I've been wrapped up in my own self and life for the last few weeks and I've barely noticed the world passing me by. As I mentioned before, we'd had work done on our property - which looks great, I'm just waiting to get pictures for you - and as I expected, we ran into problems with the neighbour when we got to the driveway.
The situation was worse because Ian was away and I had to deal with this neighbour myself and this is something I suck at. I'm not good at dealing with conflict, and I'm especially not good at dealing with someone who is being aggressive: I have a tendency to match aggression with aggression, especially when I'm feeling threatened or upset. At one point I was ready to move and investigated all the properties available in this area.
The neighbour stopped all work for an entire morning demanding that we do this and that and blustering about. He lied about where the property line was located and he lied about having had a permit to change the drainage on his driveway. He told me that he has a right to drive over the part of the driveway in the city easement area - the part that would have a sidewalk and boulevard, if we had them - because it's not owned by us. I still don't know if this is true but based on his other lies, I have my doubts. During this conversation he threatened to park on that part of our driveway (I checked and that is definitely illegal; he's not allowed to park on the boulevard area and he's not allowed to block access to our driveway). He also threatened to come onto our property and rip out the work we'd had done if he didn't like the drainage (I checked and that's also definitely illegal). He ended by telling me that we're enemies now.
I'm so grateful for the foreman, who was the one person would could talk to our neighbour. Seriously. He could even tell our neighbour that he was being an asshole and that if a neighbour was wasting his guy's time the way he was wasting theirs, he'd freak out. I gave them a big tip - or what I thought was a big tip - just for that. Nevermind that I also loved the work they did.
So far, the neighbour has left us alone. I had a chat with one of the other people on the street and apparently they're not happy with him (and vice versa, of course), either. They had their basement converted to an apartment and asked him for a quote. However, he gave them just a final figure with no breakdown of what different parts would cost, and although they asked him to break it down, he didn't. So they went with a different company and our neighbour freaked out. It's gratifying to know that I'm not alone in having problems with this neighbour.
One does have to wonder, though, why someone who makes their living as a contractor (as our neighbour does) would waste so much of another contractor's time. That doesn't seem to me to be a good way to conduct one's business... but what do I know? I'm a woman, and he doesn't deal with women.