Saturday, October 04, 2014

Public Health Inspection Lends a Hand

A little over a week ago, Ron received a phone call from the district health office. Apparently, the public health department needed to inspect our apartment. This was new and different, but since the caller did not speak English well, it was really a crap shoot determining the fundamental reasoning. She eventually offered the briefest suggestion that it was due to our having a KFT, one of the many types of Hungarian corporations. He was assured that the person coming spoke better English and could explain in better detail.

He was able to hold off the appointment until yesterday. We had friends coming to visit for 5 days as well as B and B guests coming and going. Although we can control our own cleanliness habits, we cannot monitor and demand our standards from those using our rooms. This is especially true when people are paying for the opportunity.

Luckily, all friends, guests, and wanderers were gone by 11am this Friday when Krisztina was due. We had our cleaning person on Thursday afternoon to do a once over, but we were in generally good shape other than stripping and remaking the beds by 10:45am on Friday morning.

Normally, something like this would put me in panic mode tending toward throwing me over the edge, but for some strange reason, I was rather relaxed about it. Perhaps it was the fact that I know our place is kept clean all of the time. Having owned a restaurant many years ago, I knew the Public Health officials intimately and had undergone numerous inspections. My fierce competitor two blocks down the street made it his secondary business to ensure my business catered to being harassed. This did give me some insight into what inspectors look for, but my observational skills were honed working in child protective services.

At 11am on the dot, the bell rang. We let in a young woman who introduced herself as Krisztina. Her English was good. She looked in the small bedroom, then the large one while asking how we accommodated up to 7 guests. Satisfied with our answer, she stuck her head into the large bathroom, and then later commented that having the second half-bath was a good idea. Finally, she asked if she could sit at the kitchen table to write her report.

While she was writing, she asked if we kept cleaning supplies. When I assured her there were supplies in multiple storage areas, I proceeded to show her. She stated that if we use “regular” cleaning supplies like what we had been using, we would have to buy a permit from the city for 7,500 Huf. Though this wasn’t an unreasonable amount, I did not see any reason to pay for something every other household was using. However, I did share that our primary go to cleaner was white vinegar. She was reassured.

When she sat down to write her report, she pulled out carbon paper. I had to stuff down a burst of laughter. I sat there fascinated that carbon paper still exists. When NCR paper was invented, I thought it was the best invention since mail order shopping. Really? Carbon paper in 2014?

Last of all the final result was that we have to post an ‘authorized’ No Smoking sign on our door and outside somewhere, we need to have a ‘smoking area’. Our smoking guests are less than 2% of the total, so it is really a no-brainer, but something else to tick off the neighbors. She gave us the website where it could be downloaded. I went to get it printed out; we no longer have a printer. They are in place and we are in compliance.

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