Thursday, 8 June 2023

They never fail

Yet again our Italian neighbours astound us with their, I shouldn’t say what I am thinking so let’s settle for lack of sense.

Many months ago we had the housing made for our new water meters at some expense.  Despite our suggestions it is located at the side of the road in a prominent and vulnerable position.  When we had our connection made, the last of the 4, we received a standard water company steel lockable door to be fitted to the cupboard.   However the opening made by the village contractor was too wide, he came and measured the opening six weeks ago with a view to fitting the door and nothing happened, you’d be a fool to expect it would.

So the cupboard stood proud on the roadside with all our meters and stop taps accessible.  We had heard of someone nearby loosing more then £500 worth of water while they were away despite having turned off the supply, they had no leaks so can only assume someone helped themselves in their absence.  We also heard that a house above us that is rarely used had been broken into and considerable damage caused.  So we really wanted the door fitted to the meter cupboard for both security and to protect the pipes in winter.

We contacted the nasty neighbour who has been ‘running’ this relocation project for a year explaining our concerns and confirming that the Acea door was waiting here in our garage.  She wrote back saying there was never an intention to fit a door, so why did the contractor measure the opening, and that Acea do not supply doors, so what is this oblong of steel we have with Acea written on it.

MrFF repeated that we have a door etc, she said if we want a door we can arrange it ourselves.  Excuse me we have the door.

Anyway after the initial reaction NN must have tried to engage her brain and a few days later wrote on our group page that the original contractor wasn’t able to complete the cupboard but his brother would have a door made by the local blacksmith and would fit it for 200 euro, to be divided by the 4 of us in the road.

Again, on the group page, MrFF wrote saying we have the door, with some adaption it could be fitted to the cupboard for a much smaller price.  NN replied that the original contractor said the door we have isn’t good quality. He never even looked at it let alone measure it and it’s standard issue, there are millions of these doors in Italy.  She also said we needed a new door because we all needed a key, the door we have has only one key.   Unbelievable.

So MrFF unpacked the door, took it up to the cupboard, placed the door in the opening and took some photographs, for the hard of understanding. He explained we only needed a metal side panel welded on and it would be fine.  He offered to organise this and work with the brother who we know and get along with fine.  He also got a little tetchy, though nothing compared to what NN assails us with, he asked her to please read what he had said (it took 3 attempts to get her to understand we had the door here) and that he is a highly qualified engineer.  He is but that means nothing obviously compared to the skills of the guy who built the housing too big, got the pipe entry in the wrong place so the water board simply knocked a new hole in the side and left two of us with connections that leaked, MrFF refitted ours himself.

NN replied at length that she had spoken to the brother who wouldn’t work with MrFF because MrFF doesn't speak Italian well, though the brother always chats to us and has been to our house for coffee in the past.  I think she made that up.  There was then a tirade about NN having run this project really well, that will be why it’s over a year now and still not finished, her mother being a pensioner, us too, all the usual rubbish.  All I can say is it has to
 be cheaper and more sustainable to purchase a small panel of purpose made steel than one 3 times the size, it’s ridiculous.

At the end of this debacle the other neighbour sent a message, on the group, telling MrFF that the door wouldn’t work because it’s too small.  God help us, she works for the ministry of finance.

I am thinking that we will use the door we have here to erect a small memorial to this whole crazy project, to commemorate the limited abilities of those around us, neighbours, water board and comune, and to thank them for giving me enough content to write a book if the frustration of dealing with these people doesn’t kill me first.


  1. Reminds me of when we lived in Italy in the late 1980s. Everything became a complicated procedure. I feel for you!

  2. I am English living in Canada and retired. I worked with all Italians for 40 years and I feel for you. Not very bright but never wrong. Could barely read or write English and were so egotistical I just couldn't stand it.

  3. Your Italian post is so amusing to read, must be hell to live through, they certainly embrace (not) outsiders coming to add to their economy.

  4. NN sounds like our nextdoor neighbor (she and her family only stay during summer). Her father's business built this 8-unit apartment complex so she always acts as if she 'knows best' for anything and everything concerning the property. She had the nerve to tell my husband that our trees were too close to the perimeter of our yard, yet her her chestnut trees in the backyard are right next to our plot and thus hangs over my garden and I end up raking more leaves than I should in the fall.

  5. It's incredible that anything functions at all given the ineptitude and lack of urgency!