The Giacalone Realty Trust Saga Continues

Hey, it's not my apartment, but regular readers will recall the drama I had with stupid handymen.

Now Matt has issues of his own. For about the fourth time. Note to Boston residents, or potential Boston residents: do not rent from the Giacalone Realty Trust if you value your sanity.

posted on 24 November 2004 at 12390 commentstrackback

A Million Typewriters, a Million Monkeys, a Little Shakespeare

I came home this evening and found that not only was my apartment notflooded, but I had a brand-new Delta 100-WF faucet (too bad it wasn't a Price Pfister, because that would have been just too funny after this morning's post below), a totally cleaned up countertop, new cutoff valves, new braided stainless water supply lines from the valves to the faucet, and an intact doorknob.

Hey, eventually they had to get something right. Now they're batting, oh, about .100...which is probably still better than the Tigers' team average.

They somehow managed to use up every single paper towel on my nearly-full roll, though, leaving me with nothing but a cardboard tube. I'm tempted to send them a bill for $1.50, but I'm scared they might try to come out and replace the paper towels and break something else.

Next up: they try to finish painting my bathroom. Again. We'll see how that works out...

posted on 12 June 2003 at 19570 comments

The Not-So-Pfabulous Pfaucet With the Not-So-Pfunny Name

Or any name at all, for that matter, because Varsity are a bunch of cheap bastards who won't use anything better than "piece of shit"-grade plumbing fixtures. Remember the dripping faucet? Well, it fixed itself for a while, but a couple of days ago it started dripping hot water again, at the rate of a gallon every hour or so.

Allow me to re-iterate at this point how incredibly glad I am that I don't pay a water bill here.

Well, I went to turn the water off this morning after rinsing out my cereal bowl from breakfast, and I turned the hot water lever all the way to the right, and the water just kept runnning..and running...and running some more, in a steady stream about the size of my pinky finger.

D'ya think maybe the maintenance guys will fix it now? Anyone care to take bets on whether they'll be able to figure out how to cut off the supply of water to the faucet, given that there are no cut-off valves under the sink?

I'm a little scared to leave my apartment for fear of coming back and finding everything floating around on the floor.

posted on 12 June 2003 at 08290 comments

Hypocrisy Yet Again

So the girl who lives upstairs from me used to come down and complain regularly when I'd be on the fone at 0100 because she said she could hear me through the floor and it kept her awake. Those of you who know me know that I'm not that loud on the fone. And for all the flaws this apartment building has, paper-thin walls aren't one of them.

I'm sitting here trying to get some work done and I keep hearing this "thunka-thunka-thunka (pause) thunka-thunka (pause) thunka-thunka-thunka" repeating over and over and over again. I couldn't figure out what the fuck it was until I heard some muted moaning, and then I put two and two together.

The little slut was getting humped by some guy in the bed, which is apparently missing a foot on the end of one of its legs, which was causing the thunking sound. Not that I would have taken her complaints seriously before, but she just ensured that I won't do so ever again.

posted on 12 April 2003 at 22540 comments


At least this time you can touch it without it falling off in your hand. They finally fixed my doorknob, though I'm not entirely sure how they accomplished it, since I can't see a difference between the way it was before and how it is now. Ah well. At least it works. Maybe I ought to be happy they haven't tried to fix the dripping faucet...

posted on 31 March 2003 at 22530 comments

Fifth Grade Fart Games

Remember "Doorknob," the game where you yelled "doorknob!" when someone farted, and they had to touch a doorknob or you could hit them until they did so? Or if they knew they were gonna fart and not be able to get away with it, they could yell "Safety!" and you couldn't call "Doorknob" on them?

Aw, c'mon, you know you played it...

Anyway, I just want to say that they FINALLY put a new doorknob on my apartment. Yes, it's been a week and a half. I know. I came home this afternoon and saw the maintenance tag hanging on the knob and thought to myself, "Great! They finally fixed it! Maybe I'll actually pay my April rent on time now!"

So I went inside and ate some dinner. I got ready to leave to go back to work to grade some papers, and as I pulled the apartment door shut, get this:

The stupid fucking worthless piece of shit $3 Wal-Mart doorknob came off in my hand. And my apartment was still locked.

AAAAAAARRRRGH! I'm gonna break the maintenance guy's face next time I see him. Fuckin idiot.

posted on 26 March 2003 at 22470 comments

Priorities, People!

Two guesses as to what ISN'T fixed as of this posting. The second guess doesn't count.


Jesus H. Christ. Can they possibly be any more inept? Just in case you thought the answer to that was "no," I'd like to point out that they also managed to do a horrible job of plastering over the mostly-nonexistent hole in the wall where they apparently had to replace the shower supply pipe (the thing that connects to the shower head) as well. Brilliant.

That's V-A-R-S...

posted on 20 March 2003 at 17480 comments

"That Depends on What the Meaning of 'Is' Is"

Let's see. This is Wednesday.

My doorknob was broken Monday afternoon and reported Monday night. I was told at the time that they'd fix it "tomorrow."

I was told this morning that they'd fix it "today."

So not only does Jesse Ventura work as a maintenance man for my landlord, but Bill Clinton is working the front desk.

Great. Anyone want to start a pool to see when this doorknob actually gets fixed? I've got next Tuesday. I'm hoping for something before that, because in testing to see whether or not it was fixed after arriving home tonight, I somehow managed to lock myself in my apartment. I can't open the door, because it's locked, and the plunger is stuck in.

On a somewhat related note, this is getting so ridiculous that I had to give it its own category.

posted on 19 March 2003 at 20430 comments

You Broke My WHAT?

Remember the really stupid maintenance guys?

They struck again. I came home last night to find my apartment locked only by its deadbolt (I normally lock both the knob lock and the deadbolt). "OK," I thought. "No big deal. The Maintenance Man From Hell has been at it again, and forgot to lock the bottom lock." Had I been paying more attention at the time, I would have remembered that the maintenance guys always lock the bottom lock, and always forget to lock the deadbolt back. I didn't think anything of it until I was leaving for class an hour and a half later. I tried to lock the door on the way out - it has one of those little twist plunger things that are so common on medium-security doors - and couldn't. I tried again, and discovered that not only could I not twist the plunger, but I couldn't even push it in, and it was sticking out about half an inch farther than usual, like someone gave it Doorknob Viagra.

This was Not Good(tm). I pushed and I pulled and I pushed and I pulled and the evil little piggy living inside the doorknob just laughed at me for trying to collapse his evil little brass house, which was clearly beyond my capabilities. Being somewhat familiar with the inner workings of doorknobs, I was unfazed by this minor setback, and got out a screwdriver and went to work.

Ten minutes later, I had the thing apart. Try this at home, kiddies: find a doorknob whose lock operates on this pluger mechanism. They're really common. Borrow a friend's house if your house doesn't have one. Take the doorknob itself off, but leave the rest of it intact. Look at the metal sleeve the plunger fits into. Now, I ask you...


No, really. Who IS this maintenance guy? Jesse "The Body" fucking Ventura? I've decided I never want to shake hands with anyone who can abuse a doorknob that badly whilst trying to lock it. He'd break every bone in my hand!

I told the building manager that the maintenance guy broke my doorknob. Or, more correctly, I told his wife to pass the message on, because he wasn't in at the time. She said they'd fix it "tomorrow." Guess what I found when I came home from the lab this afternoon?

Yep, the same broken doorknob. I love my landlord.

posted on 18 March 2003 at 16500 comments

Home Unimprovement

I should really get in bed, but I knew I'd forget about this again if I didn't blog it now.

People are stupid.

Perhaps I should qualify that a little bit. The geniuses who somehow managed to get themselves hired by my landlord to paint the bathroom in my apartment two days ago are quite possibly the most incompetent repair workers in the history of the universe.

See, when I moved in, the paint was peeling like mad, plaster was cracking and crumbling off the walls, and the bathroom just looked generally bad. In theory, a good repainting job would fix that.

Rule Number One of painting: NEVER APPLY PAINT OVER WET PLASTER OR SPACKLE. The surface needs to cure at least 48 hours before painting, and it needs to be primed. In a humid environment like a bathroom, an enamel coat should be used as a finish coat.

Guess what the maintenance guys did, after dropping big blobs of spackling compound all around my bathroom (which, by the way, I'm still trying to pick off the walls of my shower), breaking the splash guard on the bathtub, coating everything in the area with a layer of plaster dust, and leaving a cell fone on my chest of drawers?

Of course! They painted over the wet plaster. With a non-enamel paint. Without priming first.

Does anyone else think that maybe the management company could save a lot of money by hiring competent painters and not telling them to finish the job in 4 hours or they don't get paid? Sure, they might pay twice as much to get the job done, and they might have to wait until my lease is up (August) to do the repair (since it would require about a week without the shower being used to keep humidity down), but they'd only have to do massive wall repairs every 10 years, instead of every spring, when leasing season rolls around. The coat of paint over the still-damp plaster has already begun to absorb humidity from the shower, which will render the substrate dry and crumbly within a year, causing the problem to reappear all over again.

I really like it when maintenance guys come into my apartment unannounced and move all my shit around in the bathroom, too. I like hunting for my deodorant when I'm half-awake in the dark at 0630 in the morning trying to get to school to teach a lab. It wakes me up for my students. Really.

Did I mention I'm not renting from these folks next year? Or the year after that? Or EVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE? If you ever need an apartment in the Ann Arbor area, don't call Varsity Management. That's V-A-R-S....

posted on 12 March 2003 at 00490 comments