For the love of Liberty, or not

I am going to use this week’s writing challenge to do something different, one of the suggestions being an open letter, to get a little something off my chest.

Dear Mr Hemphill

As you know, some weeks ago, your company , Liberty Life, started construction work at your Head Office, which happens to be directly opposite where I live.

You may recall that I also e-mailed you regarding the dreadful noise that goes on througout the night as a result of this project.

As you suggested, I contacted Pride Ndolvu and I was told that work with jackhammers and other power tools would stop at 10pm and that ‘quiet’ work would have to continue throughout the night. It is still a mystery to me how anyone can believe that any kind of construction work can be done quietly.

Not only do we have to endure this unbearable racket of this machinery in the evenings, even with doors and windows closed, but all through the night we now have to endure banging and clanging, and the sound of rubble being dumped into wheel barrows and skips.

I have begged and pleaded, shouted and screamed, marched down the road in the middle of the night in my dressing gown, dowloaded white noise apps, and attempted to sleep in my bath and still, here I am at 2.30am on Sunday morning, out of absolute exhaustion and frustration, forced to write this open letter to you on my blog.

I had always had a tremendous amount of respect for Liberty Life but now I see the company for nothing more than what it is – big corporate bullies with no common decency and respect for others or the city by- laws and building regulations.

I am sorry that, as I communicated with Pride, on numerous occassions, we were unable to work together in a cordial manner through the process of the rennovations to your building, as we were able to with SAPPI when they undertook a far larger project some years ago. They at least showed us a great deal of consideration by stopping work by 6pm.

Yours sincerely



19 thoughts on “For the love of Liberty, or not

  1. Oh, dear, Jacquie, It’s hard to press “like” for this post, because there is nothing to “like” about it! That sounds like a horrible situation. If this is going to be your ‘new neighbor’, it certainly does NOT bode well for future neighborly harmony. It is simply rude and inconsiderate. I was unfamiliar with LIberty Life, but …. I am now. If I hear their name I will only attach negative connotations to the business. In the meantime, try a portable fan in your room. Set it on medium or high. I use it to drown out airplanes who use the sky over my house as a runway on occasional days. I hope Mr. Hemphill sees your letter, and turns off the noise at 10.

    1. Thank you Kathy. I am still in two minds if this is the right forum for such a letter but I will use what I have. I have e-mailed the link to Mr Hemphill but who knows if he’ll read it. Thank you for the tip about the fan, I will get mine out the store room and try that.

  2. I truly hope Mr Hemphill reads your letter and finally does something about the situation. I am sorry, that must be very frustrating indeed.
    Take Care,

  3. I can’t believe they are still at it. I think we should go on strike and stand outside their offices with posters. Remember that time when a customer was so annoyed with, I think it was Jeep, that they took out a double page advertisement in The Star to tell the world? Don’t stop complaining and make sure you spread the news of how inconsiderate Liberty is. They have put me off for Life (no pun intended). Write to the radio stations, open FB pages. Let’s spread the news because this is unacceptable and we do have a voice.

    1. And as it happens I know a good communications/marketing specialist who can help šŸ™‚ Thanks for your support my friend!

  4. The sheer arrogance of it all. I agree with teedeevee – don’t stop. Spread the word. I’ll certainly do it. Strength to you, Jacquie.

  5. I pressed “like” not for the problem, but for the open letter… Big business and little people… there is no more consideration for others … put up or shut up the norm of today…

    1. My problem is that it is just not in my nature to shut up. It gets to a point with me when it becomes more about principle and less about the issue itself – which I know sounds a little crazy – and that’s when I go on a mission. Anyway, thanks for you “like” šŸ™‚

  6. Wow…. this sucks. And from a US perspective is surprising. Any construction project here has to go through community advisory boards that stipulate acceptable conditions for the neighbors. I’ve never heard of or seen nighttime construction here! I’d recommend writing a petition signed by the neighbors and sending it to the company’s head of community relations — and then contact a local newspaper reporter about the problem to get them some bad publicity. And get a good bottle of Scotch to get some sleep!

    1. Hey! Well, I really am hoping that it won’t get to that but will certainly take your advice if we have to. We do, in fact, have the legislation in place here in SA, that is supposed to protect people from this kind of thing, the problem arises with enforcing it. Unfortunately it is so difficult to get the right people to do what they are supposed to do and to go the legal route is so friggin’ expensive but we have not ruled that out as a possibility.
      I do like the bottle of Scotch suggestion – I may just add some sedatives to the mix and then I won’t even hear if their whole building falls down.

      1. Hmmm… must be a government gap in there. Inspectional services would be out to the site in a minute here if construction crews violate rules like that. They’ll fine contractors big money per day.
        Try valerian. I sleep like a rock on it — even without Scotch. And it’s all natural.

  7. Applause! Standing ovation! {my hands hurt from clapping!}

    Jacquie, I commend you for writing in public and then for sending the link to the mouthpiece who is paid to fend off people, not help them. After you made private attempts to right this social wrong.

    This stuff starts small…. keep going. You ARE making a difference.

    You know my frustration and disgust about Big Medicine. I know it takes energy to keep this kind of upset alive, I do know. But you are doing the right thing.

    Perhaps also email the link to a newspaper–or many–with contact information for Mr Hemphill and Pride Ndolvu. (Nothin’ like passing the buck, Mr. Hemphill!) Just keep getting the word out.

    Here we have noise ordinances, so at least we have recourse…. you mentioned city bylaws and regs; have you also contacted the City reps who approve THEIR building permits?

    Best, and I hope for a nap for you.

    PS. I will now go look up Liberty Life. Wouldn’t it be handy if they were also sited in the US?! {muhahahahahaha}

    1. Laurel, that certainly did give me a good laugh. If I had to champion a cause I would sure want you in my corner. Thank you for the support and encouragement. And thanks for the tip to e-mail the link to the newspaper!
      Warm regards to you.

      1. oh I missed that. Things escalated horribly despite the post but I am happy to say that it seems to be getting better. Project still has about 5 months to go so I will have to take it one night at a time.

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