they paint under the window sills and have 2 extra coats of paint.

"So, 2 weeks to year end. How far are they along?" I ask pointing at the shells we both know won't be finished in time. " I expect you'll be wanting us to fit carpets and curtains on the same day purchasers are moving in." I add a wry smile.
"Well Sales say they will be ready, so I'm not going to argue with them. I told them weeks ago it wasn't gonna happen."

I had already been into the sales office and spoke with Debbie the senior negotiator. She was busy on the phone trying to encourage purchasers to finalise their selections - kitchens included.
"Yeah, Debbie said plot 42 wants two additional sockets in the livingroom."
"Well, it's not fking happening."
"What happened with plot 23?"
"Jeez, what an asshole" Over the bank holiday weekend the purchaser had taken it open himself to add his own sockets while site staff off.

"Well, I'll see what we can do, but you know our guys prefer a clean run." I glance out the window again at the driving rain and a load of materials propped up against a shed.

Tentative dates for fitting kept being put back. I'd like to say this was a rare occasion, but it happens all the time.

"Al, this is a bloody nightmare" Bob informs me as he and his mate Dave are tripping over the guy fixing a leaky shower as they attempt to fit carpets. Head office planning is terrible, Bob and Dave are reworking the cutting plan on site.
"Al, these bloody poles won't stay up" says Mark our trackfitter.
"Use longer screws" I suggest knowing full well he probably has.
"Not working." I wonder if the plasterboard I had seen outside the shed was wet and blown.

"Look we need some plastic sheeting to cover these carpets or they are going to be ruined" I say to site. I help the guys maneuver a roll of carpet up the wood plank and into a  livingroom. Vans are starting to pull up, along with purchasers who are descending on the sales office looking a tad annoyed.

Can't get much worse I think to myself.

"Right, out of the house" shouts the site manager. What now....

"Pigging builder doesen't own the land, they bought the site from C, but never completed the sale and fking legal have gone home"

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