changing the locks

Yesterday, I was locked out of my apartment. No, I didn’t lock myself out. No, really. I didn’t. I don’t know why you would think that.

The property management company changed the locks to every apartment in the complex. It’s a really big complex. But apparently they decided that what they really wanted to do was change everyone’s locks.

It all started a few months ago when the property was sold. Abruptly, the residents received a notice that we needed to make our checks out to a new company, that everything was going to be new! and improved! And that they had let go the entire office staff. I’m sure that sucked for the staff, because not only did they lose their jobs, but they all lived on-site and got a substantial discount. And I bet the discount went away the same time their paychecks did.

It didn’t take long before I started noticing all the new and improved features. The old staff were all really nice and friendly. And since they lived on-site, they generally noticed what needed to be fixed before anyone had to tell them. The new staff? Had no clue. They seemed to exist only to remind us how new and improved everything was going to be.

I needed some maintenance done. The old way was to drop by the office and mention it, and the maintenance person would come out that day. The new and improved way was to call an 800 number, have no one come, call back a few days later only to find out that there was no record of my original call, and start over.

Once someone did come out to my apartment, I got a phone call at work. I needed to come home and move a bookcase so they could get to my heater. Really. This is what they told me.

The workout room has a water dispenser, but since the takeover, no cups. I stopped by to mention it, in case they didn’t realize they needed to order cups.

“We don’t need to order cups. You can just bring your own water bottle.”

Er, did I really need to explain that if I drink a bottle of water when I work out I throw up and so there’s no reason for me to lug one around with me and all I need is a quick drink during my workout, but since there’s no drinking fountain, I could really use a little cup? If the place is so improved, they should order better cups, not no cups.

Later that day, I went to work out. There were two big, sweaty high school guys there. One guy went over to get a drink, saw there were no cups, and laid down on the ground, put his mouth around the dispenser, and drank. You see what happens when there are no cups?

There’s really no need for me to ever drink from that water dispenser ever again.

On Sunday, there was a notice on my door that maintenance would be coming by Tuesday to change the locks. They felt it was important to have different locks than the old management used. We had to stop by the office after the locks were changed to get our keys.

Trouble with this scenario? The office is only open until 6. What if you were out of town when the notice went out and you came home late at night? You sure wouldn’t be getting in to your apartment.

I left work early. I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic and risk being locked out. While I was in the office, a guy came in, completely irritated that his key didn’t work. No, he didn’t receive a notice on his door. The staff was unconcerned. No apology. No thought that maybe this meant others didn’t get the notice either.

They couldn’t find my new keys. They dug through a big cardboard box, and my apartment number did not appear. I waited. Someone else started looking. I kept waiting. Finally, they called a maintenance guy. He came and looked. He couldn’t find my keys either.

The concern from the staff was apparent: “Do you mind waiting? Oh, I guess you can’t get in to your apartment anyway. Ha ha.”

Finally, the maintenance guy took the box of keys and headed over to my apartment. His plan was to try every last one in case a set was mislabeled. I sure hope no one else came to get keys while he was doing this. I stood outside my apartment as he tried key after key.

Finally, he found one that fit. “Ha ha”, he said. “I guess this means no one else took off with your keys.”

It was very funny. I need to move.

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