Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hot water music

This morning, I woke up at 5:00AM to what sounded like a very heavy rainstorm outside. Except, once I sat up, I realized that the noise was coming from inside the apartment and not outside. The rest of the cobwebs burned off pretty quickly as I realized this was not a good development. I went into the hallway where the noise was coming from and found wet carpet and water spraying inside the closet where the water heater lives. I couldn't figure out how to turn off the water so I called the apartment complex's phone number, knowing I would get a recording. Sure, enough I got the world's longest recording, instructing me twice to leave my name, apartment number, description of the problem and a phone number.

Now, I don't live in a 5-star apartment complex by anybody's definition. I wouldn't go so far as to call it "ghetto", but it's an older complex (we actually have a racquetball court and I don't believe a human being has set foot in it since 1987), and I think everybody in Tampa has lived here at least once. Although, I did get robbed here once, there always seems to be guys walking around with their shirts off and I frequently encounter oddballs in the laundry room....okay, it's kinda ghetto. So when I called, I was pretty sure that I was about to spend a big chunk of my Sunday morning sitting on soggy carpet and trying to catch as much water ricocheting off the closet wall into a bucket as possible. I mean, we're talking about 5:00AM on a Sunday. There are people I like who I wouldn't pick up the phone for on a Sunday morning at that hour. However, I got a call back within five minutes of leaving the message and within 15, a maintenance man was in my apartment, turning off the water.

A side note: even if you're expecting someone, hearing your doorbell ring at 5:15AM is really kind of unsettling.

So he stopped the leak, told me the water heater was shot and they'd be back around 9:30 to replace it. I told him that was fine. I'd be gone but they could let themselves in. the cats had all hidden in the bedroom when they heard the doorbell, which is their standard operating procedure any time it rings, so i just shut the door and knew they'd be fine.

Anytime there's work that has to be done in the apartment, the cats get locked in my bedroom until it's done. I think the cats are in there the whole time thinking they now understand what Anne Frank went through. And yes, I do believe my cats are capable of knowing and understanding who Anne Frank is while simultaneously lacking the ability to form reasonable comparisons in order to show empathy. They're smart but self-absorbed, like all cats, is what I'm saying. When they get out, they act like they're in a new house. "Oh, a couch. We had one like it at our old home. Quite similar. Is this where you keep the food? Hmm, okay. And what's this room over here? Seems familiar somehow..."

Anyway, I was really impressed. I wouldn't expect service like that in a new, upscale apartment setting. I need to get that guy some tickets to a game or something and I will. The strangest thing about the whole episode is this is the second time in about six months that I've had my water heater fail like this. That's a picture of the latest one above, literally kicked to the curb. It makes me wonder if I'm somehow using hot water incorrectly. Is that even possible?

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