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Third Time’s When I Flip Out

Yup. My closet started dripping again on Friday, and as usual with sudden housing emergencies, this was a national holiday. The lowest-level guys on campus, who can’t do anything but stop the immediate problem, showed up and, well, sort of fixed it. If “fixed” means that it stopped dripping but could start again at any time, leaving me with a ton of washing to do, and a closet I cannot use, and who knows how much actual repair to be done because, you know, a pretty wallpaper job? It doesn’t stop a faulty water tank from drenching your clothes. Or, at least, it didn’t stop the water tank above my closet from doing so.

At least someone was sent to stop the water, though. Like, on the same day. I expected to be told, “Oh, just put a bucket under the leak, we’ll come by on Monday to look at it,” like the first time it happened.

When the workmen who were sent did turn up — a real pair, reminiscent of nobody so much as Tweedledumber and Tweedledumbest, who are known in our building for such brilliant moves as pissing into a toilet for which the water supply has been shut off (and leaving the supply shut off and the piss in the toilet) and going through fridges for beer without asking and even unwrapping gifts left around on tables (so that they cannot be trusted to work on repairs when the resident is, say, out teaching a class)… well, when these two showed up, I hollered at them that I needed this goddamned problem fixed once and for all. I even managed to tell them that if they couldn’t fix it, they bloody well ought to call some plumber who could, because I was sick to death of washing a third of my wardrobe (plus towels and other stuff) every couple of weeks because nobody could be bothered to fix the underlying problem.

Which reminds me: if you’re an architect, could you please NOT put a water tank with a great likelihood of clogging up (or otherwise malfunctioning) and dripping copiously above, oh, say, a closet? Because that’s the dumbest place ever, and the real underlying problem is that there shouldn’t be mystery water tanks in random places above the ceilings of apartments. And that roof drainage certainly should never, ever be designed so that spillover could ever enter the interior of an apartment. Ever.

Well, it turned out these guys actually knew this problem hadn’t been fixed. They’d told their superior, or so they say, and he did the same thing that bureaucrats always do — or, at least, the same thing he always seems to do, which is, nothing.

[Actually, I could be wrong. Maybe he went to his office to surf the net for porn, or did lines of coke in the Admin Building toilets. By nothing I mean he didn’t do his job.]

Discovering this — via my superior, who I finally called in desperation and who talked to the workmen for me — caused me to feel a little bad for yelling at the workmen, though in all fairness, they’re idiots. (I was pulling dry clothes out of my closet to carry into the living room when they arrived, and they started dumping the dry clothes onto the pile of soaking wet clothes on the floor. And kept doing it even after I hollered at them to stop and just wait for me to finish.)

Apparently this Housing Office guy is going to get an earful on Monday, which is precisely what he deserves. When I finally got through to him on the phone, and said, “I want someone to come show me what rooms are available int he building, as I might want to move while it’s a long weekend!” he said, “But this is my holiday. You want me to work on a holiday?” He had very little to say when I pointed out that I work on almost all national holidays and on most weekends, too, just to keep pace with my classes. Oh, but was his silence awkward. I swear, the next time I see the bastard it’s going to be pretty hard for me not to shout at him.

(He’s the same guy who lied repeatedly to my face about testing the smoke detectors in the building, the kind of lie when it’s friendly and polite, but with an undertone of “Fuck you,” and he’s the guy who pretty much has lied to me in every exchange I’ve ever had with him, come to think of it. He also was double-charging someone I know, or rather, charging thast person for two apartments, for months on end. Ooops! We thought that woman in the other apartment was your wife! We’re talking the kidn of incompetence that gets people fired.)

Now, I would have spent the weekend moving crap upstairs to the vacant place above ours. I don’t want to have to do it at the last minute later, and the housing guys said it might actually become a necessity at some point. But something else they said gave me pause, which is that they actually have no clue where the water is coming from. I was told it was from the roof, but now they’re not so sure. (After all, I don’t recall it raining on Thursday night, but the leak started by Friday morning anyway!)

Instead, I just washed, like I say, a third of my clothes on Friday. And Saturday, tried to convince myself to calm down and not tall the guy constantly, insisting someone come and figure out whether I can move upstairs or not, because, frankly, I’m already behind on everything I have to do (work, editing, my own writing, applying for new jobs, etc.) from the last two closet leaks, and have no goddamned time to deal with all this crap a third time. (Or a fourth, fifth, sixth… because, hey! It’s not even apparent where the water’s coming from! So this could happen anytime!)

So for now, all of my clothes except a few suits and blazers are hanging from the bookcases in the living room. And the room where the closet is has two racks of clothes drying, and I think I’m going to leave them both in place — blocking the closet — to drive home how much washing I had to do.

Though maybe I’m overestimating the imagination of this Housing Office prick. Well, and his ability to put together 2+2. Would ramming a fire extinguisher up his arse be a better solution? Oh, wait, as part of their “cleanup” of the building, the Housing & Facilities office removed all the fire extinguishers. Becauyse safety precautions are so messy and so unnecessary if the floors have been waxed.(And the waxed floors do look nice. I just don’t get why the extinguishers had to go, or, well, if they were past their use-by date, why they had to go unreplaced.

Never mind. I’ll just use my foot.

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