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apartmentally insane

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As I stated earlier, I’m currently living in a sucky apartment, managed by Michael Barry. Here’s a nice little overview of my stay at my current apartment:

When I first moved in, I was honestly just relieved to find a place. I only had a few weeks after I found out I got a job. My friend lived in the same apartments, one building over, and she loved it. I thought her apartment was cute.

After moving in, I was excited to try and get things sorted out and arranged; however, I ended up never really getting settled in. First of all, I’m a procrastinator. Secondly, things just started going wrong.

One of the first and worst things: bugs. There were HUGE roaches. I only saw a few of them live and in person, but I would find roach corpses. In the den. Under the futon. Near the front door. In the closet. I soon realized that the door in the kitchen didn’t quite seal up all the way. In an effort to fix my problem, I tried to seal the gateway. It worked, a little. I did call Michael Barry several times. They came to spray twice, I think, and also told me it would “really help them out” if I could spray myself. What the fuck am I paying $525 a month for?!

Another problem resulting from the door not closing all the way was all the air escaping and/or coming in. My apartment was either too hot or too cold. The windows didn’t quite seal up either. My gas bill was astronomical, no matter what I tried to do.

Then there were the leaks. At the beginning, I noticed that the ceiling in the kitchen looked like a blister ready to pop. I didn’t think too much of it. The first time it rained, I think there wasn’t a huge problem. But then there was. Every time it would rain, it would drip into the kitchen floor. First it was just a little, then it was buckets full. All over the floor. Everywhere. Then it leaked in the hallway. I called, and called, and called. The option is to leave a message on the maintenance line. After leaving three, I called and pressed 0 for an operator and told the old lady in the office what was going on. She said she’d pass it along.

I was never told if anyone ever went to my place to fix anything, and they never left me any maintenance slips. I basically had to wait for it to rain again to see if the problem was fixed. After several more leaks and problems, I called and left several angry messages, complaining about the blistered ceiling which had finally just opened up completely. They came back, and the only reason I knew was because they stripped everything away from the ceiling. Now there’s a little hole, but I’ve yet to see any water drip out. This was just a few months ago, right before my lease is up.

Then there was the little incident after Thanksgiving with my power. I came home after work that Monday, and after being in the apt for just a few minutes, the power went off. I called the maintenance number, and she said she could come over to check it out. She also told me that the power company had been changing out the meters; maybe that had something to do with it. I waited for about an hour, and then I left. Three hours later, she actually came to the apartment and gave me some story about getting a ride. The power flickered on and off when she jiggled the meter box, but it wouldn’t stay on. She then advised me to call the power company. I did, but that ended up taking forever, too. I stayed with J and his family for the evening, receiving a phone call when I was almost there letting me know someone was headed over.

The next evening, I was in Tuscaloosa and didn’t get home until later. When I arrived I was treated to…no power. When I called the maintenance girl, she was of no help. I called Alabama Power. They told me it was the inside breakers, it wasn’t their fault, when in fact, there are no inside breakers, at least, the person Michael Barry has employed as their MAINTENANCE person didn’t think so, and didn’t know. I had to call the power company again, and then they told me that they normally wouldn’t send someone, but someone was in the area, he’d come by. Two hours later, it was after midnight and I had to work, and I’d had no sleep…I headed to J’s for the night and was practically in tears. Someone from the power company called me back at nearly one and was pretty much a “nice asshole,” letting me know it wasn’t anything they had done, and that “I could’ve had my power on hours ago.” To which I said no, I couldn’t have, because I HAVE been in touch with my landlord, thankyouverymuch, and the maintenance people kept directing me to them.

I called the maintenance girl, AGAIN, and I told her that I would be out of town the entire next day, and I told her what the power company told me, and I asked her to please get it fixed. She apologized and promised she would. I took the day off, took care of some things, then headed back towards Bham. This time, though, I decided to call her again and be sure my power was on before I headed back to a dark apartment. Surprise—she wouldn’t answer. I just decided to stay at J’s. At 1030pm, she finally returned my call. She told me that her transmission went out in her jeep, blah blah blah, she couldn’t get a ride over (sound familiar?). All damn day. All day she had to do something about my power, and she didn’t. She called me around lunchtime the next day to say the power was back on, and it was the meter that had been loose.

After all of that bullshit, and getting berated by the power guy on the phone, and everything. I lost a fridge full of food and a lot of sleep. Needless to say, I was pissed. One thing they weren’t late on getting to me was a bill for the second half of my pet deposit (I hadn’t realized I didn’t pay it in full yet) and a late fee (I didn’t know I’d turned my rent in late). It read “Please pay in full. Merry Christmas!” What a great present.

But the worst thing I’ve had to deal with at apartment hell, managed by Michael Barry, have been in my kitchen—water beetles. They’re these little bugs that first started showing up in the dish washer. Then in the drawer where I had my silverware (which I moved right away). Then they were in the sink drain. Then in two of my appliances, which I’ve had to throw away. They stay contained to that little part of the kitchen, where the water supply is, but it’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve called, I’ve begged, I’ve asked them to do something. The most they have done is spray, but what they don’t understand is what they are and where they’re coming from. The building is so damn old that if they don’t do something to the whole building, it won’t do any good.

So needless to say….yeah, I’m ready to move. More updates to come.


2 responses »

  1. I lived in the crappiest apt last year. It was the basement of a house and the sewer continually backed up into our laundry room, there were water leaks from the upstairs bathroom dripping into ours. It was freezing all the time no matter how high the heat was, and there were a disgusting number of bugs, box elder, spiders, yuck! I was such a happier person after leaving that dump.

  2. Ugh—sounds like you had it pretty bad! My experiences sort of pale in comparison…I am indeed ready to kiss that place goodbye. Rather, blow it a kiss goodbye.


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