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Sunday, October 14, 2007

let me tell you about the weird morning I had on Friday. I got back from my trip away the day before so was really tired. I was woken up by loud voices outside my bedroom door and heard someone walking around the house and into the other bedrooms talking on a phone in a booming voice, and then shouting down to someone outside the house. I guessed straight away it was a workman sent around by our letting agency, who once again failed to inform us or negotiate a convenient time (a few weeks ago I was woken by a strange man walking into my room saying he wanted to get to the cupboard to turn the water off) so as you can see it's not the first time this has happened. I got up and found the noisy guy painting the open front door so I asked him how he got in and he said "oh we knocked but noone answered so we used the key given to us by the letting agency". I told him he shouldn't just let himself in and they shouldn't send people to do work without asking us. He ummed and ahhed and made a few halfbaked excuses about not taking long and not being any trouble. Anyway, I was annoyed and I hate letting agencies and their horrible swindling and irregular ways, so I called the office. It was answered by a very out of breath man, so I asked for the woman who I think is the boss and who I've met previously, and he said she was off sick. Then the conversation went a bit like this:
    me: "I've just woken up to find workmen walking around the house, who've let themselves in and we weren't notified about this"

    him: "oh well, Eileen said you were expecting them"

    me: "really? well we weren't told and we're not happy about it"

    him (irritatedly): "well that's what she told me so you'll have to speak to her about it on monday"

    me: "okay I will but it shouldn't happen anyway"

    him: "well they're not doing any harm, I'm not taking them off the job now and anyway that house has got to be painted".

    me: "well I'd be within my rights to send them away"

    him (huffing and puffing): "well okay send them away if you like! There's nothing I can do about it. (flippantly) I'm sorry okay, I'm sorry. Will you forgive me? will you forgive me? please forgive me? will you? WILL YOU FORGIVE ME? WILL YOU FORGIVE ME??!!!!"

    (at this point he is ranting like a madman and absolutely bellowing down the phone)

    me: "er.... well if I thought you meant it I might do"


    me: ".........I'll speak to Eileen about it on Monday"

    him: "OKAY BYE!"

It actually went on a bit longer than that but it ended in a crescendo with him going nuts as described. What a nutter eh, and what a professional way to conduct business! I shall speak to Eileen or maybe send her a letter. They think that because we don't own the property they can just walk in whenever they feel like it. We have a right to privacy which is protected by law and if they don't respect that then they could be prosecuted for harrassment. It's as if we're squatters who are simply tolerated because we pay rent but don't actually have any rights. They seem to forget that much of the contents of the house are our property even if the building isn't. I wonder what an insurance company would say if the knew my belongings were that vulnerable, with strangers letting themselves in at random times. I hate confrontations and I'm such a coward when it comes to these things. I wish I could be a hard-ass about this without getting wound up and nervous about it! If it happens again maybe I will tell the workmen to leave and ask my lawyer friend to send a strong letter to those crazy, lazy people that collect our money!

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