The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight (maeincarnate) wrote,
The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight

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We interrupt this vacation story for some hair-pulling frustration

I came home from work last night to find a letter taped to my door saying that my rent payment is late and that I owe the late payment fee and whatever else. I have my rent paid automatically with my online billpay every month, and I transferred more than enough to cover the rent from my savings account before I left for Vegas. I was unworried. I logged on to my online bank account, and sure enough, my rent money has been in the hands of Charles E. Smith realty since October 2. I merrily fold up the notice, drop it in my purse, and plan on calling today.

I call the management office, and after placing a work order in regards to the mystery mold growing out of my bathroom ceiling, I am transferred to Barbara, the biped who processes the rent checks. I calmly introduce myself, explain that I have received this notice and suggest that it may have been sent in error. Incredulously, she demands to know why, and I say because my check was cashed 4 days ago. She doesn't understand how I could know this, and I inform her of the existence of online banking statements. She says that there never was a check in the office, and that they cannot accept electronic payments. I explained that I have been paying my rent electronically for two years now and have never before had a problem. Barbara goes on ranting about how there never was a check. I say that it doesn't matter whether or not there was a check; what matters is they have my money and I do not. I asked her to call whoever at the corporate office she has to call to sort this out and she asks me why she should have to do that.

This is the type of behavior I have become very familiar with when dealing with my apartment leasing office. Like the time when my keys got stolen and they couldn't figure out why I wanted to borrow the spare for more than five minutes. Or last week during the hurricane when I reported that the emergency exit near my apartment was jammed, only to be bickered with by the maintenence guy about how there are two emergency exit doors so it's not really an issue. It seems that responsiblity shirking is a job requirement over there. So it is no surprise that I came at her with both guns after this.

I explained to her that finding out where my rent check is after the company has misplaced it is her job. She scolded me for telling her what her job is, said that she's been processing rent payments for nine years and that this isn't her job. I pointed out that the fact of the matter is that I payed my rent on time and they lost it; all she needed to do was call the corporate office and find out where it went. She said that wasn't her job either.

So I asked her for the number and said there wasn't a number I can call. "What do I have to do to do your job for you today?" I said that after doing her job for nine years that I can understand how she might be tired of it and how she doesn't want to do it today and that I was perfectly willing to do her job for her if she just gave me the number for the corporate office. And after a little more of this attempted reverse psychology, she gave me the damned number.

I spoke to someone at the corporate office and explained the situation as calmly as I did the first time. She seemed equally confused, and suggested I call Barbara so she can sort it out. I told the corporate office lady that Barbara isn't really in the mood to do work today, so that we'd have to figure it out without her. She was offput by this, but charged on nevertheless. I had to fax her my bank statement, and a few hours later, she asked for which account my bank sent this money to.

I called my bank for more information, and they assured me that the bank statement was going to be enough information for them. I stressed that it wouldn't be, and the delightful folks at Chevy Chase took it all from there. I had to speak to someone else, who opened up a "case" for me, asked for the number of the gal in the corporate office, apologized for the inconvenience and assured me they would take over from here and I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.

I can understand how things get misplaced. But jesus christ. Check before you go taping delinquent notices to my door. There is a chance you messed up. It *may* not be my fault. I asked them to re-caulk my tub when I asked about the mold. Seeing as they lost my rent...I'm a little concerned to let them into my apartment.

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