Friday, January 21, 2011

Excuse Me While I Rant

What is it with Superintendents in NYC? I’m not going to generalize and say that ALL supers suck, but I’m going to go with the fair understanding the MOST are absolutely terrible. Here’s the scenario: you get paid, or get free rent to take care of stuff in the building. So, when someone calls with something wrong, just do your job and fix it. How hard is that?

Maybe I’ve been a little spoiled in the past, so it makes my current situation rather difficult to live with. My first super was a doll. He owned and maintained the first apartment I lived in while I was still in college. We called him Peter Cottontail simply because his name was Peter and he was such a little cutie (and maybe his last name started with a C?). I liked him from the moment he took us apartment viewing with his small daughter, and while telling stories about football players ramming their heads in helmets through his walls quietly was instructing his child not to touch anything in the boys’ apartments because it was too dirty. Smart man. He came whenever we needed him, and even talked us through what to do when we saw our first mouse. He even came when we didn’t call to fix our shower, and never minded when we threw parties and he had to scrub puke off the steps.

My next super was called Angel, and he was. He lived in the complex, and came by within minutes of a call. He fixed things with a smile, and even helped us out on the weekends when he wasn’t supposed to be working because he was just so. darn. nice.I rewarded him with cupcakes on more than one occasion.

Now, imagine my shock to have a super as useless as the one I’ve had in my apartment for the past 3 years. Each year I have considered moving simply because it is such a headache any time anything goes wrong, which is not often, I might add. I only call him with emergencies and things I absolutely cannot fix myself because he is such a lazy douche. I am not a problem tenant. In the past 3 years, I can count the number of times I have called him on my fingers.

First, to fix closet doors and a towel bar that were broken when I moved in. The closet doors took him over two years to fix. The towel bar still never been replaced. At the same time as this call I asked him to help replace a light bulb as the ceilings are so high, and he was there anyhow “evaluating” the door situation. His response was that he did not have a ladder. Really? You don’t have any basic tools?

Another time, there was a leak in the apartment above that was causing the ceiling in my room to bulge, and threaten to collapse. It took the super over a week to come to my apartment to see the damage despite many pleas and messages about the severity of the situation. When he showed up, he was completely SHOCKED and appalled about how bad the situation was. I flipped out.

Then there was the time I called him to tend to the lack of cold water in the building, in the summer. Not only was it hot, but it was red. I may have been being poisoned, and was nearly burned every time I took a metallic smelling shower. The lack of cold water was not resolved until I, personally, contacted the EPA via 311 and forced the issue to a resolution.

Fast forward several months to today. I go to try to get a pair of boots to wear to work, and the knob to my closet door is broken. It just turns and turns and turns without unlatching. Of course, I called my super. I kind of need to be able to wear clothes over the weekend.

His typical response:
  • Well, I wasn’t planning to be at the building today: Oh really? Well I wasn’t planning on having my closet break today. Shit happens, spontaneously, and that’s when, wait for it, you DO YOUR JOB and fix it.
  • I only work between 9 and 5: I can’t imagine that I am the only other person in the building who also works 9-6, how will he ever fix anything?
  • I’ll be at the building at 10:30am, I can fix it then: Obviously I am at work like 90% of the population.
  • I’m not sure if I can do that, I’ll get back to you: This is usually followed by a series of unreturned phone calls in which he never gets back to me, or returns my phone calls asking why he never got back.

His response today:
  • I’m not sure if I can make it when you’re not at work. You should try to push the door open.

I’m sure that will work really really well. Does your super suck too?

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