Cheapskate. Tightwad. Niggard. Skinflint.
However it’s written, it’s certain. When it comes to repairs, landlord Larry would squeeze the last drop of copper out of a penny if it meant he got to keep it.
Duct tape is his best friend. I venture that if you toured every apartment of the building, you’d find it — around a pipe, covering a crack, bonding two pieces of something together.
His mechanical fixes, well, let’s just say that a chimp with a peeled banana in one hand could do as well.
Take the washers and dryers. Please. I’m pleading.
By virtue of my residence in the old maid’s quarters in the basement, I’m at an advantage and a disadvantage concerning the laundry room.
When something goes awry, and it frequently does, I see and hear it.
Take now for instance.
The dryer’s emitting a loud and high-pitched metal-on-metal grinding noise that legally should be audible only to canines.
It quivers and rumbles and shakes in exhausted efforts to dry clothes.
Some 45 minutes and 75 cents later, they’re still damp.
This has been ongoing intermittently for months.
“Oh, we can fix that,” I can hear Larry saying in his languid droll.
And he does. Or pretends to. Odds are duct tape is involved.
Eventually the problem returns.
And the washer. Oh the washer!
Once there was this aged machine that wouldn’t drain during the rinse cycle. It’d try. It’d give its all to spin that basket and drain liquid from waterlogged fabrics.
After 10 seconds, it’d come to a dead halt and sound the loud buzz alerting it was out of balance.
I’d stand in front of that machine during the cycle. Wait as it spun 10 seconds. Stop. Buzz. Lift lid. Shift clothes. Shut lid. Spin. Buzz. Lift lid. Shift a shirt. Shut lid. Spin. Buzz. Shift. Shut lid. Spin. Until the the spin-rinse cycle completed.
That’s how I sometimes did laundry when the good washer was taken.
That machine, one of two, remained in place limping along for at least a year.
Finally for reasons mysterious landlord Larry opened up his wallet and extracted a few hundred dollars from his hundreds of thousands (or more). A brand-spankin’ new unit appeared in the place of the disabled beast (RIP).
He’s probably still kicking himself that his duct tape fix didn’t work.
It’s not only the screaming dryer and bleeding ears and cheapskate landlord rubbing me wrong today.
It’s the residents.
Long have I observed that whenever there’s a problem with a machine, which is frequent, the response of residents is:
Do nothing. Say nothing.
Say nothing to the landlord. Leave no note.
A magical elf will whisper it into his ear.
Say nothing to the residents. Leave no note.
Just walk away. Just walk away.
Fellow residents losing money in machines that aren’t working. Not your problem.
Fellow residents pulling half-wet clothes from a dryer. Not your problem.
Just. Walk. Away.
Me, I leave notes.
I leave notes firstly because the landlord needs to know when there’s a problem. If no one informs him, how will he know?
I leave notes because it’s part of my responsibility in the tenant-landlord relationship.
I leave notes because it’s thoughtful and considerate of my fellow residents.
What’s achieved by saying nothing? The problem only continues and is passed on to the next resident and the next to lose money and have their laundry sit stalled in a washer or damp in a dryer. Where’s the solution in that? Or the good?
And I’m leaving a note whether I’m trespassing 12 flights of stairs to a top-floor apartment or 12 steps down the hall. I’m gettin’ that paper and pen and tape for landlord and fellow residents.
Evidently I’m a dying breed.
If not nearing extinction.
Not unlike the screeching ear-bleeding dryer!