Monday, 23 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 70

Mme. Harmonie was not beautiful.  But Scarlet O’Hara she was not either.  But the two women shared the look of determination, not letting anyone get in her way.  Mme. Harmonie derived her power from her occupation which was critique.  It would have made more sense if she had been a food critique, but no.   She decided to have a restaurant on side to lean back on.  A very condescending attitude to get into any business, especially the food industry.  It is much more than providing food, drinks and a fake smile promoting ‘honest artisan experience’.  There are number of reasons why there are so few restaurants are awarded Michelin Stars. 

I have come to notice that Michelin Star awarded restaurants mostly rent or own the floor above their restaurants so as not to annoy the neigbours.  Their kitchens with commercial size machines are kept down in the basement to protect the clients and the neighbours from electromagnetic, low frequency noise and all other health hazards.  Of course it is all costly infrastructure that requires professional integrity to observe.  What do I know but it seems a wonderful coincidence that Michelin has awarded the restaurants with CONSCIOUS, not just the taste.

Mme. Harmonie soon blasted us with all night dance bar with a disco beat music.  Had she bothered to obtain the costly bar license?  No, there is not yet a sticker of blue and red opal on the façade of her restaurant.  As for my plea to insulate her ceiling, Mme. Harmonie insisted to believe Mr. Pride’s lies that it had been done so already.  She insisted that it was all in my mind.  ‘Don’t jump to judge us just because the former manager was bad.  We’re totally new team!’  
You cannot win with a person whose job is to criticize.

Totally new team, Mme. Harmonie said.  However, I saw a few waiters who used to work for Mme. Empathy.  The main chef was new, but the assistant chef was still the same guy.  I remembered this guy with bitterness because he was the one who kept breaking the regulations.  Chefs were prohibited to wander into the private court of the residents, but he kept puffing the cigarette there with insolence look.  This lack of self-discipline may have been the reason he was never promoted to the main chef, despite there had been 4 or 5 main chefs under 11 months since the opening of this restaurant from Hell.

But it was the man walking into the restaurant with this mediocre chef that stupefied me.  To be continued.

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 69

Mme. Landlord creased her face and spat ‘Do not expect this tenant to reciprocate decency.  She is from the lowest end of the society!’  Now I do not claim to know much about the society in France, but I had been surprised that Mme. Harmonie allowed her team to do renovation work over 4 weekends in row in this respective area of Paris where sensible people refrain from doing washing on Sundays.   Even Mme. Empathy left us in peace on Sundays to show some class.  

Nevertheless I still had to pin hope on her because the sales of the restaurant to Mme. Harmonie practically rendered my lawsuit against the restaurant invalid.  All the deception to the authority was committed by the former restaurant owner, not the new one.  Even the name of their lawyer was withdrawn from the online noticeboards of the court cases because there would be no meaningful verdict now.  

The plus side of this, however, was that Mr. Honour, the biggest Goliath, was gone with Mme. Empathy.  It was a humongous relief.  Sure it was his misplaced sympathy in his friend that put the restaurant from Hell beneath my floor, but it was also his influence that forced Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy to do the right thing, though partially.  I was rescued from the death chamber of noise and leaked electricity.  Now it was up to Mme. Harmonie to insulate her ceiling.  She had called out to the landlords that she would like to come to favorable agreement, had she not?

It turned out what Mme. Harmonie really meant was ‘favorable to her only.’  She walked into my room and closed the window and told Mme. Landlord that I should keep my windows closed all the time if the restaurant noise bothered me.  Mme. Landlord hit back, ‘People have the right to enjoy fresh air from the opened windows in this part of Paris, though it may be different from where you are from!’  I gasped that a restaurant owner who serve food to the public should have little regards to the well-being of others.  Also the decisively superior attitude of Mme. Landlord made me wonder how she really saw me and her gay tenant in her mind.  I was to find out several months later.

Back to Mme. Harmonie.  She turned to me all of sudden in English demanded that I admit that the noise of the kitchen did not bother me.  Now, she came in the morning when there was no clients in the restaurant.  There was only one chef and he was standing still in front the cooking table.  It would be different once the guests came in and the chef and his assistant chef would be rushing around the kitchen, opening and bang closing the refrigerator.  As I tried to explain this I saw a crafty grin on Mme. Harmonie.  She knew all these but trying to feed her words into my mouth.  I said ‘it would be different at later hours.’  Mme. Harmonie was adamant to trap me.  ‘But are you annoyed by the noise now?’  Seeing that she was not going to let up, I had to resort to shake my head slightly.  It was ‘no’, but I gave her no words to quote me later.   She was taken back in silence.

During the conversation pursued between Mme. Landlord and Mme. Harmonie, it was revealed the new owner of the restaurant had not been informed of the unauthorized ventilation pipe by neither Mr. Pride nor Mme. Empathy.  Mme. Harmonie had been deceived, but she was no way a victim by nature.   
To be continued.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 68

You might wonder why I was not disappointed that Mme. Empathy did not get her uppercomance.  First, I had not expected any because this is not a movie, but a true story in the real life.  Secondly, it was all those men who had bent the rules and morality to indulge her ever since she could remember.  What person would not be affected by that?  What person would even think of doing the right things or playing by the rules after such easy rides?  I have no sympathy for those men who ended up being trodden by her.  I was just sooooo grateful that I had survived the woman.

Besides, a few months break in Japan had normalized my noise sensitivity.  
I realized that the worst was over.  Mr. Pride’s architect had done a good job suppressing the noise of the ventilation.  Sure there was still some noise during the night, but my super-duper insulation SHIZUKA would conceal it.  Sure it was unfair that I had to pay for them from my own pocket, but they were portable thus I could take them with me anywhere.

Mme. Landlord was still ever bent on driving Mr. Pride’s restaurant out, but I was feeling sorry for the new owner.  The new owner was also a victim of Mme. Empathy.  I shall call her Miss Harmony because she sent a letter to every resident and every landlord that she would like to talk and come to an amicable agreement.  No one replied, except me.  I felt sorry for the woman who had been lied to and invested her savings into this dodgy restaurant permit.  If she could agree to insulate the ceiling of the restaurant, I would have loved to make peace with Mr. Pride for her sake.  With this high expectation I went to meet the woman with Mme. Landlord.

How naïve I was.  I should have remembered my instinct when I first saw Miss Harmony: the dark shadow leaning against the wall puffing smoke out with confidence.   As I got to know her, I began to see why Mme. Empathy felt no remorse for deceiving the new owner of the restaurant from Hell. 

But what surprised me just as much, if not more, was Mme. Landlord who was not at all pleased about meeting Mme. Harmonie.  To my surprise the departure of Mme. Empathy did not excite her either.  ‘They're just tenants.  Dealing with them does not solve the problem at the root.  It is the landlord that matters.’  Her reasoning was correct, but I was a tad surprised to detect classism in her tone.  We are all guilty of some form of discrimination, but not everyone poses to be egalitarian.  I had respected Mme. Landlord for her volunteer works for migrants and her tolerance for homosexuals.  Unfortunately, she was having problems with her other tenant who was gay and that may have affected her frame of mind?

To be continued.

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Sunday, 1 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 67

Pork Barrel is politicians’ one mean out of many (hopefully legitimate ones) to ensure their office, but Japan is currently rocked by a scandal tagged by the word SONTAKU that can be translated as ‘Conjectures’.  It all started by our First Lady whose desire was to become ‘a Saint.’  God, help us.  According to the media (thus not guaranteed, these days) she had been urging people to exploit her influence that came from her status.  People with good sense did not take up the offer, however, at least one man thought, ‘why not?’ and to cut the long story short, one bureaucrat had to commit suicide and our current Prime Minister’s third reelection is off the table. 

It may have been the same with Mr. Honour.  He may have wanted to do a genuine favour for Mme. Empathy.  But many people, not just me, have suffered physical damage as the result of his action.  But what Mr. Honour and the First Lady of Japan ought to have known was that doing a favour to one person would result in depriving a fair chance from other candidates.  In Mr. Honour’s case, some other decent restaurant team which deserved the chance to contribute to serious Paris dining scene was wasted on Mme. Empathy's team who was in it for easy cash.  The First Lady of Japan may have become a Saint to her acquaintances, but she has become a predator in the eyes of the others. 

My neighbors live in fear of Mr. Honour after their official complaints against Mme. Empathy’s restaurants were rejected based on inconclusive evidence.  The officers had come to measure the noise and odour when the restaurant was closed.  Coincidence?  My lawsuit was slowed further by an odd counterclaim from the accused.  My lawyer could not believe how things were different from his other cases.  However I somehow sensed some darkness had been lifted from the building. 

It was not long before Mme. Landlord found out that Mme. Empathy was searching for a new apartment where she could live with her new man with the money she had obtained from the sale of her shares in the restaurant business.   Our femme fatal had found a sucker to wash her hands off.  This meant my struggle would continue, but it brought about a wonderful twist.  Mr. Brave, her arduous admirer, also sold his apartment, which left Mr. Pride with less allies.  I chose to celebrate for the time being.

…until another shadow was leaning by our wall, puffing out the smoke.

To be continued.
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Saturday, 24 March 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 66

No more sugar sweet voice, Mme. Empathy bared her fangs at Mr. Pride.  ‘I and my brother (Mr. Justice) will sue you for compensation for failing us.  My patrons invested into the renovation and machines of the restaurant based on the 10 years guarantee you signed.  However, you failed to silence that nagging Mme. Landlord at the last assembly general.  You said you had intimidated the Syndic so that he would yield to your demand!  But we cannot forever ignore the lawsuit against us by that Jap or Chinese, oh, whatever!’

I had seen the scary side of Mme. Empathy which could send shiver down the spine of anybody, even Mr. Pride, the man who sniggered at the physical ordeal of an Asian woman.  Despite that, I could still see his points that she was to be blamed for not having played by the book which led to my lawsuit.  He was also a victim of Mme. Empathy because if it were not for her silver tongue, he may not have purchased this defective property equipped with an extractor pipe installed illegally by the former owner without the consent of the Syndic.  In fact this was the main issue of my lawsuit.  My lawyers saw that my physical suffering would not carry much weight in the court (wow!), but the illegality of the pipe may.  This is why the otherwise confident Mme. Empathy was rattled.

She softened her expression and cajoled Mr. Pride.  Oh I have seen that transition a few times myself.  Mme. Empathy purred ‘But we can get out of this if you follow my plan.  I will find some sucker to buy my machines off me.  You just keep your mouth shut about the pending lawsuits and I will not need to sue you.’  My lawyer did not think this was possible as any sensible buyers would check the status of the restaurant permit.  The prospective buyers would soon see the records of the pending lawsuit and would stay away from the trouble.  No problems as Mme. Empathy would choose her preys wisely.  Would her protector or my Goliath give her time she needed to run?  Would there be another prey added to Mme. Empathy’s trail of victims? 

To be continued. 
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