Search This Blog


Monday, July 14, 2014

Another (Self-Righteous) Electric Thief

This tenant acted like an Eagle Scout, and wound really tight: A strict, no-holds-barred against those who crossed the line.

Guess who repeatedly crossed the line? No surprise.

One day the cops followed him home, with a drug dog. However, no arrests, no shiny silver bracelets, and never an explanation.

Eagle Scout badge slightly tarnished.

But I digress: this is about stealing electric.

Eagle Scout called: “angry that his power was out.”

Me: “Check your fuse box. Flip the switches.”

Trick didn’t work; I went down to his apartment. It was cold outside, there are NO inside hallways.

He is angry. Of course, we are to blame.

I walked back out into the cold, down the walkway, down a flight of stairs, back down the walkway to the furnace room.

There was a yellow tag on his meter. Hmmmm?

I flipped it and called him.

No luck.

I went back upstairs only to hear him complain to me (my fault of course), and then angrily he called the power company.

Ooops! He never put the power on in his name.

Oooops! You were clearly told by me when you looked at the apartment, reminded when you paid your security, reminded when you moved in: “You must put the electric in YOUR name!” Tenants PAY for their Electric!

Thank you. It was cold. I got a free Stairmaster workout, again.

Did he apologize for stealing 3 months of power? For being rude and accusing me of incompetence?

I called the Business Manager, he owes someone money.

He moved out a year later, not missed, and was not even nice when he left. And that is another story.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

So I Tapped Your Bumper

It was a long traffic light, made even longer as a train had just pulled into the station at the end of the block.

  • Yeah, I thought I had a chance to sip my fresh and hot Dunkin coffee.
  • The lid was loose,
  • hot coffee splashed on my thigh,
  • knee-jerk reaction pulled my foot off the brake.

At idle speed, my car rolled into the car in front of me.

First thoughts were: Crap, that hot coffee on my leg hurts!

Second thought: Crap, these are new khaki slacks, oil from coffee will stain.

Third thought: I hit a car?!

Threw the car into reverse, backed up a foot and jumped out of the car to survey the bumpers and to apologize to the driver.

Driver and friend of that car jumped out and began screaming obscenities!

Whoa! There was no damage. This was not a ‘whiplash’ quality bumper tap. The car was doing Idle Speed: 3 mph! Mind your manners.

I apologized, explained that hot coffee had splashed on my leg.

Both young women screamed more $%##@ insults.

I showed them said coffee stain on slacks.

More insults: “Well you are still driving, you should be careful!”

My car traveled 2 feet at idle speed, this was a non-issue.

I repeated, “Hot Coffee!” and got back in my car. Then I noticed the dealership tags on their license plate, they’re from Fair Lawn, NJ. And I thought: “This is why locals hate bennies. Too many tourists leave their manners at home.”

May it rain on potty-mouth’s vacation.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The NJ Gas Company Made a Boo-Boo!

I woke up this morning to the glorious sound of jackhammers, again. The Gas Company had been laying new lines across this town, but I have been assured, reassured and confirmed, that when they do shut the gas off:

  • The company will inform us ahead of time so that the tenants would be prepared. They even confirmed exactly WHERE the shut off valve was located at my building.
  • Assured me that a qualified team of workers will come out and personally light each and every stove, furnace and water heater in this apartment complex.
  • I had NOTHING to worry about!
Is anyone familiar with Murphy’s Law?

To set the background properly, I have been derailed by a Summer Cold. The only cure is to buy a bottle of liquid Dayquil, insert straw and sip all day to keep symptoms at bay. This job does not allow sick days. If something is broke, it gotta be fixed regardless of how crappy I feel. Sigh.

But back to the Gas Company. They had been working in front of the building next door. They did not alert me, I wasn’t concerned…until I got the first and second calls from tenants about the smell of gas and their stoves being out.

Do you know what happens when you call the Gas Company’s Emergency Line? The recorded message warns you, that In Case of Gas Leak, call the Emergency Line and it gives the very same #$r%%# number to call, followed by a recorded list of ‘your party’s extension.’ Aaaargggh!

I left the phone call problem to my brother-in-law and grabbed all the keys, a big stick lighter and began the hunt thru EVERY apartment for unlit stoves.

People! Gas stoves leaking gas into apartments, some with kids and pets, kinda freaked me out!

3 flights of stairs. 26 units. I should have legs like a gymnast.

Lighting the stove top pilot lights are not a problem, it is the friggin’ oven pilot light that sucks. One has to lie on the floor, stick a lighter all the way in the back of the broiler while turning the gas on! Those burners have been known to PUFF a lot of flames really fast. I value the hair on my arms, eyebrows and eyelashes.

To NJ Natural Gas: A 2-hour response to a gas emergency is NOT acceptable.

Gratefully the Gas worker who responded is a neighbor from the next building. The Gas Company actually told him that they turned the gas off to HIS building, not ours. Remarkable, since HIS building is total electric, not one gas line anywhere. Yippee.

So, NJ Natural Gas I gotta ask:

  • Your records state that you turned off the gas to a Total Electric Building, yet, your crack team of Stove Re-lighters did not see fit to check that their stoves, water heaters and furnaces were re-lit in said building. Oops.
  • It took over 2 hours for someone to respond! We have children and pets in apartments with UNLIT gas stoves. I was a tad concerned.

PS: There have been people, over the years, which have griped or bragged, that they could do my job better. Yeah, come spend a day, lying on some not-too-clean kitchen floors lighting pilot lights. I still have a crappy summer cold. I took another shower. I wrote this blog. It was cathartic.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Are You One of the 25% Who Can Decipher This?

Just a little fun:

Can you read this? Supposedly only 1 in 4 people can do it. The less you concentrate the easier it is to do it.

Y0UR N3W P455W0RD G3N3R4T0R?

Courtesy of

Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Might be a Pig if . . .

Some evictions are just ugly and beyond description: The bathroom and hallway smelled like death, tenants who walked by the open door were appalled at the stench polluting the outside.

But if you need 2 rolls of these:

Plus over 3 dozen cleaning rags;

A gallon of Clorox Cleanup;

Plus a gallon of Odorban (a cleaner generally used after a flood or sewer backup), as the floors and walls had to be scrubbed down.

Although it looked like the fridge had been scrubbed out, but when I picked up the lower shelf, I literally broomed out all the packages of ketchup, sauce and b.s. he spitefully crammed under there.

He was a hoarder, did a bit of dumpster-diving, then dragged those nasty treasures home and dumped them still wet on the carpet in his bedroom. The workers had to use gloves and masks when they removed those carpets.

The fire extinguisher was bone dry?! When we saw the dozens of cigarette burns in the rugs in ALL the rooms and hallway, well, scary speculations ensued.

The coup de grace

He demanded his full security back. No Kidding! He blamed his guests for those damages, so he was NOT responsible for them.

Cannot make this stuff up. So very sad. But the new tenant holds great promise.