Friday, July 27, 2012


My apartment is being renovated by the landlords this summer - so I am in a temporary place for a few months. I am very excited about moving back into the finished apartment, and I've been peeking my head in every once in a while to check on progress. It's just a one bedroom with a small kitchenette, but even though it is a tiny space, it is my home and it's an upgrade from what I had!

There are several other apartments being redone at the same time as mine. I knew the apartments were going to be tiled, and I knew the plan was to match the tile currently in the hallway. I ran into the landlady on my way out of the building in the evening one day, and she was talking about the overall construction progress. She casually mentioned that in the other apartments, they had indeed matched the tile to the hallway, but instead of doing the solid color tile, the construction crew had apparently decided to match the checkerboard pattern in the hallways.


The checkerboard pattern is different on each floor in the building; there is always a cream color but the accent color is either green, blue, or red.

I had visions running through my head of a horrid red-and-cream checkerboard sprawling across all my pretty new bedroom and kitchen...

I raced up to see what damage had been done, and then stopped short when I realized that my floor was still bare concrete. There was still time!

I sent an email off that night to the landlady, and the construction crew manager, asking if there was any way to do my floor in just cream, or to somehow tone down the pattern. (Solid cream in kitchen/living room, solid color in the bedroom?). The landlady said that the tile had already been purchased in a 3:1 ratio, so they couldn't do only cream, but she would talk to the construction folks and see what could be done.

I anxiously waited the next morning for the fate of my floor.

At the end of the day, I got a terse email, and I quote for you verbatim: "unfortunately, this morning as I was trying to get the managers to understand what I was asking for, the tile guys laid down the tile.  I suggest you look into area rugs."

Sigh. Very sad.

And then I started thinking about it, and the more I thought about it, the odder it seemed.

I mean, how fast was this tiling crew? They laid it down AS WE SPEAK?

Or how slow was this construction manager? How hard is it to explain, "don't do a checkerboard"? I mean, unless you get a Louisiana-type guy who speaks about three words a minute, or a complete idiot who can't wrap his brain around alternate pattern options, it shouldn't be that hard to work through a change in plans.

I just imagine my landlady, standing outside the doorway of my apartment, frantically waving her arms, while the construction manager stands there barring the door, scratching his head, slowly drawling, "Weeeeell, ma'am, I just can't quiiiiiiite tell what you are loooooooking for....". And in the meantime, through the open doorway you can see the workers desperately slapping down tile, whizzing across the square footage to finish before they can be told to make a change....

In the end, I rather suspect that neither the landlady nor the construction manager really wanted to accomodate me, as any change would just be additional work and time lost. So I don't think the landlady tried that hard, and the construction manager just couldn't be bothered.

Oh well. The good news is, the pattern is cream and green, so not nearly as bad as cream and red.

I may still get an area rug...

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