Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vagaries of Maintenance

Yesterday the maintenance man finally showed up to fix our bathroom sinks. The sink in the "main" bathroom drains very slooooowly. And the sink in the "guest" bath has no water pressure in the cold faucet.

For those of you unfamiliar with apartment living, the maintenance people (and apartment management) discourage self repairs. So, we've been waiting about two weeks for the maintenance people to show up. Today was finally the day.

After pouring several bottles of acid crystals down the drain, and plunging it repeatedly, the sink now drains just a tad faster. Its not fixed, but slightly improved. The fellow admitted there was more work to be done, but pointed out his efforts would tide us over until the end of the week when "someone" would return to actually fix it.

He received an emergency call just as he was checking the guest bathroom sink. It will require a new faucet assembly--also to be fixed at a future time. And he gathered his tools and trotted out the door. Sigh.

However, all was not wasted with the acid crystals. My downstairs neighbor called to say that her bathroom sink is now draining very quickly. So there's always a silver lining somewhere.

Overall, things work well in the apartment. We've not been unhappy with the maintenance until the last year or so. We have new owners who are either trying to cut back on maintenance hours or they're hiring incompetent workers. Either way, maintenance has been slow to non-existent.

Fortunately, very little has broken down in our apartment so we haven't needed to call on them for service. I have noticed this maintenance problem is not restricted just to our apartment complex. All around us, those little jobs that used to be taken care of promptly aren't being tended to now. I suspect it has to do with the economy. Grass verges on the roads are covered with runaway weeds. Trash and litter are cluttering up lots that used to be immaculate. Bushes are missing their regular trimming.

For some reason when the economy nosedives, routine maintenance is the first thing to go. You would think it would be the one thing you kept because morale is so important. Neat orderly surroundings make us feel better. When buildings, grounds and roadways are slovenly, we grow apathetic.

Perhaps our surroundings are a better barometer of the economy than all those other indicators. Sloppy = bad economy. Neat = good economy. The poor have no money to fix their surroundings. Seems to make sense to me.



  1. At least they are coming back soon to do further work. In our house it's always something. We don't rent but the wait for repairs still seem awfully long to me.

  2. Maintenance can be such a bane to apartment living. Some managers put that off to the bitter end.
    Good luck with all the repairs.

  3. When we lived in the apartment, my husband made any repairs he felt competant making. The 'big jobs' he left to the maintenance crew.

  4. You have more patience than I - I would have fixed that long ago. I hate waiting...had to laugh about your neighbour down stairs

  5. I have a built-in 40 year old son is here with his wife and kids, and it may feel a bit crowded, but the benefits are immense! This son has managed to clean up my overgrown, ratty yard, tear out dead trees and shrubs, dig out dead weeds and old sod, make me a 20X40 ft garden complete with tomatoes, herbs, cukes, squash, onions, and peppers (bell and jalapeno), etc. He has repaired my second bathroom toilet, my sink, my air conditioner, my car, clean out a garage that had more junk in it than tools, and I can mail him to you for the minimal cost of $2,000.

  6. Anny,
    I think you're right about the surroundings being a better barometer of the economy than all the other indicators. Fran sounds like she's found the solution though--Rent-A-Son! LOL!