I'm trying to move offices at the moment. Running the gauntlet of the French real estate world (again).
How difficult would you think it is to find some decent offices with warehouse space attached?
Well, it's kind of impossible.
As Phil and Kirstie would say, most of these places require 'vision'. Vision that means looking past the dead pigeons on the floor (really), ignoring the fully operational toilet in the corner of the office (really), forgetting that the floor moves on the mezzanine level (boy did it).
The French realtors are a breed unto themselves. They are regularly 30 minutes late for appointments, have to be chased for any follow up and generally have little or no information. They certainly never have the answers to my questions.
On Friday last week we stood outside a building - in the rain - for thirty minutes before deciding to go home. I was furious.
Fifteen minutes later - 45 minutes after the time of the appointment - my mobile phone rang.
"Hello sir, I have arrived. Where are you?" It was the realtor.
"Oh, I gave up and left fifteen minutes ago" I replied.
"But I came all this way to meet you!" he said, indignant.
"Yes, and I was there on time. You weren't".
"Well, this is very bad. I will not work with you again. I am here now, but you have chosen to cancel the appointment at the last minute. We shall not do business together".
He got even more upset when it turned out that I wasn't in the slightest bit saddened by this news. I told him that I wasn't bothered. That if his idea of good service is leaving me outside in the rain for half an hour then he needs to think again. That he isn't the only realtor in Paris and I'd be very happy not to work with him again.
"Now, monsieur, let us not be hasty...." he said, trying to win back the situation.
I went back to the office and instructed another realtor.
Let's hope this one turns up on time.
Let's hope he finds me an office.
I mean really, how difficult can it be?