Repeated repetition again

When I was working in a temp job during my vacation. While I was configuring his computer, a call came in. I observed that my boss was asked a same question to a telemarketer. Within a few minutes, the asked the same question. Then after another few minutes he asked it again. After he hanged up, I asked him why. He said that he was trying to find out whether the person was telling the truth - some people tell you different stories at different times, so if the person told you the same thing 3 times it was more likely, though not guaranteed, to be the truth.

Today I had to employ that wisdom.

Workers from the door sub-contractor came. I was having problems with my bathroom door. I had to push it hard to get the door closed. It was misaligned so badly that I got stuck in the bathroom twice last week!

Door from outside

Door from inside

There was misalignment at the top

The workers were supposed to come at 12.30pm but they came at 11am. "I thought we'd come earlier," was the reason. One of the workers (who seemed to be the one calling the shots) tried to convince my sister and me that there was nothing wrong with the door.

"Now it is ok," he said.
"What did you do?" I asked.
It's impossible for the door to be fixed when he did nothing!

We tried very hard to explain to him what was wrong. He insisted that the problem was with the spring - different springs from the factory and there was nothing he could do about it. We showed him my sister's bathroom door which closed very smoothly.

Then later he said he can adjust the spring. He went into the bathroom, closed the door and after 5 seconds asked me to try closing the door.

"Now it is ok," he said.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I adjusted the spring."
The door still didn't close that easily but it felt slightly better than before. I asked whether he could adjust the spring just a bit more. He insisted that it was ok now.

I asked him again to adjust the spring.
"The spring can't be adjusted," he said.
That was sort of a shocker because he just said he adjusted the spring and now he's saying it can't be adjusted - so actually he did nothing?
My sister asked him to explain what he did so that if the door gets stuck, we can try to do it ourselves.

My sister and I continued to say that the door was misaligned and it wasn't a problem with the spring. He kept insisting that there was nothing wrong and nothing he could do.

My sister asked for his handphone number, just in case we have problems with the door again. He said she could call the office. My sister's not that easily fooled. Offices are closed on weekends. I would have to sleep in the bathroom and eat my own faeces if I were to be locked in the bathroom over the weekend!

He wrote a number on a piece of paper and was ready to leave - without fixing anything.

The door did feel better but it was still misaligned. We tried again to get him to fix it. We must have repeated the same thing over 20 times. I'm not exaggerating. This time he took a hammer, wedged it between the top of the door and the opening, and pulled the door down. I tried closing the door and it was ok now.

Before leaving, my sister asked for his boss' handphone number because the number he wrote for her was an office number.

Had we not repeatedly asked questions and repeatedly stated that the door wasn't ok, nothing would have been done.

That's not the end of the repetition for today.
It rained heavily. My sister came home to find her room flooded. The rain seeped in from the area under the window at the aircon area. The water soaked up 3 towels in 5 mins!

I turned off the aircon switch to prevent a short-circuit. I used a piece of plastic to cover the area outside the window.
Make-shift protection

There seem to be holes or gaps on the outside.

The water is trapped under the floor. Stepping on it reveals droplets of water from underneath and between the pieces. The floor now feels uneven. Perhaps it had been leaking but we didn't notice because my sister said it felt uneven for a while already.

My sister called the contractor. He said he will ask the guy who's coming to do the painting supposedly next week to take a look. My sister was wondering what the painter would do because it's got nothing to do with paint! She persisted. The contractor said that it's supposed to be the responsibility of HDB and the town council but he said they claimed that they are not responsible. He said he will come and take a look next week.

Now I have to hope it doesn't rain :/


David said...


Unfotunate that all the contractors are so incompentent, dishonest and simply not willing to back up their work.

Pehaps is it time for some DIY, (do-it-yourself), or in this case fix it yourself.

I wish you and your sister good luck getting this corrected. Water inside a structure is not a good sign!


We all need love, but we need it most when we deserve it least--when we have sinned against someone, when we have made poor choices, when we have failed. In these situations, ordinary love must become extra-ordinary love.

-- Barbara Rosberg

Anonymous said...

call me when u get stuck inside

Anonymous said...

This is the famously uniquely Sillypore HDB crappy construction.

Luckily your window hasn't fallen out yet otherwise HDB will simply blame you and demand that you fix it at your own cost.

And to fix those holes in the window, simply go to the hardware shop, buy a tube of silicon ( of the same colour as the window frame ) and squeeze it in. Cost only few dollars.

The Bimbo said...

I'm glad that you're so diligent when dealing with contractors. They just want to brush things off so it's good that you really questioned him. Way to go!

cute_boboi said...

It's me again...

I'm not worried about patching that hole myself rather than waiting for HDB/contractor/whoever. Just buy some cement paste / epoxy and fill up the hole.

I'm more worried about the new wooden flooring (or whatever fancy name the interior designers want to call it) that will start popping out one by one like popcorn, due to water inside, unless you can take out the flooring pieces to dry it up properly.

Ever eat "Mun Yee Mee" (焖伊面) ? Slowly braised it with water...

Anonymous said...

Talking of renovations, Americans call a house being renovated as "House in Rehab"!

Rehab is such a popular word in USA because there are so many drug addicts turning them into zombies. Perhaps that is the main reason for the cuntry going bankrupt!

Anonymous said...

It happened to me too at my flat last time after installing the air cond compressor.

Called the town council and the contractor and they waterproofing the whole wall there but the rainwater still leaked thru and damage our laminated flooring.

In the end, I DIY a big clear plastic sheet and put it on top of the compressor to act as a roof cover for the affected wall. The rainwater leakage stop.

Hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

This is very bad. Your laminates may get damaged. Please get your laminates replaced by the contractor (foc) if they do become waterlogged.

They should not wait till next week, it should be looked at immediately.

It is their negligence for not sealing up the wall properly.

Also, that area above your mis-aligned door is also badly patched up. The door guy needs to use masking tape.

Yu-Kym said...

The door is ok now.

HDB said the aircon company is responsible. The contractor and aircon guys said the problem is caused by the spoilt wood that should be supplied by HDB. I doubt HDB will compensate us for the problem.

Anon, I don't bring my handphone into the bathroom!

Anon, it's not the window that is leaking. It's the cover for the aircon.

cute_boboi, it's too far out of the window and I can't pin-point exactly how many holes there are. The gaps look too big to be covered with silicon.

Matsusan, we used a cardboard and plastic to cover the area temporarily and it stopped the water from leaking in. We are calling HDB's contractor to come again. Won't the plastic melt on top of the compressor?

Anon, it won't be FOC to replace the laminates. It was not part of the agreement with the contractor to change anything on the outside so we can't expect FOC replacement. If HDB is responsible to change the wood, I doubt they will compensate us for the spoilt laminate.