I read of recent maritime disasters and remember the good old days when, if the captain did not go down with his vessel, he was at least the last man off it.
My move to my current apartment in the Venn building on Market was a spur of the moment thing prompted by learning that my landlord was having trouble walking and was looking forward to using the front end of the flat i was in because it was only seven steps up from the street, discovering that the low-income senior housing for which i’m on the waiting list would not be available as soon as expected, and being charmed by the managers of the Venn complex when i stopped in to inquire about that For Rent sign.
So i moved without doing my homework and ended up in a place with which i am increasingly dissatisfied. Yes, it has some excellent aspects: it’s very very quiet, it’s perfectly located, it’s by far the most luxurious place i’ve ever lived, and all the workers in the building – from the manager to the maintenance man to the guy who handles the trash system – are both nice and very competent.
So what’s wrong? Well, other than being unsustainably expensive, i can sum it up in one word: attitude.
While everyone who works in the building is great, Greystone, the company that owns the building, is a corporate monster with a business model that focuses on finding ways to slip in additional charges. And somehow, what i find particularly grating about this is that none of these charges is substantial. Oh no, they’re small, the smallest being the $3.50/month charge for the luxury of having them draw up my monthly bill, which at one-thousanth of the rent is so damn small it’s nothing but a pure insult. Particularly since they wouldn’t need to draw up a monthly bill for me except for my pro-rata share of the building’s gas bill that’s used to keep hot water circulating constantly through the building so that you have instant hot water in all your taps. Either this is a grotesquely inefficient system or i’m being way overbilled since my gas bill now is higher than it was in a Victorian flat with a gas stove, gas furnace, and gas clothes dryer. Point of use electric water heating could not be more expensive, especially for someone as frugal as i am.
So that’s annoying enough.
The other attitude problem is my fellow tenants. Good grief. Overwhelmingly young, overwhelmingly entitled, and utterly oblivious to social niceties and common courtesy.
Like folks sticking all their refuse, including the recyclables, into a plastic bag too large to fit down the trash chute and then stuffing the bag into the maw of the chute so that the chute is blocked for not only this floor but for all higher floors.
Like getting the elevator key from the management so that during your move in, your movers will not be inconvenienced by waiting for the elevator. And then, when you’ve hogged the elevator for a couple of hours and the van has departed, walking off and leaving the elevator turned off with the key sticking in the lock instead of turning the elevator back on and returning the key to the management.
Like going off and leaving your dog sitting in front of your open window yapping for hours into the courtyard to entertain eight floors of apartments on both sides of the courtyard.
But the capper came a couple of days ago when i’d gone down to the foyer to go outside and pick up my morning paper. As i came into the foyer, i bid a cheery goodmorning to a young woman who had just come in from “walking” her dog. And as i spoke, i noticed that she was dropping a small plastic bag into the foyer bin provided for junk mail.
I was stunned speechless, but my face registered such shock and horror that she did a doubletake. What she did not do was filch out the bag of hot dog shit she’d left there for the delectation of her fellow tenants rather than walk 25 feet to the left of the door where there is a dog shit bin.
The Treppenwitz was “I wish your father could have seen that.” but as is the nature of the Treppenwitz, it occurred to me way too late.
As soon as i get back from my Portland bridge expedition, i’ll be actively looking for a new place so i can get out of this nest of sociopaths. The sooner the better.
Meanwhile, the northeast atrium in the Rincon Complex, facing Steuart Street.