Monday, December 07, 2009

The Washer Incident

I spent Thanksgiving week crying about Saffron and have been numb ever since -- and frantically trying to work on my end-of-the-semester grading. Since I teach writing, I don't have to give final exams and the sooner I get done grading, the sooner my Christmas break begins.

Roger suggested we go up north for the weekend. Everyone I talked to thought this was a good idea. I could relax as much as I wanted, work as much as I wanted, and I wouldn't expect to see Saffron everywhere I looked. It was a good idea! We have wonderful time enjoying Traverse City and I even got a substantial amount of grading done.

All that relaxation disappeared when got home and discovered water standing in our hallway (in front of the laundry closet), in Roger's office, and in the master bath. I immediately called maintenance was told that my upstairs neighbor* overloaded her washer (apparently with a comforter, bedspread, AND pillows), then left the house. The washer was so full the sensor couldn't tell when to shut the water off, so the water just kept running. In addition to our apartment, the one next door also flooded. Since there's cement between the floors, the water came in through the smoke alarms and the vent/light in the bathroom.

I was furious at the mess AND at maintenance for not calling Mom and Dad. Before we left town I called the office to let them know we'd be out of town for the weekend and Mom and Dad would be stopping by daily to care for the cat. I gave them Mom and Dad's names and phone number specifically in case of a plumbing emergency so Mom and Dad could be here to prevent the cat from escaping if maintenance needed to come in.

All this was news to the maintenance guy. He did know the apartment next to us was flooded but he didn't even try to contact us?! (No message on our answering machine.)

After soaking up all the waters, then washing all the towels, I collapsed in bed -- just as the smoke alarm started beeping.

I called maintenance again. Apparently smoke alarms beep when they get wet. Taking out the battery didn't help, so we called maintenance AGAIN to learn how to pull the wires (the battery is only a backup). Even then, the damn thing continued to beep far longer than I expected. I was ready to wrap it in a towel and stuff it in a draw (or leave it on the porch) when it finally stopped.

Once again, I collapsed in bed. A few minutes later, Roger informed me that the smoke detector in his office was dripping again. I think I would have cried at this point if not for my anti-anxiety medicine.

The first thing Monday, I called the rental office to 1) make sure there's a note in our file saying no current or future water damage was our fault and 2) to find out why Mom and Dad's contact info wasn't passed along to the on-call maintenance guy. I also complained about the downstairs neighbor** kids who like to ring doorbells and disappear.

My next calls were to the bank and the realtor. It's time to house hunt!

* These are the neighbors directly above us, the ones with noisy kids who fall out of bed frequently and play Wii a LOT.

** These children are apparently unattended while the parent works afternoons/evenings.

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