Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Housing woes

My students are being relatively cooperative.  One is giving me grief about not getting commented material back in time to rework the next assignment.  He's right, and I have complained similarly to my instructors in the past.  One is asking many, numerous, insightful questions, not during class time.  I'm working hard at not being annoyed by it, because it is exactly the engagement I want, and he's not struggling, he's learning and using and curious.  It's a wonderful problem to have.

On the other hand, my housing situation is making me do much research into local law.  Feel free to ignore my long, and not-directly-related rant, but I required a place to vent

My landlord, let us use the name Pat, lived here for multiple decades.  (Apparently married to an Asst Prof at the school for the first 5-10, so the records indicate).  A recent e-mail (I love e-mail communication, so nice and documented) from Pat attempted to mollify my complaints by suggesting that the house is quite old, and sometimes old houses have minor problems.

Yes, I know old houses.  My SO and I have, between us, occupied houses built in the 18th century, 1899, 1970, and a few indeterminate in betweens.  All of them had functional windows that opened, with screens, had plumbing that operated as originally intended (water goes only where it is supposed to, only when commanded), and were mold and pest free.  Your house, Pat, fails on all of these counts.  And, I will admit, these are relatively minor problems.  The plumbing problems don't put water into places water shouldn't be, and the tea-partying fleas died at my hand, thanks to some wonderful chemist somewhere.  Operable windows aren't required by law 'round here, and the AC works.

But, wait.  The AC doesn't work.  I mean not really.  It blows cold air, true, but that cold air smells like the a swamp.  Suggesting that we wait a while since it's been really wet outside indicates a significant lack of understanding of the HVAC system.  There's mold in there.  And my SO is allergic to mold.  This is not something that will be fixed by a shopvac, as so kindly offered by your contractor.

Oh, yeah, and the outlets...   Pat, you know that one outlet, that was causing the light in the room to flicker when something was plugged into it?  The wires were loose.  All of them.  I pulled the faceplate off to see what was going on, and SPARKS!  Yes, tea-partying sparks in the wall.  I fixed that one for you, I wasn't going to wait.  But opening that one made me curious.  None of the outlets in the original floorplan of your old house are properly wired.  You've upgraded the sockets without upgrading the wiring.  This, I know, is a code problem.  I haven't called an inspector yet, in part to give you a chance, and in part to prevent hostilities while I work on other plans.  But I intend to.

Pat, do you remember Sam?  I believe Sam was a former live-in-lover of yours.  Sam showed up the other night.  Drunk.  Sam misses you, and wants you back, and would like to help us out by doing any work the house might need.  Oh, and Sam apparently did the remodeling of the house and built the addition.  There is no tea-partying way Sam will touch a single tea-partying inch of this house while I am a tenant.  Besides the fact that my creep-o-meter pegged when I met Sam on the porch, I was thinking horrible thoughts about whoever did the renovating long before the other night.

And a second meeting with Sam was completely unwarranted.  Pat, I'm not sure how often Sam was drunk when you two lived together, but in my experience 2 out of 2 times qualifies as a problem.  On time 2, Sam was looking for a cat.  Fair enough, unfortunately that cat doesn't match the description of the two I have seen running around, because I would love for them to go away.  Oh, and Sam, the contractor you yelled at about parking was here doing work, and no it's not your driveway, or your house anymore.  And when I ask you to leave, Sam, if you respond by saying you'll call the cops and have them remove me from your house, do not be surprised when my response is to get my phone out and call the cops.  I'm glad you took that cue and chose to leave.  And, yes, I did tell them you were drunk, what you were driving, and where you headed.  I hope, upon all the tea-partying flea carcasses in this house, that they caught you before you hit anyone

Yours, in misery,

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