Tag Archives: apartment hell

Fellini’s Fumes

One week from today the Verizon guy will be in my new apartment installing services. My furniture and rugs will be in place, my accent walls will be freshly painted,* most of my things will be unboxed and put away, and the nightstands will be on the way. I will spend my second night in the new place with hot chocolate, looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at whatever view awaits me, and just existing.

I keep conjuring scenarios like that in my head because I am thisclose to a nervous breakdown with my current apartment. Nope, not the pool renovation, which is still not finished and won’t be for months.

Nope, no Hoffa yet. Just a lot of dirt and stagnant water.

Today it was fumes. Horrible, throat-burning fumes that made my eyes water and Inigo start sneezing. Contractors were refinishing some cabinets a few doors down and the incompetent fools who manage this building didn’t tell anyone.

For those who don’t know, fumes like that can kill a bird quickly and easily. If I had not been home to move him into the bedroom, he’d be dead. And the landlord now knows that, in no uncertain terms. In fact, my words were, “So help me if he dies because of this just a few days before I move out when I could have gotten a pet-sitter, the litigation will be glorious.”

I’m not the only one who is pissed about this. I heard someone on my floor on the phone earlier today, and they were tearing a new orifice in someone, boy howdy. The snippets I caught were sheer fury. “…I don’t CARE…NO you may NOT…should have let us KNOW…get your training from a bubble-gum machine…service is TERRIBLE…not one problem it’s ANOTHER…” and the piece that redoubled my own ire, “…BECAUSE OF MY DOG, YOU IDIOT.”

And therein lies the heart of it. Do not mess with the health of your tenants’ pets.

Ever.

The Glare. Would you mess with this? I wouldn’t.

All I know is that every day brings a brand new problem. We’ve already had fires and floods out the yin-yang. Mold. Rust. Mice. Trash chutes backed up to the seventh floor. What will tomorrow bring? A plague of locusts from the basement? Fellini couldn’t make this up.

Best part is that we all got an email yesterday.

Dear Residents:

In our spirit of continuous improvement, we are pleased to announce the next chapter of community enhancements. As you may be aware, we completed a refresh of the hallways and elevator lobbies throughout the building, began the pool renovation project, installed a package room and replaced the roof top HVAC Units.

The next round of improvements, to start in early 2021, will include [snip] Main Lobby, Leasing Office, Fitness Center, Resident Lounge.

With a project of this magnitude, we anticipate that there will be questions throughout the process, and we do realize this will create temporary disruptions within in these areas. We have given careful consideration to our residents in the planning of this project to ensure safe work practices in are bring upheld and to reduce the impact on you as much as possible. You will receive frequent communications from us, most often by email. These notifications will contain important information, so we urge you to carefully read all notices.

Construction is anticipated to begin in January of 2021 and is expected to end in the Fall of 2021. Additional project details including renderings, programming and dates will be communicated as we get closer to the commencement of the project.

BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA! You mean they way they communicated about the pool and about today’s work? Good luck with finishing by next autumn. Long before the pandemic, it took them a year and a half to do the hallways and hall carpets, during which time we were left for nearly a year with no baseboards and no coverings over the lights so the place looked right out of The Shining. The parts were “on back order” and enough people complained that they put the old light coverings back on until the new ones arrived. The baseboards are plastic and are already warping enough for another tenant to post a photo on Yelp, and you know how the pool project, which was supposed to be completely finished with the pool winterized by November 30, is going.

Oh, am I bitching too much?

Before the pandemic, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my building was $2,400 a month.

I rest my case.


*Sherwin Williams Honorable Blue on the dining area wall, Dewberry for the door, for the curious.

October Rubble

I had the best of intentions for Horrordailies. I had the time because I didn’t have to commute. I was writing morning pages and clearing my head of all the static that accumulates there so I could be creative later in the day. The building was quiet because it’s only about 60% occupancy.

And then it started.

The jackhammering.

Some genius in the company that owns my apartment building decided that now would be a great time to renovate the pool, and every day, Monday through Friday, for eight hours, I get to hear jackhammering right outside my window.

This is with my windows closed. Turn your amp all the way to 11 and you’ll have an idea.

Oh, they say they “have” to do it now. It’s a “small window” before the ground freezes. The concierge mumbled something about permits, budgeting, and contractors, and how if they didn’t do the renovations now, they wouldn’t be able to open the pool next summer.

Which is a steaming dogpile, because the tenants weren’t informed of this until October 1, and the work started on October 5. If they got the permits quickly, then they could get them just as quickly next September. If they knew several months in advance, they should have canceled the work and then rescheduled it for next September, when the majority of tenants would most likely be back to working in offices.

I raised an unholy stink, as did other tenants, and this week we heard all about this fabulous new “hospitality suite” on the 17th floor where the noise doesn’t reach. Then I learned that this hospitality squite can hold seven people.

No. Not even with social distancing. I live in a youngish area. I see how people rip off their masks as soon as they leave the building. I also see how some people, like my next-door neighbor, never wear a mask even though they know very well that it’s required in the building. I know she has one, because I slipped one under her door. She’s just too vain to wear it. She likes to pretend she doesn’t understand English—except that I know how to tell her in Russian that she needs to wear the damn thing because I don’t feel like dying for her vanity.

The building management has given me permission to work in an empty apartment, but I need to try it out and see if I can use my organization’s VPN via their internet access. If I can’t, I will have to schlep to my office in D.C. I did that last week and it was peaceful, but I don’t feel safe taking Metro so I have been taking Uber in and walking the 4.5 miles home in the evening for some exercise. I can’t do that every day, however, because I don’t feel like paying $75 a week to Uber and dealing with a hike home every day.

At any rate, it’s a miserable situation and it will continue through the end of the month, after which they will be laying the tiles down and then the annoyance will go from sound to smell. I may have to send Inigo to birdie camp because although he seems to be okay with the noise, fumes can kill a bird very quickly.

Point is, I’m pretty exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically from this fresh hell, so turning on my computer in the evening and writing even more on top of the writing I do for my job is the last thing I want to do.

I suppose there’s always National Blog Posting Month, which is November, and then we’re into Holidailies for December. That is, if I’m not packing up to move out of this horror show.

Maybe they’ll find a body. Then I’ll have something to write about, boy howdy.