Sorry for the hiatus. I’ve been a wee bit busy (that’s putting it mildly).
We were able to sleep at the house on Sunday night after the upstairs was cleaned(floors/walls/bathroom), and Lucy and her crew finished their cleaning on the main floor on Monday. That’s also when the truck unloaders showed up, *and* when our next problem happened.
You see, this is what was revealed when the unloaders started their work:
Doesn’t look quite right, does it? See our hutch, tipped precariously toward Jeff’s bike? What about the couch (covered in an exploded box of towels, and my precious KitchenAid mixer) making its slow downward descent? The crumpled boxes (marked “FRAGILE” on top, in case you can’t see) are the only thing holding it in.
I’m no expert, but I’m preeeeeetty sure that’s not how it was supposed to look.
I asked our unloaders WTF was going on, and they said that the loaders did a *really* poor job. They said the truck wasn’t packed at all like it should be for a cross-country move, and that while the first 1/3-ish was done well, the remainder of our stuff was pretty much just thrown in there.
So you know I was eager to see the rest of the damage.
Like the top of our hutch, casually tossed on top of everything else:
Nice. (See the mattresses lashed in at the back, carefully holding in that big wall o’ boxes? Seems that after they got that far, that’s when the LA loaders gave up)
But it wasn’t until I started unpacking things that we discovered how bad the damage was. I Tweeted as I discovered the fatalities, like some of our wedding china:
and my favorite baked beans and apple crisp baking dish:
And how about all but one of our stoneware bowls?
As the unloaders carried off each dinged-up box, one commented “it seems like your movers back in LA were TRYING to break your stuff.”
Did I mention the gouges and scratches on our furniture? Here’s a bookshelf my dad made:
And this, about 3″ x 1″, appeared on the top of the hutch:
There are also all sorts of scratches on our other furniture: my favorite Mission-style LLBean chair, the front of that hutch, all our end tables, both our dining chairs, Simon’s high chair… just about every piece has some new bruise.
Of course, Jeff and I can’t find our copy of the contract with those loaders, so we don’t know if any of this will be covered. At worst, I’ll just give them a scathing Yelp review. At best, we’ll be able to get some reimbursement for all our damaged stuff. Jeff is also going to see if maybe our renter’s insurance covers any of this, even though the stuff was technically in transit when it was damaged.
By Wednesday, things were looking up a bit: at least we were in the house, with our stuff, Jeff was getting acclimated at work. It was going to be OK!
Let’s call those “the halcyon days”. AT&T came and hooked up our UVerse on Friday, I got some finish repair pens at Home Depot to fix my poor scratched wood, and I seemed to have (finally!) discovered the last of the damage to our breakables.
Then it was Saturday – yesterday – my birthday!
We had an appointment for the gas company to come by and do the official start-of-service stuff, while Jeff took the car in to have a check engine light dealt with. The gas company guy came by as scheduled, looking like JK Simmons’ doppleganger. After doing the usual tests and such, he concluded (of course) that there was a minor street-side gas leak, and a major leak in the house. So he had to turn off our service, pending repairs.
Which left us with no hot water, no stove, and no furnace.
At JK Simmons’ advice, I called our property manager and the emergency maintenance number while the gas company was still there (they did the street-side repairs within a couple hours). The maintenance guy who eventually called me back was one of the same hooligans who did the slapdash repairs on the house, and he told me that he wouldn’t be able to do anything until he could get ahold of the property manager and the house’s owner, for permission to buy all the new piping needed to fix the issue.
So now…we wait. In a house with no hot water, and no stove to even warm up water for Simon’s bath (or make the giant pot of tea I so dearly need). We wait, for an indeterminable time, until two separate individuals decide that functioning gas is a valid expense.
That’s not where the landlord’s shenanigans end, though. Last week he stopped by and I walked through the place with him, giving him a comprehensive list of repairs that were necessary for this place to be habitable, as well as repairs/upgrades that Jeff and I would like to do. But of course, now he’s not answering/returning our calls, and we’re stuck in a house that’s not fit for occupancy.
Among other things, his company needs to:
- re-caulk the bathtub enclosure (it was done incorrectly and is pulling away from the tub, allowing mold and other nasties to grow)
- remove or cover peeling lead paint in Simon’s bedroom window-wells
- Replace/cover exposed wiring behind stove
- Correct mis-wiring of kitchen light switch (you get a lively little shock if your finger brushes the switchplate screw. A great way to wake up in the morning!)
- Replace missing glass in back bedroom window (currently there’s just storm windowglass)
- Replace dishwasher power switch under the sink (it’s falling apart, leaving exposed wires in a potentially damp environment)
- Replace dishwasher (full of mold)
- Provide us with back door, side door, and garage door keys
It’s pretty much an electrician’s wet dream, eh?
Jeff has started looking into the next steps re: protecting our rights as tenants. I hope we don’t have to venture into the world of escrow accounts and certified letters, but we may be headed that way soon if the property management company doesn’t start fixing those things and answering our damn calls.
THIS HAS BEEN THE WORST FUCKING MOVE EVER, GUYS. It just doesn’t end – always another problem, and never anything that we can fix ourselves. If it weren’t for the damn uncooperative landlord, these problems would’ve been so much more tolerable.
Just be glad you’re not my dad: he called yesterday to wish me a happy birthday and instead got to listen to me bawl about all the aforementioned goddamn problems and the asshole landlord.
But on a happier note, here are the repairs/upgrades that we’d like to do:
- Paint the porch (Killz!)
- Paint the back door and basement door
- Powerwash driveway, porch, and walk
- Minor landscaping in the backyard
- Plant something pretty around the pergola
- Fix the windowboxes and beautify the side yards (I love the raspberry bushes and hydrangeas and this rosebush that has the tiniest little roses ever)
But despite it all, I am still *madly* in love with this house. I tell Jeff every day, I wish that we were living here in Akron forever so we could just buy the dang thing and fix it ourselves. I need to take pictures soon to show you guys how awesome it is. I promise I will once we’ve painted the porch and finished unpacking But you have GOT to see all the neat architectural details. The gorgeous mantle, the antique doorknobs, the beautiful woodwork that has somehow *never* been painted over. The spacious kitchen that – I’m not gonna lie – needs to be completely gutted and renovated. The just-right bedrooms, the airy attic, and the perfect living room. The cute little playroom. Twenty years ago, a family with kids lived here and marked their progressive heights on a door in the basement. I love this house – and Akron – more and more every day, and I’m sad that we’ll only get to live here for a year. But am I so crazy that I’d like for that year to be spent with, oh, hot water?!
So yeah, as a birthday gift from Dominion Gas Co., we got our gas turned off. THANKS GUYS. JK Simmons, ya goodfornuthin’ such-n-such.
Jeff and Simon returned from errands with matching devilish grins on their faces, and while I ran out to pick up carryout sushi for my birthday lunch/dinner Jeff undertook a covert wrapping operation. After lunch I was given two sweet birthday cards, a GIANT package of Ghirardelli squares, and a ridiculously awesome Brookstone back massager. Then a local florist dropped off this gorgeous arrangement from Mom and Dad:
We wrapped up the evening with a family walk to the playground/park around the corner:
and a trip to Menchie’s, and the grocery store that had giant pots of mums on sale for $3.99 each. (I got two, one for each side of the front steps. They’re not blooming yet, but will be SO PRETTY when they do!)
I’ve said it before and I say it again: Jeff is wonderful at turning my bad days into good ones. I do like him, quite a bit
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our first official Ohio Adventure!