Saturday, May 02, 2009

Apartment Inspection - Part II.V

Inspection day at the apartment complex came around again last Friday. It is really more of a regular maintenance routine, but there is usually a suspicious looking assistant manager who accompanies the crew to make certain that I am not running an unapproved meth lab or have not burned down the kitchen without notifying the office in advance. I was fine with the first inspection here because I knew the manager loved cats and I handed her one while the others replaced filters, changed batteries, checked the fire extinguisher, and did the other necessary things.

I got a notice six months ago that I was due for an inspection, but none ever happened. I was therefore not terribly surprised when I got the current notice to see that a single word had been added for this (yearly) inspection. I had cleaned and decluttered a significant amount for the one that didn't happen, so I thought that a good vacuuming, some further decluttering, and closing the door to one room would probably be sufficient. I was not entirely correct. More clutter than I realized had somehow sneaked its way back into the living room and the the kitty cats had blown far more coat than I had kept up with cleaning. I comb it out of their coats as much as they will allow, but cat fur on the carpet is one of those things that I tend not to notice, day to day, as it accumulates in small increments. It is similar in nature to not realizing how much rust grew on the pickup truck over an 18 year period before deciding to trade it in (I donated it to charity instead, and assume that it was flattened and recycled.)

It came as something of a disappointment to find that the vacuum cleaner had closed down some of its services without notice, presumably in an attempt to remain green and be certain that I was getting enough exercise. When I finally got down to what I could use, I found that I had a choice between the crevice tool and an attachment that looks like it might be made to suck change out of a sofa. This left me cleaning every visible carpet and rug in the apartment with an automotive whisk broom made of straw and a dustpan! It really is amazing how much fur can be brushed from even the shortest napped carpet with a stiff brush. I am not permanently damaged (I don't think) but there are six discs in my cervical and lumbo-sacral areas that are less than pleased with me.

I have to say that it does look much better here, especially after taking two huge (small table sized) boxes of clutter to the garbage dumpster or to be recycled. I know that the vacuum sucks powerfully, but I'm going to have to take it apart, clean every piece of it, oil the parts that are supposed to be slithery, and clean or replace the HEPA filter. I am considering a modification of the rotating brush. Possibly cutting off bristles close to anything that is supposed to twist or turn might work. I just didn't have the time (starting as late as I did) to order the parts I needed. The memory of pain fades fairly quickly, so what I also should have done is get a few pictures of myself rolling around on the floor, howling, and holding my back. If I taped one of those to the vacuum, it would serve as a frequent reminder that I really don't want to do this again.

When the team arrived, the apartment looked passable, but I made a concerted effort to keep their attention directed toward what I thought was wrong rather than allow them to come up with anything on their own. "That CO detector needs to be repaired or replaced. It eats a battery in about two days and a green light blinks saying it needs attention." "The refrigerator still isn't working correctly. The freezer only cools to about 30 to 32 degrees." "That drain clogs occasionally when I have done nothing to clog it. It must have a restriction somewhere farther down line." I guess it worked. I'm still here and have not been served with an eviction notice. I doubt that is very likely at this point, anyway. When I moved in, there were no more units available. Now, the parking lot has fewer cars in it and there is a $50 bounty for any resident that recruits a new renter. Then again I may just be trying to convince myself that there is a good side to the economy tanking.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2009, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

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