The Adventures of
Part One: The Beginning Part
Jessie and I had finally reached the point in our relationship where she admitted she wanted to do what all women want to do. "Let me move stuff around in your room." It didn't matter that all of my stuff was in my room where I could get to it. It didn't matter that my system had worked perfectly well for two years- she was going to make it better.
She moved- well, we moved- the bed to a better place, then moved it to an even better place - where I had it originally. She brought in shelves, which I will admit were better than the lousy metal shelves I had taken from Bill, the guy who shot his eye out. The new shelves, being larger than the old ones, needed more space, which Jessie found by hanging my bike on a hook. It meant another hole in the wall, but who cares? It wasn't like I was moving out any time soon. The apartment my brother Andy and I shared wasn't bad- We didn't have a pool, but who wants to swim in a semi-public pool? Sure, the abandoned building next door was a little creepy, but it was a very clean abandoned building.
Then the phone rang.
"Luke- it's Belinda! (Belinda is a friend from work who sometimes gets confused and thinks I'm her little brother.) How would you like to get free rent at an apartment building with a pool?"
I said "What would I have to do?", But all I was thinking was free rent free rent free rent...
"Just manage an apartment building!"
"But I'm working, I'm in school..." (free rent free rent free rent)
"All you have to do is make appointments to show apartments and tell the company when something is broken."
Wow- a dream job with no catches! What a lucky guy I am. I talked to my brother/roommate, and he said "let's go for it!"
Part Two: The Middle Part!
I was a little nervous about trying to cram manager stuff in the cracks between work and school, but Stella- the rep from the receivership company- seemed to think that it could work. Besides, I could really use the money that I would save by not paying rent. And the place was in near-perfect shape, with a few minor exceptions, like:
my new apartment was about HALF the size of my old one, with almost no storage space. Andy's room was only a few square feet larger than his old (full) closet!
out of forty apartments, thirty were vacant.
of the thirty vacant apartments, about four were actually ready to rent. The rest were in pieces, some with holes in the door where peepholes and doorbells were supposed to be installed, some with broken or missing windows, and one notable apartment that had a sink filled with mud. My job description expanded to meeting with all of the repairmen and letting them in the apartments- even though I was at work all day, when repairmen tend to do their repairing thing.
The pool was a pit, filled with mud, dirt, leaves, and patio furniture.
The previous manager had been abruptly fired because "the owner didn't like him." How's that for job security?
The previous manager was still living in the building, but I was told "don't worry, he's being evicted." Yeah, that makes me feel much better...
The previous manager had the apartment directly below mine.
The previous manager enjoyed playing music so loud that it made my stove dance.
Part Three: The Dramatic ending!
I stayed a whole week before I gave notice. Counting the cost of setting up my utilities, I figure that the free apartment had only cost me about a hundred bucks.
Don't take a free apartment from a friend at work unless you want to live in a tiny closetless place with a dancing stove.