05 August 2008

Hello, Operator – Give Me Number Nine

Current mood: annoyed

Are you happy when you're sleeping?
Does he keep you safe and warm?
Does he tell you when you're sorry?
Does he tell you when you're wrong?
~ "A Murder of One" by Counting Crows

Why is it that when people talk on cell phones, they feel the need to shout into the phone as if they are holding a tin cup with a string linking it to a person at the other end? Everyone in the western hemisphere does not need to hear the conversation you are having about your Aunt Mable's bladder surgery or how Junior finally used the big boy toilet at the age of 6. Truly, the miracles of technology have evolved to the point that a normal speaking voice can be heard and understood clearly.

Now, onto my true reason for writing. I received my deposit check in the mail from my Fort Worth apartment complex. Imagine my surprise when over 1/3 of the amount was taken for "carpet repair/cleaning". I know the carpet was in bad shape. There were multiple stains – patchwork, etc throughout the apartment. Unfortunately, the carpet was like that when I moved in. Let's rewind, shall we?

Flip those calendars back to April 2007. My marriage had collapsed; I was desperately looking for a new place to live. I went to the gated community of Stone Villas and loved the floor plan for their 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartments. They had a third floor apartment that would be ready to move into within 2 weeks – as soon as the carpet was replaced. Plus, it was on the 3rd floor, had a fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and a large balcony that faced the downtown skyline. Too good to be true, I thought! I signed the lease and put down my deposit immediately.

A couple days before I was supposed to move in, they called and told me the carpet still hadn't been replaced and that I would need to delay my move-in. Not happening. I had family coming in from out of town to assist. I told them to find me a different apartment, if possible. It wasn't. But, the leasing agent told me they could just clean the carpets and have me move in on time. I told her that I would be willing to move in on the condition that I not be held responsible for ANY carpet damage or stains when I was ready to move out. She agreed.

On my move-in form, I indicated how bad the carpet was and reiterated the fact that I would not be held responsible for the carpet. As my year of apartment living wore on, I consistently reminded the office that I was not going to pay for any carpet damage – to which they continued to agree.

Okay, fast forward to this past Saturday when I opened the envelope containing the deposit check. WTF?!?!? The ONLY charge I had from my move-out was due to carpet. It's not possible!

First off – I steam cleaned the carpet – even though I didn't have to – just to show some effort was taken. They did not charge me for the three rooms' worth of window blinds that Gracie had destroyed. They did not charge me to clean out my refrigerator that had been wiped out – but still had syrup sticking to the bottom shelf. They did not charge me for the linoleum that Gracie decided to pry loose and chew on. I wasn't charged for leaving furniture on the balcony. No – instead I was charged for the blasted CARPET!

I refuse to pay for it. I now have to ring the main property management office in Austin, TX. A lady named Mary Elo is eagerly awaiting my call, I am sure – as the accounts payable clerk has faxed her my account info, along with a Post-It note (I am sure) which explains my situation. As it is, I paid a full month's rent for June, when I didn't live there – and they let someone else move in shortly thereafter, meaning they received double rent for half the month of June for the one apartment – ridiculous!

Makes me wish that I never picked up after Elizabeth when I walked her around the complex. No other dog owner did – I assure you.

Well, I just left Ms. Elo a voice mail. I was pleasant and cordial and acted as if I couldn't wait to speak with her. Cannot wait! Hopefully she'll call me from her cell phone so she can shout at while she explains why I am not getting my money back. Because you and I know – there is no way that money is getting sent to me. They'll hold onto it as if the balance of the world depends on it.

Which it may . . .

PERSONAL NOTE: You are not a failure. You will be happy, I promise you!

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.