With the sweat always dripping
And you get burned gripping your car’s steering wheel
With your legs stuck to leather
You’ll feel like you’re dying
For those of you still on the fence about the power of coffee, I now have proof positive that coffee does, in fact, make me less of an asshole.
I went through the Starbucks drive-through on the way to work. I’d had no coffee, and didn’t even run a brush through my hair this morning. I remembered deodorant and brushing my teeth, and thankfully put on real shoes, so there’s that.
Anyhoo, I’d gotten a gift card for my birthday and decided today was the day I’d splurge (because it isn’t splurging when its a gift card). On my brain whilst waiting in the drive through line were the ants infiltrating my kitchen through an electrical outlet (and whether a fire could be caused by that), the fact that I’d forgotten my make up and may actually still have mascara smudges about an inch or so below my eyes, the fact that I didn’t care, how my nails were badly chipping and I’d forgotten to fix them yesterday, frustration at the contractor for letting me know via text this morning at 7 am that it would be tomorrow (his favorite word) before they get started on the plumbing problem beneath one of my buildings and therefore made me a liar to my tenants, whether to get a blueberry scone, and hoping that Hobby Lobby isn’t too crowded this afternoon when I go to exchange a handle on a chest I’d recently painted…among other things.
I ordered a regular coffee instead of anything fancy (because I can’t think when I’ve had no coffee), insisting on using the word “large”, even when the girl asked me a third time what size. *She knew. She just wanted me to say it, and I wasn’t gonna. At the last second, I asked for a blueberry scone, because I was hungry and, again, couldn’t think of a single other food item they offered, in spite of the fact they were all in pictures on the board in front of me.
I get up to the window and reach out with the gift card. She tells me “The guy before you paid for your order. Kind of an ‘act of kindness’ thing”.
My mouth dropped like a large mouth bass and I stuttered, “Oh. Wow. Okay. How sweet.”
That’s it. I got my coffee and scone and drove away thinking, “Gee, that was nice. How weird. People still do nice things for strangers. That’s cool.”
It wasn’t until I reached the stoplight after exiting the Starbucks that it occurred to me to pass it on to the car behind me.
Because I’d had about three swigs of coffee by then…which was clearly too late. Then, I realized why the Starbucks girl looked at me expectantly for about a second too long. She thinks I’m an asshole.
She’s not wrong.
I just hadn’t had my coffee yet, and I stand by my proclamation that coffee makes me have human feelings that could instinctively be put into action.
Nectar of the gods, I tell you.
Today, boys & girls, we’re going to talk about the maintenance department in the place I live and work as a property manager for a privately owned apartment complex. I won’t dare say the name of it, because internet, and I don’t want to get fired/homeless.
So here’s the scoop:
In December 2015, I was still recuperating from a car accident the year before, and living with my sister and her husband, their 5 kids, my other adult nephew and 5 dogs (two of which are mine). I got a call from an old friend, saying that her boss (83 year old widower) owned an apartment complex, and needed a manager to live on site. It doesn’t pay much, but it comes with a free apartment.
SIGN. ME. UP.
Okay, so I meet the owner (forevermore known as Bossman, because, internet) here at the apartment on January 2nd, 2016, and he basically says “When can you move in?” rather than interview me. I was a little unsure, because the buildings are really old (circa 1930) and have a kind of weird layout (2 walk-in closets in the living room, but the one in the bedroom isn’t big enough for adult sized hangers…also the toilet is diagonal, for example. More on that nonsense later). My sister (and benefactor, for all intents and purposes) is with me, and she keeps saying “I think it’s really cute!“, but I’m pretty sure she is just really ready to get SOMEONE – anyone – out of her house.
Can’t say as I blame her. I’m not fun to live with.
I had a weird gut feeling, but I knew I didn’t have much choice. If I didn’t take it, who knew when something like this might come along? My job and living opportunities were slim since the accident.
So, 48 hours later, I’m standing in this place with the realization that it is infested with German roaches, the floor is soggy (both the carpet AND the tile) and the promise that it had been cleaned really meant that the tiny, 65 year old Hispanic maintenance man, Felix, and his even tinier wife had sort of swept and vacuumed a little at some point during the unit’s vacancy. At least up to about 5 feet up the walls. Kind of.
Fast forward to: I’m crying to my dad on the phone, saying “What have I gotten myself intoooooooo?“, on repeat, for the better part of a month. Exterminators came (a lot), and I eventually slept with the lights off, without fear of bugs crawling all over me.
Friends and family brought me things and help clean ‘for realsies’, and kept me alive with Netflix and food and supplies until I got my accident settlement and bought a used car. WooHoo!
That’s how and why I got here.
So, I’ve been here for a little over a year and a half now, and let me tell you how our maintenance department works…
My maintenance man (Felix) was a gardener for Bossman and his late wife in their posh home many years ago. The wife owned this property (inherited from her parents) and ran it with an iron fist. She apparently had Felix come here to the property to fix things now & then, and eventually it just kind of morphed into a regular maintenance job. He does a pretty good job with the yard work around here. But he should. He’s a gardener.
A gardener. NOT a handyman.
So you can understand why one of my first “fights” with Felix was about how it was, in fact, inappropriate to “fix” an air conditioner with duct tape. Variations of this argument still happen regularly, and when I ask about something done poorly, he shrugs his tiny shoulders and says, “I don’t know why they did that like that“.
It sounds way cuter with his accent, but not while he’s saying it. It’s actually quite annoying. I finally called him on his bullshit and said, “They, who, Felix? Who are THEY? Because YOU have been the maintenance guy here for 25 years. So I’m very curious as to who THEY are, that do the things for reasons you don’t understand. Who are THEY?“.
He smiled, shrugged one shoulder and walked away.
It took 6 months for me to finally get him to commit to a specific schedule, rather than stopping by unannounced and never letting me know he’s been on property. He actually would (and still does, on occasion) hide from me. Tenants have reported him ducking behind a building when he sees me on my back porch, then darting out when I go inside, or hiding in one of the 3 supply closets we have (only two of which I have keys to). So he’s supposed to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week. When he does actually show up, he arrives between 11 and 2, works for maybe an hour (doing I have no idea what), then takes lunch. Sometimes it’s an hour. Sometimes it’s three.
He’s out with the promptness by 5pm sharp.
On days he doesn’t show up, he doesn’t call or answer his phone. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times he has actually answered his phone since January 4th, 2016 – they day I moved in. He doesn’t check his voice mail, doesn’t text, and has called me back exactly 3 times since January 4th, 2016.
He does this with Bossman as well. I feel fairly certain that I have some job security, when taking this behavior into account. He once went 3 weeks without calling or showing up, and never answered his phone or returned a call. Nothing. Bossman and I genuinely wondered if he’d met his demise. He finally called Bossman back and as it turns out, he’d broken his glasses and needed new ones before he could work again.
To this day, I’ve still never seen glasses on his face.
I’m sure I sound like a screaming banshee when I finally do catch him and can tell him all of the things that have stacked up and now are urgent because no one’s seen or heard from him except darting glimpses in two week’s time.
Speaking of which, he just slinked past my window. I gotta go catch him!
Day 2 of trying to imagine a new name for this blog while at job #2 pretending like I’m not milking the clock. Feel free to comment with some ideas. Here are some as they come to me:
Milking The Clock
Quit Bein’ Ugly
The Snarky Spinster
…Or High Water
The Lollygagger’s Guide To The Universe
The Wet Hen (as in, “madder than a”)
Sugar Honey Iced Tea
Verbal Release Therapy
Leave Me Alone
Get Off My Lawn
The Unfriendly Spinster
I Hate All Of You
I Can’t Even
Okay, this took a turn. Huh. I suppose I’d better slow my roll. Rolls. Biscuits. Biscuits & Gravy. I’m hungry. Oh, yay! It’s almost 1. I can shut it down and take off..
Fare thee well, peeps.
The blog name.
I did it in a hurry and had a brain fart, so it’s pretty boring. I want to change it to something that more accurately describes its content: The ramblings of a chubby spinster just trying to lie down on the hammock of life with weird random things happening to her on a regular basis that almost makes you think she’s being followed by a film crew sometimes.
Here are my ideas so far:
I Wasn’t Finished With That.
Because, Of Course.
The Perpetual June Bug (or some variation on the June Bug Theory).
That Norene Girl (also happens to be my email, so yay for convenience?)
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m at job #2, and have literally had about 6 minutes of work to do. I printed out a receipt from a vendor and reorganized the white-erase job board. The boys haven’t even been here since I showed up.
I pulled in, and there’s suddenly a fleet of Cadillac suv’s filling our parking lot and the grassy area behind it. Whatever.
I come in, set down my stuff on my desk and go to the bathroom. After washing my hands, I reach for the paper towel roll (one of those giant brown ones, because this is a metal fabrication shop – the fanciest thing in here is me), and just as my hand touches the roll, I see a GIANT cockroach twitching its antennae INSIDE the roll.
So that’s how MY day started.
Then, my computer decided it need to do updates for the entire first hour I was here, so I caught up on my Facebook stalking, read a few “news” articles, then did the worky things.
Clearly, it was time for my break. Out in the shop, I asked one of the guys who works for the shop next door (we share warehouse space) about the douche-nugget’s new collection of Cadillacs outside “like he doesn’t take up enough space already!”, and he said they’re probably another set of cars from the dealer across the street….
Apparently, the guy on the other side of us (who owns a collision repair shop and constantly blocks the driveway and takes up all the parking spaces, and has even been cited by the city for this in the past) has some kind of contract with the dealership regarding cars for foreign diplomats.
So these Caddy’s that are about $150k each, are then outfitted with bulletproof EVERYTHING – like, you can’t even puncture a tire on those suckers – because they’re going to some prince in Dubai or some such nonsense. Like, $200k worth of work done on top of the already cray-cray price tag. So there’s literally SO MANY millions of dollars being a pain in my ass right now. The collision shop (douche-nugget) guy gets the contract to do touch-ups on the paint and body after all that extra work has been done. I’m sure its a huge contract for him.
I called the cops.
Then I emailed the owner of the property that we all rent from and let him know about douche-nugget’s douche-nuggetry.
Then I started thinking about blog names and how mine sucks and is totes unoriginal, and here we are.