The process of getting a permit to fill in the old swimming pool was anything but pleasant.
I started by taking a ride to the Town Office, with my filled out paperwork and plot surveys in hand….and a blank check (because what permit is free?!).
Anyone in the know was out to lunch (figuratively, not literally!!) but the nice woman with whom I did speak felt it was a simple request and Mr. X would call me by the end of that day.
Um. Not. That was a Monday. Tuesday I was gone for the day and returned to no messages.
Wednesday morning I called the office, was put on hold for more than ten minutes, no one came back so I hung up.
Wednesday afternoon, I call and got Mr. X’s voice mail. Explained to him that I had already gotten a time commitment from the pool people to drain the pool (a 24-hour process) and from the excavator and I needed to let both workers if their intended start date would match up with a permit in my little hand.
No call back.
Thursday morning I send Mr. X an email, explaining the time crunch and the imperative of filling in the pool. Nothing, no response by email. Nor call.
Friday morning, I call first thing and actually find Mr. X at his desk and taking phone calls. I asked if he got my email the previous day and he said he only saw it that day, Friday. Right. He said he’d been really busy but I gotta tell you, the woman to whom I spoke said long gone are the days when the inspectors are swamped with applications, so bottom line, Mr. X was giving me the old yada-yada. I said nothing, just said, sure, I can understand how busy you must be.
At first he insisted I haul out all the cement from the old pool but I explained to him (and he actually knew this from a previous application I had) that nothing can ever be built in the spot of the old pool. The pool was built in violation of today’s lot line laws so burying the cement would only cost me more money, not make any difference to another homeowner down the road. I said my intentions were to make it grass and or gardens.
Sweet talking worked but the whole time I was gritting my teeth that I had to play nice to a person who was hardly holding up his end by not returning my calls or email.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday, September 5. The work is done. The excavator paid. Now it’s time for the town to come and inspect the work to give me permit completion papers that I can then take to the assessor to remove the pool from the taxes.
Guess what? I called Wednesday morning. I called Wednesday afternoon. I called Thursday morning. I called Friday morning. Each time leaving a perfectly pleasant message that the work has been completed. Since there was no need for me to be home during the final inspection, I asked further if he had been at the house while I was out, and if yes, would he kindly call me and let me know.
Back to the title question. How long do I play nice?
Am I, as a woman, expected to be all sweet while being stepped on? I’ve dealt with this town for a long time, have had many permits before them for house additions and renovations and each time, have been treated by a team who take their sweet time. The one time I squawked to the Town Supervisor, I got “punished” by these guys, making me wait twice as long for the next project and making me jump through process hoops no others had to.
So, I need the inspector to sign off on the work. In my humble opinion, he’s lousy at his job. I don’t dare complain about him. It’s really quite awful. Any suggestions?