Subscribe RSS

Archive for the Category "Silly or Stupid"

Landlords in the Philippines Dec 16

This post is about landlords in general, my landlords as well as some stories about landlords that my friends have or have had.

November 25, 2011 @ 2330

For the longest time my front door has been difficult to open. The bottom of the door scrapes along the floor because the screws holding the hinges in place are pulling out of the door frame. I pointed this out but I wasn’t home when they “fixed” it. Notice the quotes.

So a few months ago they come by and they shaved wood off the bottom and the top of the door. Well, that fixed the problem for all of about a week but predictably so the door has fallen even farther (due to the extra space at the bottom) and scrapes again. So I had Jenn complain again the last time she paid the rent and their solution is to scrape more wood off the door. Yes, this is how many Filipino landlords solve problems and make repairs….IF they make any repairs at all.

I can’t fathom how this makes sense to them. Actually, I can because it’s typical Filipino logic. The landlord’s wife doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to fix things (which was apparently the same with construction of the house judging by the quality of the workmanship) so she will go with the cheapest option available. The fact that eventually the entire door and doorframe will have to be replaced due to her half ass repair measures has no meaning.

I said to Jenn,

We cant let them scrape more because that just makes the space between the door and the floor and/or the door and the ceiling bigger which lets in more insects to nibble on our kids.”

She responds with,

It’s the owner’s decision so we can’t argue.”

I responded to her with,

BULLSHIT! I can and I will!!!”

UPDATE:

This conversation happened November 25th. I am posting this on December 16th. As of today I still haven’t spoken to them because the landlord himself is in the US for the time being and I won’t deal with his wife. I will only deal with him. He’s Filipino too but at least he has a clue. He’s actually an OK guy.

At any rate his wife told Jenn about a week ago her brother would be by to fix the door on Friday morning. Friday comes and goes…never showed. Saturday…Sunday…etc…same thing. I’ve resigned myself to waiting for her husband to come back and I will talk to him about it. I could fix it myself but the lease says they do repairs and any I do myself I can’t get reimbursed or take from the rent. And lord knows I have already done enough repairs for them.

UPDATE:

March 16, 2012 @ 0900

Guy comes by about an hour ago. I show him the rotted wood behind the top and bottom hinges and how the screws don’t grab anymore and I tell him that’s why this is happening.  SO he smiles and nods and says he understands and then leaves. I assumed he was going to get tools but then I find out he was going to go eat. IT’S 8 AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell is he going to eat??? Lunch is 4 hours away and you know damn well the guy has been up since 6 AM!!!

Now, IF he comes back…IF….what are the odds of him fixing it the way I told him to do it? LOL LOL LOL LOL

IF he comes back at all!!!

See? I WAS RIGHT! He comes back and he takes the door off the hinges. He takes a saw and cuts a sliver from the bottom of the door to make room there and then nails a strip of wood to the top to fill the gap he created last time he ‘fixed” it.

I point out the rotted wood in the door frame and how the hinge screws are pulling out. He smiles and screws them back in….well…he pushed them in more than screwed them in….there’s no wood for the screw to grab. He smiles and says to me, “see?” and he leaves. LOL

OK buddy….you’ll be back in a couple of days. LOL

IT’S NOT JUST ME

You may read that and think I have a lousy landlord and so my views are tainted.  So let me give you a few more examples.  John has had similar fun with his Filipino landlord. When it rains his kitchen becomes a swimming pool. The landlord promised to fix it and even sent a guy over but he did a poor job and the next time it rained hard it happened again.

UPDATE:

January, 10, 2012

Since then John has moved twice. The first house he moved into he just moved out of yesterday and I moved into it. He was only here for a couple of months and there was some stuff that needed to be repaired when he moved in. The landlord never fixed it and so when I moved in it was basically the same with the addition of a few destroyed window screens.  With all that aside, I am glad to be out of that other house and he got a bigger house, near an SM mall, that has more bedrooms and a big backyard for his six dogs.  I actually got a real good deal on this house. John let the landlord keep his deposit so all I had to pay was the first month’s rent. Not only that but he’s paying the utilities up to date which is also great as I thought I was going to have to do it. In addition, I am inheriting his 3Mb DSL connection which is an upgrade over the 2Mb connection I had in the other house. He’s been awesome about all this and I can’t thank him enough for it.

I have to write another post now updating the saga from the old house so look for that.

OTHER EXAMPLES

The door and John’swimming pool kitchen are not the only examples of lousy Filipino landlords. I have had to fix my toilet myself because the landlord refuses to do it and she also refused to fix the sink as well which was leaking. I also fixed the faucett in the CR because she wouldn’t pay for that.  Well, that’s not entirely true. She would pay for it but she made it very difficult with constant arguing, excuses, delays and any other tactic she can think of to avoid paying for the repairs.

 

NOT ALL LANDLORDS ARE THE SAME

I mentioned that my landlord’s wife is a piece of work but that he is a pretty good guy. I have had a good landlord or two since moving to the Philippines in 2005. I have heard horror stories about Filipino landlords as well as some good stories here and there.

Fun with Globe Telecom Customer Service Dec 16

November 16, 2011 @ 1700

I was having some trouble with my internet being slow, which is something you have to get used to living in the Philippines. When that happens I try the usual fruitless measures like rebooting the modem and my PC or clearing my browser cache before I resort to calling Globe Telecom Customer Service.

So, when I dialled 171 which is Globe Customer Service it wasn’t working.  Usually, when that happens it means they are having a serious issue.  I swear I think they shut down the customer service lines purposely in those situations but I have no proof.

Anyway, I periodically kept trying and it FINALLY rings through.  The automated thing answers and starts its routine. THEN it cuts out and I get “We’re sorry but your call can not be completed as dialed.” BUT IT WAS COMPLETED!!!!!!!!

Only in the Philippines could something like that happen.

 

December 15, 2011 @ 1745

There was a brownout around 1700 and it was one of those typical 2 second jobs. Usually, when the power comes back on all is well. This time it knocked out my internet and my landline at the same time. I knew it wasn’t on my end because the phone went down (which has nothing to do with the modem) and John (who lives in the same subdivision as me and who has the same internet service as I do) had the same problem.

So I figured I will wait a while before calling and give the router on the telephone pole a chance to boot up. So at 1745 when it was still down I decided to call Globe to complain and to get it resolved. Of course my cell is broken and my landline not working was part of the problem I wanted to call about. So I had to wait for Jenn to get  home.

Once she got home I grabbed her phone and called their customer service and I get the typical Filipino call center agent who is incapable of thinking outside the box and who only follows the script. What kills me is I told him it was a brownout that knocked out the phone and the internet. So why would he ask me to check modem lights? LOL LOL As a tech support agent shouldn’t he know that the phone has NOTHING to do with the modem? And even if he didn’t know that wouldn’t the fact that I told him John was having the same issue indicate to him that the problem is not my modem?

Life in the Philippines, although great at times, can be a very trying experience at other times.

UPDATE: Well, another brownout at 0915 on December 16th and the same result. No internet. Thanks Globe and Meralco for the quality service!!!

 

Tenderizing meat in the Philippines Dec 15

November 7, 2011 @ 1145 AM

I know that in most countries around the world this is not done but since the laws of physics seem to work differently in the Philippines I had to share this one.  As a result, I had polled all my Filipino friends on Facebook about the following.

My friend’s girlfriend told him that tenderizing meat is done by boiling the meat with a fork or spoon INSIDE the boiling water.

So my question was had any of them (Filipinos) heard the same thing. Many of them had said they heard that was true also. Some were modern enough to know it was garbage while others swore it works.

Westerners please don’t laugh. Because if you start, I will start laughing again and my side already hurts.

Jenn says her mother does it too but she doesn’t do it because she thinks it’s BS…she does boil meat but she won’t drop in a fork or spoon. She will either boil it, or beat it with a meat tenderizer (one of the correct methods), or she’ll use a pressure cooker. Personally, I hate boiled meat. My grandmother used to do that too from time to time and it just ruins the meat.

There are a lot of little silly things like this that happen in the Philippines. I remember a few years ago a friend’s wife (same guy I mentioned above) took her niece to get a massage because the kid had some disease. I forget what the disease was but it was pretty serious. She ignored the doctor’s advice and never bothered with any of the medicines that were prescribed.  I remember jokingly asking if the guy she brought the kid to had a bone in his nose. I know it sounds bad but it’s just kind of insane that in today’s civilized world, people still believe such obvious nonsense. But hey! These are the kinds of things Filipinos do and it’s all part of living in the Philippines.

November 3, 2011 Dec 10

I had an interesting day. There were three incidents worth mentioning.

 

November 3 @ 3:00 PM – Paying Bills

Well, my little rocket scientist did it again. She was going on and on all day about paying the Globe (internet/phone) bill and she calls me downstairs and asks me if I have seen the latest Meralco (electric) bill. Of course I don’t have it because she has been in charge of paying bills for the last few years.

So I take down the cork board and I proceed to look through the mess of old bills pinned to it. The most recent one I could find was the August – September bill. I show her and continue to look through all the receipts, old bills and business cards and at the bottom of the pile I find a PAID disconnection notice dated October 11, 2011.

So here she is worried all day long about paying only part of the internet bill because we have to pay the electric in full and SHE HAD ALREADY PAID IT AND FORGOT!

I have heard of people forgetting to pay bills but FORGETTING YOU PAID A BILL? That’s a new one. That’s life in the Philippines I guess.

 

November 3 @ 6:30 PM Globe Automated Language choice

I am calling Globe about my internet/phone bill because Jenn paid the bill partially at the bayad center and they told her to call Globe Customer Service to inform them. So I call and I choose English as my language. The very next menu option I hear,

“You have chosen English. If you would like to change to Visayan please press….”

WHY THE HELL WOULD I DO THAT? LOL LOL I can see if I chose Tagalog and then you give Visayan as a secondary option under that category. But Visayan and English are TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES!!! LOL

What is really nuts is while I was navigating menu options Jenn was downstairs cooking dinner. She yells up to me telling me to come eat. Great! So now her distraction means I miss the menu option choices. So I hang up and go tell her I am calling Globe. She says, “So go do it.”  Meanwhile, I notice SHE’S NOT DONE COOKING!!!!!!! lol lol So why call me to come eat if you’re not done cooking?  But that’s life when you are living with a filipina.

 

November 3 Between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM

Maricel (Jenn’s sister) turns on the water in the CR to fill the bucket and then turns off the light and goes upstairs leaving the water to run (filling the bucket). Of course she doesn’t remember and I found it running with the bucket overflowing. I wonder how many times per week that can happen? Let’s see….so far this week…4 times. No wonder my water bill is consistently over 600 pesos every month. Well, that coupled with the fact that the toilet constantly runs because he flapper inside the tank doesn’t seat right. I have replaced it but it never seems to stay fixed. I guess the tidy bowl man hates me.  Well, that’s life in the Philippines. Quality craftsmanship and absentmindedness join forces to put me in the poor house as well as the nut house.

Update: December 19, 2012

We had a plumber come in and he attempted to straighten out the tank by putting some PVC pipe behind it to keep it straight. Unfortunately, all that did was force it too far forward so now the toilet seat doesn’t stay up. I would fix it myself but I am moving out in less than a month. I did discover the source of the leak. When we replaced the flapper we had bought the same size as what was originally in the tank. It turns out that the original, and as a result the new one, are both too small and that was the source of the leak. Again, I would replace it with the proper size but I am moving out in a month and we have gotten used to not using the flush.

We just pour water into the bowl to flush it. We actually save water/money this way because it takes less water to flush our way than it does using the tank flush.

“Don’t walk your dog here.” Dec 10

November 1 @ 9:30 PM (GMT +8)

I finished my last class of the night and walked the dog and while I was out there on my way home with the dog we cut across the center island. Once on the other side the dog continued to sniff around and some guy stops and tells me not to walk my dog there because people walk there and I should walk my dog outside by the main road (which is a 4 lane highway of sorts that a lot of heavy trucks barrel down at night.)

I started to argue with him by saying, “Kuya, first of all the dog is not doing anything there, secondly, I am not walking along that road at night, and third what about the plethora of stray dogs that do their business anywhere they please without someone stopping them?”

I guess he wasn’t impressed or he is not the sharpest pencil in the box because his response was, “Well, they are strays…” and his voice trailed off. I guess maybe he realized the stupidity of his retort. Of course, he wasn’t done there and so I cut him off before he could start again and I said,

“OK, Kuya. Fine! No problem.” I proceeded to lead the dog away figuring it was easier and less stressful to just placate to him and be done with it. The problem is as I was walking home I started to get angry about it.

How stupid was this guy? At least my dog is on a leash. I care enough to walk my dog and I don’t let him crap any ole place. The stupid part is, and you can see it in the pictures, the spot where this guy was talking about is nothing more than a patch of dirt and next to it is a patch of concrete chunks. So this patch of dirt is what he was worried about? It’s not like it’s a sidewalk.

At any rate, when I got home I ranted a bit to Jenn and I refuse to walk the dog from now on. I told her, “It’s your country, your people, and your dog….YOU WALK EM!”  I have enough stupidity inside the house to deal with. Why subject myself to stupidity outside as well?