Rental Hell

My image of rental hell, even though my apartment building looks nothing like this.

Why would anyone run their bathroom fan all night or for hours at a time during the day? Are they cooking meth or crack? Are they trying to block out radio signals from outer space because their aluminum foil hat no longer works? Or do they think they can blow the coronavirus out of their living space by keeping the fan on? Those are the things I wonder about whenever I hear that fan growling on and on.

Must be someone sending evil messages from space. Right?

What’s the big deal you might think? It’s only a bathroom fan. You must be over-sensitive to noise. It’s true. I am sensitive to noise, but it’s not just me. I live only about a dozen miles from a military base. From time to time a chopper flies by. It doesn’t make as much noise as the fan, which sounds as if the helicopter had landed on the roof of my building. I can hear the fan in the living room, in the kitchen, in my own bathroom. In bed, while wearing earplugs and with the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. 

These things don’t make as much noise as that fan. And they fly away quickly.

Last night I had to drug myself to sleep with melatonin ( a naturally occurring hormone that helps induce sleep) and Tylenol. I managed to get four hours of sleep. Today I had to take two naps. I don’t feel like eating. I can’t concentrate on anything. While up during the night I got online and emailed management. Silly of me to expect a response. In the seven years, I’ve lived in this apartment, I don’t think I’ve ever had a response to my emails. Going to the leasing office in person when this sort of thing happened before was no help.

One of my friends is a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. I contacted her to ask if it’s true that management could do nothing about the noise, which sometimes includes doing laundry at midnight, which I can also hear. My friend explained that it’s not indifference on the part of management. This is “normal noise,” unlike throwing loud parties, that management can do nothing about. Perhaps the tenants work swing shift and do their laundry when they get home. Absurd! There are twenty-four hours in a day, people have days off. NObody needs to do their laundry at midnight. What’s normal about running a bathroom fan for five or six hours at a time in the middle of the night? I’ve worked second shift and never did laundry when I got home because I have neighbors and don’t want to disturb them. I guess I’m just weird.

I didn’t call courtesy patrol last night because there’s several inches of snow on the grounds, which at three a.m. was no doubt frozen. I didn’t want to call someone out in such conditions. Tonight, if the fan roars on, I’m not going to be as considerate.

I wish I could afford to move to a house.

Can any of my readers think of an explanation for why someone would run a fan at all hours of the day and night, especially when temperatures outside are in the twenties? (-3 to -6c)

Weird, seemingly unrelated images show up when I search stock photo sites. One of the tags for this photo was “depression.” It came up when I searched for apartments. Maybe it’s not so unrelated after all. I’m not a guy, but this photo perfectly depicts how I feel when I hear that relentless fan.

All images from Pixabay.

The Joys (Not) of Apartment Life

There are some. The buildings in my complex are situated that no neighbors can see in my windows. It’s on a bluff. No new buildings can be built to obscure my view and make my living room a part of their view. I can see the sky, trees, and clouds. From my balcony, I have a fabulous view of Mt. Rainier. The fact that I have a balcony where I can grow plants and sit outside to enjoy the view, which sometimes includes bunny youngsters chasing each other across the back lawn.

Not so enjoyable. Walls so thin it sometimes sounds like people are walking around in my place even when I’m home alone. Annual inspections and other invasions of my privacy, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs I never asked for because I already had them.

Starting Monday and all next week a company hired by management is going to be cleaning “bird guards” (whatever they are) and dryer vents. We’re advised to move our personal stuff off our balconies. The means I have to drag inside a chair, a wrought iron spiral plant stand, and fifteen flower containers. So I’ll be living in an indoor jungle for however long it takes them to finish up at my building.

The notice said that this is an annual event. Nope. They’ve never done it in the seven years (!) I’ve lived here. The staff turns over frequently. Even when they’ve been around awhile, half the time they don’t know what’s what.

I have four rectangular planter boxes that are about two feet wide. I may leave a couple of them on the balcony, next to the wall, where they’re less likely to be damaged. Maybe cover them with plastic trash bags.

This is one of the plants I have to move indoors. The hosta is almost three feet across from leaf tip to leaf tip. I’m crazy about it.

My favorite plant.
What my hosta looked like when I first brought it home from the nursery.

Another plant that’s going to be displaced. The geranium comes indoors during the winter, so it should be used to being indoors.

I’ve been babying this plant for several years now, so I’d be sorry to lose it and its friends.
Autumn fern. Those aren’t dead fronds; their color is the reason for the plant’s name. It’ll probably stay outside, pushed against the inner wall.

More displaced plants.

The petunias and bacopa (the little white flowers) live in railing planters.
A few more denizens of a railing planter. They’re a new variety, trailing pansies. They’re almost ready to climb out of their box.

I have no idea how long my plants will have to stay indoors. I haven’t bothered to ask the office staff; I’m sure they don’t know. My building is designated as “L,” which would make it seem logical that Wednesday would be the day to expect the cleaners, but logic has nothing to do with it. They may not start with building A. They could start with Z. This section of buildings is right next to the main driveway, so it could be the first one to get cleaned.

I guess I’ll know when the crew has arrived when I hear spray from their hoses or whatever machinery they may use. I live in suspense. Apartment living can be so exciting.