Does anyone else think the word apartment is an oxymoron? They are pretty close together if you ask me.
Okay. Bad joke aside, I promised myself that I wouldn’t reveal the name of the shitty apartment I live in, but so many things have gone wrong there these past few weeks, that I no longer feel bad about scaring it’s potential residents away.
The Willows: it stood like a cute relic of the ’70s, manicured with white and sea-green paint, like an old boat docked in the San Francisco marina. On the corner of Lake and Covell, the place had vacancy for the upcoming school year, so my friend and I signed the lease. If I’d known that my signature would bind me to part of a student-munching corporation with no heart, I never would’ve put pen to paper.
About two months in, I was still having a pleasant experience living there. Then I woke up one morning and the window of my car was smashed in. I had thought it would be safe inside what their website claims the safest complex in Davis.
What really ticked me off though was the series of shit that happened to me over the two weeks preceding spring break.
It started with a light bulb burning out in the bathroom. No big deal; I’m not blonde, so I had no trouble replacing it. Five minutes later, it was out again. Once more, I replaced it, and once more it weakly went out like a candle in the wind. Then, all the electricity in my bathroom and hallway went out, and after going through a six-pack of light bulbs, I resigned my post as an amateur electrician, and assumed the office of angry student. Two days later, as I showered, the water accumulated midway up my shins. The damn thing was clogged. I grabbed a plunger and commenced with my best plumber impression, ass-crack and all. Didn’t work.
I called The Willows office, but their staff was not there because they only have hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are not available on the weekends either, and it was Friday. I waited until Monday to call, and they said they would send someone out in a few days. Four weeks later (as I write this), the shower is still clogged. My electricity is still out. My anger is the only thing progressing in this situation.
It didn’t stop there. I went out the following Friday and returned at about 8 p.m. to find that the doorknob was broken, and the door would not open. My roommate had gone home for the weekend and would not be back until Tuesday. It was cold outside, I had to take a piss, and I was hungry as hell. Additionally, this was right before finals week and all my books were inside the apartment. I was helpless. My phone had also generously decided to run out of batteries, so I went to my neighbor.
There’s a Willows maintenance emergency number on here you can call, she said, dialing for me.
Ma’am, please, I said, as the manager picked up. I have no way of getting back inside my apartment. My roommate is gone for the whole weekend … I have finals to study for. Please, is there any way you can let me inside?
I’m sorry, we can’t help you. That’s not a maintenance emergency, she said coldly.
Things went on this way for ten minutes, and my neighbor, a longtime resident, even took the phone and argued for me to no avail.
It just so happened that there was a groundskeeper on the premises with spare keys, but she could not technically call him to help me inside my apartment. She suggested I call a locksmith, all of whom were closed at the hour, because she was in charge, and I had to obey the apartment contract.
A staff that is second to none! reads The Willows website. I love juxtaposition.
Lady on the emergency line – you are a bitch. Ohh sheittt, yes I did! I hope you read this. In fact, I’ll send you a copy via your fax line that never works.
I had to camp out for the entire weekend with no clothes, no food, no books. I didn’t even have access to my clogged toilet inside.
Attention students: Beware of The Willows, and beware of apartments in general. Once they get our signature and money, they don’t give a shit about us anymore.
ZACK CROCKETT is not a misogynist. He is not overreacting, and he is not an easily angered person. If you want to vent about your crappy living experiences, tell him about them at email@example.com. XXX