|I met my own Tweedledee and Tweedledum!|
The day started out normally.
I had a vacation day and was planning to run fifty million errands around my house. Originally, I had taken the day off to head home to Georgia, but as the time neared, we decided to postpone the trip to February or so.
Still, I desperately needed a day off and planned to enjoy it: a yoga class in Tampa, extended meditation, lots of writing, and a much needed trip to the mall.
Only my washer and dryer was broken. (The washer failed to continue to spin cycle, which meant that there was quite a bit of water stuck in it that needed to be drained before I could get the replacement new unit installed.)
As a renter, I had discussed the problem with my landlord. He said that I would be called when he knew the time for the repairman to come, who would also install the new unit from Home Depot.
As I hadn’t heard anything, I still planned to go about my day–and would have to cut it short and return home when I knew the expected time the repairman would call.
So, after enjoying a leisurely breakfast and black coffee, I headed into my restroom to brush my teeth and prepare to take a shower.
And then I heard voices outside my front door.
Followed by the sound of a key unlocking my lock.
“STOP STOP STOP!” I shouted, spitting my toothpaste out in the sink. “I’m in my PAJAMAS!” I yelled, running to stop the door from opening.
“Oh, sorry Missy” I heard on the other end. Followed by snorts and general laughter about my state of undress. (And they couldn’t even see anything!!)
Without a phone call, without even knocking, it seems the repairmen were at my apartment. And had been given a key without even the Building Manager escorting them to my door. And, without so much as a knock, the men were prepared to enter.
Thank goodness I hadn’t stepped in the shower already!
I threw on some clothes in record time (managing to get a yoga shirt on inside-out in my haste) and allowed the sixty-five year old stocky repairman “Steve” and his balding middle-aged associate to come inside.
Their thick-soled dirty shoes smashed into my floor with each step.
I shivered inside and slipped my feet into a pair of Tom’s. Clearly, I would have to clean the carpet immediately after they left. I didn’t even want to think about how their shoes got so dirty. Never mind the fact that they seemed to think my decorative rug was the best thing to attempt to “wipe” their feet on.
Into the laundry area they went.
I could hear them bicker.
I could hear them sound utterly confused.
I instructed them with common sense. (Such as, could they perhaps drain the water into a bucket or some such thing–not into my small bathroom sink pretty please.)
The water drained away.
And then…As I sat in the next room, the main man Steve popped his head out.
“All this water Missy,” he said with a serious expression on his face, “has made the bald headed man in my pants have to tinkle.”
I turned my gaze towards him, my eyes open in shock. Did he just say that!???! And uh, gross much?
“Huh!?!?” I said, this time aloud.
“I have to make a wee-wee,” Steve repeated. “May I use your commode?!”
Appalled, I attempted to keep a straight face. “Hold on,” I replied. “I will get you a guest hand-towel to use.”
“Oh that’s okay,” Steve said, waving away my towel, “I never wash my hands.”
My eyes buggered out.
“Please, take the towel,” I said, thrusting it at his face.
“Sometimes I use my shirt sleeves?” Steve offered, and I felt my entire back spasm in disgust. He was not joking.
Accompanied by his repairman, Steve went to use my bathroom. (Apparently adult men need to visit the bathroom together!?!?! Weird much? Especially as Steve was seemingly the only one who actually used the restroom.) Steve didn’t fully close the door, and I could hear him relieving the “bald headed man in his pants.” The toilet flushed. I listened carefully. The sink never turned on. Indeed, Mr. Steve did not wash his hands. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW.
And, in case you wondered, he also left the toilet seat up.
Grossed out beyond belief, I mentally began to tick off all the things that would need to be cleaned as soon as they left. Light switches, door knobs, the floor, the carpet, the toilet, the sink, the list was starting to get long.
And then they tried to remove the previous washer and dryer.
And that’s when they started to damage my furniture and my apartment.
BOOM. They ran into the wall.
BOOM. They ran into the door.
BOOM. They ran into a living room wall.
BOOM. They threatened to take out my entire apartment.
“STOP!” I shouted, as they knocked a picture frame off a wall in my living room (no where near laundry, FYI) and veered towards my vintage end-table. “Please stop, you’re hurting my stuff!” Yoga blankets went flying, blocks, straps, went scrambling in different directions. I ran after them and tried to rescue them. Because otherwise it seemed that Steve wanted to pick them up.
Steve wanted to touch all sorts of things unrelated to his job. Blankets, pillows, towels, my chair. Things not remotely connected to removing the washer/dryer. He wasn’t trying to help, it was almost as though he enjoyed creating chaos.
“Stop!” I yelled again, moving my stuff. “These are clean, let me touch them. Don’t touch them, you’re dirty!” (Yes, I may have made the mistake of yelling out that he was dirty… But he was the one who told me he never washed his hands? So we was dirty, right? And his shoes squished, which proved there was some element of nastiness there.) And my yoga stuff is super clean. I mean I put my FACE ON MY BOLSTER. Please don’t touch that stuff. Especially when it has no relation to what you are doing and is no where close to the path you should be taking the washer and dryer. Creepazoid.
All the while the men ran the washer and dryer into anything they could possibly find. Because, you know, common sense would tell you to take the easy straight-line path to exit the building. But Tweedledee and Tweedledum lacked even the smallest iota of common sense. I have gashes on doors, gashes on walls, even injured art-work.
Basically, these repairmen sucked.
But at that point, I could only pray that they would leave soon. And not, you know, try to attack me with their dirty fingers.
As they tried to install the new washer and dryer (making more gashes in the apartment as they brought it in, never fear) I overheard the following gems: “Which one goes on red which one goes on blue?” Followed, twenty minutes or so later (after much grunting and struggling, I might add. I swear, I could have installed the washer/dryer in half the time it took them) by the best lack of common sense line “Oh look, there are the instructions? Should we read them?” Never fear, they then crumpled up the instructions and threw them away. And shortly thereafter the men skedaddled in a hurry.
Before good ol’ Steve left (nearly two hours later), I brought up the damage to the apartment. (I have about eight-ten photos documenting how badly they hurt stuff.) Steve said “oh some Windex will clear all that right up!” (Uh… Windex will not repaint my walls, Steve. Nor will it remove the scratches you made up and down my door frame. It looks like a puppy chewed up and down each side of the doorway.) Steve then told me that he thought I was a bitch and would never again come to my apartment. As if I wanted him to?
Since he already called me a bitch, I felt (as he was out of my apartment) it was fair to bring up how inappropriate Steve was. “I will never have you back for repairs. Furthermore, I did not appreciate your reference to your penis in my presence. That was completely inappropriate, out-of-line, and made me uncomfortable.” Okay, perhaps that wasn’t the smartest since he still had a key to my place. But he just muttered something about me being a bitch and ran away. But it certainly made me feel better to articulate part of my disgust. (I figured the hand washing was a lost cause.)
Thankfully, his copy of my key was returned and, no, he did not take it to Ace Hardware first and make a copy to come and attack me. I also fully complained to the condo building manager about the damage, inappropriate conversation, and the icky icky non-washed hands. (I still think that part grossed me out the most.) My land-lord is a teensy bit of the creepy himself (well, at least I get the impression he does not think women are overly intelligent, nor does he treat us with the utmost of respect), so I merely documented the damage to him, which unto itself is a reason for me to have been fed up with the guy. Who expects a washer repairman to DAMAGE property in other rooms? Uh, no one.
I know I didn’t handle the situation as well as I ought to have. It certainly put my yogic compassion and meditation to the test. But I was so caught-off guard and so astounded by the entire scenario. I mean, I’m not sure you could make this stuff up! People wouldn’t even believe it on television.
And I’ve deep cleaned my entire apartment now. I still get grossed out by the fact that man admitted to never washing his hands.
And I did try to be super duper nice at first.
But, you know, I didn’t want my stuff ruined.
What would you have done?!?