Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ready! Set! Curse!

I will throttle Pacman upon his return from NJ.

Not only for the fact that he failed to tell me how long he'll be out of town (no one is actually certain when he'll be returning), but also because his absence has placed me at the center of a potential s**tstorm of contention between the firm, the contractor, and the owners.

Big'un pointed out to me some staining on the wood framing, and I took a look at it. Radio had expressed his concern about some areas, too, when I casually dropped the subject in conversation. It looks like mold (black spots on the wood) and not like staining (black streaks running along the grain of the wood).

I discussed the problem with the guys in the office, Wednesday morning, and Scooter helpfully suggested that I discuss the difficulty with the contractor, and that I might moot the possibility of having a bleach solution sprayed on the affected areas as a precaution.

I followed through with that suggestion today.

I now know why Pacman swears loudly after every conversation with the contractor.

Not only did he address me by a nickname I loathe and that - if he were not in his 70s - would earn him a stern "My name is Ms. Strainedconsciousness," but he became immediately defensive. And worse, he became dismissive.

I'm the fourth person to bring this up - the third to broach the topic with him - but none of us know what we're talking about. I tried to suggest the bleach treatment as a preventive measure, seeing as the areas where there appears to be mold don't receive enough light to adequately treat it with UV radiation, and he guffawed as if I'd just suggested we sing to it or something. He also accused Big'un of talking through his hat in regards to who had initially brought the staining to light (Big'un told me his dad noticed it, and that it concerned both of them).

I shot back, telling the contractor - who might need a nickname... Connie? - that we had just recently had a GC replace all the framework supporting the first floor of the house because there was mold growing in it from improper storage, that the contractor had had to pay for testing of the material, and then ate the cost of the framing. It was sort of one of those "you can do this the easy way, or you can do this the hard way" implied threats.

And then, he asked me not to discuss it with the client until he had a chance to look it over and discuss it.

And he tried to tell me that mold won't grow if it's surrounded by open air.

Yeah, tell that to the apples in my fruit bowl...

Just kidding! I ate my last apple this evening!

The EPA, however, would disagree with him, and does, explicitly, in their handy guide entitled "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home."

And then he called me back ten minutes after he'd hung up to reiterate everything he'd just said, as if I wasn't listening.

So I am meeting Big'un at the site tomorrow morning to discuss mirrors in the exercise area (which is bigger than two of my apartments, just in case you were wondering), and Connie is meeting us there to discuss what he calls the staining, and what I call the mold.

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, for the battle of the century. Or, at least, of the week.

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