20080615

No longer homeless

We did the quickest move into a house ever, in spite of a lot of weird barriers to entry. Our UK subsidiary has only existed since last November and has no credit history, so we spent Wednesday complaining over having to pay the whole six month's rent up-front, which we ended up agreeing to anyway. The landlord's agent says we move in when the payment clears his account and he has at least an electronic version of a signed contract in hand. So we wire payment Thursday and email the signed contract. On Friday he says he can't get the person who does the walkthrough until the following Monday. I'm lousy at negotiating, so I hand the phone to our COO who tells him to call the walkthrough person and ask if she'll meet us on Saturday. They go back and forth, the agent offers to return our money, the COO tells him he should, and then... the agent calls the woman and she agrees to meet us.

Saturday afternoon rolls around, and the COO and his lady friend spent the day loading our luggage into the car, taking me shopping for supplies... and she loaned us sheets and towels (I'm trying to think of a nice gift for her). We meet the woman at the house, and she's in a foul mood. She rushes us, she's rude. Obviously, we ruined her Saturday.

And... the house hadn't been cleaned! The refrigerator had brown sticky stuff on top of it, and mildew inside, and there was mildew in the clothes washer, the grass needed cutting, a moulding strip was loose, mildew and soap scum in the bathrooms... that's me in the photo writing down everything that hadn't been fixed or cleaned. I already look exhausted!

The interns were in London yesterday, which is good, because they would have been in the way once the COO & his friend left. I scrubbed the kitchen ceiling to floor, cleaned out the clothes washer (the COO cleaned the refrigerator for me), washed every dish, utensil, and cooking tool, scrubbed the bathrooms, and finally made dinner sometime between midnight and 1am. It's still a nice place, though. I've never lived anywhere with a conservatory.

I still need internet access. The COO suggested a USB mobile broadband device made by Three. I'll check for them at retail stores nearby. Apparently, it works anywhere in Europe. Not that it matters. It's Sunday and I'm in the office working on payables and payroll. I'm the only one in the building. Big difference from back home. It's not unusual for someone to be in the office at night or on weekends there, but here it's like a vacuum on weekends and after 4:30 or 5:00 during the week. Maybe being here for two months will be a good influence on me, because I work way too many hours.

Okay, I've rambled... sorry!