Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Last Piece of Wood

The missing last piece of wood is hidden by the top of the sofa in this photo from our Before and After post

Today marks the end of a long and unnaturally interesting "life in italy" type of story. As you may know, we spent the summer and most of the fall waiting for construction to finally finish in our guest apartment. On November 19, 2010, we announced to the world that our restoration was finished even though a small detail still needed to be wrapped up.  The kitchen cabinets lacked a small piece of wood to finish off the corner where wall meets cabinets. Simple?  Not so much. Here is the story (some of the details are unknown such as whether anyone from the store measured the gap or exactly where the cabinet factory may be).
The missing piece of wood took 3 or 4 months to finally get here
Who's counting anymore?

Let me state from the beginning that our relationship with the kitchen design company has always been fairly good. We always had a good time in the store laughing and generally having fun spending the proceeds from selling the farm. This story is meant in good humor although I'm not sure the store would understand exactly what we are laughing about right now.  It's this:

First, it took a month from the time we complained in late October (and denied final payment) for a truck from the cabinet maker to arrive with a piece of wood that the installer brought all the way to our house in November. One look at the wood conveyed to both of us that "mistakes were made".  It was the wrong color.  I made attempts in my bad italian to ask him to at least find out if the measurements were right. He thought I was trying to tell him that it was OK, and he said "no, non va bene". A month later, you guessed it, the new piece of wood was the right color but too short.  

In late December, the person I work with at the store called and apologized  wishing us a Happy New Year (after I made a trip to the store when he was absent). In a phone text message he said it would take another month to re-order the rebellious piece of wood. In case you lost count, that would mean January. I never heard another word until today when the piece of wood arrived at the house and Guido innocently asked if it was the right thing this time. The installer said we would see when he "opened" it.  Yes, they came all the way here without checking to see if it was the right thing.

Many questions come to mind like the following:
  • Is there no such thing as a rush mail order in Italy?
  • Why didn't anyone measure the first time?
  • Why doesn't anyone care if they don't get paid for 3 months? Apparently, this does happen a lot because when I told the store I wasn't going to finish payment until all was complete, I was wryly complimented as being "very Italian".
No major or even slightly important issues were at stake here other than getting a good reputation for doing a great job. I'm not sure what it all means except than I'm not in Kansas anymore (not that I ever was...) Gotta go now, we have to go pay for our kitchen.


  1. I just caught up with the lovely posts and photos of your trip, then I come across this one! Oh dear your experience is typical of the laid back attitude the Italians seem to take with problems. We are still waiting for our replacement dishwasher for instance and no one seems in a hurry even though this has been an issue since last summer!



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