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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GOING FOR NOTHING

Recently I had to go to the Brookhaven Town Hall to clear up some business on a Certificate of Occupancy. Back in 1996, I had an independent contractor build an addition to my house and a subtraction to my wallet. The contractor never got a C.O. for the building. I redesigned the floor plan, making rooms larger and adding the new room.

In the sea of paperwork I have, I drew up a floor plan that needs to be done in order to apply. Not only did I need a floor plan, I needed it three times. Apparently, the Town wanted to make sure it is the same plan.

In applying for a ‘C.O.' there are many things to include, the title for the house, a ‘C.O.', the survey and a whole bunch of receipts for things like electric.

The application has been hanging around for a couple of years since I didn't really want to sell my house. But it is too much to keep these days. There is the maintenance of the pool alone that requires money and I don't use it enough anymore to warrant opening it. There are no kids in the house and TLW (The Little Woman) hasn't been in the pool in over 20 years!

There are the lawn and the geniuses that maintain it, and of course all the repairs from the weather and age. Frankly, I'm sick of it.

But with all the paperwork that is needed, started over 3 years ago, I thought I'd go down to Town Hall to see if things change before I submit it. This is a very brave thing on my part. With great trepidation, I approached the building that house the geniuses that plowed my empty street with no snow. Of course, I inquired about that and was told they would look into it. Makes me feel so good to know my tax dollars are in their hands!

Entering this magnificent edifice of local ineptitude, I am directed by the wanna-be cop as to where to go, and so I follow his directions, to nowhere! Instructing me to go behind him way up front, to take a number on my right. I advance, passing dozens of construction workers, architects, and engineers sitting in row after row of chairs. Some are actively engaged in conversations and some sit by themselves. Then there are the homeowners, we can pick each other out, we look lost, scared (Like a plow would come by) and apprehensive because we are now dealing with clerks in another dimension.

Finally, I get to the front and search for that little machine that dispenses numbers like at the cold cut counters in the supermarket. I look and look some more. I don't see anything that resembles what I'm looking for, and as my eyes shift from one face to another, this gentleman comes up on my left and approaches a computer screen, bounces his fingers a few places and sure enough, a slip of paper comes out! I do the same thing! Progress!

Suddenly, I am famous! Well, my number is, as it is up in lights. The moment comes and I am called. Now when your number is called, you must not act like this is ordinary, you must show surprise and gratitude because if you don't, they will give you a new number and make you wait longer.

Humbly I approach the counter, the middle-aged clerk has heard it all it seems. The look on her face goes through you, into some faraway place. Somewhat like a lady of the evening, doing her work out of boredom, she half listens and you explain your concerns and ask questions. Your fear is she will say: "NO C.O. FOR YOU!" Instead, she reaches for some more papers for me to fill out, taking me out of my game plan, as I wander back, aimlessly to my car, that is parked so far away, I had to rest a bit before reaching it.

Will I ever get the C.O.? Maybe.

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