SINGAPORE - It seemed like an elaborate April Fool's joke.
A home owner at Chuan Park condominium found his living-room toilet stripped bare by renovators when he returned home after sending his children to school on April 1.
But the man, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ong, had not planned any renovations and there was no friend who popped up to say: "April Fool!"
The mystery was solved a few minutes later - the workers were supposed to be working on the flat above.
Mr Ong said that his maid, who had been at home with his 84-year-old mother, had let the workers in at 9am.
He said: "The contractors did not speak English and the maid was new."
She had been working with his family for four months.
"She thought that I wanted renovations for my toilet, so she let them in," he said in Mandarin.
He had been out from 7am, sending his three children to school.
When he returned at about 11am, he was puzzled by the slamming sounds echoing from his unit, as well as the trolley and boards at the corridor outside his home.
"I was surprised, I never asked for any renovations and wondered if my wife had called for it," he said.
Entering his unit, on the 12th storey, he found that the entire toilet off the living room was "smashed up".
Rushing to the master bedroom, he found the contractors hacking the walls and floor of the toilet.
"I started shouting, 'What are you doing?'" he said.
Meanwhile, in the unit upstairs, his neighbour had been waiting impatiently for the workers to show up.
Mr Ong said that his neighbour called the main contractor at 10am, asking about the whereabouts of the workers.
The neighbour declined to speak to this reporter.
The main contractor went to the neighbour's 13th-storey unit and heard banging noises below.
Mr Ong said the mistake happened because the contractors mistook his unit for the one above.
He was told that the workers had stopped at the 12th storey instead of the 13th.
While he was initially furious and even took the contractors to the condominium management, he has calmed down since.
"It's over already and they apologised, so we treat it like an April Fool's joke," he said.
He does not fault his maid either.
Said Mr Ong: "What can we do, she is new. I told her to call me the next time before she opens the door."
The good news for Mr Ong is that the family will now have a new toilet.
The contractor will restore Mr Ong's toilets and absorb the cost of about $10,000.
"It should be better than before, because they have changed all the tiles to new ones," said Mr Ong. The renovations of the toilets are expected to be completed within the week.
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