-- --

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Filthy Rich

I've been wrapping up a project for a kajillionaire in Canada. This thing will never end.

The billionaire, whom I'll call M, made his money manufacturing widgets. Someone's gotta do it. He's in his 50's, divorced, with two grown children. He is scary, crotchety and very opinionated. He wants a lot done and doesn't want to pay for it.

It's too bad I'm an ethical (and paranoid) person. I'd love to post photos of the house that's been going up in the country, as well as the city house our office built ten years ago, in Montreal. I get the feeling that I'd be invoking some extremely nasty karma, so the best I can do is describe with words.

The country house, at the foot of a lake, is nestled with two other houses on a sprawling, woodsy property. Each house is spacious and unpretentiously elegant. There's also an outdoor pool, a man-made pond, and a private, landscaped 9-hole golf course.

The city house, on the other hand, is at the other extreme. Absolutely formal, the house is filled with gilt decorations, twelve-foot ceilings, antique everything, and a Matisse. Personally I prefer the country residences, but hey, I could settle.

So the other day, I was emailing one of the decorators on the project. My email went like this:

'Bitches -

Do you remember whatever happened to M's weathervane? He bought it at auction last year.

The contractor has been asking for it, and I want to find it before there's too much snow on the roof.

Lemme know,

- K'

Eventually, we tracked the bugger down overseas, in a London storage place. There were emails and phone calls back and forth - how much does it weigh? how long will it take for air or sea freight? what are the costs? can we get the weathervane onto M's private jet, which is with his brother in Spain?

Yes, this is the kind of stuff I deal with.

But good news, the weathervane is on a boat. It will arrive in three weeks. The house isn't done, but there's one less thing on the list. Thank god.

Photo by myself, on Fifth Avenue.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I would hate to have to deal with people like that. I'm sure I would try really hard not to be rude and fail miserably.

I love that photo - I have a panda just like that.

Spandrel Studios said...

Boy, you architects deal with a whole other realm of problem-solving (and I know that's probably the least of it).

I guess it pays to keep your sense of humor, huh?

Mom Knows Everything said...

I'm Canadian, but I'm not rich or crotchety. I would like to have his money though, or at least his jet. LOL!

Kitty said...

well, the guy has a jet AND a helicopter. More on the helicopter later.

it's never, ever dull. I keep thinking I will say the wrong thing!

Spandrel Studios said...

It's so funny; you write about the pressures, late nights and crazy personalities you encounter in your work the same way I've thought about mine.

That must be why I'm enjoying your blog so much!