Monday, March 3, 2008

Con-Ed threatens my building by letter

Ugh. As if I'm not already stressed enough at work, my homelife has been equally stressful as of late. About two weeks ago all the residents of my building received a letter from Con-Ed. To paraphrase, it said because the management company hadn't paid the building's utility bill Con-Ed would be shutting off our gas and electricity on March 10. This is not the first time this has happened since I've moved in so I pretty much ignored it.

But then earlier this week another letter came. This one had a serious tone to it -- we're shutting off the power in 10 days, here's who to contact if you're old and can't care for yourself, etc. I started to think this was for real. How can Con-Ed do this, I wondered. I pay my bill on time every month. I'm guessing my neighbors do too. It seems very draconian. Landlord owes general area money -- no power for you! Sorry; sincerely, Con-Ed the tyrannical bastards.

On top of that, a war of noise has been declared between my next-door neighbor and the neighbor upstairs. I somehow missed the announcement but I've been living through the battles. The girl next door and I have a common wall, and I've always been able to tell when she's on the phone or watching TV. While I used to just hear muffled talking, now it's clear as day. Whether I want to or not I know the details of her weekend exploits and how terrible her coworker is and how she hates her friends and other such shit that I really could not care less about. I had T over for a faux romantic dinner last week and the mood was completely ruined by her screaming at some guy about how mean it was for him to ditch her at some bar. T finally went and knocked on her door -- she apologized and then went right back to screaming. My God.

It infuriates me; especially late at night when I'm trying to sleep. I really take care to be polite to my neighbors -- my TV and stereo are on the far wall, not the common wall. I don't vacuum after 10 PM, I turn my TV down late at night, I don't do dishes late or early. Yeah, I have parties like anyone and they can get a bit loud. But they're more the exception than the rule.

I think neighbor next door has been prompted by neighbor above. The one with the dog. I love dogs -- all animals really -- but all I want to do right now is march up there and throw the thing out the window. Like all the apartments in the building, neighbor above has wood floors. Combine that with a small dog and it's a formula for disaster. The dog literally spends hours romping back and forth across the uncovered apartment floor. When it's not doing that, it's chewing and dropping a rawhide on the floor, bouncing a Kong or generally making noise.

There's a city ordinance that says you need to cover at least 80% of your hardwood floors with carpeting and neighbor above is exactly the reason why. Besides the dog, she also scrapes chairs across the floor and vacuums in the middle of the night. My God -- again! I partially blame whoever installed the hardwood because they obviously laid the floor right on top of the concrete subfloor without putting down any kind of soundproofing layer.

Anyway, I've also spoken to neighbor above on a couple of occasions about the noise. It really ruins my night when awoken at 2 AM by Kong hitting floor. Over. And over. It's gotten so bad that T won't even spend the night anymore. He's not a sadist, he says. Meanwhile I'm in danger of going insane.

And finally, to complete the trifecta there is non-Super, who disappeared off the face of the Earth again. I had tons of cardboard boxes in my apartment from all the furniture I've purchased. I tried for weeks to coordinate with non-Super to get it removed but finally had to call the building maintenance guy. I raked the leaves in my backyard and the bags are still out there because I don't know when I can put them out. I want to paint one of my walls but haven't been able to reach non-Super to get permission.

None of these things alone are a big deal. But put them altogether and you've got a perfect storm. I have no peace at home -- the one place where I should be able to go to escape. It's made me miserable, irritable, and in case you can't tell, pretty whiny.

UPDATE Tuesday: I finally reached my non-Super today. I had included a letter with my rent talking about the noise and asking for permission to paint. Non-Super agreed to talk to the neighbors (not holding my breath) and will let me paint. Also said not to worry about the letter -- it happens all the time. That makes me feel much better.

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