I mentioned a while back that I had had a run in with the city building inspector. And since building inspector is too long, I’ll just use his real name, which is Charles. But since that is a stately name and worthy of princes and such, which he isn’t, then I’ll just call him Asshat.
On the afternoon of January 30, 2007, I was at my house with my cousin, Danlel’s mom, the insurance fire investigator, and the insurance adjustor. The day previously, I had spent part of the day gathering my felines in preparation for burial. (Not getting into that right now).
My cousin and Stacey had offered to come back and help. Stacey didn’t show but my cousin did and he set out at digging out the entire section in front of my porch.
Since it had been below freezing since the fire and I had to take a little extra of the house to bury Napoleon, the cats were not going to budge from their lain out positions which would make burial much more difficult.
I had been running around, crying, digging through the house, carrying stuff, meeting with the insurance people, answering questions, and directing burial for a few hours when Asshat and Asshat Jr. (the captain of the fire dept.) showed up.
First thing, Asshat did not shake my hand, he handed me his card first, then shook my hand. I reminded him that we had met before. He asked if he could look around and I said, “Yes.” After all, he is the city building inspector.
I stayed on the porch for a moment and then on second thought told my cousin that I had better get in the house to hear what was going on.
I walked in to hear Asshat ask Mike, my claims adjustor, “So *sniff* What are you going to do with this place.” My back arched. His tone was very derogatory.
Mike said, “Well, we’re going to gut it and rebuild it.”
“Why would you do that? Why put a million dollars in a ten thousand dollar house?”
I said, “Excuse me! You’re talking about my home!”
Mike said, “I’ve seen much worse and we’ve rebuilt.”
“It just needs to be torn down,” says Asshat.
Mike said, “We’re going to gut it and rebuild. The outside structure is fine.”
I said, “But wait a minute…,” (speaking directly to Asshat who refuses to face me), “If they tear it down, then we couldn’t rebuild here could we? Haven’t the ordinances changed since these homes were built? I didn’t think we could rebuild so close to another structure. I mean, you’re the building inspector, would you issue a building permit to rebuild here?”
Asshat still doesn’t look at me, but shrugs and mumbles, “Yeah, mmmmummmbbblleeeee.”
Then Asshat looks at Mike and says, “I want the estimate done, the contracts signed, and a building permit within two weeks or I’m condemning this place.”
“WHAT?” That was me.
Mike says, (very calmly), “Our timeframe was 3-4 weeks for the estimate and beginning work. I’d like to have 4 weeks.”
Asshat says something again about two weeks or something which I can’t hear because the fire chief is trying to talk to me, or maybe I was so pissed off at this point I didn’t care what he said.
I said, “MY HOME BURNED TWO DAYS AGO! THE FIRE INSPECTOR IS HERE, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTOR IS HERE, AND A CONTRACTOR WILL BE HERE THIS AFTERNOON! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME BECAUSE IF YOU WANT IT CLEANED OUT (picking up a shovel and moving around the room) I’LL START SHOVELING SHIT OUT THE DOOR NOW!”
Still not looking at me, Asshat says to Mike, “You have three weeks or I’m condemning it.”
I said, “YOU NEED TO LEAVE.”
The fire chief looked at me and said, “Well, I’m on the building committee and …”
I said, “Your brass doesn’t impress me. Get. Out.”
People have told me that I can be intimidating when I’m angry. I speak through my eyes and Mr. Fire Chief must have seen something there he didn’t like because they beat a hasty retreat out the door and to their vehicles.
Then, I went off. I told Mike and Bill that while I wasn’t the best housekeeper in the world, my trash wasn’t always taken out on time, my grass wasn’t always mowed when it should be, but I definitely didn’t have a fucking meth lab in the bathtub, I don’t sit on my porch and smoke dope, my kid doesn’t run the neighborhood causing trouble, and the police have never been called to my residence up through January the 28th for any reason.
Furthermore, that is MY HOUSE. I bought that house. I didn’t get it in a divorce settlement, my mommy and daddy didn’t buy it for me, no one gives me a rent cent for that house. I work three jobs to support me and my son. I worked my ass off for that house and continue to do so and no sonabitch is going to walk in MY HOME and make derogatory comments and act like a prick without me saying something.
When I finished, Mike and Bill had eyes as wide as saucers. My cousin and Danlel’s mom were peering in through the open door. I apologized to Mike and Bill saying, “I know that I’m very emotional right now but goddamn!” They both said not to apologize, that I had every right to feel the way I did.
Mike said, “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’ve never, ever had this happen before.”
So, what does a Violator Girl do after she throws an Asshat out of her house? She calls Steve.