This is the story of how a broken power outlet causes significant emotional damage to my roommate, while also somehow causing the dryer to stop functioning and the hot water to disappear.
Are you ready for this drama? You’re not ready for this drama.
Last weekend my good-friend-roommate and I did tons of housecleaning things and were super duper fuckin’ productive. Part of that process was moving The Freezer into its final resting place in the the back hallway closet. I call it The Freezer with Capital Letters because it is a Demon which has plagued our apartment for about 8 months now with its seductive calls of extra storage space – if only we would unbury it from the storage porch, bleach the mold off the inside, and roll it through the ENTIRE apartment to be put away into the back hallway closet. Which we did. Finally.
Only to find that the power outlet DIDN’T WORK.
So I was like, ok, time to write to the maintenance dude and give him a laundry list of some stuff. Lightbulbs I didn’t feel like changing, outlet not working, wonky steps, etc. And I did. I then sent the same list of things to our house chat, to let the other roommates (there are 4 of us total) know that I had written to said maintenance dude, and that the maintenance dude’s repair guy would be coming on Tuesday.
(Maintenance dude is not our favorite person, and kind of useless, and I often have to blackmail him by cc’ing the landlord whenever we have issues.)
That was Monday morning.
Monday afternoon, completely unrelated to the maintenance issues, I get a frantic message from my sister asking if she can stay the night on my couch because OMG, SHE HAD A JOB INTERVIEW THE NEXT DAY.
And I was like, sure of course, ossum, omg jobz! Jobz are the shit! Do you want to work remote from my place before/after interview? If yes, beware incoming repair dude.
And she was like, COOL I’LL SEE YOU IN 4 HOURS (because she had to drive down, she’s relocating, blah blah).
Anyway, CUE TUESDAY.
Tuesday rolls around and it is seemingly normal. (Darn you Tuesday and your sheep’s clothing!) I get a couple of messages from the sister saying “repair dude arrived” “repair dude have question about x” “repair dude has gone away”
Cool, that was painless! (silly me, I know.)
Tuesday night, we get home late because sister and I have dinner and then proceed to go visit our friend’s cat (not a euphemism) and move around all his shit while he is traveling, because we are good friends (assholes). And like cats. And also sister was celebrating because job interview WENT WELL, and also oh yeah, she’s moving down here in 2 weeks.
OMG CRAZY how excite!!! Yes!
So we get home at like I dunno, 7:30 or something? It was later than it should have been for her to leave back for home so she could make it to current job the next day. And so I was like YOU MUST LEAVE. BAI. And I kick her out. (I literally shoved her into her vehicle while also hugging her at the same time and closed the door on her.)
As I’m coming back inside I’m also like “Look, we have a front porch light again! Awesome!” Checked that the freezer was plugged in and working. It was! Amazing!
A THING IS FIXED.
We can now make ice. For the housewarming party that is happening in 5 days. JOY.
And whatever, I go to bed because I am TIRED. Which of course means I proceed to talk to my mother for like 2 hours on the phone before I pass the fuck out.
Then I wake up!
We have reached Wednesday. And it is 6:45 in the fucking morning.
And I have a message from Good Friend Roommate A saying, “So we don’t have hot water and the dryer isn’t working, and Roommate B knew this yesterday, but didn’t tell me until 11:30 last night, as I was pulling my still-wet clothing out of the dryer. She also said that she didn’t say anything because AND I QUOTE ‘she wasn’t sure if not having hot water or a working dryer counted as problematic’?!?!?!”
HECKING HECK. And also, what? This train of thinking from Roommate B does not strike me as particularly groovy, but I can’t quite wrap my head around it because it is 6:45 IN THE FUCKING MORNING.
So there I am, bleary eyed and HECKING all over the place, as I go down to the basement and check the breakers. No problems. HECK AGAIN.
I text the house chat so that Roommate C also knows we don’t have hot water, and I’m a biiiiit on the tired and grumpy side, and my message maaaayyy have come off a little harsh because I was like “DUH THESE ARE PROBLEMS, NOW WE MUST FIX THEM. WHY WOULD YOU THINK THEY ARE NOT. COME ON PEOPLE.”
I then email the maintenance guy again at now 7am on Wednesday morning. Who writes back very quickly and says that the repair guy will be back over that morning to work on the steps, and would also check on the water sitch. I was impressed that he was awake at 7am and answering emails.
Which is like the only impressive thing he’s ever done since we’ve lived there. (This guy is not a gem, let me tell you, and I email him instead of calling because I want all of our communication in writing.)
Pleased that he responded so quickly, I take myself a fast whore bath in very cold water. (pits, tits, and clits, ya’ll) I can at the very least not stank up the office, even if I am grumpy as hell.
By the time I am dressed and fumbling for my shoes, Roommate A is also awake and out of the bathroom, so we chat grumpily for a few minutes and decide to walk in to work together since neither of us can take showers, which throws off our whole schedule. (Some people drink coffee, some people eat breakfast. We take showers, and then have coffee in the office.)
We rehash her conversation with Roommate B and I’m like “wtf?” and she’s like “IKNORIGHT?” And so we go downstairs in high fucking spirits.
(that statement is ironical, ya’ll)
Roommate C is sitting at the table – all she knows at this point is that we don’t have hot water or a functioning dryer, but that the guy is coming to fix it. So we start to explain what happened, insomuch as we know, and Roommate A kinda blurts out “Well if Roommate B had told us yesterday…” in a really pissy tone. AND THEN Roommate B comes FLYING out of her room and is just like “LOOK, I KNOW YOU’RE IRRITATED, BUT I MADE A COMMAND DECISION NOT TO SAY ANYTHING.”
And we were like “Yeah, WE KNOW, and we’re trying to parse that out because it was a BAD DECISION. Also, calm the fuck down, wtf?”
And so then she says “Well I thought you would blame me for breaking it if I told you!”
And we were like WAT. Such confuse.
“You…thought we would blame you for breaking the dryer?”
“Yeah, and the hot water heater. I felt SO HELPLESS yesterday when the repair guy was here and I couldn’t answer any of his questions! I don’t even know where the water heater IS!”
“You…Wait, seriously? You thought we would blame you for breaking the water heater WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE IT IS?! My god woman, have a cuppa chill the fuck out.”
And then we proceeded to spend 20 minutes talking her down off an emotional ledge. And to explain that we reaaaally don’t care who broke what. Ever. We just want it fixed. And that it was SUPER IRRATIONAL of her to think that we would blame her for breaking ANYTHING when a) SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW WHERE THE BOILER IS and b) THERE WAS A REPAIR GUY IN THERE YESTERDAY DICKING WITH THE ELECTRICAL.
SIDENOTE: It is ALWAYS a good idea to know where the water boiler and the circuit breakers are when you move into a new apartment. If your landlord won’t show you, fire his ass, and show yourself around. Empowerment + House Care 101.
Anyway, back to irrationality – Roommate B was busy postulating about how useless she felt when she had no idea what was going on when the repair guy was there and how she couldn’t answer any of his questions and how she couldn’t show him where anything was.
And I’m sitting there thinking, I texted you the whole damn thing? He was there to repair the light in the back steps – so show him where the back steps are?
Also he had a print out of my email with all the things listed that needed repairing. Which he showed her. So use the damn email?
Also, my SISTER, who DOESN’T LIVE THERE and got a 30 SECOND EXPLANATION THE NIGHT BEFORE had answered all of his questions?
It was BIZARRE.
It was so mind-boggling that it threw Roommate A and I off for the entire day. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the logic of “I feel helpless and therefore I’m going to pretend the situation doesn’t exist until someone else discovers it because maybe it will then go away”.
Possibly because I am “an intimidating bitch who gets shit done”, but whatever.
We’ve since reached the conclusion that she has been in some bad housing situations prior to this and just doesn’t know what to do in a situation with actual responsible adults. Which is super sad, and don’t worry, we are going to sit down with her and address this because AS STATED, we are fucking adults. Also because we do like her and want her to feel comfortable in her own house, because you should always feel comfortable in your own house, and blah irrationality is DUMB.
So that was Part 1. And gets us through Wednesday morning.
We continue, because NOW we have to fix the problem of not having a working dryer or hot water. And we haven’t yet identified the source of the problem, though we know it’s not the roommate (cough, hack, that was a joke), and there has been a postulation that it’s either electrical or gas-related, though we don’t know why they would be messing with the gas. (SPOILER ALERT: IT’S THE GAS.)
On top of EVERYTHING ELSE, Wednesday turned into THE DAY OF EVERYONE’S EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWNS, and I wound up fielding some intense emotional problems from various friends and people at work ALL DAY LONG.
Needless to say, I had already been tired and grumpy when I GOT to work, let alone now that it was 3:30 and I still hadn’t heard back from the maintenance guy after emailing him again that morning.
About 4pm I get a call from a mystery number on my cell and I’m like “maybe it’s the repair guy?” so I pick up. No.
It’s the gas guy?
Gas guy: “Hello! I’m almost to your house to turn the gas back on!”
Me, mentally: OOOHhhhhh, that explains a lot, but also doesn’t?
Me: “Ok, cool! Why are you calling me?”
GG: “Is there someone there to let me in?”
“Well can you get there to let me in?”
“No? I’m at work. Did -useless maintenance guy- contact you? Do you have his number?”
“Oh, yeah! Richard? Yeah, he didn’t pick up.”
“No idea who Richard is…” (Our guy’s name is something else, and our guy’s guy’s name is also something else. We still, days later, do not know who Richard is/was.)
“Oh. hunh, well…..I can come back later if you want?”
“YES. LET’S DO THAT. Can you come by after 6?”
“AWESOME. THANK YOU. I WILL SEE YOU THEN.”
I then call our maintenance guy to give him an update, and possibly to find out who Richard is – it goes to voicemail, and I’m like, Fuck This Guy, because it has been A Day, and I do not have time to be doing his job for him.
Keep in mind, Maintenance Guy did not tell us anything about gas people being around our building, and the only day we agreed for anyone to be in/near/around the house was Tuesday. Which it is was not.
Also, for those of you being like “Why didn’t you ask the gas guy why the gas was off?!?!” – Look, I was real tired at that point, ok? It made sense to me that the problems were caused by gas being off, and it made sense that the gas guy was coming to fix said problems. That was as far as I got in my exhausted mental state.
Also, it wasn’t until just now, writing this post, that I realized the gas guy probably had my cell # to begin with because my name is on the gas account, and not because our maintenance guy gave it to him. Which is just all kinds of lucky for us. Because seriously, fuck that guy and his inability to plan or hand out the right phone #!
ANYWAY, about an hour later, after this phone call with the Gas Guy, I’m on my commute home, and I get an email from Maintenance Dude saying “Looks like tomorrow for hot water. The gas company came and changed out your meter yesterday (Tuesday) and because nobody was home they didn’t turn the gas back on.”
FIRST OF ALL, there were TWO PEOPLE home on Tuesday.
SECOND OF ALL, they didn’t even call me then?!
THIRD OF ALL, WHO MADE THE APPOINTMENT TO CHANGE OUT THE METER?! CAN THEY JUST LEAVE THE GAS OFF LIKE THAT?! SOMEBODY EXPLAIN.
(They can’t. Maintenance Guy is a dipshit and didn’t tell us they would be there.)
So I read this, and I am like fuck that noise, and I call the Gas Guy back. He is STILL ON HIS WAY (a good thing!), and will be there in twenty minutes.
Like I said, Maintenance Guy is a DIPSHIT, and I was busy doing his job for him.
Fine. Whatever. CAN I HAVE HOT WATER NOW?
Turns out I can.
Gas Guy also explains that every 7 years, gas companies are legally required to change out the meters. And I’m like cool, sounds like good safety procedures – don’t they notify people when they do that?
And he’s like of course they do! You get letters! And then you’re supposed to call the number on the letter and make an appointment!
And I’m like, ah, I understand COMPLETELY now. The mystery is solved – our Landlord (who we adore) got the letter and handed it to the Useless Human Being Maintenance Guy and said “make the appointment”. And Maintenance Guy, being useless, didn’t bother to CHECK WITH THE TENANTS to let them know this would be happening. And probably just ASSUMED one of us would be there.
On top of that, there is a very good chance that the gas people knocked on the door when Roommate B was in the shower. And I know this is probably the case because remember, she took a cold shower in the afternoon? Because she complained about not having hot water? And my sister wouldn’t have heard it because that was about the time she would have left for her interview.
ALL MYSTERIES HAVE BEEN REVEALED. ALL PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN SOLVED.
FINALLY, WE CAN SHOWER.
To wrap this all up, Thursday morning at about 8:20 I get an email from Useless saying “who will be home today to let the gas company in?”
To which I replied, NO ONE YA DINK, WE TOOK CARE OF IT OURSELVES. Only much more polite, because I am, in fact, capable of empathy and professionalism, despite this blog’s example to the contrary.
To which I got ONE FURTHER REPLY, where I find out that Useless Maintenance Guy’s repair guy (who is not named Richard), wound up in a car accident, and so Useless was not sure when Not-Ricard will be over to rip up the back steps (which needed replacing, but are in no way related to the gas problem or the non-working electrical outlet which started this whole mess). (Yeah, remember that outlet? That was a fucking LIFETIME ago, wasn’t it?)
So while I hope that Not-Richard is ok and recovers well, we still need the back steps replaced, but also now we have hot water again.
And that is the SAGA from the last 48 hours, and I hope you were entertained, and remember that Gaslighting is Bad, unless it’s for the purposes of creating hot water and dryers that dry.
THE END. fuck.