Today was a Charlie Brown kind of day, and this post is ridiculously long.
I got a call Saturday afternoon, but I had my phone on “silent” and was asleep at the time since it was my day off. I woke up around 4pm (remember, I work night shift nowadays) and Chris was off watching the South Carolina game. I turned my phone to “normal”, and gave him a call to see what time he’d be home. He mentioned that he’d tried calling a few times and had left a message when I didn’t answer, so when I saw the “voicemail” icon on my blackberry, I figured it was the message he’d told me about and didn’t listen to it. I also didn’t listen to it on Sunday because I was a lazy vegetable and didn’t want to do anything, not even pick up my phone.
I woke up “early” this morning to get my hair done (early being 11am). I had a few minutes to kill and decided to delete my voicemails before heading out the door. Imagine my surprise when I realized that one of them was my credit card company. Apparently, there had been a lot of unusual activity, and if they didn’t hear from my by the 15th (Sunday) they were going to put a hold on my account. Darn it. When I called I was transferred to an automated message (of course) and was given the name of the first company with a suspicious charge. It was a video game store, and I thought that there was a slight chance that Chris had purchased something from them. I decided to deal with the credit card stuff later when Chris was around and I could verify charges with him.
So I got in my car and drove to the bank, thinking to get some tip money for my new stylist. I drove down the road and looked for the branch office. Finally, I realized that I must have somehow missed it and decided to turn around. At this point I’m already irritated – I’m up early, there’s weird stuff going on with my credit card, I can’t find my bank, and I’m running late for my appointment. I did a u-turn and looked for my bank again, still without seeing it. Just as I’m starting to think that I’ve gone nuts and my bank has somehow disappeared off the map, I see it… or what used to be it. The building was a different color, different material (wood siding instead of the usual brick), there’s new trees, and, oh yeah, it was no longer my bank! I was so surprised that I drove into the parking lot anyway, just to make sure. I don’t know what I expected pulling into the parking lot to do, but once I did there was no denying that this was no longer my bank. Perfect! Now I’m going to be late, have $6 in cash for a tip, and some idiot is racking up charges on my credit card (or at least had been racking up charges till they put a hold on it). Thankfully, my new stylist allowed me to add 20% to the credit card charge for my bill, and I didn’t need the cash after all.
So I get my hair done, it turns out pretty nice (although not quite as nice as when I got it done in Boston, but hey, what do you expect from a place in South Bend, Indiana?), did some grocery shopping, and drove home. I called the credit card company again when Chris got home. He hadn’t made any of the charges, and there were some crazy, crazy charges. Like, over 60 fraudulent charges for video games, computer supplies, and I-Tunes. Good grief! They canceled the account, and then asked me how soon I needed the new cards. I said that I would like to have them before the week was up, and was told that they couldn’t get here any faster than 7 days unless I wanted to pay a fee. It was one of the moments where I wanted to say, “Well, why the heck did you ask me how soon I wanted them if you knew that they wouldn’t be here for at least 7 days unless I paid you $20 to overnight them?” But that seemed kind of mean, so I said 7 days would be fine and hung up.
Next, I called our apartment complex. Our rent is automatically charged to this particular credit card each month and I wanted to make sure that they didn’t use it again. They were perfectly helpful until they got to the part where they asked, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” I told the apartment rep that, yes, in fact, there was something else she could help me with – the noise issues we were having with our next door neighbors. The change in her tone of voice was so fast, it must’ve set a new record. She went from being kind and sympathetic to cold and civil in about 3 seconds flat.
Now, we’ve lived her since August, and since August, our neighbors have been loud. Loud as in screaming, yelling, swearing, music blasting, things being thrown, footsteps pounding up and down the stairs, and being able to hear them word-for-word at all hours. We’ve always just gritted our teeth and tried to ignore it. Frankly, my neighbors scare me and I wouldn’t put it past them to retaliate in some way, shape, or form. Lately, it’s gotten so loud that the neighbors on the other side of our townhouse have started to complain to us, saying that they can hear our neighbors all the way over on their side of the building. That’s ridiculous.
Sunday was the limit. They were blasting their music, I was exhausted, and finally asked Chris to please go over there and speak with them. Chris was a sweetheart, got up from his work, and walked over to their door. The scenario as I imagined it based on what I heard went something like this: Chris knocked on the door, neighbor turns music down, opens the door, sees Chris, goes upstairs so that her mom can deal with it, mom comes downstairs, apologizes, and turns off the music. That was the way it sounded on my end of things. Until Chris came back inside and told me that they’d never even opened the door. Rude. I now imagine that what actually happened was this: daughter was blasting her music, heard someone knocking, skedaddled upstairs to spy out the bedroom window and see who it was, recognized her neighbor, thought, “Oh crap! I’m going to get in so much trouble for blasting my music!”, ran downstairs, and shut the music off, hoping that Chris would just go away and that her mom wouldn’t hear. Or maybe it was the mom and not the daughter. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.
Regardless of what actually took place, I’ve had enough. So when I called our apartment company about the credit card, I figured that I would file my first complaint. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Turns out, they don’t take complaints over the phone. They only take complaints if they are documented on a specific form, and in order to get the form we have to drive over to their office to pick it up. I’m guessing that they didn’t want to deal with complaints, so they made it difficult for residents to file them. Why I’m not able to call and have them document it on the stupid form is beyond me. I asked if there was any way they could put the form in my mailbox. Nope, no can do. I told her that I’d never lived in an apartment complex that didn’t take noise complaints over the phone, but that we’d be by to pick up a form tonight. She said “fine” and hung up without saying good-bye. Oh, Professionalism and Customer Service, where have you gone?
Chris was once again a sweetheart and drove to the office to get a form. I told him to pick up several so that each time this happens, we can have proof. If they want paperwork, I will give them paperwork. I’m hoping that when they follow-up on the complaint they leave us out of it. In other words, I really hope that our cars don’t get keyed, Bear doesn’t get dog-napped, and we don’t find exploding bags of garbage on our front door step. Listening to the stuff that our neighbors scream at each other, I wouldn’t put it past them. Ugh.
*Let me update this by saying that we didn’t catch these charges, because they had all literally happened within the last 2 days, and the hold was put on our card after the 2nd day. Our billing statement doesn’t show information until 4 days has passed, so there was no way that we could have caught the charges right away*