Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Inspection.

That does sound a tad ominous.  It’s not,  really.

Once upon a time,  back in August it so happens,  I was checking my emails,  as I do from time to time,  and there was a note from someone at the Landlord’s office.

It went like this:


“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Wir teilen mit, dass am Dienstag, den 30.08.2011 ab 9.00 Uhr eine Wohnungsbegehung durch einen  Sachverständigen stattfinden wird.

Dieser wird einen Ortsaugenschein zwecks Feststellung von etwaigen Baumängeln durchführen.

Wir ersuchen Sie, zu dem genannten Termin in Ihren Räumlichkeiten anwesend zu sein um den Zutritt zu Ihrer Mietfläche zu gewährleisten.

Wir ersuchen bitte um Kenntnissnahme und Veranlassung.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen”.


Oh right.  It’s is German.  For anyone whose first language is German,  you can just skip the next part,  since I’ll briefly sum up. 

Seems they were sending someone on over to have a look around,  just to see how the place was holding up.  That’s a pretty loose translation,  but I’ll not bore you with specifics.

The supposed appointment was going to be for the 30th of August.  Now here’s the thing.   First of all,  I pointed out to this chimp that giving me a week’s notice was really rather unacceptable and secondly,  that it just so happened that we were in Canada at the time.   And August?  Half the country is still on vacation in August,  we were no exception.

So the next note had something to do with “several of the parties are unavailable….bla,  bla,  bla,”  and, “Der neue Termin wird voraussichtlich Mitte (sic) September stattfinden und wird Ihnen zeitgerecht bekanntgeben.”.

OK,  see the word “September” in there?  You get the idea.  I think I replied.  I don’t recall.

So the bottom line was,  they got around to doing this “inspection” today. 

It was fun.  Trust me.

I tried not to get too carried away,  and hopefully I was able to curb my enthusiasm when it came to describing the door installer Dude with his Coke Bottle glasses,  and missing finger,  or how somebody managed to completely miss using drywall tape in one of the bedrooms.   Y’know,  stuff that they never ever would have gotten away with if I had been doing the “inspecting”?   Hanging doors plumb,  and wiring up light fixtures that actually have power going to them is kind of the way it should be done?   But hey,  what do I know?

I’ve heard of “plumber’s crack”,  and I suppose this is some sort of “drywaller’s crack”?   That will be the extent of the crack remarks.  Let’s just nip that in the bud, shall we?


See the ‘black line’?  That’s where the dry wall installer didn’t use enough (or any) dry wall tape,  and the joint (seam) has subsequently opened up.  Oh,  and just for kicks and giggles,  here’s a three minute video on using dry wall tape.  Again, ‘been there,  done that’.




Little Dude on the right was making notes in his little book.  I didn’t offer him a little coffee,  even though at the moment,  the bigger Dude on the left looks like he wouldn’t mind one.



At that particular moment I think he was asking me if we had a humidifier,  so I’m not sure what the “coffee grasp”  had to do with it.  Possibly some unique Austrian hand gesture that I haven’t yet learned. 

Curiously enough too,  little Dude on the right sort of reminded me of George Costanza,  but that’s probably since I watched a couple episodes of Seinfeld last night.  My mind can be a mysterious and frightful place. 

At this precise moment I don’t recall the word for humidifier in German,  but I knew what he was talking about.  That sort of “German by osmosis”  thing is what has been working for me all along.  When it comes right down to it,  I really haven’t a clue.

And the answer was no,  we don’t have a humidifier.  We don’t even use one back home where it can get heaps colder,  and heaps dryer in the house.  Break out the ChapStick!

He was intrigued by the fact that our neighbours have more areas of their hardwood flooring that have opened up than we do.   It has nothing to do with the inhabitants,  I’ll tell you that right now.

I went on to describe the ins and outs of installing hardwood flooring (been there,  done that,  got the sore knees to prove it,  trust me) with particular attention being paid to something called “directions”  that most every manufacturer will include with each and every package of hardwood flooring that they sell.  And on these directions,  if you’re not too proud to read them,  it clearly states that the material in question has to “acclimatize”,  for some times as long as 48 hours.  Minimum 24.  Minimum.

So here’s what I think happened.   We know that our neighbours moved in in August of 09.  I found this out from my neighbour a couple floors down,  since it seems they were trying to move in on the same day.  That must have been fun.  Anyway,  my guess is that the flooring would have been installed some time in July,  and if their floor went in first,  that would have given the packages of flooring for our place more time to “acclimatize”.  The verb in German is not too hard to come up with,  it’s “akklimatisieren”.   Again, German by osmosis.

That would explain why their floor has more places where there are now cracks.   The cracks that we have in our flooring opened up the first full summer we were here (2010) and have never really moved since.   No crack jokes.  I implore you.

So that was the inspection.   They were very polite.  Took no more than 20 minutes I’d say.  Didn’t go up on the terrace,  and didn’t seem to be too interested in anything outside at all.   We said our good-byes,  and I sent them on their way.


Meanwhile,  in spite of getting home this morning at about 12:30,  Travelling Companion was on her way once again to her other office up in Schrems.   She was picking up an associate at 7:30,  so it was another early morning.  After this Friday,  she has promised that she’s not about to do another stitch of work until the first week in January,  so of course that means that all the work has to be compressed into this week.    Judging by the fog outside,  I don’t think her trip will be all that enjoyable.  At least there’s a second set of eyes travelling along with her.   

I recall that when we were home last year at this time,  she did have to go on a couple conference calls from there,  with the time difference being the one truly huge annoyance.  After the first one or two times on previous occasions when she’d have to get up for a 3:30 a.m. call, (9:30 a.m. in Wienerland) they started scheduling these calls for a little later in the day.  That was at least a consideration.  So the work from this particular week did continue,  even though we were in another country at the time.    Whether or not she can go until the New Year without turning on her crackberry or computer?   I’m afraid I’ll need to experience that first hand to believe it.  Stay tuned.


Happy Trails!


Thanks for stopping by.




  1. my goodness..interesting inspection!

  2. great read and you always give me a good chuckle at the start of my day!! Hang in there hide the crackberry and computer :)


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I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.