The funny disease.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Renting Luxury

Four months ago we moved into so called “Luxury” Apartments. It turns out that the quotes are there for a reason. I knew that it must have been exclusive, because we had to wait in the Social Security office for three hours next to a man in a used-to-be-white undershirt who smelled like industrial strength alcohol and moldy onions. We were sitting there because Happy Good Luck Spy Company that the “Luxury” Apartments used thought that my SSN was issued in 1972, and not the year I was born. I had my SS card, I had my valid US passport, my birth certificate, I had my marriage certificate, I even had a couple of value savers cards with my name on them.

They sent us to the SS Administration so that I could get a letter saying, I kid you not, “Your Social Security Card is the official verification of your Social Security Number. This printout does not verify your right to work or rent apartments in the United States.” Okay, so I put in the part about renting apartments. It was officially stamped three times and officially signed by D. K. Gribblepots (or something like that), but it refers the recipient to my Social Security card, which I had in the first place.

After checking our credit, and backgrounds, getting the names and phone numbers of our next of kin , checking our names against the known sex offender list and taking DNA samples they wanted an in-state check. “Well,” I said, “We might have been able to find a local bank if we hadn’t been running around getting letters that don’t officially verify anything.” Thank god they took the check, because I think my head would have exploded if they’d sent us out of there homeless.

Our particular apartment carried extra special charges because we have a pool view. After living with a pool view I can tell you, there’s nothing “luxurious” about seeing your fat-ass neighbors lounging in Speedos. We also have a view of the dog park, which has the benefit of being not only gorgeous but also aromatically unpleasant. I do believe the lawn in the dog park is so lush because of all of the thoughtful pet-owners who leave fertilizer. I think that these “Luxury” accommodations, along with the screaming four-year-old next door, has lowered the rental value of our apartment considerably.

Our next experience with luxury was an adventure in ceiling fan installation. We were told that we could have ceiling fans installed by maintenance. Granted they said the list was long, but we were also told that they would be working their way down the list next week. Next week came and went, we were tripping over the fan boxes and no one came, no one called. I called the front office and was told it would be another week. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what happened. But the next week they said that maintenance was too busy putting up the numbers over the carports. After two weeks of not seeing any carports get numbers I went back and asked about my fans again. Then I got a story about the sun damage on the main office that maintenance had to fix. The complex wasn’t even eight months old. At least this time they gave me a coupon for an electrician, which convinced even naive little old me that I could pretty much forget about ever seeing the maintenance guy come to put up our fans.

It seems that the staff at the front office has more time on their hands; a couple of days ago we gotten a newsletter that included a list of services for residents. Among the list of services for residents is “free a/c filters.” I thought, “Our a/c needs filters? I thought it was kind of warm in here. Oops.” So yesterday I made the long sojourn in the in 105 degree Arizona sun to the front office. When I got to the office and said “Hi,” to the rental monkey I got a sixth-sense feeling that they didn’t have any filters, but I asked anyways. The rental monkey went to the back office and heard him rustling around. My suspicions were confirmed when I heard, “Awww.” He returned empty handed and asked me if I would be at home for the rest of the day. I said yes, and I was going to be home, because I like to tell the truth. He said that he would send maintained by later with a filter. Here it is today, and my a/c is chugging through 4 months of dust.

Though, I did get something from them yesterday, a calendar of events and a survey asking if there were any other “luxury” services they could offer. I’m putting my list here, because I don’t think they are capable of filling my requests:

  • Keep your word, at least half the time.
  • Also, it’d be nice if I could buy postage stamps at the front office.

The maintenance guy just showed up to install our ceiling fans. I stood in the doorway, stunned. “I never thought I’d see you here, so we installed the fans ourselves. I hope the building doesn’t burn down. But thanks for coming anyways.” It’s only been three months since I requested ceiling fan installation. Of course, it occurs to me that they were luxuriously taking their time so that we would get tired of waiting in the triple digit heat and then they wouldn’t have to install anything. Meanwhile there are still naked carports threatening the “Luxury” of our apartment community.

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Blogger Rob said...

Can I keep posting on your blog? If I grow annoying, just let me know, but I laughed while reading this whole post...

My apartment (in NJ) thankfully doesn't have any problems like the ones you are describing. They're courteous, fast, and efficient.

Sounds like they are breaking lease terms (by not showing up after you request their services - etc.) I'd try looking for a new place but speaking w/ the tenants there first to gauge how well the front office performs their jobs...

Good luck w/ those schmucks.

10/25/2005 2:54 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Sure, Rob, you can post comments. Just promise you won't use the space to sell Viagra, or something like that. And, if you know you're going to get annoying...

10/26/2005 7:19 PM


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