Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The other day we were summoned to our solicitor’s office to sign some legal document before the Good Friday holiday. It’s been two and a half years since we bought our apartment from the plans and one year since we got the keys, and there were still some loose ends to tidy up. That’s because everything that could go wrong with buying our new build went wrong. I like to say that I sweat the small, medium and big stuff so I was already at a mental disadvantage going into the deal. But most of the people we dealt with seemed unable to complete the simplest of tasks properly or on time, even though everyone involved knows you have to complete each section of the process within a certain deadline or risk losing the property.

Now I’m not completely paranoid. I know that these people didn’t do these things to annoy me personally, even though the world does revolve around my good self. But the people we encountered do the same thing every day and make a living out of it. Everybody makes mistakes, but when they are made ad infinitum you become cynical and wonder – do these people actually give a crap about what they do?

Examples include:

  • The builders’ solicitor neglected to convey the land properly, meaning our development would have been built on land that was still owned by someone else.
  • Our solicitor, the lovely Frank, was the only one to notice this huge error even though there were another 50 people buying there. Unfortunately the solicitor was somehow unable to correct this problem until the eleventh hour. (Nail biting stuff!)
  • In fact the builders’ solicitor’s paperwork and correspondence were so consistently shoddy that Frank actually advised us to walk away at one point.
  • Eventually he had to step in and help the solicitor with fixing the lease, deeds and all the closing paperwork, even thought it wasn’t his job. (Luckily he didn’t charge us for it.)
  • The builders were six months late putting up the development, which is actually pretty good for Ireland.
  • Our estate agent told us we had a car parking space and our deeds reflected this. Only at the close of sale were we told that the parking space had never existed.
  • Our mortgage broker went AWOL at critical periods. He also lost all our bank statements and pay slips twice. Eventually he mailed me a photocopy - of someone else’s payslip.
  • Our bank also managed to lose our mortgage application forms and other sensitive documentation twice.

All these feck-ups cost us time, money and several years off our lives. But my complaints were met with incredulous stares. That’s because I live in Ireland, and everyone knows that all services and jobs are done in a half-arsed way here. In fact, it’s expected. That’s the flip side to a very relaxed and flexible culture I suppose, so I’ll just have to lump it. Whilst moaning about it on my blog of course, which is the Irish way too.


Beccy said...

Even though I've lived here for nearly 13 years I'm still in awe at the laid backness of some businesses. Those are some fairly major cock-ups, I'm glad you got them all sorted.

ChrisB said...

Hi I popped over via beccy and enjoyed this post.
I thought the UK was bad enough but I've noticed the relaxed Irish way when I visit her. For example time keeping 'uhh give or take an half hour or two!!'

hellojed said...

Beccy: Laid back is right, if they were more laid back they'd be horizontal!

Chrisb: I used to live in London and I thought it was pretty easy going there too, but the Irish really take the biscuit. Like I said though, I love the chilled out culture usually, but not this morning because I've been kept waiting four hours for the builders to arrive.

-=¦Cypher¦=- said...

Sounds like dental surgery inducing, multiple kicks in the teeth! At the time, mum gave me a running commentary on your situation. Have to say, no matter how much I bitch and moan about the rigidity of the Luxembourgers, they certainly know how to get things done on time.

hellojed said...

Too right. Sometimes I think I've been spoiled by growing up there. Have you moved into your new place yet? If so, hope you're enjoying it!

-=¦Cypher¦=- said...

No yet. I'm moving in on the 16th (woop woop!). Until then, got a free house coming up and possibly hospitalization from excessive alcohol consumption due to the band being back in the country.
How's you and the yours doing? Looking forward to reading your book and bragging to pretty much anybody about it.

BrotMonster said...

A post about builders called half-arsed with no builders crack reference? ;P

hellojed said...