07 October 2009

Building a Mystery

Rather funny.

After 30 years' rustic view from the cottage, suddenly our neighbour - call him Eddie because his son is a Net freak and ever googling girls and the family name - starts 'developing' and, to our horreur, keeps *on* developing.

It started as a joke - I sent my bro in Italy the first shots of ground-breaking and he took the bait and hit the ceiling.

I went on snapping and suddenly it seemed a shame to break the chain.

The workers liked it not one bit and would shout and gesture and I'd wave cheerily back with many a thumbs-up and admiring words on their good work.

Finally, a project manager demanded to know what I was taking all the photos for:

"My workers say you have take many photographs!"

"From Day one!" I call proudly, "Every day, no I lie, I *try* to take every day but not always possible.

But every week I have taken."


"Is a good record for Eddie and for buyers and for you."

His face clouded at the mention of the guv'nor's name.

Meanwhile, Eddie visits chez nous now and then to see if we'll accept his paltry offer for the Pagoda and we quote a price and he looks glum.

"So much money"

We say: "Where we going to live? To move, we want much money."

But mum takes him round the garden and gives him cuttings and his rich sister comes and she takes cuttings and her posh pals come and *they* take cuttings and we sip our prosecco and talk about America and the latest fashions coming out of Paree.

Then one day Eddie comes on site and the foreman calls me and I wave at Eddie and tell him I'll be right down.

Why these photos? I'm asked
. Eddie looks curious and I tell the site boss he has spoiled my surprise.

  • First off, I've worked with construction all my life - Hong Kong, Boston, France (the Bouygues group) - and if I've learned one thing it's that 500 photos worth a 10,000-page report:
  • The workers like it
  • The good workers have a good record of their good work.
  • The boss sees and knows he is getting good work.

    Eddie nods and looks at his site boss who scowls.

  • The bad workers are pleased: they see their mistakes and can correct them
  • The project manager is happy: he can see progress and where the work is good and where it is not so good and can be corrected.

    Eddie nods more.

  • It is good for the selling. The buyers can see how their fine houses were built, with the best materials. Eddie nods and looks at the project chief who glowers
  • Also, the owners have a nice album to show their friends:
    'See this is the history of our nice new home'.
  • The lawyers like it: you know how buyers are (nod), they always find complaints about this, about that.
    'You said you would use top materials ... this is not top material'.

    The seller - nod to Eddie - can say

    'Here! On this day we do this job, see the lorry, see the name of the material, see the date of photo, we are always on time'.
    Site chief shifting in chair.
  • Such a pity you had to go and spoil my surprise for Edward here - I was going to make a CD of all the photos and also print the best ones and make a presentation album. Eddie claps me on the shoulder; I'm a good friend. Looks at site chief, See? Nothing to worry about?

COMMENT: See also Sinbad's supportive follow-up

1 comment :

Sibadd said...

What's the point of growing olives when you can sow concrete?
This happens everywhere it's that the Tragedy of the Commons is more obvious on a small island.