Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We'll Never Get Out Of This Place

The furnace at our apartment has not worked properly since last November. Over the winter the heat worked sporadically. It would blow hot air for maybe thirty minutes and then the air would turn coolish - not really cold, but not enough to properly heat either. After a few hours we could turn the heat back on and it would be warm again.

As our winter was mostly mild, and the thirty minutes was enough to keep the house relatively warm, and I'm not afraid of a bit of cold weather I never complained about it.

As it turned warm, however, we have learned out AC does not work either. In the Spring when we first needed to use the coolness of the air conditioner, we found that the unit wasn't really producing cold air. It was more like a perpetual fan. At first I didn't complain about this, because it wouldn't really bother me so much until night, and by then the office was closed. Then the next day would wind up being cooler and everything was OK.

For awhile.

Eventually there were several warm days in a row and I complained. Nothing really happened, but it would again get cooler and I would let it passed. This series - warm weather hitting, me complaining, nothing being done, cool weather - reoccurred several times over a couple of months.

Then it got very warm, and I complained a lot. Then the stories began coming. The maintenance man would look at it, adjust something and think he had it fixed. The problem was he would come on days that weren't too terribly hot and feel the air coming trough the vent and decide it was cool air, when in fact it was more like fan air.

It would get warmer, I'd complain more, he'd come back and adjust something else. This went on for a few weeks. Then he needed to order a part, but our units are so old finding parts are difficult. There were a lot of things said, and I won't flat out call them lies but in the end a lot of things didn't happen like they said they would.

Eventually the mystery part came and our air did work.

For awhile.

And by work I mean there was cool air, but it was weird. If I set the temperature gage at something normal, say 70 degrees, when the actual temperature arrived near that temperature, the pipes would freeze.

The only way the unit would work is if we ran it down at 50 degrees. Sweet cold air flowed. And flowed. And flowed. We would wake up in the middle of the night and it would be like 54 degrees inside. I worked out a system where I would run it like that then turn off the unit. It wouldn't get warm again until late in the afternoon the following day at which time I would crank it back down again.

This lasted maybe a month. One day the air was only semi-cool. It would get the temperature to about 72 degrees but no lower. Then the next day it was back to fan air again.

I complained everyday for a week and finally the maintenance came out and recharged the unit. It was cool for a day and then went back to fan air.

That was three weeks ago. Everyday I have complained since then. Everyday they tell me they will get it fixed.

It is currently 80 degrees in my apartment. This is cool to me now, as usually at this time it is close to 90 degrees. It rained today though, so it is a little cooler.

A few side notes:

The maintenance man is not certified. He likes to tinker with the units, but is not really qualified to fix them. Until yesterday they had never thought to call a qualified, certified HVAC person. The maintenance man also likes to take his time. If he says he'll be by in the morning we're lucky to see him the next day. He is horrible at communications too. He comes in, piddles with the switches then leaves for long stretches. He never tells us what he's doing.

He also doesn't tell the staff what he is doing, as they never, ever know.

The staff is incompetent. There are at least half a dozen girls working in the office. They work 9 in the morning to 8 at night, but there shifts are strange and interchangeable. They don't communicate together. So when one day I tell one girl the problem she will swear it will get fixed. To prove it she writes it down on a little pad. But then the next day I come to complain it isn't fixed another girl is sitting there and has no idea what I am talking about.

On and on it goes. At this point since I have been complaining every single day for three weeks a couple of the girls know me, and one of them remembers my problems, but the other one knows who I am but not my problem.

They all look at me like I'm crazy when I complain that it is freaking hot in my apartment.

The manager is certifiable. I'd guess she was in her 40s but it is hard to tell. She is full of wrinkles and her skin is full of leather. She is one of those ladies who spent her formative years fake baking in a tanning booth so that now her skin looks terrible. She is also one of those ladies who doesn't understand this concept.

I have never seen her in anything then a very short skirt with a top that squishes her breasts together and pokes them out. Today, I kid you not, her skirt was maybe 2 inches from her butt cheeks, it was see through enough to reveal her under garmets and I saw more leathery cleavage than I would ever wish upon a man.

Yesterday, a poor girl who I have only seen once before got a bit of my wrath. I demanded a real HVAC guy and she had to call the maintenance man twice. Promises were made that a real one would be here tomorrow at 2 in the pm.

It is currently five and no one has showed. Half an hour ago I saw the manager who had no idea what I was talking about. She was however, very concerned about her dog. She pointed me in the direction of the maintenance guy who was working on his truck. I had to go talk to him by myself. He promised the AC guy would be here today because, and I quote "he gets paid today."

When I asked him if he could make sure this man would check on my unit he gave a very vague response and then made an inside joke to his partner.

We are moving to Oklahoma soon. Our furniture is already moved out, but Amy needs to do some things at the library so she'll have materials for her dissertation. I'm ready to burn the place down and forget about it all.

Sorry for the long rant, but I'm super pissed but am such a weenie that I can't really curse the apartment people out.


Jamison said...

First of all, and you can ask Mullins' mom about this, you have a pretty good lawsuit on your hands which, if you had a fairly decent lawyer, you would be okay without a job for a few years.

Secondly, I would imagine moving to a communist country, where everyone speaks a language you don't understand would be somewhat of a welcome releif compared to what you have been through...

Funny thing (And I think you should repost this blog) is that the last part of your post reminded me of the blog you posted a few years ago when your apartment complex caught on fire... was it you?

Anonymous said...

Do they have AC in China?


Jamison said...

It is almost like a REALLY bad version of the apartment the 3 of us (Sip, Brew, me) lived in ... Monti-chello. The lady would fuss at me because I didnt have a key one time. Which is odd because any other apartment manager would gladly let you in your apartment assuming they knew you.

In any case, she fussed at me like I was her 7 year old child for about 5 minutes, then I just said "Ah forget it" and turned to walk away, I was just going to drive around until one of the boys came home to let me in. Then she got up off her butt at the pool and said "Oh alreight, I will let you in."

Mat Brewster said...

It was me who had the apartment that caught on fire. It also leaked like mad when it rained. The only thing they ever did for me was give me cookies.

Sip, they do have AC in china, at least that's what Brian saysl.

Ah, Monti-Cello (like the instrument, because that's how God says it) that lady also chewed me out for not paying the rent on time, even though we weren't actually late.

And sipper, make sure you lock up the pool when you are done.

Jamison said...

My favorite memory of that place was that Sipper and I were in the pool (May have been after a long bike ride). Brew may have been there, but I dont see him in m y memory... Anyway, there was one of those floating seperators for the deep end and the shallow end. I was "tight rope" walking on it and it broke. We quickly wound it up and set it to the side, to look as if it was placed there purposely and innocently.

The next day, the pool had a sign that said "Pool closed due to vadilism." All summer long...

Now, any other apartment complex would have just fixed the rope and opened the pool up a day later, but this manager made me feel like I was still living under the Borlands (dorm parents at Faulkner)

kellieja said...

Let it burn