Posted by: raesalley | October 12, 2006

Thursday 13: why I’m pissed at Laurel Springs

As I left for work this morning, I tried to wrangle four cats back into a small room with a litterbox that isn’t usually there. This was the third time this week that this will have happened and Gabe was not having it. Neither was Edana. Skitz was already curled up on the cat bed on the human bed in the Office. Daisy was an easy catch and soon joined her favorite brother. Gabe hid on the back of the loveseat – which was completely inaccessible, while Edana hid herself under our bed. Since all of our furkids have all their claws, I wasn’t about to convince her to come out.
Why was I doing this crazy task when I’ve got to get to work? Because today they’re painting our apartment after spraying it with “texturing” after putting up new drywall. The new drywall is because they repiped all of our water access – normally home improvements are met with joy. Not so much this time.

13 Reasons I’m Pissed at Laurel Springs

In no particular order….
1. The Re-piping Project – announcement This is the current reason for many many irritations. About a month ago there was a notice on every resident’s door saying that they’d be repiping soon and to get ready, here’s what you can expect. I called not much later to yell at them and demand more information NOW. See, the letter pretty much said we’d have to board our pets or restrain them in a cage and we’d have to allow workmen easy, cleared of all personal possessions access to our bathrooms (one in the master bedroom, one in the hall), our kitchen (the room with the nice toaster oven, great coffeemaker and a vital lifeline), our laundry room (where not only laundry is done but all chemicals are kept & tools are stashed) and the water heater closet (eh). And to be on the safe side, everything within a four foot radius would have to be accessible. By that logic, we had no where to put our cats. And the cats, being indoor only, well…didn’t have shots that would allow them to be boarded. Part 2 of this irritation is the fact that I work full time, was working on a show and had another lined up after that…and the Bald One is in full insane mode at work. Us getting our shit together and cleared up with the posted 14 day notice might be stretching it. I was reassured that things would be fine and given an initial map.

2. Re-Piping – the work When push came to shove, we were given 4-5 days warning. The timing happened just so that the Bald One was slammed at work and I was opening a show the day before day #4. I was less than pleased. While I had been cleaning up in the two week break I had between shows, there was no way I’d be able to rally both of us to clear everything in time for day #4. I stormed the office with the WTF I so rightly deserved to give them. Not to mention the fact that the map changed between my initial request and what was put on the door. I’d still be able to confine the felines to the Office, but now I had to move our entertainment set up. A TV on a oak stand, and a five shelf wood & glass shelving unit with game system, vcr, dvd, tuner/receiver & CD player with record player on top. I was not pleased. Again, I was reassured that it would only be two days of heck and that we’d be on Monday – after I had the weekend to prep. So instead of doing my ritualistic sleeping in the Saturday after a show opens and watching a week’s worth of television…I was cleaning and prepping the bathrooms and thinking about the kitchen. Oddly, the actual repiping didn’t bother me once. They were in and out with minimal fuss.

3. Re-Piping – cleanup After Tuesday, the board outside our door was checked to “put stuff back, but we’ll still be in and out doing some clean-up” before I could remember to call Wednesday morning to find out if they’d give us a heads-up, I had a voicemail saying they’d be in texturing our apartment that day. Um…no. Not right now you won’t be. The walls, which were drywalled, needed a uniform look. And they’re assembly lining this straight through. We’d put a lot of our stuff back Tuesday night thinking all was fine since that’s what the paper said…only to find out that they were texturing and painting Wednesday & Thursday via this voicemail. I called them immediately and told them the Bald One was home and when I left him passed out asleep in bed. It was doubtful that he’d be awake if someone went over right now and I wouldn’t want workers finding my husband asleep in a room they need to get in to. He’d call them when he was up. What he realized and I didn’t was “texturing the walls” meant all the walls – not just where they’d drywalled. So everything hanging in our kitchen had to come down – the shot glass collection, the shelves with the plants, the coffeemaker off the counter. Everything. Luckily, they’re painting today. Which means by Saturday, my life might be back to normal

4. Mess of Texture I hate textured walls with a passion of a thousand firey suns. Hate them. And having seen the mess the process does, I hate them more. Our entire kitchen, while I’m rejoicing the death of the hidious wallpaper, it coated in fine spray of gick. Including our memo board, some original art drawn by friends and our cutting board – all things that hangs on the fridge. Not to mention the powdery crap feeling on my feet while I was cooking last night.

5. Breaking stuff The workers also managed to drive me crazy by breaking off one of the wheels from our fridge. So now the door doesn’t swing closed. They also either misplaced or stole our extension cord to the microwave. It’s what allows us to put the microwave up on the fridge so we actually have enough counterspace to work.

6. Move-in report The Bald One & I have lived there for four years now. There’s a cabinet door that still doesn’t hang right, a wall that still shows grey primer and a wobbly spot in the carpet where the floorboard rocks.

7. The bush that ate parking About two months ago, there were only two apartments out of four occupied on our side of the building. I called the apt manager and asked politely that before someone new moved in that they trim back the bush-tree that is taking over the last parking spot. Nothing happened for two weeks. I called again. I was called back saying that they’d told landscaping and if someone wasn’t out this week, that they’d get it by Wednesday. I called the following Wednesday and said it still wasn’t done. No call back, so after a week I called and asked if the next time I was pissed off about something could I just take a machete to it or would they finally take care of it. Now with one of the folks in the office actually living in our building…we’re still not having the bush trimmed. They’re just more aware of it.

8. Our ceiling we have a new little brown spot in our ceiling. It’s exactly where the old, large, brown spots were. Our old roof lost shingles pretty often and the flashing was done poorly. So there’s water stains here and there throughout the apartment. Some were on the move-in report (see #6 how well that’s going) and others were new. After a while, when it cracked and started raining water, they did start to take us seriously and finally got the roof fixed. After the roof was fixed, they patched the ceiling and spraypainted the other water spots. But this isn’t just any spraypaint – it supposedly has a mold-killer in it! yeah….right…

9. The Roof When we moved in, it was something we asked about with the starting of the dripping ceiling. We were told it was being priced out for next summer (2003). To their credit, someone did look. Just nothing happened, because the owner of the complex put it up for sale instead. The roof was finally replaced in 2005.

10. The Pool One of the reasons we moved here was the pool – I happen to like swimming. I’ve swum in Lake Erie, so you know I have a high ick threshold when it comes to water. I won’t swim in our pool anymore.

11. Ice I know that ice is a foreign concept most of the time in the South, unless it’s in a glass with tea or whiskey. But when it’s out, especially in common areas like the mailboxes, it’s the apartment complexes responsibility to throw some sand or kitty litter or something so that people don’t kill themselves. They have yet to figure this out. After one incident where I ripped to shreds a $50 pair of pants and bloodied both knees and palms, I’m pretty careful about getting the mail. And when I called to report in the fact it hadn’t been salted and the destruction of my clothes? “oh, you poor thing – what were you doing out today? the guy who should take care of that wasn’t able to get out.” I’m sorry, I have a job. I could take off time if I’m not comfortable with traveling in the bad weather but someone else will cover me if I can’t. If they can’t, then I still have to get in or make up the work. And no offer about fixing my pants either.

12. The Key We are on our third set of keys to our apartment. The first set was given to us at move in. The second set was after repeated problems getting the lock to work they finally replaced it instead of having me locked out and him locked in again. The last time they replaced it was while we were out of town. We got back with a car full of stuff, take out from Outback and four hungry cats meowing at the window to a door that we couldn’t open. When the guy showed up with the key and I took it from him to open the door and kept going, he asked for it back. When I explained that I’d give it back tomorrow after I made copies because they weren’t going to be open at 8a to take the key he seemed to be a little more understanding.

13. Our lease Most apartments get forgiving to their long term residents when they decide to look for a home. Usually not so much when it’s been less than a year, but we’re on year five of residency with no reports of us being abusers of our dwelling or irritating the neighbors too much. When I asked last year about the Bald One’s job forcing us to move, they were less than willing to budge. Now that we’re looking for a house, we’re still being told we’d have to pay all the standard fees.

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