On Thursday, I got a message from Kate that cleaners had come into her apartment unit and thrown away a wide variety of her personal belongings, including her shoes, her own cleaning supplies and garbage can (ironic), all her forks except for one, one oven mitt but not both (bizarre), and her toaster, among other things. She was furious; I was livid. Apparently, because she has a private room and bathroom in a “pod” with four other rooms and a common living and kitchen area, the property management company took it upon themselves to “clean” the units for the start of the new school year. She tried talking to the property manager, whose attitude was “too bad”, so I said, “Do you want me to call?” And you know how serious it is when your 21-year-old, who prides herself on her independence, says “Yes”. On Thursday night, I talked to my brother, who has a Ph.D. and got some legal advice, then I planned what I was going to say. So on Friday, I finally, after quite the run around, got in contact with the property manager, whose only excuse was “we told them in July that the cleaners were coming.” In response to that, here is an analogy that I used with her (sans the swearing):
I lived in a condo for the last four years. Every year, we would be given notice that technicians were coming to service the furnace and we had to make sure that our furniture was at least three feet away from the furnace unit. One year, I forgot to move my furniture. You know what happened? They left me a note saying that they were unable to clean my furnace. You know what didn’t happen? They didn’t steal my F*CKING COUCH.
I also explained that, as per the Landlord Tenant Act AND the lease she signed, she was required to give him 24 hours’ notice to even enter the unit, and that I wanted his stuff back, to which she replied, “It’s already gone. They were supposed to label their stuff or put it in their rooms—we sent an email.” So I said, “Fine, send me the email.” She did, and I read it:
Property Manager: You see the email?
Me: Yes, I’m looking at it right now.
PM: So you see? We told them.
Me: Interesting. Unfortunately, there’s NOTHING in this email that says you’re going to THROW AWAY her personal belongings if she doesn’t put them in her room. And the only things that were supposed to be labeled were items in the cupboards and refrigerator, which I assume refers to food.
PM (long pause): How much do you want?
We settled on a parking discount. And why am I telling you all this? Because the silver lining to this strange tale is that I had just gotten my most recent points offer from President’s Choice Optimum (a grocery chain and drug store here) and I could earn points on cleaning supplies. Kate offered to replace her mop, broom, bucket, etc. herself, but I was like, “No. Let me do it. It will be my pleasure” and she rolled her eyes knowingly and said, “You get points for this, right?” AND I DID.
I earn points the way some people used to clip coupons. I plan my grocery shopping around what items will get me the most points that week, and I use the points I’ve accumulated to buy other things, like really expensive face cream that I wouldn’t bother with otherwise. The other day, I was in Shopper’s Drug Mart, and the deal was ‘spend $50.00 and get back 15 000 points’, which is equivalent to fifteen bucks. That’s like (at this moment, I am desperately trying to figure out the percentage so as to dazzle you with my math skills but sadly, I’ve come up short) a GAZILLION percent discount. Or maybe 30-ish. Who’s to say? Math is a strange beast. But it was a great deal nevertheless. But then, the points didn’t appear on my statement, and my recourse was to talk to the points people. I was on the phone with ‘Carlos’, a lovely man with a delightful accent, for over half an hour, and he was finally able to restore them to my account. Half an hour on the telephone, you say? Hey, it was fifteen dollars. And I have to buy my baby new shoes.
Also, a couple of weeks ago, I entered a comedy writing contest. I don’t know why. But I did, and the first thing you had to do was come up with 5-10 headlines/titles that would explain your premise. They gave some examples and they were all very long and detailed titles, for instance, “I Want A Man Who Understands My Need For Grocery Store Points And Only Shops At President’s Choice”. And I was like, What? Why would I want to give away the point of a story ahead of time? I mean, I could have called this post “How I Made An Asian Woman Give Me A Parking Discount Using My Knowledge Of The Landlord/Tenant Act” but would you bother reading it since the headline already told you exactly what happened? It’s like those long trailers for a comedy that show you all the funniest parts of the movie, and then what’s the point of even going to see it? So the other Sunday, Ken and I were staffing the local Heritage Museum because it was our turn, and since it’s extremely rare that anyone EVER visits the local Heritage Museum, I enlisted Ken into helping me write catchy headlines:
Ken: How about ‘Fax Machines Are The Future’?
Me: Is that supposed to be ironic? I don’t think I can write about that.
Ken: OK—how about ‘Automatic Doors And How to Use Them’?
Ken: Um…’Quilts Are Hard To Make But Easy To Hang On A Wall’–
Me: You’re just looking at things in this room, aren’t you?
Ken: I think the fax machine one has some potential. Like, why is there even a fax machine here? Who faxes anything anymore?
Me: This is pointless.
So there you go. Aren’t you glad I didn’t give it all away with the title?