Renovators allowed access into a Singaporean homeowner's condo by his maid, tore down his toilet before realising they had the wrong address. For parental tips on protecting your kids from strangers and keeping them safe, read on!
Homeowner of Chuan Park condominium, Mr Ong returned to his unit on the twelfth storey on April 1 only to find his living room toilet amid some serious banging, hacked and stripped bare. Since he hadn’t contracted any renovation work for his home, he’d initially thought it an April Fool’s prank. Perhaps his wife was the project’s mastermind.
No April Fool’s joke
The incident may appear funny but it was no joke. The renovators arrived at the condo that fateful morning at 9 am, knocked on the door and allowed entry by the family’s domestic helper, who’d assumed that her employer was behind the entire arrangement.
It didn’t help that the maid was home alone with her boss’s 84-year-old mother. The contractors spoke no English and the servant girl employed only four months prior, was new to the job. The 55-year-old, identified only as Mr Ong, had been out dropping his three kids off at school.
Clueless maid allows renovators in
According to reports, he was quoted as saying: “She thought that I wanted renovations for my toilet, so she let them in.” However, he doesn’t hold her responsible for the mishap.
He’d been away since 7 am. He arrived at his doorstep four hours later, and was alarmed to find loud pounds echoing from his unit and a trolley and boards outside his home.
Confused, he rushed in and up to his master bedroom where the workers were and demanded to know why they were hacking his toilet walls and floor.
Wrong place, right time
It was realised shortly after that the renovators had gotten the disembarked on the wrong floor. They were supposed to be working on the unit above, on the thirteenth floor.
Meanwhile, Ong’s neighbour had been waiting in frustration for the contractors to show up. It is believed that the neighbour called the main contractor at 10 am to query the whereabouts of his men.
Furious but forgiving
While the matter had originally maddened him and the workers reported to the management, Mr Ong has had time to cool off.
“It’s over now and they have apologised, so we treat it like an April Fool’s joke,” he told reporters. He has also advised his maid to contact him in future, before letting anybody through the door.
A fair exchange
To resolve the issue, the contractor agreed to replace the destroyed toilet and absorb the almost $10,000 cost of reconstruction – the silver lining behind this accident. Work on the new toilet was estimated to take a week.
What started out as a shocking mishap worked out in the Ongs’ favour because they now have a brand new washroom to showcase, for when friends and family come over!
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Don’t let strangers in!
While no major tragedy occurred in this case, it’s a lesson nonetheless, not to be taken lightly. Parents, train your children to be cautious, whether at home alone, in school or hanging out with friends. Teach them the importance of NOT:
- Talking to strangers, let alone entertaining them.
- Trusting strangers or accepting treats from them – they could be spiked with a sedative or worse.
- Allowing strangers access into the house when no one is home, even if they seem friendly.
- Unlocking the front or back door for a foreign face without first contacting mum or dad.
- Befriending strangers on the street, especially if they are adults – he could be a pedophile or kidnapper.
- Getting into the car of a stranger, even if the person insists they are friends of mum or dad.
- All of the above applies to your maid or domestic helper as well.
For added insight on stranger awareness for kids, watch this video: