Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My landlord's not crazy. He's MEAN!

I've written about them twice before - here (from May 2011) and here (from September 2011). But I'd started to think that maybe I'd been too mean, a whining American. I asked our school secretary how my landlords compared to the 15 others she deals with, she said they're okay compared to the others.

And then this happened:

I came home Wednesday, 5th October, at around 6 pm, in a good mood. Then I saw that EVERYTHING had been taken out of my freezer, and placed on the bench in the kitchen. The refrigerator had been unplugged.

Yes, my refrigerator has been broken since May, and to get to the piece that's broken you have to go through the freezer. But my landlord had come over, taken everything out of the freezer, attempted to fix the fridge, failed, and then left the apartment. Like that.

He also put up some of the hooks so I could hang the curtain, not all of them. And someone didn't notice the rainwater coming in through the gaps in the windows.

I had a stuffed freezer, and everything was slowly thawing, and it was raining in my bedroom. I was not in a good mood.

I checked my email, the secretary had emailed that he was coming over at 3 pm. So that means my food had only been out for 3 hours, so that's not too bad. And when I plugged the fridge back in, the freezer appeared to still be working.

I was livid, though. I emailed the secretary and said that I wanted to move immediately. I tried calling her, but she didn't answer. I later learned that she'd had a very, very busy day, with lots of people being mean to her. So when she finally got hold of me, and I was angry, I know that just made her miserable day even worse.

The next day at work I typed up all my complaints about the apartment, ready to turn that in to the principal as an explanation as to why I wanted to move. But I waited, knowing I had to be calm and thinking rationally before I did so.

At the end of the day, our new accountant came to talk to me. He's a Russian guy, recently arrived from Novosibirsk, married to our 2nd grade teacher. He told me that from now on, he was in charge of dealing with the landlords. The landlords were quite mean to our secretary, and apparently thought they could take advantage of her because she's female.

Our accountant said that the landlord is no longer allowed in my apartment without 24-hour written notice, and that no one is allowed in my apartment without my presence. He explained that for some reason, in the apartment contract, the school is liable for the fridge if it breaks. Rather than pay the money for the expensive broken piece, the school would buy me a new fridge (which the school will then keep, not the landlord, when the apartment stops being rented by the school).

So now I have a new, working refrigerator. It's a bit smaller than the old one, and not as fancy, but it works.

And now I'm not planning on moving. I'm quite impressed with how quickly the school decided to help me, considering I hadn't yet complained as I had planned on.

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