Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When it Rains, it Pours

Today started off on the wrong foot. Mark said, "Oh yeah, leave the door unlocked when you leave for school today. The guy is going to come fix the ceiling."
Um. No. I don't leave my door unlocked so people can come into my house while I am not there.

A little backstory:
December 24th, 2008 I walked into my guest bedroom to get something and realized my ceiling was dripping water onto my guest bed. My roof was leaking. I immediately called the management company my homeowner's association uses to report the problem, Hallmark Rental (aka the devil). Roofs are part of the outside of the building, thus the responsibility of the HOA.

I waited about a month and I still hadn't heard anything from Hallmark Rental and Management. I called them back and they tell me that they lost my file when they moved buildings and lost my complaint, they said they would get right on it. They sent someone to look at my roof from the outside and decided there was an ice dam causing the water leak and it would be fine in the spring when the ice melted. Wrong. My roof continued to leak.
I keep calling and calling. They keep sending the general repair man for our HOA. He climbs on the roof several times and slathers tar on random spots on the roof, never actually getting the spot that is leaking.
Finally, in June, Hallmark Rental calls a real roofing company and has them come out to look at the roof. Surprise! There is a bad spot on the roof that the repair man completely missed. Because it had been leaking for 6 months the boards under the shingles and tar had rotted. Part of the roof needed replaced and redone.
I am not sure what happened to the ceiling. I know that the roof was weak, so I suppose it is possible that a workman's foot went through my ceiling... but I am not really positive. All I know is that I came home after the roof was fixed (finally) and there was not just the "normal" small holed, sagging, and moldy ceiling but a large gaping hole.
Well, clearly, if there wasn't a leak in the roof caused by negligence on the part of the HOA/Hallmark Rental (I am leaning more towards Hallmark Rental for the blame because the HOA was horrified by the photos) then there wouldn't have been a huge hole sucking the air conditioning out of my home.
I called Hallmark to tell them of the new hole and they told me it would be fixed, but I needed to wait for a few more rainy days to pass to make sure it didn't leak anymore. I wait. It rains. No leak. Hooray!

But does anyone fix the ceiling? No.
Finally, the weather begins to get cold. Heat is much more expensive to pay for than A/C. I have finally reached my limit. I called Hallmark Management to tell them they really needed to fix the ceiling or I was going to find a lawyer. Did they call me back? No.
I complained to my mom. She called someone she knows who happens to be on the board of my HOA. The lady was outraged at the treatment I received at the hands of Hallmark Rental. This lady called Hallmark Rental and told them they need to fix my ceiling, stat. So, somehow, my mom, this lady from the HOA, and Hallmark have some strange 3-way conversations about how to fix my ceiling. The HOA doesn't think they can afford to pay for someone to fix the hole. They might have to have me pay for half of the damages, since the damage is interior (my responsibility) even though it is their fault it is there. So my mom told them that Sparky has a friend who could do it inexpensively. The lady told my mom to have Sparky call the friend, get an estimate and get back to them. Next thing I know, some guy calls me telling me that he is on his way to look at my ceiling and give an estimate.

This was right after Sparky had his knee surgery so he was home on the couch. I gave the ceiling guy Sparky's phone number so they can arrange when the guy should come. Sparky told me that the guy gave an estimate of $500. Since the HOA had already approved for the hole to be taped and spackled my mom said we should just get our own drywall to patch the hole in the ceiling then have the people come and to the tape and spackle.Since I really have no desire to pay someone $250 to put up a piece of $6 material, this plan sounds good to me.
Friday during Thanksgiving Break, my dad came over and we cleaned up the edges of the hole, put insulation in the attic space, and installed a new piece of drywall (4'x2'). I tried to call Hallmark to tell them that we no longer needed the expensive job. I did them a favor and all that is required now is a small taping and spackling.

That catches us up to today...
On my way to school I called Hallmark Management and left a message telling them that I was just informed that some guy was supposed to be coming to my house to fix my ceiling. I wanted to call and have them call the guy off (since I don't have the guys phone number). I didn't want the guy going into my house, just doing the tape and spackle, and charging the full $500 quote. I figured they would need a new estimate for the smaller job. I was also royally irritated that they kept talking to my mom and to Sparky about all of this stuff instead of me, the homeowner.
I told them it would be like a grandparent coming to pick up a child at school one day as a favor to the parents and the school then giving the grandparents updates on the child's progress in school instead of the parents. I own the house. I had Sparky open the door once and my mom open the door several times. That does not mean that all communication needs to be done with mom and Sparky. It is my house, call me, then I will farm out the rest of the calls. Because some people were talking to Sparky and some people were talking to my mom, and no one was talking to me... there was a huge communication error.

So I was in my class today with my cherubs and my phone rang. Hoping it was finally Hallmark I answered. It was the ceiling guy. He wanted to know why the door was not unlocked and where I was. I told him that he never called me. He had confirmed his appointment with someone that does not live in the house and does not own the house. That was his fault. No I was not going to be leaving work to go meet him.

I thought the guy was just going to go on to his next job and I was going to have to call Hallmark again later. My phone rang again. This time it was an angry woman. An angry woman from Hallmark. She begins by yelling at me for not leaving my door open for the ceiling guy or at least leaving work to meet the guy.
I asked her if she got my message this morning.
Her reply, "This is not a company designed for people to call during non-business hours to complain about the people we are sending to solve their problems."
Huh? What is she talking about? I am pretty sure I called so there wouldn't be problems.
So I asked her if she got my message when they opened why didn't she call me back (the office opens at 9:00, she didn't call me until 10:15 irate about the ceiling guy).
I tried to explain what was going on to this lady, her name is Mariah. No I did not change names to protect the innocent.

Mariah would not shut up. Every time I tried to explain what was going on, she interrupted me again starting over at the beginning. Ugh. I asked her to please stop interruping me so I could tell my side. I began talking and she goes completely silent. I asked if she was still there. She said, "You told me to stop interrupting."
How old is she? The kids in my class don't even respond with crap like that. They have better social skills than her, and they are five and six years old.
I finally just hung up on her because I was in tears in my classroom in front of 19 children who looked very scared that their teacher was crying.
My phone rang again. I hit ignore. Enough is enough.
Mariah left me a message letting me know that she was going to tell the HOA I refused to meet someone to fix the ceiling so they weren't going to send anyone ever again. Also, that I deliberately hung up on her so she was no longer going to do anything for me or some crap like that. Then she left her number to call her back.

I got the kids all situated and ready for recess and called the witch back. She answered the phone all cheery and happy. I told her that we were disconnected because I teach in a cinder-block black hole (this is true, and I lose a lot of calls-- but I hung up on her). She said she could tell I was at work because she could hear the noise. Then she said in her sweetest voice that anytime I could meet the ceiling man would be just fine and if I needed to call someone to arrange for them to be there, that was just fine also. I should just call her later in the day when I have some times that would work for me. Meanwhile, I am literally sobbing into the phone. I was so pissed off I was shaking violently. I seriously was about to call a substitute to cover my class for the rest of the day I was such a mess.
I don't know what happened in the 20 minutes it took me to call her back, but apparently she is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 

So that was pretty much all the happened at school. But, right after school I got to go to every lady's favorite appointment of the year. You guessed it, the gynecologist! YAY!!! I forgot my paperwork I was supposed to bring (of course) so I got to do that when I arrived. Then I went back and met with a nurse practitioner (I like them better. I think they are more gentle because they have gone through the exam before.) that was new to me. She was really nice.
She told me I need to lose weight. Duh. Leave me alone.
I told her that I am getting married in 19 days and that we would like to build a house and stuff before we have kids. I asked if I had time for that because of my endometriosis. Anyone want to guess her answer?
Of course I don't have time. She told me to start taking prenatal vitamins now and that if I want to have any children I need to start trying within the next six months. Then, if nothing happens after 9 months (she said they generally wait for a year if it isn't working, but I am special) that I would need to come in for infertility crap.
She said waiting until I am 30 is out of the question. I am already pushing my luck as it is. I guess my biological clock really is ticking. It is about to explode.
Those of you who know Sparky can guess his reaction. He is absolutely thrilled because he just loves rushing things (ha!).

So much for getting a house ready first. But honestly, if I wait just to build a house, and then cannot have children I would be inconsolable. I think we are old enough as it is. Sparky is 34, the age of many of the parents of the kids in my class, and I am 25. Time is up.


Hootie said...

Man I hope today is a much better day! :)

Anonymous said...

I just love to read your blog - you make even the most horrible thing funny. The thing we always told the couples that we did marriage prep with was don't wait for the perfect time, because there will never be a perfect time! Remember the timing of EB - could it have gotten much worse (in that horrible apt, when we still did not have enought money to travel and get her home, and then moving into the house and finding out I had to have the hyesterectomy within just a few weeks?) But is she not the most beautiful, awesome, funny, quirky little girl in the whole world? All of this to say - you have a bunch of us around you who will support you and give you help when you need it! Love you!