Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the skies are not cloudy all day.
the flats in summer

As you can see from above, I’ve started playing with Instagram on my HTC Sensation (even thought it froze the while phone the first time I installed it.) I love photos and have just been posting everything on my Flickr account. I like and dislike the look of some uber-hip shots I’ve seen made by Instagram so this was just a way to try out while I started my Missus P. On the Move companion site. A lot of the photos I take end up just on Facebook and they don’t get directly connected to the site so I thought this would be a quick and easy way to post my random pictures while I’m out and about doing stuff. The above picture was taken while I was sitting outside, enjoying the warm weather.

It’s a beautiful Friday morning here. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing in the garden. It’s such a nice place to live and I’m so lucky I have a quiet, relaxing, pleasant place so sit here and do my typing.

However, it’s been no secret that we’ve had issues with the place lately. Not only have we dealt with random students renting the flat upstairs but we also have a beauty salon being run across the hall. Now to most people who are in charge of apartment buildings they have certain rules and guidelines that we all have to abide by, especially when it concerns the general balance and quality of life for their tenants. It isn’t always the case though and we had an interesting run-in last night.

As we had just started watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox at 9PM, Steve got an email on his phone from our building manager (or overseer as they’re called). The email said that since we hadn’t responded to their last email they were forced to contact the committee about our keeping crates in the hallway.”  Yes, we have crates in order to keep Mary Kay, the beautician, from adding her tacky decorations to our side of the hallway but the previous email and committee reference – no clue what that’s about.

Steve decides to call instead of email and the manager promptly gets upset because “it’s 9:20!” so he’s calling too late. We had just been sent an email about being told on by some alleged committee, of course we’re going to talk to you immediately. So the complaint, according to the manager, was that our grocery store crates are too heavy for the cleaning lady to move each time she vacuums. Fine. I can understand that completely and if there were a problem, I would have gladly moved them for her. But did we know this? No. Are we the only ones with large items in the hallway? Of course not. Steve explained that our crates are our way of keeping Mary Kay from adding even more of her 30-odd pieces of crazy decor. She had already put stuff all downstairs until the new neighbours moved in, then she promptly stuffed it right back in our hallway.

But these facts fell on deaf ears. Building manager was adamant that Mary Kay with her big plants, flower box and other random lawn decorations wasn’t an issue at all and it was a communal area and she had every right to have that stuff there. But our crates? No. Eventually this discussion elevated by the manager’s arguing how we were going to have to talk to two other neighbours in “the committee” and Mary Kay ourselves because our crates are bad but a beauty salon is perfectly fine. After trying to reason these concerns with her, the manager said we were always “tit for tat” with them (um…who sent us the email?) Steve asked the manager they thought we felt about the whole thing. The manager’s answer, “I don’t care how you feel.” Steve, the most polite person I’ve ever met in my life, said, “Well, that’s all I need to know then,” and hung up.

While I find the whole situation ridiculous and shocking, Steve assured me that this kind of unprofessionalism has been going on since he bought the place. He’s let them know about the drunk kids upstairs and their parties where someone tried to break the back door down. He also told them about the fighting in the common areas, and the noise that disrupted everyone, etc. but the manager just blew it off. Apparently they think we’re just complainers who make a big deal out of nothing and they simply don’t want to hear any of our concerns. Even when we had the ordeal with the pipes getting unblocked, it was our responsibility to organize it and then, once it was finished, the manager wrote us an email saying how since we didn’t do it earlier, it was our fault that the downstairs neighbour had water damage that their insurance couldn’t cover. What the heck kind of business sense is that?

The committee will have to be spoken to eventually too and I’ll make sure to mention what kind of reactions we get from the building manager. I wonder if the committee are neighbours whom I’ve spoken to before, including the cleaning lady. I have no idea what their, or the building manager’s functions are in this place, quite honestly. I’ve seen the  managers mow the lawn, paint fences, plant flowers, and such as that. They let the back yard gate stay broken for months (until someone strangers were using our yard as a shortcut to the street), eventually fixed the loose step (which is broken now again) and use to organize neighbourhood meetings (but they stopped that two years ago.) They don’t keep extra keys to the flats, or the garages. They aren’t sure who lives where or if they’re renters or owners (apparently they thought we rented the place or something.) It’s a very strange situation to say the least.

Anyway, as I write this, Mary Kay is in the hallway, undoubtedly dancing with glee that she got her way (we still think she and the manager are in co-hoots because Mary Kay moves those crates daily to vacuum before her clients show up.) We’re planning on putting some plants out there on our side just to even the balance before she gets any idea about putting another plastic high heel show planter next to our door or something. Meh, at least she got rid of that creepy mannequin head that was out there. The thing is – I had been completely not bothered by her or anyone else here lately. I thought everything was hunky-dory and in a peaceful order. Oh well, someone always tries to put more lemons into the lemonade, don’t they?


About Suzanne Schultz Pick

Married to Steve. Mother of Jack. Librarian IT Assistant. Writer, teacher, blogger, podcaster, technological princess.
This entry was posted in All About Me, Review, Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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