Tet + Business = Pain and suffering

hell_n4It is now more than 10 days after TET. A person would think that life would be back to normal, but I am afraid that the lingering effect to TET will remain for some time. It was Thursday and people were supposedly back to work…… not so!! There are so many problems with the RipTide Homestay that have to be corrected, I am almost overwhelmed. I will not take guests until the building meets my standards, and believe me, they are higher than the Vietnamese standards. At the moment, all of The “so called” bacvk to work Vietnamese are telling m that they will come back to do adjustments after the weekend……. Well!!!! add another 5 days after the TET holiday…. Sheesh!! I have taken to do some of the work myself as sorely, I cannot trust a single Vietnamese person to do it correctly. For example…. I asked to have curtain rods installed. The first two were nowhere near level and after an argument with me saying it matters and the installer saying no problem…. Nobody will notice…. Canned!!! Today I did it myself. My 2 meter square patio door howl in the night with the wind and in the morning I discovered is now where near being square. The action they want to take is to cement my new beautiful patio doors permanently shut to stop the air leaks. I have since discovered adjusting screws on the doors for the wheels that might square them with enough turns…. We will see. One of the biggest issues I am now dealing with is the lack of a standard or the inability of the locals to use a level. New installed air conditioners are not level…. I have asked that they be fixed…. Hmmm….. They drilled through brick and mortar to mount then. Can they adjust for half an inch? The showers were all eyeballed in and all of them not straight, moreover, only 2 of 5 showers are tall enough for a above average foreigner. Save jack hammering all the walls out for a 3rd time, I have yet come up with a solution. I WILL FIGURE IT OUT! Most of the new windows in the building do not seal correctly. Water service to all of the building is good but for some reason, the water pressure to my new beautiful bedroom is almost nonexistent. I have to go downstairs for a shower….. My Foreman yells at me “normal” while I yell at him that he is an idiot (I really want to say asshole but it does not translate) What else is in need of fixing? Here is a few. Stairs are still uneven, pool water and need rails. Light switches need to be installed in rooms where they “FORGOT”!! Windows have to be sealed, Night light controls have to be moved to logical location instead of the bizarre placement they decided on, almost all of the showers leak and the toilets (though working) have an issue. Lights are not square, switches are not in the right locations, and a silly all room kill switch was put right by the door of every room that a person can mistake for a light switch. Egad!! My neighbors have complaints because for some reason all the storm runoff is directed into the lane in front instead of the storm sewer, It is raining and there are more leaks than I thought possible, the lower staircase fills your shoes if walking up or down…… that is if you do not trip on the uneven stairs and have your shoes empty as you plummet to your death. There are many more issues but I will deal with all of them. Every time I run into another frustrating issue, I voice it and Mai gives me heck! Damn!! I wish she would side with me, but the Viets always give her an excuse that it is my fault in some way, or that my concerns are not valid and often she believes them until the water causes a sanitary problem or the howling wind wakes her up. IF I work hard for the next week or so, perhaps I can repair all of the new construction and have a place ready for you to stay. It will be a very unique and interesting place to stay. Perhaps even controversial as it will be so very different from the main tourist experience…….. But we will see. I am still in hell and for another week or so, there seems no relief. I am dreading the next 2 days as I have a couple of major construction issues that have to be corrected. I have paid a great deal of money to make this place happen………. But experience tells me that there is no warranty…. I have to pay all over again for the substandard work by incompetent people just to screw it up all over again so I can be soaked out of more of my hard earned dollars. Sorry for the ranting. I have had a few tonight and just needed to talk to somebody….. Hope you do not mind.

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

17 thoughts on “Tet + Business = Pain and suffering

  1. Did you expect any less. and I was going to ask will it be ready in end June for I need a place to stay for a week. Aint looking forward to a building site and a stressed out Owee,
    So might need back up plan. ??
    aussie Andy 06.2010..07.2011

      1. Never thought about that. Yes tours do pay commissions, but i have always split it among my staff. The house never profited from it.

  2. Hey Owen,

    How terribly frustrating! I found that when we built a beautiful timber pole house years ago we had to be on site almost everyday. Luckily, nothing went wrong but only because we questioned things before they were permanently fixed.

    As soon as I thought something wasn’t right I brought it to their attention – crisis averted!

    I haven’t had the experience of living in another country with different building standards to here in Australia, BUT, I know that here if anything is not right you can seek compensation through the Master Builders Association (a friend of mine did and was awarded $80 000 US). Sounds like there isn’t any “Master Builders” let alone an Association in your neck of the woods!!

    Hope things start going right for you, I can appreciate the stress you must be going through. I love the excuses they give – I actually would have flattened someone by now, so I think you are being remarkably patient.

    One day you will look back and laugh – or maybe not lol!

  3. maybe you could pay half up front and the other half upon satisfactory delivery. If there are more than one construction company maybe they will do that to secure a contract

  4. HA! The guesthouse I stayed at in Saigon, had a f**ked up set of stairs…8 or 9 normal height steps, then one twice the height at the top…bit disconcerting, especially when coming down! One night the landing light was out…you took your life in your hands coming downstairs…lol
    When I asked why the stairs were like that, they just shrugged, & said “no problem”…LMAO
    Different way of seeing things, eh?

  5. I am having some of same propblems building my new house here in the States. I don’t get it? Must be the signs of the times? Push on…

    1. Heyyyyyyy Grover,…. i think You speak a differnt English than me. I understand the Heyyyyy Owee part, but what comes after confuses me. Heyyyyyyyy Grover…..Are you freezing there in Sherwood Park?

  6. I was trying to figure out if the image you posted was the local beach during Tet or the fires of hell. Clearly it was just your lower staircase.

    Hope that you will emerge from the pit of renovation hell soon! What else is new?

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