They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I’m damned sure I’ve been on that particular road since I decided to try my hand at turning from amateur to professional writer. Back at the end of November I decide to blog about the creation of the manuscript I’m presently working on. It went well for a few weeks and then “life” decided to bite me in the ass as it so often does with the holidays.
As some of you might know my day job (so to speak) is as the manager for the apartment complex I live in. It started with a close friend (who also happens to be one of my maintenance guys) having a heart attack right after Thanksgiving. He survived by the grace of the Goddess and is doing well as of now, but it gets hairier.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was one nightmare after another. First a friend of a tenant (and boy is that a story in and of itself) who had no business living here legally, overflowed the bathtub in his 2nd floor apartment. How do I find this out? Another tenant doing laundry in the basement calls me to tell me there is water pouring out of the basement ceiling. Unable to shut off the water (damn my weak hands) I call my head maintenance guy. Through process of elimination we discover the source of the flood, but not before I lost my cool completely with the jack ass friend who didn’t want to let us in. From that point forward all hell broke loose ending with me fearing I would need to get my maintenance guy bailed out of jail on either an assault or murder charge when said jack ass decided to get in my face when I wouldn’t allow them in the apartment below “to clean up the mess they made”. Lucky for me the elderly tenant in the apartment below was with his family for the holidays because part of the bathroom ceiling collapsed under the onslaught of water.
The following morning I woke at around 5 am unsure what woke me. Having lived in this building for close to 17 years I’m familiar with all the normal sounds associated with it and the neighborhood. It took me a second, but I realized I heard the heating system’s pump yet not the water. Because of decades of air build up in the system you can hear the flow of water through the pipes in the ceiling (it’s a hot water radiant heat system from the late 1950’s). Grabbing my robe and scaring poor Sheba (my cat) in the process I rushed to the boiler room in the basement. To my horror the expansion tank (it was only 3 years old) had sprung a leak and was spraying the scalding hot water from the system. I shut the system down, but of course all the water continued spurting (its self-contained and holds around 100 gallons of water). Let’s just say I’m thankful my head maintenance guy is an early riser. When I called at 5:15 am he was having his morning cup of coffee.With that issue repaired I thought things couldn’t possibly get worse.
Never say never.
The same morning I discovered the elderly tenant I mentioned earlier, a gentleman I’d become quite close with, had died in the hospital an hour after the expansion tank fiasco. My heart broke. You would think this would have been the icing on the cupcake so to speak, but when it rains it pours.
The following morning I went in to check on the gentleman’s cat after speaking with his daughter. As I fed and watered the cat I heard a hissing noise. Guess what? The rest of the bathroom ceiling had collapsed, taking down the heating pipes in the process, one of the pipes at sprung a pin size hole and was hissing. Off went the heating system (again) and I was back on the phone with maintenance. Thanks to the Goddess that the way the heating system is you can cap off individual apartments.
So when the week from Hell ended it still hasn’t ended–at least not completely. I ended up taking care of the elderly gentleman’s cat until his family found a home for it. The tenant who ruined his bathroom sneaked out the backdoor while I wasn’t looking, but not before leaving both sinks backed up to the point the bathroom one overflowed downstairs to do even more damage. Two of the seven lights in front of the building blew their sockets and we now have an unexplained leak beneath my apartment into the basement. I also lost my night job sooner than expected when the boss sold the business–cherry on the icing of said cupcake.
On the upside…
Boss gave me an amazing Christmas bonus, just rented two apartments on the third floor, and if things go well I’ll be back working nights in a month or so. Now if only the universe will allow me to get back on track with my writing I shall be a happy little howler monkey. *grins & winks*