So yesterday morning the big day finally came, our face off with the ex-landlord in small claims court. Despite several waves of nerve-induced nausea the day before(wow that word was hard to spell) it was surprisingly easy. And admittedly I have to thank my landlord for that, he was unexpectedly polite and non-confrontational throughout the same process. I cannot say that for some of the other people who went to trial that day. One man in particular was really getting into it with a United Airlines rep.
In the next ten days the judge will send us a decision, but that is secondary to the personal triumph of standing up for yourself and getting to say the truth about what happened in court. It felt really good, not in a vengeful sort of way, but good nonetheless. And on the way out the ex-landlord told me “If you prevail in this case, I will send you a check and an apology letter immediately.” Hmmmmm….. Just goes to show you that everybody has good and bad sides, sinners that we are. Like most I always expect people to be one or the other, not both…
Cue Imperial Death March here….
Well I thought the battle was over, but it turns out the owner of the crapartment had other plans and has retaliated by taking $280 out of our deposit for “unpaid March rent” and $200 for repairs for a hole about the size of my fist! He charged us for sheetrock! As if HE WOULD USE ANYTHING AS HIGH QUALITY AS SHEETROCK in the crapartment. I swear, if he had been in front of me when I got that letter I would have gone POSTAL! Fortunately for him I was
A) Hundreds of miles away from him
B) Forced to return to class after I got the news and had an hour of literary analysis to calm my rage.
So after a quick return to small claims to amend my “lawsuit” against him Arnold called him to explain to him one last time how “disappointed we are about the situation” My husband was so BRAVE, he was heroic as he sat there calmly talking to our lunatic ex-landlord about our “disappointment” and “unfair treatment”. He was like a poster child for non-violent conflict resolution. Unfortunately ex-landlord just grumped at him that he “doesn’t agree” etc. etc. If I had made the call, I am sure it would’ve escalated within, oh about 5 seconds.
So my friends I’m soliciting your help on two points…
1) What should I call the landlord on the blog? I am tired of calling him landlord, it’s too dignified a title? All suggestions are welcome in the comments area.
2) Help me figure out how to do this and not go crazy?
How do you sue someone and not hate them? How do you ask for justice with vengeance? How do you pray for your enemies when all you want to do is punch them IN THE FACE! I’m no Daniel, in my bad moments I just wish el landlord was here so I could kick him where it counts! And as my brothers know, I am not above that. In my better moments it seems like the wrong thing to do but how do you stay calm when others are coming at you crazy? All advice welcome! Thanks in advance for your help.
And as a reward for your loyal readership and support I share this fantastic link courtesy of Vega…
Indian Pool Party http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7942583370526412&q=Indians
Quote of the day: “It was so awesome, I flat ironed my hair! I looked like Mozart!” – Renee
So we are leaving the crapartment, very soon! This is good news. The bad news is that this involves a significant amount of physical labor i.e. packing. The other bad news is that graduate studies have almost totally incapacitated Arnold. Luckily I have a secret weapon, my good friend Renee, thus named because she is freakishly strong despite her small frame. At our old work we used to call her fanglorious linebacker but she got her braces off so now I am the only snaggletooth between the two of us…
So sweet innocent Renee volunteers to come over to help me pack, a good thing because I’ve found out that packing well is another thing I can add to the list of things I hate/am not good at… Since I basically couldn’t even fathom where to start Renee stole the opportunity to boss me around. Normally this kind of political coup would lead to disagreements, but I let her have her fun seeing as she was basically packing my kitchen for me while I stood there like an idiot trying to take part in the process by saying things like “I have a colander” “Would you like water?” Anyways the upshot is that the kitchen was miraculously totally packed in three hours and I mean “we” worked the three hours, you know if you don’t count dance breaks.
Good news, I think?
So according to my super-duper lawyer Joshua, I am totally in the right about this whole “no heat” debacle in my crapartment. So I just sent an e-mail to my landlord letting him know that I plan to take him to small claims court if he doesn’t cough up the rent he owes me! Quite frankly, sending off my angry missive was terrifying. I’m not really into having conflict (with people outside the family of course). Mr. Arnold can attest that the women in my family have no problem engaging in mortal combat over something trivial like coffee filters.
The person who really sold me on this whole small claims court thing, besides my new BFF Joshua the lawyer is my grandma! She got me all fired up! “Small claims court is easy! He’s a lazy person! He doesn’t care about you! Our family are fighters!” But now that I can’t take it back I might need to call my Grandma again for a little pep talk. I mean seriously, am I the kind of person who can defend myself in court? People are always telling me I should be a lawyer because I’m … uh persuasive, (Grandma says “intimidating”, but c’mon I’m only 5’4″ Anyways it’s too late now, I sent off the e-mail and we all know you can’t take that back, so I’ll just have to stick it out and see what happens… Hoping for the best! And if I do have to go to court, you are all welcome to sit in the audience!
Quote of the day “You have to choose Emily, good or evil” – Kuarzy
Serious quote of the date: “Poverty is the worst form of violence” – Mohandas Gandhi
So today I am being initiated into a rite of passage of American culture, meeting with a lawyer! Thanks to my awesome employer I have access to a 1/2 hour consultation with a renters rights lawyer and will find out once and for all if what my landlord is doing is illegal or not. Good thing too since according to the news another cold front is about to move through town. Before today my only contact with legal proceedings was sharing meals with Mags’ family. Seriously, you must have your head straight if you are going to survive a meal with them, the dinnertime conversation is fierce…
On the front of other noticias it looks like we’ll be able to move into our new place a week earlier than possible which is all kinds of good news! Especially seeing as our new place
1) Comes equipped with a new technology known as a “functioning heater”
2) Does not suck
3) Has a bathroom that is not located in the kitchen
4) Has doors
5) Does not come with evil landlord intent our killing Arnold and I via carbon monoxide poisoning our wasp attacks
I’m SO VERY EXCITED! Also next week is Ash Wednesday which means the beginning of LENT! I love Lent and this year is going to be even better, a time of renewal and new beginnings in a new place to live!
The controversy continues…
Well our disagreement with the our landlord rages on with our the owner of crapartment saying he was “sorry for our inconvenience” (since when has not having heat in the winter been considered an inconvenience?) He’s currently vacationing in Arizona which is apparently why he has chosen not to answer any of my e-mails and has no idea when our heat will be restored. What a swell guy! I am heartened by knowing I am not the first in my family to deal with ridiculous housing situations. For reference I offer you a link to Sage and Randy’s account of “the siege” http://www.thepackage.com/randy/argentina/
To lighten my dark mood surrounding my dubious housing situation I’m giving you some more family fun a vignette from little brother…
Okay okay your going to love this, This one time in back in high school In my government class, we were doing debates, and on that day the debate was euthanasia, near the end of the debate after the whole time of me intently being tuned in to both of the opposing teams, the students were allowed to go up to the podium and ask a question to any side. So I go up to the podium and I’m about to ask my question when everything I had listened about euthanasia totally erased out of my mind! So I looked at the teacher and said, “Okay so this euthanasia has nothing to do with asia right?” The whole class and the teacher erupted in laughter, as for me I lost talking privileges for the rest of the school year!