Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Personal Post Alert: This blog post contains elements of uncertain interest to any but a select few. Unlike standard Meow posts, which try to bring something of interest to a broad range of tastes and enthusiasms, this post is strictly a giant sigh of personal relief. Reader boredom may follow. If you experience such boredom, please contact your local search engine and find something else to read. This is for your own protection. Any proceeding beyond this point is strictly the responsibility of the reader, and the fact that this post is available on a publicly accessible website in no way obligates the blog ownership to ensure that any certain level of amusement be associated with said post.

Having said all that... Celebrate with us! The garage just passed inspection! The garage just passed inspection! Of course, the guy from the City of Portland had to give me one last spasm of anxiety, because that's what the City Charter demands, but now that it's over I can look at all the bureaucracy-induced trauma with a sort of mild amusement--or at least I will be able to after the Prozac kicks in.

How, you might ask, did the inspector manage to punch my panic buttons? Well, he showed up at the door this morning, clipboard in hand, to announce that there was a problem--HE HAD NO RECORD THAT WE HAD PASSED ANY OF OUR PREVIOUS INSPECTIONS, clear on back to the framing stage of the project. This guy didn't have any of the paperwork from any of the myriad inspections we had sweated our way through all last year, no record of corrections made and previous inspector appeasements achieved. Yes, my heart did start to beat rather quickly at this point, while simultaneously dropping a few inches in my chest. As far as I know, the City is supposed to keep a paper trail which lets new inspectors know what old inspectors have proclaimed in all their infinite wisdom. Now, I knew we had passed the previous stages, and that we had the paperwork to prove it, but that didn't stop the initial moment of bureaucratic nightmare scenarios flashing before my eyes like a horror video on fast forward.

I pulled it together enough to point him in the direction of the evidentiary packet of inspection sheets that we had hung on the outside of the garage in a big plastic bag (thank you, Lord, for the invention of the Ziploc), and prayed fervently that none of the papers were missing. Inspector-man had me open the garage door, so that he could check that, yes, there were walls inside, and then started in on all his paper perusing. I was on the phone when the man with the power arrived, and fifteen or so minutes later, when I finished my call, he had still not finished his examination of the exculpatory evidence. So, I called my beloved to jibber at him while we waited for the verdict. I couldn't face the rest of the wait alone--not when the entire proceeding started with, "There's a problem." About ten minutes later, I looked out to see that the inconsiderate inspector had simply left, without telling me the verdict, or even letting me know I could close the garage door, leaving all of our wonderful power tools--the housing of which is the very reason for which we had gone through all the past year of self-inflicted, Alliance-pleasing hoops of pain--exposed to the avarice of any unethical pedestrian who happened to be passing by. How rude is that?

I've just one more grumble at the way the City does things. I'll share it now, and then hopefully put the whole episode mentally to rest. The most silly thing about the whole City hoops thing occurred this week. We had another inspection yesterday, which, according to the City had to happen before the "final." You might not believe that this is actually true, but I assure you, it did indeed transpire. The City required that they send another person--an entirely separate human being, making an utterly redundant trip to our house--just to make sure that we had grown grass in the yard. They couldn't send out the final inspector until this very important point was established. Now, I ask you, why couldn't the same guy who came to do the final inspection put a check-mark beside the "grass" column just as easily as the other guy? Is there some technique, know only to "erosion specialists" that enables them to determine that the green stuff growing out of the ground is, in fact, grass, which would justify a separate trip, with all the time, trouble and money that entails? That's just goofy thinking, and only a mindless bureaucracy would see any sense in it.

Okay, I think that takes care of the venting portion of this personal post. I now return you to its original point. Celebrate with us! The garage just passed inspection! The garage just passed inspection! Believe it or not, I'm awfully pleased, cynical and slightly contemptuous, but very, very pleased.