View Full Version : Job Description

08-10-2015, 10:43 AM
I've never done one of these, so I thought I'd give it a try...


08-10-2015, 02:19 PM
I decided to have a little more fun with this thread, due to the goading of my girlfriend and a few other friends...

So... We moved into our new house about one month ago. It's nice, but I get the distinct feeling that it's never going to be finished. Every day, something comes up... "Muy Tico", as they say...

However, I do have to admit... the construction guys have been eager and prompt about coming over to the house to fix anything about which we complain, for no charge at all.


It's an Odd Experience. This is certainly the first time that I have ever ordered any kind of construction in Costa Rica. The design is entirely my own, and the Tico architect made it happen. I didn't expect that. I basically drew a house plan using "Microsoft Paint" (the built-in drawing program in Microsoft Windows) and that's almost EXACTLY the house plan that I live in, right now. That FLOORED ME. I'm happy with the house, but the never-ending "tying up the loose ends" experience has me on the ragged edge of kicking a puppy or punching a blind guy in a wheelchair.

The truly frustrating part is the Amateurish-ness of these flaws that we are finding, when so many other aspects of the house's construction are "Four-Plus Star" quality. It's like walking through the White House, the Louvre, or the Taj Mahal, and just finding a huge hole in the floor, or a single tile in the bathroom that just appears to have randomly appeared from another Universe -- in no way matching any of the other tiles.


But... Back to the story...

This happened during the final stages of construction...

I designed with the house with a kick-ass bathroom. That's something I have always wanted, so I figured, "What the Hell! If I'm going to build a house in Costa Rica from scratch, let's go for it."

So... The time came to finish the shower. I had described to the guy -- twice -- that I wanted TWO (2) built-in shelves on the back wall (East wall) of the shower. TWICE I described, in detail, exactly where I wanted these shelves. So, on this fateful day, my girlfriend calls me on the phone. I'm very busy in my office that day, so she's "Supervising" the construction that day. She says, "The Guy wants to know about the shelves in the shower." I replied, "What?!?! I already described to him -- EXPLICITLY and in GREAT DETAIL -- exactly how the shelves were supposed to be done."

I hear my girlfriend and the guy "buzz, buzz, buzz" for about 20 seconds, and then she says, "He says he's sorry, but he doesn't remember. You need to come down here and show him."

I was FURIOUS! I told her, "NO! FUCK-ING NO! I'm fucking busy. I'm so fucking busy! I don't have time to drive over there and explain to this Fucking FUCK what I have already explained to him -- in GREAT FUCKING DETAIL -- TWO FUCKING TIMES!"

She said, "OK, let me talk to him..."

I could hear her in the background, talking to her Mother, who was also at the construction site... "Speedy1 just gave this guy SEVEN Fucks! SEVEN!" I could hear her Mom reply, "Ohhh! Seven! That's NOT GOOD!" Then I heard my girlfriend "buzz, buzz, buzz" with the guy for another 20 seconds. Then she got back on the phone and told me, "He doesn't remember what you told him."

I answered, "FINE! I'll send you an email with an attachment in about 5 minutes. Show it to the guy and tell him to get busy!" She said, "OK."


I sent my girlfriend an email with the following attachment. The drawing is accurate, but I think you guys will also understand that it was drawn with the intent of implying to the guy, "You're An IDIOT!" I drew this hastily on my computer and emailed it to my girlfriend.



I then got back to work, thinking to myself, "What a complete WASTE of 10 minutes!"

Two minutes later, my phone rang. The "Caller ID" said it was my girlfriend. One of my cats was laying on the floor next to me. I brushed the cat out the door with my foot, saying to the cat, "Run, Bitch! Because I'm going to be looking for something to kill in about 10 seconds."

I answered the phone, and my girlfriend said, "He still doesn't understand where and how you want these shelves." I replied, "Now you're just having fun with me." She said, "No... Seriously... He doesn't understand." I said, "Put that motherfucking cock-sucking motherfucker on the motherfucking phone, right this fucking instant!" The guy did speak decent English.

He: Hello? Mr. Speedy1? I just wanted to...

Me: Shut the Fuck Up! ... and don't fucking speak again unless it's for purpose of answering one of my fucking questions, with either a fucking "Yes" or a fucking "No!" Do you fucking understand me?

He: Sir, I'm sorry, but...

Me: NO! You DO NOT fucking understand me! So let's try it again... YOU DO NOT SPEAK... unless it is to answer one of my fucking questions with a fucking "Yes" or a fucking "No!" Do we fucking understand each other?

He: Yes.

Me: OK. Now... You're going to build those shelves exactly the way I have drawn them on that image that I just sent by email, because only a total RETARD could not understand that drawing. You're going to build those shelves, and they are going to be perfect. Is that fucking perfectly clear? Because if it's not clear, then here's something that you'll understand...

It takes the Costa Rican court system at least 3 years to process a fucking Parking Ticket. So... If you don't get your shit together, by the time I pay you for this job, I'll be making the check out to the name of one of your great-grandchildren. Understand?

He: Yes.

Me: <click>

08-10-2015, 02:39 PM
Consider that a free piece of advice, by the way. All of this "Tico Time" and "Pura Vida" nonsense can be easily handled.

Now... I really DO NOT like giving the appearance that I trash Ticos about their work quality and work ethics. In fact, most of the Ticos that I deal with are good folk, who do good work, and are honest, trustworthy, and punctual.

However, you do occasionally meet a "Tico Time" or "Pura Vida" guy. When a guy doesn't finish a job on time, or changes the price, or does sub-standard work... he'll often say "Pura Vida."

I'll usually reply, "Pura Vida to you, too!" He'll look confused and then say something like, "I'm ready for you to pay me, now!" I just smile and answer, "Pura Vida!" After a couple of seconds, he'll give you some diatribe that basically sounds like, "Naw, Man! I can say 'Pura Vida' to YOU, but you can't say 'Pura Vida' to me!" I'll answer, "Pura Vida!"

Long Story Short... He'll eventually threaten to call the cops if you don't pay, at which point you'll answer, "Bring it On! I'd LOVE to talk to the cops about this SHITTY job you did for me! I'll tie this thing up in Costa Rican court for so long that my great-great-grandson will be so old that he will barely be able to sign the check to pay your great-great-grandson."

If the guy really presses the issue, you can post a bond with the courts that covers the claim, and leave Costa Rica. For a purely Civil Suit, Costa Rica won't prevent you from leaving the country. I'd rather post a $500 bond with the court than give it to the douchebag who didn't hold up his end of the bargain.

And what I said in my last post is true... If you think the courts in the USA are slow... You ain't seen Nothin' until you see how long it takes to conclude a case in Costa Rica. I know guys that have been waiting for over 5 years for a final judgment for stuff like a broken side-view mirror on a rental car.