Once upon a time there was a family who was really so very excitably excited, because they were putting in a pool! The kids were beside themselves – the boys began kissing their future “guns” developed by swim practice, and the little girl with big plans to be a synchronised swimmer just like the Olympians (minus the snot stoppers, apparently). This pool was their Christmas present. The whole family couldn’t believe such an amazing incredible luxury was going to be theirs.
The responsible adults in the house (Dad, and Mum on a good day) met with another responsible adult from the pool company (who was suuuuper responsible because he was the owner). Mr Pool Company Owner, who looked just exactly like a really kind grandfather, said he ran the business with his family, it had always been in the family for a long long time, and they loved to do top quality work. This was very important to Dad because he is an extra-picky engineer and loves good quality work and straight lines. Mum’s no good at straight lines but she is right into her phone and she found it strange that Mr Pool Company Owner kept hitting the ignore button on his phone when it rang.
The day finally came. The Foreman arrived, with some other people who loved fluorescent yellow as well, and Foreman got to work with the spray can. Foreman was very adept with that spray can and had possibly implemented some self-driven extra homework during his apprenticeship, on suburban trains. But I digress.
A couple of days later in came a big digger. Children were going into apoplexy about it, and it was as hard to get them to school as it is to extract water from a volcano. When they came home there was the most awesome sight: A pool sized hole in our backyard! This was really going to happen!
Every day the children stood at the back door waiting for more fluorescent yellow people to arrive. Soon Mum and Dad joined them at that window. And every day, no one turned up at their giant hole in the ground.
The sun shone. It was beautiful spring weather. And the hole began to collapse.
The sun shone. And no yellow shirts turned up.
More of the hole collapsed.
Mum was starting to feel decidedly irresponsible. So she called the Graffiti Sniper (being unable to think of him as Foreman anymore). Every day. And she called the office, every day. And she emailed the office, every day.
And Not. One. Person. Ever. Rang. Her. Back.
And more of the hole collapsed.
And the sun shone on.
Mum suddenly realised that this grandfatherly looking bloke was not a grandfatherly person at all. He was a Nasty Nasty Pool Crook. He did not care about family nor quality work. He especially wasn’t caring about her family who were by now really seriously down in the dumps, especially because their garden had become a very dangerous place for children.
Dad had read the pool contract before signing it (engineers do that sort of thing), and it had all these conditions in it which he considered extreme.
Like – ‘you’ll pay for any collapses’ – even though there was no conceivable reason we could see as to why they didn’t continue to build the pool after they’d dug the hole. And, ‘if contractors can’t be found to do the work (anywhere? There is no man with a shovel to dig out the dirt that has collapsed anywhere in NSW?) and it all runs over time, well bad luck you Client, you pay for those repercussions too’. And, ‘those down payments you made? BWUHAHAHAHAHA – They’re aaalllll ours.”
Nasty Nasty Pool Crook emailed to confirm: “Yes you stupid overexcited family, we will be enforcing all of these contractual obligations. Even though you have done nothing wrong and we have done no work, we will still have all of your money and leave you with a destroyed backyard. Kind regards.”
I’d like to say this story will be continued in a little ‘Tales of a Poolside Crime’ series. But do you hold out any hopes?