I wrote this a while ago, right after it happened, but I thought it was too negative, and didn’t post it. Recently, I got into a discussion about whether we’d recommend our rental company to friends, and I had to admit that no, whenever we have to deal with this company, it starts a serious talk about buying a house. I’ve rented happily for more than ten years in different cities, and we’re now in a beautiful apartment, in a lovely building, where all the other residents own their apartment.
I was originally going to write about a nice day at work and a peaceful evening at home with Harold. But that evening, after he’d shut off the Star Trek we were watching (see previous re: “at home with Harold”), we heard a strange noise… which turned out to be water dripping through the ceiling onto the washing machine. This is not a sound that is immediately identifiable, since washing machines are not typically outdoor furniture.
Harold went to alert our upstairs neighbour that it was raining in our apartment, and probably not benefiting her floors any, and she called the building emergency number, and went through a long phone tree where she pinky-swore that it was a real emergency, and we really, really did need an after-hours maintenance visit. No luck. As we waited for them to call, Harold, our neighbour and I all talked about how great it was that in two apartments full of books, no one’s books got wet. (Now that I have a Kindle, the physical books I own all have emotional significance for me, and it would have been really sad to lose any of them.)
Maintenance called the next day, saying that since we weren’t calling for a real emergency, they’d try to come back sometime soon, if they could get around to it. Look, I’m not a repair expert, but if water coming through the ceiling isn’t a maintenance emergency, I am pretty curious about what that emergency would be.
When the crew came, they discovered that we hadn’t actually heard the water coming through until it had filled the light fixture, and started to drip down. And I guess the light was turned on, although it wasn’t exactly emitting any light, just charging all the water in the light fixture!
I wasn’t actually watching when the crew poured out a ceiling light full of hot water, and I wasn’t the person who took the rusted lightbulb down. But I am pretty sure this isn’t a healthy lightbulb.
They promised to be back right away to deal with the rusty wires hanging from the ceiling (also not an emergency), and they were super sorry about that potential for electrocution. I shrugged.
“Hey, Harold,” I said, after the crew had left, “Did I ever tell you about the time I had an extension cord running through my shower?”