Tempering Frustration

 Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”


As renovation work on the apartment block in which I live has been ongoing since the beginning of June, I imagine the executives of the building company are followers of the great man.

Joking aside, the underlying issue from our perspective has become the lack of trustworthy communication. Project details naturally need to be amended as the works progress; we understand the builders who have had to face the intensity of the Italian summer heat and now the cold of autumn are powerless to provide specific information, but the silence from ‘reliable sources’ concerning completion grows louder.

Often October in Italy is characterized by inclement weather. Replacing marble surrounds and tiles on balconies, completing the painting of external walls of the three-storey condominium and generally ‘finishing up’ requires relatively fine weather one would imagine. Guaranteeing a series of such days is now not so certain if compared with June, July or August.

One can argue that the undertaking was desired by us, true. The building administrator is our chosen representative for dealings with the appointed company, true again. Yet I can’t help feeling everyone involved in the project, including ourselves as paying clients of the administrator and building company, needs to assess how the project could have been handled better.

A simple note left on the main door indicating the time of the next inspection for measurements or perhaps a weekly briefing posted on the communal notice-board explaining why certain tasks need to be halted, and for how long, would allay growing annoyance and bad feelings.

Being told “It’s not down to me” is frustrating in any situation.

Such an assessment would be useful for future projects. The biggest lessons, however, have been already learnt: ‘trust, but verify’ and ‘get it in writing’.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Ciao for now.



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