In order to take a bit more human time for myself to adult, I recently made some changes at work with regards to my schedule. As such, last Friday (June 24th) was my first Friday of paid time off. I was super excited. I was motivated. I was ready to make the absolute most of it at home. After a few hours at my recently completed evil command center (an L-shaped computer desk loaded with desktops and laptops, a white board/cork board combo on the wall and a bookcase with office supplies and a printer) I started to wind down a bit and realized I was hearing dripping in the HVAC closet beside me. When I opened the door to look, I found that the leak had apparently been going a while as many parts of the closet and internal components were covered in mold. Also, my foot was wet because the leak had soaked into the carpet outside the closet.
So I did what responsible adults do and I took pictures, I put in the online work order, I called the office to let them know that it was an urgent work order. The on call maintenance guy came out, looked at the leak and went upstairs. A couple of hours of banging and clanging later, he came back down to tell Mike that the leak had been fixed and a contractor would be here sometime this week to repair the damage. Since the damage seemed to be located only within the HVAC closet, we let it go with the vague information.
Saturday morning as we were getting ready for work (we both had to be in at 6am) and found that there was considerably more damage that was no longer unique to the HVAC closet. The ceiling in the bathroom (room adjacent to the HVAC) and the living room over the printer. Time for more pictures and an email! I got everything sent to the assistant property manager with a request to be contacted about a timeline to completion of work.Mike and I both went to work as usual and I made arrangement with my teammates to leave a bit early. When I got home, the damage has worsened to the point where the bathroom ceiling was actively leaking and the living room ceiling was beginning to fall apart (over our printer!). More pictures. Walk to the office.
The assistant property manager doesn’t work Fridays or Saturdays so no one had seen the email or pictures. After speaking with the only person working in the office, the maintenance guy that had been in our unit the night before had failed to follow up with anyone. I sent all the photos again (to a different email addy this time) and they made strides to get contractors in that night. Frustration started to settle in and we had already made plans for an afternoon date so we left for a couple of hours. When we got back around 5, it was apparent that someone had been in, but nothing had been done and the leak in the ceiling of the bathroom was even worse. Call the office again. Leave a message. 520p the office employee calls back explaining that the office was now closed but she would call and find out why no one had been in. Frustration deepens.
6p Saturday: contractors show up. Hallelujah! the saw appears and drywall is cut out of the ceiling in the bathroom, a plastic tube is connected to the ceiling and a dehumidifier that is large enough to warrant its own zip code. By the way, we only have ONE bathroom. I stay in the living room, turning the volume on the TV up louder and louder to hear it over the now running dehumidifier. The contractors move into the living room to cut out a portion of the drywall in the ceiling for the same process… just to discover that the leak wasn’t fixed the night before. It’s now about 8p. Contractors ask me to call the on call maintenance guy. Maintenance guy comes out and all 3 dudes go upstairs.
10p, the leak is fixed! An industrial fan in set up in the living room to dry out the area and the contractor informs me that as the area must be completely dry before they make repairs and no one works on Sundays, the dehumidifier and the fan are going to run from now (10p Saturday night) through Monday when they come in to start the work. …O_o I… I have no bathroom for the whole weekend?? I have to listen to these enormous, loud machines all weekend?? He said that in order to sleep, because I couldn’t cose the bathroom door due to the plastic tubing, that I could turn off the dehumidifier at night in order to sleep. *deep breath* It’s not the contractor’s fault. He’s been a good dude. It’s late. I’m exhausted. I need to pee. The contractor left and I began the awkward task of trying to figure out which yoga pose I needed to be in to use my now mostly blocked toilet and did my thing.
Sunday morning, after the somewhat crappy night’s sleep due to the fan in the living room having to stay on, I climbed into a poorly placed plie to start my morning bathroom ablutions. I turned the dehumidifier back on and Mike and I start trying to figure out how to live in part of an apartment for the next day and a half, read and re-read our lease to see about appropriate accommodations and/or compensation for a situation in which we lost use of part or all of our unit. The complex office doesn’t open until noon on Sundays so we waited. By 1pm Sunday I was feeling a desperate need for a shower so I gathered toiletries thinking I could at least shower in the locker room by the pool (it’s in the same building as the office). That locker room has 3 shower stalls… and no shower curtains. Hoo. Ray. Time for the office staff to man up.
We went in to discuss accommodations only to be met with a rather blase attitude in which we were told a few times about how there were 4 apartments effected by this leak and that one person was already put up in the on-site courtesy suite so they didn’t have anything for us. So I repeated what I’ve already told multiple people: WE ONLY HAVE ONE BATHROOM AND IT’S NOT USABLE. I’m very unclear as to how this is not a problem. Am I’m doing too much first world whining over that one? Oh, wait, no. My lease guarantees that I will have access to a bathroom. Again, time for the staff to man up. Look, I’ve worked customer service in a lot of crappy situations where I had to answer for things that I wasn’t responsible for but rule number one is to at least pretend like you give a damn when something is really f@$*#! up. In a situation like this, where we are paying to live in a domicile that has only one bathroom and said bathroom is no longer usable, that is really f@$*#! up.
My frustration level has reached a new peak. I need a shower. I want my home back. I want someone at this office to acknowledge that it is not my problem that other people were effected or that there was only one on-site courtesy suite. Put us in a hotel. Tell us that you’ll reduce our rent. DO NOT continue telling us about everyone else or what you would have done had you not already done something for another person (I mean seriously, there was NO contingency plan in place should multiple residents have an issue at the same time?!). They gave us the key to an empty unit so that we could shower. The other unit didn’t have a shower curtain or door, either. My frustration turned into a personal Chernobyl.
Mike had to go back to the office to talk with them and I went back to our broken down wind tunnel of an apartment to blast some Netflix. After he explained to them that they’re suggestion of climbing around the stuff in our bathroom to take down our shower curtain and walk it up the street to install it in this band aid unit, they conceded to look for a shower curtain for us to us. Because $2 worth of bathroom supplies for two people who have had no real assistance in a total fiasco was akin to providing nuclear launch codes, an all-expense paid trip to the Caimans, and a no-questions-asked loaded bank account there for us to use indefinitely. So Mike put up the shower curtain and called me down there to get cleaned up.
From then on it has been a lot of noise. Because this is apparently our lives now. An apartment that has water damage and big fans and humidifiers that aren’t drying anything out very well. Oh, that’s right, we also live in a humid area. Awesome. The contractors came in this morning, just about 10am to check the progress and informed me that the areas weren’t dry yet. What? Oh yeah. So it will be at least one more day. The guys that were here this morning told me that what the dude said on Saturday about being able to turn off the dehumidifier over night so that I could sleep was incorrect and that it probably delayed the process. Well isn’t that special. They did, however, acknowledge the fact that the enormity of the unit and the placement of the plastic tubing were incredibly inconvenient for us as they prevented us from being able to shut the bathroom door. That’s right folks! The bathroom door couldn’t be shut, so if we needed to pee, we had to tell each other not to come near the area. Because this is a totally acceptable bit of non-privacy according to common sense and our legal, written lease contract.
Anyway, the only progress that has been made is that a smaller dehumidifier has been brought in and the plastic tubing in the bathroom has been moved over so that now the bathroom door can be closed. I still have to take my toiletries for a walk up the street if I wish to shower and I’m still going deaf from the volume of the fan in the living room and the volume I have to turn the TV up to in order to hear it. I suppose I could skip watching the TV but then I’d be left with my own thoughts of fury at the office not making an effort for us in any real way, so, yeah. I’m going back to Netflix and Capt Morgan.