sub specie aeternitatis

Why Can’t They Do it Right the First Time?

October 24, 2005

Two weeks ago, a problem we’ve had in the apartment went from bad to worse. We had been experiencing problems with the power in the apartment, in which the power in certain (or all) rooms of the apartment would dim and flicker for around 10 seconds at a time. This, of course, is annoying but also damaging to any electrical equipment I have plugged into the wall. It had done this off and on in very minor bouts basically since we moved in, but it continued to get worse and worse until it was noticeable all times of the day and interfering with normal usage of all things electrical. So I call up the good ole’ apartment manager:

Apartment Manager: “Thank you for calling Crappy Ass Apartments, how can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve been having a serious problem with the electricity in my apartment. I’ve had this problem for a while, but it’s gotten really, really bad lately”. . . I explain the problem

Apartment Manager: “Well, if it’s in the whole apartment, you’ll have to call the power company to get them to come out and fix it.”

Me: “Ummm.. okay, what’s their number?”

AP: “123-4567”

I hang up, and call the power company wondering why they would have to come out and fix it, and also wondering why it was MY responsibility to call someone to fix a problem with THEIR property. After a 5 minute hold, I explain the problem and am informed that a technician will be out today to look at the apartment. 10 minutes later I get a phone call from the power company.

Power Guy: “Yes, this is Bob with the power company, I’m afraid we can’t fix your problem. We checked the [insert technical jargon here] and there’s no problem on our end. This is a problem you need to get the apartment maintenence to fix. You’ll have to call them and get that taken care of.”

Me: “Okay. Actually, can you call them for me? Because I already talked to them, and they said to call you. Here’s their number.”

Power Guy: “Sure, no problem.”

I wait 30 minutes thinking the apartment manager will call me back to let me know what is going to be done about the problem. Nobody calls. So I call her back.

Me: “So I called the power company and they said it was a problem YOU had to fix. So are you gonna send a guy out today to fix it?”

AP: “Well, actually, the maintenance guy is on vacation this week [this is on a Thursday] and won’t be back until Monday.”

Me(thinking): So this is the reason I had to call the power company, because you didn’t want to tell me you couldn’t fix the problem today? And now you tell me I can’t get it fixed until NEXT WEEK? You’re assuming nothing will go wrong for an entire week for 100 apartments? Jesus Christ!

Me: “Umm.. okay, so the guy will be out Monday to fix it?”

AP: “Probably.”

Great. So I hang up and wait until Monday. Nobody comes. I call. She says he’s busy, maybe come on Wed. I wait. Wednesday comes and goes, no guy comes. I call. Says tommorow morning for sure. I wait. Finally, thursday afternoon somebody comes. He fixes it. It works. . . for two days. So now the problem comes back, only this time when the power fluctuates, I hear lovely popping and crackling sounds coming from the circuit box. Even better. So I call again.

Me: “Yes, you sent guys out to fix my problem, but after two days it came back worse than ever. I need you to send a guy out TODAY so the apartment doesn’t catch fire or something.”

AP: “Well, we should be able to send out somebody today to fix it.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll be expecting them later today.”

I wait. Nobody comes. It’s still screwed up. So now I have to call again tomorrow morning. Why can’t they just do it right the first time? Why can’t they at least try to care that I have a serious problem. Why do they think that if it doesn’t directly affect them, it’s really no big deal? Why do I have to call over and over and over and get more and more angry before the problem gets fixed? Why oh why are stupid people allowed to be in authority positions?


But on the other hand, and least I have a nice apartment to call home. At least I have food stocked in the fridge. I have a nice warm futon to go curl up in and sleep comfortably. My family’s income is enough to pay the bills with some left over. All in all, I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. My apartment manager may cause me a headache, but at least I have the freedom to choose where to live, where to work, and to speak critically about things I’m not happy about. Some things may irritate, but overall, my life is good.