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Need to vent!

(13 Posts)
scaryteacher Tue 07-Oct-08 15:11:12

We live in a private hiring near Brussels which is what passes for an MQ here. We pay MQ rent. The house is OK as far as it goes and in a nice position.

What I am irritated about is that the curtains (chosen by the previous tenants) in the main sitting room have faded really badly and look appalling. They were I think burgundy with a cream spot, they are now a washed out pink with a cream spot.

In April I phoned the Housing Office about these and was told I could have new curtains. The swatch book came home, I chose what I wanted and was told there'd be a bit of a wait, as they make them up in Germany but that they'd been ordered and I should have them soon. I've not chased before as it's summer leave and everyone buggers off, but thought today I'd see where the curtains were...only to be told that the order had never been put in and the curtains were 'new' as they'd made in 2002. I have curtains up in this house that I brought from UK that I had made in 1992 and that have not faded (they're lined).

I am pissed off that I have been told that the order has been approved, and that only now do they bother to let me know that it isn't. I have been very quiet so far on the multitudinous small irritations about this house (things that I get instantly sorted on my own place for my tenants), but I can feel a really hard time coming on for this particular gentleman, especially when he comes to see the offending curtains on Thursday. A complete rewire of the house to Uk standards would be nice, so that the sockets don't come out of the wall anymore, and I would like the cooker wired into a socket, rather than straight into the wires poking out of the wall behind it.

I am also pissed off by a leaky shower and a broken microwave, and when the guy came up from SHAPE to fix them, he looked, said it's not my job, and went. Whose bloody job is it then? I am renting from the MOD, not from the guy who owns the house.

I am NOT paying to curtain the room as the windows are huge, and I will be unable to use them back in the UK. Now I know why I haven't lived in an MQ since I was 7. Perhaps we all need to take over the management of the DHE (or whatever it is out here) and sort the buggers out.

End of rant.

MotherOfGirls Tue 07-Oct-08 15:25:03

Hi scaryteacher. Hope you feel better for that! The last time I had a rant about my quarter I did it in an email to the Army Families' Federation Journal and it tuned up in print blush - with a pathetic reply from some pen-pusher!

These things build up until you're ready to explode - I think it is the total lack of control / power / influence we have and the ability of 'the system' to lie to us and then deny it later.

Can't offer much constructive help but I just wanted to say I do understand exactly where you're coming from and I hope the man coming to see you agrees to new curtains before you have to force feed them to him!

Good luck

Aliensloveunderpants Tue 07-Oct-08 15:28:59

Oh scary teacher what a pain! I'm sure most of us have felt like you at some stage, it can be sooooo frustrating! I have cupboards in my kitchen with sharp metal strips across the tops. We have had ripped clothes, skin and one fell off the wall onto my head last year angry but they refuse to do anything about it. Some quarters have had their strips replaced with wooden ones but they won't do ours angry angry angry I feel your frustration!!

Romy7 Tue 07-Oct-08 18:51:43

it takes me 3 hours to roast a chicken...

the joy the joy.

my curtains are 3 inches above the bottom of the patio doors. i haven't bothered to ask for new, as one of the bedrooms didn't even have curtains in.

our gas pressure mysteriously drops somewhere between the inlet and the kitchen. the gas engineer left in a hurry. if my house goes kaboom it won't be great shock to me.

no offroad parking and a sixth form college next door is my greatest joy though...

give him hell for all of us as a mere representative of the system grin

scaryteacher Tue 07-Oct-08 18:54:58

I was actually planning to use the curtains as a spit iyswim, in at the mouth and out the other end. I am still peeved with this gentleman from when my dh marched out of the apartment he had here before I moved over. The cleaner had cleaned the flat; I had gone it and done it again and scrubbed the oven (barely used). the flat was passed as OK. When the next guy moved in, comment was made about my ability to keep an oven clean. Given that I had been living in Cornwall for 14.5 years before I moved here, and had only been in the flat for the odd half term, I was very pissed off.

I am happy to vent in print and hope that it ends up in the Navy News or wherever else. If my tenants complain, I or my letting agent get it sorted pdq, as I want to keep my tenants happy. It evidently doesn't apply here. If he bleats to me about taxpayers money, I'll remind him just who the taxpayers are!

I don't often get wound up, but this annoys me and they had better watch it. Will keep you posted.

Aliens, can you not take photos of your cupboards and pass them to whoever is the ranking officer? Or better still, if you are Army, his wife? That'd get something sorted I bet.

scaryteacher Tue 07-Oct-08 19:04:43

And then they want to put the rent up! I know my tenants pay far more for my place, but least I am as efficient as I can be given i am in Belgium and they are in Cornwall. If I can't fix it my letting agent does quickly.

What I really enjoy is when all the electricity goes off and I have to go down to the cellar in the dark and reset the trip. I am then told that it either:
a) an appliance from the house next door tripping everything in both houses
b) one of my appliances tripping everything in both houses.

I have explained that evidently the Belgian wiring is extremely lax and strange if next door can make my electricity trip out as we are both on separate meters, but they just lapse into French or Dutch and mumble at me.

priceyp Wed 08-Oct-08 12:04:50

It's mad how we have to adhere to these european "standards". It seems that they are kept everywhere in Britain and nowhere in europe. As we speak ST my dishwasher is in the local repair shop as somehow, the electrics in the socket managed to fry the circuits in the machine wtf? Are DHE/MHS going to pay to repair it? Doubtful. As for the curtains, in my last quarter they were so old that the hall ones literally fell to pieces when I washed them. AND I had to wash them on moving in!!!! It's crazy and I can't offer you any comfort, except to say we're all in the same boat I'm afraid!

scaryteacher Thu 09-Oct-08 16:11:52

Cross your fingers, the gentleman came to see my horrible faded curtains today, and said 'Oh, yes they've faded, that's not your fault, we will not raise a charge against you (too damn right), and I will talk to someone tomorrow about you getting new ones'.

I didn't have to bite him, so I was happy, especially as I went to the dentist yesterday and had a large bit of tooth refilled. That might have come out if I'd had to savage him.

saltire Thu 09-Oct-08 16:23:33

Our electric trips on a daily basis. Usually when i plug the iron in, or the vacuum. I now have to switch the following items off before I can iron
PC
Printer
Cooker
Kettle
Washing machine
2 lamps in living room
All items plugged in upstairs
and then I can iron. Occasionally we can get away with teh pC being on, as long as tv, sky and DVD player are switched off
But it's "normal" apparentlyhmm
I feel your pain

scaryteacher Thu 09-Oct-08 17:24:17

The thing is that I wouldn't accept a shoddy level of service from anyone else, so why should I accept it from the Housing Office?

I try to keep my tenants happy, so should they; after all, they wouldn't have a job if we didn't live in MQs or equivalent.

When I pointed out another couple of things that needed addressing, I asked him who we actually rented from; he said the MOD and I said I expected SHAPE to fix the problems then, as that was what we paid rent for, as opposed to passing it all to the guy who owns the house.

I wonder if he is a bit scared of me!!!!

cali Fri 10-Oct-08 13:59:20

Reading the previous posts have brought back so many fond memories of our time in hell mq's!

Every time it rained, we would have water pouring down the electrical light fitting in the bathroom. Eventually we managed to get someone from the DHE to come out. He went up to the bathroom, looked at the light fitting and said "I can't see any rain coming out of it"
I just looked at him and couldn't actually reply as it hadn't rained for weeks and the day he came it was hot and very very sunny. What type of muppets do they employ???

Our iron used to blow electrics too.
Elements in oven exploded one evening-cooker had previously been condemned but not replaced!!
Kitchen cupboards/surfaces ancient and badly damaged. Carpets stank and were filthy thanks to previous occupants faecally incontinent dog.
Had a leak in cupboard outside, provided a nice damp home for a toad.
Mould grew in various locations.
House filthy when we moved in, took 2 weeks to clean it thoroughly, worst was encrusted vomit in sink in bedroom - lovely!!

When we left, house was clean, had new carpets, new cooker and smelt a hell of a lot better too.

Having said all that, I would still love to rent out our lovely new house and move back into MQ so could spend more time with dh when he isn't deployed. Am I mad?

scaryteacher Sat 18-Oct-08 11:38:38

Quick update - the nobbers in Germany won't accept that my curtains have faded because the material has been tested and proved not to fade - hah bloody hah.

The nobber in chief in Germany is going to end up with my curtains on his desk, via the orifice in SHAPE who deals with this.

DH says he'll write the letters for me - it may be more difficult for them to ignore him.

priceyp Sat 18-Oct-08 12:19:34

Nah, write "Dear nobber in chief", they'll read it.

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