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Thread: Where My Time Goes....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan

    Where My Time Goes....

    OK this is not really woodworking, but I just wanted to show a few of the many reasons I don't seem to get as much time in the Dungeon as I would like. Seems there is always something to do with the two buildings the bank and us own, not to mention the Aparto

    In the building that the liquor shop is and the Monster-In-Law lives, we rent out six apartments to the city, who provides them as low cost living for people who fall into that category. We get a steady rent from a regular customer (the city) and we never have to look for a new tenant, but, there are some other problems we have to deal with. One is that many of the older tenants who live in the small apartments (three each small one person apartments and three two bedroom apartments) generally are there until they pass or are moved to a care home. Neither is something that is very much fun. We have a fellow living in one apartment now for about 10 years, he is 83 years old, and is having a hard time taking care of himself. He has one very bad leg, and one not so good leg. He walks with a cane and stuggles to do so. The entrance to the building has auto doors and has wide doors to deal with a wheel chair, and ramps where needed as well, but, they do not have any hand holds that someone with bad legs would use.

    The key panel to let yourself into the building

    The auto door at the entrance that is activated by the key panel

    Beside the auto door next to the mail box

    The elevator

    Nothing to hang onto there at all.

    On Friday morning when the Monster-In-Law came down to open the shop around 9:30AM she found the 83 year old tenant on the ground, he had come down to get his morning paper and had lost his balance hand fell. He could not stand up by himself. He is very lucky that he did not hurt himself, that is all hard floor to fall on. The Monster-In-Law tried to pick him up, which only resulted in hurting her back. We got a phone call and I hustled across the street to help out. No joke the old guy was rather heavy, I guess he put on weight. When I got him back on his feet I watched as he struggled to grab anything to help his balance, but there are no hand holds. We got him back to his apartment, he said he was fine, but we called the city to make sure they send a "Helper" out to check on him (I think his dignity was bruised a little). He is a nice guy, no family and has not worked at all for many years, totally dependent on the city.

    My wife and I got talking and I said that we should put some hand holds for him on the walls, it would not be a big deal, nor would it be expensive. My lovely wife called the city to talk about this. The very first thing they said was "The city will not pay for this" we told them that the tenant really needed these hand holds. The sucked their teeth three time and said they would get back to us. Later in the day someone else called my wife, the long and the short of it was that they would NOT pay for anything, and if we wanted to install said hand holds out of the goodness of our hearts, they would allow it, only if they were installed by an approved contractor and were official certified hand holds. Well, what does that entail? They sent a fax and the hand holds were about $300 each and the installation was another $100 a piece....... Nice work if you can get it....
    We told them that we would install them ourselves, they replied that this was not allowed. Well that just stuck in my wife's craw. Here we were willing to do something to help the tenant that they would not do, and they insisted that we had to follow their official rules.

    To make a long story short, I ordered four hand rail things, they cost, including shipping $30 for all four, and I installed them in about an hour for free!!

    Hand holds by the key panel

    Hand holds by the auto door

    Hand hold by the elevator.

    I figured out the height to put them by figuring out about where the average older Japanese person would put their hand, I used that as the center point of the hand hold. They are installed using steel screws into the soft lead-like anchors in holes drilled into the walls, or using sheet metal screws for the one by the auto door.

    I ordered the stuff on Friday night, the free market made it possible for them to be delivered on Saturday, I spent an hour on Sunday morning installing them.

    Today, Monday, a city person came by, they were not pleased, "These are not approved hand holds and who installed them..?" they asked. I put the best shocked look I could on my face and said "These are not hand holds, they are there to protect the key panel from someone banging into it same with the one by the elevator". The city worker then asked about the fourth one by the auto door, I said "That one is just a decoration, I like the look of it".

    I very much hope that is the end of the story, we shall see.....

    Oh yeah, the Monster-In-Law was not pleased with us spending the $30 on the hand protectors.....

    Welcome to my world of stuff that keeps me out of the Dungeon.....
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Sometimes it's not worth asking for permission. Nice job on the protectors.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    I "like the look" of of the protectors too!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Oy my best Yiddish accent. I like your style. Great protectors, let him put that in his pipe and smoke it. You got very broad shoulders Stu. That MIL of yours sure is testing.....would be real funny to find her making use of the "protectors" at some point in time.

    You should survey the tenants on their thoughts on the additions see what they have to say.

    What i cannot fathom though in what you said is "How come the city has any say in what you do to what is essentially your building" i am sure there is no rational logic that applies here either.

    I tip my hat to you for doing something to ease the plight of the aged. Man sometimes one just has to wonder what makes these people tick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    In the good old USA, the gentleman that fell would sue the building owners for millions for not having them there! Good for you, hope it works out without any further trouble for you.
    "We the People ......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    its comforting in an ugly sort of way when I hear someone who owns a investment property in another country having to deal with the same ridiculous city officials/flunkies/wannabes who strangle building owners with taxes, fees and regulations but wont give an inch for anything.
    Human Test Dummy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    In Japan the saying goes, " It is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission". It never seems to end does it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Way to go Stu
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    Over the years I have found it is often easier to get forgiveness than permission. Nice job Stu!


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    A Big AT A BOY from me Stu...........yer a good man my friend
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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