Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bann Nah 5 - Power Lines

We were fortunate to hire two workers from our local temple, one of whom I was already friends with (Samlot). With the endorsement of our head monk Lungpaw Boon Long, Lot and Naht were tasked to do us good and quality work; with this stated expectation from Boon Long and other monks to Lot and Naht, thereby assuring that Thip and I would not have the same kind of problems we’ve had on all our previous construction projects:
  • bathroom: actually, a pretty good job, although I had to take over some of the caulking; 
  • kitchen: drain and drain pipes poorly installed; 
  • village home rewiring: a good job, but wire trays are connected by masking tape, when the trays themselves should have just been pvc pipe; 
  • closet/laundry room: washing machine water outflow not connected to exterior pipe, partly my fault;
  • village home ground floor roof: now beginning to sag on one side, because they didn’t cement the concrete posts into the ground, roof is damaged from workers walking on it between the rafters, and not enough screws to hold it down;
  • front patio: no complaints
  • overall with all the work we’ve had done, it’s the trim work, painting and staining that are most often the most poorly done portion of the work.

 To say that I’ve been disappointed with the quality of most all the work we’ve had done for us over the past 2.5 years would be an understatement. It’s not that Isaan workers can’t do a good job. It’s just that they don’t care.

A perfect example is Thip’s brother Sawt. Since he’s a high voltage lineman (in addition to being a seasonal rice farmer), we hired him and his crew to extend the power lines from the public road down to our pad. The work took shape in two phases. When it was all done, one of the cement posts was considerably at an angle (not perpendicular); there was no cut-off switch for the street light installed on the pad; and the street light itself was loose. When I offered to pay Sawt some more to fix these things that I had already paid him to do, his response was something like: ‘it’s good enough as it is.”

You know, like it was his call to make.

2014-07_electrical from Malcolm Gault-Williams on Vimeo.

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