It’s Raining in the Bedroom (there are no points for effort)

Our apartment is on the 5th and 6th floors of the building. Our kitchen and living space are directly under the building roof, and our bedrooms are under exterior terraces.

Last year, as the fall rains started, we had a couple leaks in the roof, including one that had water dripping out of an electric light fixture. We contacted the property manager, given how paranoid the Brits are about having electricity anywhere near the water in their bathrooms, pointed out this was probably a “health and safety” hazard, and that “we’ll have someone out in a few days” wasn’t sufficient.

They managed to find someone to come out that very day, he went up on the roof and did a temporary repair, and they painted over the damp plasterboard with an anti-mold paint.

“We’ll schedule a proper repair in the spring.”

I bet you already see where this is going.

Despite multiple building sites in sight of our building remaining active through most of lock-down, no “proper repair” works were scheduled. So yesterday, on the first “real” rainy day of the season, it was hardly surprising that it started raining in the bedroom.


We’ve got catch basins under the dripping light fixtures in two of the three bedrooms, and are once again invoking the well worn “health and safety” argument. It’s gotten us from “if I don’t have a date from the contractor by Monday I’ll contact an alternate” to “there will be an electrician out today and a roofing contractor out tomorrow morning.”

But getting what seems the obvious right thing to happen has taken far, far too much energy and angst.

And discussing our options and how to respond to this latest crisis has revealed a(nother) fundamental difference in world view between Dawnise and I.

To me, in a business context, you don’t get credit for effort. You get credit for results. Dawnise gives you points for trying.

I think it’s reprehensible that we teach children in the US that they’ll get “partial credit” for incorrect answers. As a teacher, partial credit is often used as an incentive to get students to “show their work.” By rewarding them for “thinking out loud” you have a better chance of understanding where they’re going wrong and correcting them. And that’s good.

But it doesn’t extend to the rest of life.

The property manager and building manager are being responsive, and seem to be trying to engage the right people and processes to solve this problem.

At the end of the day, I don’t care if they’re trying, I care if they’re succeeding.

P.S. The lift is still broken.

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