Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's the shits for the Brits

Or more specifically for my poor parents. A run of bad luck and misery seems to have greeted them since they returned to the UK.

In a phone conversation today, the following "good" news was discussed:
  1. Asbestos was found in the laundromat we own. Nothing dangerous they assure me and items that are fixable with some fairly remedial work. Except...
  2. The buyers have pulled out after 4 months and just 30 days before closing. They say it was the asbestos but we think they were using this as an excuse because they were having trouble getting a mortgage. Unfortunately, due to an archaic real estate system that is stacked against sellers, they (my parents) have no recourse. The buyers hadn't put a single dime on the line, didn't have to prove they had a loan at any time, and weren't under any obligation to meet any timelines. People, there is a reason for all those damn California Real Estate forms and seemingly artificial timelines... just talk to a Brit and those 45 page agreements and offers won't seem so bad after all.
  3. Now, due to 1, although they have another offer on the table already, they have to disclose the asbestos. Hopefully the new buyers won't freak out and run away.
  4. Due to #2, we're potentially 4 months away from closing again. And don't tell me they should place conditions on the buyers to get things done earlier, or prove this-and-that. It's pointless. It's raging against the machine. They'll just walk away (again they have nothing "at stake" until a couple of weeks before closing, so why wouldn't they?). This is how things "work" out there. It sucks and you have to just suck it up.
  5. Mum's work has turned into a high-school nightmare. People ignoring her, talking about her behind her back.... childish, petty behavior. She works for a thoroughly unprofessional company. She hates going to work. They're lucky I don't live back there because I have a particular venom reserved for petty bullies and some unresolved childhood issues I would love to take out on some unsuspecting Essex girl with a substantially smaller vocabulary than me. (Yes, I'll be a formiddable Mother someday if my kid ever gets confronted by a school bully. Feel my wrath!)
  6. Mum's one friend and ally in the company has had 3 amputations since Christmas. First they cut off a part of his leg below the knee, then they had to go up to the knee, now they're lopping it off all the way from the hip. Poor guy. Why couldn't this happen to one of the mean bullies? Life can be so unfair.
  7. The house, which is on the market, has only had two showings in as many months. The "Real Estate Agent" (I use that term loosely since they don't do even 10% of what even a worthless Realtor does out here) seems oblivious to a potential downturn in the UK real estate market and has no plan to strategically price or position their property for a successful sale. Maybe they could go to a different broker but the reality is they're all just as useless, so there's no point.
  8. All of which has resulted in my Mum getting sciatica. When I spoke to her today she was flat on the floor, attempting to breath through the pain enough to have a conversation.

And you wonder why they want to move to the U.S.

People, it's not just about the grandkids. There's just some bad mojo about life back there sometimes. Things are much harder, more bureaucratic, and generally frustrating. While I miss "home" so acutely sometimes I could spontaneously burst into tears, episodes like this remind me of how it actually was to live back there sometimes - everything seemed to be going wrong all the time and there was nothing but bad news. I know life is like that everywhere at some point (Lord knows Hubbie and I have had a few rough years thrown-in for good measure) but for some reason it sometimes seems to be an ongoing, up-hill onslaught back home.

I just want them to get out here, retire, and enjoy life for once. They so deserve it.


Mala said...

Totally relate to that. I miss home too, but very often than not, I am reminded how hard life is out there. I am grateful to this country in so many ways.
I hope your parents can get out of there soon.

caw said...

Oh, no one deserves this much bad luck, I'm sorry to hear this TV. :(
You know, when I lived in London, I found that more people said 'no' than in any other country on earth.
The simplest things were full of red tape.
I so so so hope things get better for them and as mala said, that your folks can escape soon. Keep us up to date with the goings on, okay?

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