Friday, July 15, 2011

Like A Good Neighbor.....


......well, not really.

I have written about this before, and will probably be writing more about it in the future. I don’t know if this a cultural trend, a social networking offshoot, or just a sign of our more repressed nature as a species, but there is a definite problem here. Based on my current mindset, this problem is really starting to piss me off.

My wife and I are doing some work on our home this summer instead of going on vacation. This work involves upgrading some appliances and re-tiling our bathroom among other various projects.

In updates that I posted online in the past several weeks I mentioned this summer long activity in the following paragraphs:

"The wife and I are engaged in numerous household upgrades and projects (picture wall demolition and multiple contractors on sight at any given time). There will be a bunch of pictures posted to document all this upgradeable goodness when all the projects are done. However, it might be the end of the summer before all the dust settles. "


“We have been doing some renovations on our home recently. This has entailed moving a bunch of stuff from one room to another to allow contractors to knock out walls and re-wire things.”

These seemed like rather innocent and un-noteworthy statements, or so I thought. These web logs are viewable by anyone online. But it seems that there are residents in my neighborhood that read them and found them to be disturbing.

So much so, that they contacted the City of Phoenix and informed them that we were doing ‘structural’ work to our historic home and we may not have the proper permits to do so. This resulted in a bright red “Stop Work Order” being pasted on the front of our house a few days ago.

Now the city is involved and we have to meet with them to ‘prove’ that we are not altering our historic home in violation of city codes. We knew we were not doing this when we started, since we know what we are and aren’t allowed to do with a permit because we have done this sort of work in the past on our house.

The tearing out of walls was in reference to removing drywall so that water pipes could be re-routed to our new tankless water heater. The contractors in question were the drywall person, the plumber and Southwest Gas to inspect the line and make sure it was up to code.

So because a neighbor has ‘concerns’ about what we are doing, the city is involved, and both the zoning office and myself have to take time off work to address these non-issue. All while the concerned neighbor gets to bask in anonymity with no repercussions what-so-ever.

I seem to recall my parents raising me to be civil and discuss issues and problems with people to try and work them out first. They did not teach me to call 1-800-SNITCH or go out and hire an attorney as soon as I found out someone was doing something that I did not approve of. I have always assumed that the good people that live near me would have dropped me an e-mail or commented on my web log post to be sure to contact the city to see if any of my planned home repair might require a permit.

Something like, “Hey don’t forget to check into possible required permits when doing your home improvement!”, kind of friendly reminder. In which case I could have responded about exactly what we were doing and if permits were needed.

But instead, I found, much to my dismay and sadness, that we have neighbors that would just as soon chuck a live grenade over our backyard wall and then scamper away into the bushes and snicker.

Thanks for making my friendly and well mannered neighborhood a little bit less of a desirable place to live neighbor! You are doing a great job of making everyone a little more suspicious and untrustworthy of each other. That was your intent, right?