Oh, Friday! Why have you taken so long to whisk me away to your sweet repose? I have languished many a long day this week and I am THIS CLOSE TO CHOKING THE LIFE OUT OF THE NEXT ASSHOLE THAT LOOKS AT ME WITH ANYTHING LESS THAN MINDLESS ADORATION.
Our weather has gotten very nice in the past week and for the rest of the office, this is the season where they start taking the odd day off here or there for golf, fishing, long weekends, etc. The accounts manager decided on Wednesday evening to take Thursday off for golf. No biggie – I had 4 appointments and enough time to be in the office for coverage. Our boss refuses to answer the phones even when he can see that it’s the name/number of someone returning his call that he wants to talk to. It’s an image he tries to project – he’s so busy he can’t even answer your call right away. If I leave for an appointment and the phone rings, he won’t answer even if he’s the only one in the office and I will return to half a dozen voice mails that I have to write messages for and hand to him.
Yesterday, he was in and out of the office constantly before my first appointment and I had to lock up before I left. I came back about an hour later and he must have gotten into the office just after I left because the first words out of his mouth were:
“What took you so long?”
“I had to go to Middleton for a showing. I was signing a lease there. Then I took a quick break to grab lunch.”
“That shouldn’t have taken more than 15, maybe 20 minutes.”
“And then I went to grab lunch.”
“Well I’ve been the only person here this whole time and the phone is ringing off the hook. If someone wants to sign a lease badly enough, they will come to the office to do it. You need to be answering phones. Now you’re going to be gone all afternoon and there’s no one here.”
“I can’t schedule phone calls around showings. *Coworker* scheduled his day off after these people made their appointments. I can’t call and reschedule them because someone decided to go play golf today and you don’t like talking to the general public. I just signed one of the hardest spaces to lease and you’d rather focus on the fact that the phone rang while I was gone? I’m really starting to feel like I just can’t win with you and if that’s the case, let me know, because I’ll make sure to prevent myself from getting stuck in that situation.”
“Oh! You signed a lease?”
I know where the god damn bodies are buried and if this shit keeps up, one of those bodies will include his own.
We also just finished our push to collect May rent. As usual, there the few stragglers who are routinely late with rent. Before I send them their “Pack your shit, Skippy” notices, I will give them a courtesy call to remind them that their rent is late and that I file for eviction on Monday.
Usually, I get sent straight to voicemail because they know they’re late and they spent part of their rent money on premium blow. But for one such phone call, the kid actually answered the phone.
“Hi there! Your rent is a few days late and I was wondering when we can expect to see that. We start eviction proceedings on Friday.”
“Oh, you don’t have to evict me. I finished the semester and I already moved out.”
“Well, congratulations on finals, but you still owe rent through August 14th.”
“I’m not paying rent for a place I’m not living in. That’s dumb!”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re living there or not. You have a contract and that contract says you’re responsible for rent through August. It’s like saying you won’t make your car payment this month because you haven’t driven the car. The bank doesn’t let that fly and neither will I.”
“I didn’t make a car payment this month. I left it at my parents’ house. What are they going to do, repo it from my parents’ garage? Do you want to repossess your apartment? Go ahead!” *click*
I spent several seconds blinking and fighting the rage monster that wanted to slam his head into my desk repeatedly. Then I did the next best thing. I called his mommy.
“Hi! I have you listed as a cosigner for *ratbastardkid*, and –”
“Oh, I’m only his cosigner if he stops paying rent!”
“Yes, and that’s why I called you. He said he already moved out and that he won’t pay since he’s not living there. He also tried to justify not making his car payment for much the same reason.”
“What?!? He moved out? He didn’t tell us that! And goddamn it, I cosigned for that fucking car! Don’t worry about your rent – I’ll send you a check today. He’ll be paying for it out of the proceeds from the sale of his car!” *click*
Only phone call where I ever enjoyed being hung up on…
Another conversation with a different parent an hour later:
“My son will be coming home for summer at the end of this month. Now, I know he owes rent through the end of the lease, but I just called to have the electricity shut off and they said you won’t let them do it until the lease is over. What are you trying to pull here?”
“We’re not pulling anything Mrs. *I battle you by phone on a weekly basis*. The lease term is through August 14th, and we very clearly list the electricity as a utility for which the tenants are responsible. The responsibility for the premises includes the utilities.”
“That’s ridiculous! No one will be living there! There won’t even be any furniture, much less electronics! Why should we pay to have power turned on if we’re not there?”
“Because those are the terms your son agreed to when he signed the lease. Now, if no one will be living there your power bill should be minimal. If you wanted to make it as low as possible, you can shut off all breakers except the refrigerator.”
“Oh? I’m supposed to pay for an empty fridge to stay cold?”
“If you shut off a refrigerator and you’re not there to clean it after it defrosts, the whole unit mold and it has to be replaced. I can guarantee you that replacement will be far more expensive than a $10 power bill for the next 3 months.”
“You make some good points. I’ll call our lawyer and get back to you.”
Conversation with girl’s mother after she received her move-out packet:
“My daughter received a lengthy list from you about things she needs to do before she moves out of her apartment. This reads like a Molly Maids chore list. You surely have a cleaning service that you work with. Call them, because my daughter will not be doing these chores!”
“I do have a cleaning service, and if she would like to have me call them instead, I told her that I’d be more than happy to do so.”
“You also told her that she’d have to pay for it!”
“Of course she would. It’s part of their lease agreements that the apartment must be left in as clean a condition as they received it. That includes cleaning up before move out.”
“Well she doesn’t have time to clean and we’re not paying for something that should be provided for free! If you try to send me a bill, I’ll just throw it away. You just try to prove that I ever got it!” *click*
No, ma’am. That won’t be necessary. You see, I have your daughter’s security deposit, and it has more than enough money in it to pay for her cleaning.
And finally, this little gem from the idiot patriarch of an equally idiotic family:
“My daughter said you won’t kick her roommate off the lease even though she’s been stealing from the girls and threatening them.”
“I can’t legally remove someone from a lease without an injunction from a judge. I have recommended that your daughter file a police report and press charges for the stolen items and then either attempt to sublet her room or appeal to that roommate to move out.”
“No! She’s not going to talk to that girl. YOU make her move out!”
“I cannot do that. It’s against the law. There is a proper legal procedure to remove someone from the premises and it requires an injunction from a judge.”
“That would take months to get a court date! The lease will be over by then! Either you get rid of this girl, or I’m changing the locks so she can’t get in!”
“You’re not allowed to change the locks without my consent, and you don’t have my consent to lock a named lessee out of their apartment. If I find that you’ve done that, not only will I remove that lock and put the old one back, but you will be charged for it. I’d also be forced to file a police report against you for coming into one of our units and removing our property from the premises. In this city, that’s considered breaking and entering and vandalism.”
“You try it! I’ll be there next to put a brick through your office window, and maybe your head!”
This time, I hung up and called the police. They found him sprawled on the living room floor in front of his daughter’s TV, drinking cheap college vodka straight from the bottle. When they asked him about the phone call, he broke down into tears. Even if he had thrown a brick, I imagine that he’d have thrown like a girl.
And the week still isn’t over! Happy Friday, peeps! May your day be a rise to the glory that is the weekend instead of the downward spiral into madness that is my day!