As most of you are aware, I like my food, and it shows. I have always appreciated a well stocked larder, especially now as I live in an active earthquake zone. The old house had a huge Sub Zero brand refrigerator which pretty much set the standard for fresh food storage. My current place came with a Hotpoint of indifferent appearance and lacking even an ice maker though I managed somehow. Initially I was having a heck of a problem with ice buildup in the freezer compartment, though this problem was solved by the maintenance guy plugging the hole in the rear of the unit which provides access for the water pipe to the non existent ice maker. Problem solved, or so I thought.
Not only did ice continue to build up, this time around the door rather than the rear, but the fridge compartment was not cold enough to even stop the butter from softening. Once again I put in a maintenance request and after the usual game of phone tag spoke with the coordinator we agreed that as I am now out of the house 12 hours a day ( see “Career Opportunities”) I would empty the fridge, putting the perishables in coolers on the kitchen counter and that he and his team would replace them once the work was completed. This seemed fair as the job would involve removing the old fridge and bringing in a loaner while repairs were undertaken, especially as they would have to lug loaner up the stairs.
Having removed the bookshelves and shoe rack from hallway the previous evening, I dutifully packed the coolers and left them on the counter before heading off to work. Little did I know that the coordinators’ words would be so prescient: when making the arrangements, he said “Everything will be back in the fridge, just not in the right place” Ooooh, how half right he was.
I returned 36 hours later, having spent the previous evening with my sweetie and barely had time to drop off my bags before heading out to pick up the kids for dinner when my eyes were greeted by guess what? The full coolers sitting on the counter where I had left them a day and a half previously! Let me repeat that. The entire contents of my fridge had been left un-refrigerated for 36 hours. As you can imagine, this made me very unhappy as I now had absolutely nothing to give the kids for dinner. At least the trip to and from their house gave me a chance to calm down a bit. I called the guy in charge and was greeted by his voice mail. I didn’t swear, largely because the kids were in the room, but I made clear in no uncertain terms my anger and outrage at the situation. I also made it patently clear that the management company would be paying not only for the full replacement cost of the contents, but also any meals I had to buy as a consequence. I believe the phrase “Epic fail” was used several times in my message, but I was so angry I can’t give an accurate count.
After we returned from the diner, “Moe” (not his real name) called, apologised and admitted full culpability, which assuaged me somewhat, as did his promise to “Take care of things”. I took the opportunity to email him and his boss regarding what I expected, and was met with no resistance at all. I think it fair to say that I was abrupt, direct and forthright in my email, but at least I managed to avoid obscenity or the use of outright threats, which is quite an achievement, considering the circumstances.
It took me about a week and a half and several trips to replace the contents, made easier by the fact that I’d made sure to document every spoiled item before making trips to the dumpster and email the list to the interested parties. Leaving aside the time, mileage, wear and tear and general mental anguish, the total came to $480. I know this sounds like a lot, and it is, but as I was buying new to replace used, as it were, it all added up. I can’t really walk into the store, buy a quart of milk and then ask the checkout guy to pour out 2 1/2 pints, can I? Of course, I kept all my receipts both for shopping and meals so that I could back up my claim. I expected a quick resolution, but it took a little over three weeks for the cheque to arrive, and only then after I’d dropped all attempts at humour and understanding and threw a bit of snippiness into my third email on the subject.
Needless to say, I could have done without all the grief involved in all this, but at least I ended up with a fridge full of brand new food and in rather more quantity that prior to the “Great melt” of ’15. I suppose I should be grateful that I lost only the contents of my fridge and not the contents of my drinks cabinet. Had the latter occurred, not only would I have been considerably angrier, but the replacement cost would have run well into four figures, something for which I’m sure the property managers are extremely grateful.