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2007-12-21 - 5:28 p.m.

...dealing with people...

Okay, I'm going to rant...But I'm just many people are SURPRISED to learn that, more than 24 hours later, the carpet is still wet??? When K suggested for the third time that it would be best to let this cleaning idea wait until summer, our landlady said, "Oh, but you won't be inconvenienced that much. The carpet will be clean in four hours." uh huh. As my mother put it, four hours from WHEN? Yeah.

So we came home yesterday evening, our keys were still missing, the carpet still wet, and there were large rumples in the main walkway - the area that I trudge through regularly - because the carpet expanded. As I said, K nearly went postal, mostly because sometimes dealing with our landlady is like dealing with a little child. We try to explain things to her, but she sees reality in her own way. And then, we know exactly what's coming and how it's going to hit us.

So more than 24 hours later, our kitchen is still full of furniture - rendering it basically unusable - while we wait for this thing to dry. For our "christmas present" (their maintaining their house) that we never wanted.

So today, we get an email from her announcing that there is another roofing appointment this Friday, asking if we have had more leaking incidents, explaining that she has decided that she really wants to open up a hole in the kitchen ceiling because she is concerned about mildew from all the leaks, and asking us how the carpet is. I sent off an immediate reply: (1) we informed them of every leak when it occurred, and the leaks only occur when we have extreme wind storms, (2) at this late date in my pregnancy, I do not want the kitchen ceiling opened up to clean up the dry wall until next summer; (3) the carpet is still wet and lumpy - did the cleaner give an estimate of how long we could expect it to take, and if so could she please give us feedback?, and (4) did the cleaner give her our keys, which are now missing? and (5) once the roofer comes this time, will it finally be possible for us to use the top porch that has been unusable since we started renting the house? (I was nicer than this list sounds).

I've received no reply.

This is par for the course. I'm not surprised, because this woman is painfully slow at processing any information. (which K says is a nice way of calling her clueless..) and it bugs me for two reasons. First, she sends these emails; we send a reply; she takes weeks to respond to what sounded like something that required urgent action on our part. The last time this happened, we both emailed and called her - she didn't answer the phone (although we knew she was downstairs). When she finally called us back a day later, it was to borrow some peanut butter from us, because her child wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. No mention of the urgent house issues. Appointments with contractors (about which she had informed us) were missed because she didn't answer her door - she didn't bother to inform us after she told us that they would be coming through our flat. Finally, we informed her of a problem with the ceiling back in June and that she might wish to consider looking into the ceiling for mildew issues. She waits until the Christmas holidays - until I've reached full term - to act on this. I begin to wonder how she can organize poop out of her ass. (oops that was crude).

What continues to fascinate me is how she views herself as the sensitive, community-building person - the great organizer. I learned this lesson in college (in particular with regards to men, but clearly the message can be expanded to women): ALWAYS be wary of the ones who have to TELL you how sensitive they are!!

We have other examples of this supposed sensitivity and organization. We have an elaborate laundry schedule that was provided for us when we moved in. We are allowed to launder our clothing on certain days of the week, and some days we share (we use it during the day, she during the evening). She was very meticulous about setting up the rules for this schedule, explaining that we needed to call if we were to break the schedule. I think we've called once with a laundering emergency, and she told us, no, it was not convenient for her. Okay, a little bit irritating, but nevertheless understandable - the rules were laid down. But the last few days we've gone down to do laundry (on our days), she's been doing laundry. On our days! I mean, I don't even really mind that we were inconvenienced by a half-hour with our laundry. But if you are going to lay down the law like that, shouldn't YOU be the one who enforces it? This is just weird to me.

Have I talked to y'all about paint? This woman must paint as a form of therapy. It's weird. All of the insides of doors and windows have 3-6 layers of paint on them. They are freakin' painted shut. Yesterday, we closed the kitchen door and couldn't reopen it, because there was so much paint INSIDE the door. WTF?? I did tell the story about touching up the paint in the bathroom when there was a drip missing from our sign that the toilet was broken. It just keeps going on and on. She repainted the porch AGAIN this year. Do you know anyone else who repaints their front porch on a yearly basis? I find this weird and obsessive. Or perhaps, completely logical, if painting is a form of therapy and you are having some, err, difficulties in your life.

Okay - these are just a bunch of details. In fact, all of these things are really stupid little details. We have a really lovely lovely house, and apart from some bizarre idiosyncrasies, we have a really lovely place to live. But wow. This woman. She is really odd. And difficult. And has no clue. Now, if it were just ME living here, I would be thinking that this situation is me, misinterpreting, overreacting. But we're talking about K here. He could charm a dragon into putting out a fire. And he's really had it up to his eyeballs!

So, anyway, that's my little rant. Again, we are pretty lucky here, and most aspects of the place are good. We have incredible views, a nice big kitchen (which may soon have a hole in the ceiling..), a wash machine that almost follows a schedule, and we are three minutes walking distance from a park, milk, bread, coffee, and pretty much everything we need. Our cats are very happy here. Life is about tradeoffs - I guess I'll force the windows open for at least a little while longer...

And now kids, it's been kinda therapeutic for ME spreading a few coats of paint in d-land, about our bizarre situation here. I feel better. As odd as it may sound, K and I will go out and buy them a nice fruit basket or a bottle of wine for Christmas - we view it as maintaining the business end of a relationship.


Oh, right. And as these things ALWAYS happen this way...I've ranted. And we just got two replies from the lady in question - one about the keys, and the other about the roof and carpet. The ceiling would not happen until summer. She is organizing a heater to dry out the carpet (although she just can't understand why it's still winter. in funcouver. where it is cold. and it rains. all the time...). oh well. Now I'm just being mean.

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