And then there are others …
While we shower accolades on the many who have emerged as heroes and survivors in the ETC disaster, one must not forget those who seem to live in a world all their own and continue to be stumbling blocks even at times such as this.
I refer of course to the attitude of the building management and staff which has been nowhere near exemplary. In fact I was told by many of the companies that they had been obnoxious to say the least. We have to talk with them and work with them regardless of course but it is sad that their humanity did not even come to the fore during such a difficult time.
Meeting with the top man was illuminating. Statements like “I have lost more than you have” didn’t endear him to the tenants, some of whom had lost members of their team. I must admit I didn’t take to him at all. The grin, the arrogant posture, the machoism, and the know-it-all attitude made me want to have nothing to do with him.
Naturally most of the companies wanted to know how long the restoration work would take. His answer was 3 months – long before the Marriott! Was there any need for this sort of competitiveness? I asked him if we could have a project plan, a breakdown, a timeline for the completion of various tasks. At first he ignored me – after all I was but a mere woman. I would have none of that of course, and finally got him to respond. Apparently, we will be provided with a proper timeline after he has had his Board Meeting over the weekend.
What I wondered was why Operation Cleanup hadn’t started. That doesn’t require a lot of money. There are enough of us who would have volunteered to help. And, if needed, the army could have helped. In cases of disasters, can’t they be called in? I remember that in the aftermath of the earthquake they had been very much a part of disaster relief.
I was also surprised to learn that the management was planning to replace the glass on the exterior of the building with the same glass that had been there before. It was suggested that shatter-proof glass should be considered. There was a bit of resistance but eventually they did say they would look into that option.
The good news was that the foundations of the building were solid and had not been affected. One of the tenants had also independently confirmed this with a professional engineering firm. There was some discussion on cutting down restoration time by allowing the companies to get their own contractors to put in the false ceilings etc if a certain standard could be agreed upon and consensus reached on reimbursement of the amount spent. This is actually a good idea. I hope it is taken up.
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