Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fire Alarm, Part Deux


I am SO FURIOUS right now! I'm shaking and my face is all hot! I don't know why I let myself get so worked up. This is why I hate confrontation, cuz it makes me feel like this.

So, my landlord did NOT change the battery on my fire alarm yesterday (last night, I suspected this might be the case, but told myself I was just being paranoid). It started beeping at me at 5am this morning. Why it only beeps from 5am to 7am, I may never know. I thought to myself, "Maybe if I stand on a chair and pry at it with my hammer, I can MAKE THE INSANITY STOP." And then I remembered that I left my tools at Jacque's new apartment. I brainstormed all the other long objects that I might be able to use to pry the lid off, but I didn't think knitting needles would cut it. I slept with a pillow held over my head and dreamt of torturing a voodoo doll of my landlord.

I called him later in the morning and left a second message. This one was a bit more forceful. I was tired and angry, but I think I managed to sound upbeat while demanding that he fix it pronto.

I did not hear from him all day. When I got home 20 min ago, I checked to be sure his car was here (it was), then called him. It went straight to voicemail (as it has for the last two times I've called). So I decided to pay him a visit in his basement apartment. The door was ajar and I could hear him inside, so I knocked. I waited, then knocked again. Nothing. So I called his name, and he finally came to the door.

"Did you get my messages?" I asked, flustered.

"Yeah, I took care of it. I've been pretty busy."

"Okay, great." I start to walk away.

"Your second message was pretty forceful," he says.

"Yeah. I lost sleep. It's woken me up two mornings in a row. The first morning obviously wasn't your fault, but I wouldn't have lost sleep this morning if you'd taken care of it yesterday."

His body language and voice were completely defensive. "I was completely swamped. I couldn't fit it in." He says this with a final air, as if there's nothing further to discuss.

I absolutely HATE HATE HATE interacting with this man, even just to exchange "hello's." He is horribly unpleasant. A few weeks ago, he posted a sign by the mailboxes that read:

"My cinder blocks are missing from the third floor. I don't know who took them, so I'll have to search every apartment. I don't want to have to."

Everytime I ask him to fix anything, he says, "You broke it?" When the o-ring in my swivel sink faucet broke, he asked me if I was turning the faucet inordinately "back and forth, back and forth." Yeah, it's a hobby of mine. I like to spend my evenings trying to break o-rings by turning the faucet back and forth.

One bright Saturday, Becky, John and Amy came to pick me up. They temporarily stopped the car in a place where it was double-parking another car, but they didn't stop the car or get out. After a few minutes, my landlord came out and said to John in a rebuking tone, "I need to get to my car."

When John moved the car, the landlord then sat in his car, in his parking space, for several minutes. He was still sitting there when we left.

I doubt he really fixed the alarm. It'll probably go off tomorrow at 5am.

The funniest thing is, one night we were having dinner with Ralph and Wanda, and I mentioned where I live and said my landlord was creepy. Ralph asked his name.

"Stu," I said. (Name has been changed for the sake of anonymity.)

"Stu Shortz?" Ralph asked.

"I don't know his last name. But he's creepy." I then gave a physical description.

"Yeah, that's Stu Shortz," Ralph said. (Of course Ralph would know every landlord in my neighborhood.) "We went to high school with him." Random! Ralph concurred that he was, indeed, a total douche-bag. ("Douche bags are a hygienic product. I will take that as a compliment!")

I cannot wait to be rid of him. CAN'T. WAIT.

1 comment:

  1. So did it go off this morning?

    Your landlord is a total dick. The worst part is, he pushes your buttons. "Your second message was pretty forceful." Yes, and his TOTAL LACK OF RESPONSE to your problem (not even a courtesy call to say he got your message?) was unprofessional. He's a freaking landlord. It's his job! What does he do all day? He takes calls from tenants, and he drives around and fixes problems. And, oh yeah, he returns calls, at the very least to say he was busy.

    If he can't even return a phone call, why is he getting paid the big bucks by you? He wants to be a landlord without doing the dirty work. Next time he says, "Your second message was pretty forceful," instead of defending yourself you would totally be in your rights to say, "Yes, because I received no response to the first message."

    This guy must have been raised in a family where you always point fingers at each other and try to shift blame, instead of figuring out solutions to problems.