Tuesday, May 30, 2006

hell hath no fury like a woman sneezing

When we moved in to our one-bedroom loft apartment, we asked the agent several times if we were allowed to install an air-conditioner. Although the bedroom window is a crank-open glass pane over a screen, the agent assured us, absolutely and positively, that the window could be refitted to install A/C.

We didn't have it done, that first summer because -- hello, it's Maine. There are maybe three months out of the year during which indoor cooling is absolutely necessary, and then only because our apartment has a western-facing skylight that gets direct afternoon exposure. We decided to be good, environmentally-friendly Mainers, and stored our trusty little window unit in our garage locker.

Fast-forward to today. It would seem that, this year, I have developed allergies. I am sure they are not extraordinarily severe in the grand scheme of allergies, but they are uncomfortable enough that they are interfering with my everyday activities.

All conventional wisdom -- Mom, Mom-in-law, doctor friends, random girl-on-the-street-types, et alia -- points to having the air-conditioner installed to help alleviate the symptoms. The air purifier can't do the job alone, particularly if we have to keep all the windows open to get some circulation and cool air flow. So Jim called the management company.

Who insisted, almost immediately, that our unit can't have an air-conditioner installed.

Cue righteous anger.

I mean, the management company has never really impressed me with any kind of take-charge, done-yesterday attitude. Requesting services usually involves several phone calls until someone familiar with this building actually determines if said service can be completed, and if it can, well, then the capable-but-laconic maintenance staff will usually show up ... at some point. (Again: Maine. Things don't happen in a hurry here.)

And I know, too, that the agent who rented us our apartment in the first place no longer manages the property -- in fact, she may no longer be with the company -- and she definitely gave off an impression of, well, overwhelming ditziness.

Still. I'm sure that if I had a decent amount of carpentry knowledge -- and, er, my best friend nearby -- I could go to Home Depot, get a normal sliding-pane window, replace the crank, and install the A/C unit. Seriously. It's a window, otherwise known as "a hole in the wall that a frame, a screen, and some glass have been fitted into to provide light and air."

I sent a very strongly worded e-mail to the property manager, cc'd to Jim. He was impressed with my "forceful and forthright" wording. I decided it was less "forceful and forthright" than "impotent renter hissyfit in professional clothing."

If I don't hear back, she's getting a very nasty voicemail after business hours today, and I just may head over to Home Depot.

Which can't be good for re-rental value, I'm sure.

1 comment:

LizzieDaisy said...

I haven't seen your apartment, but I've never seen a normal window that couldn't have an airconditioner put in it. The kids have one in theirs that doesn't hurt it at all. $30 at a garage sale and no altering of the house (which is brick)... just sits on the sill and has little side pieces that slide back and forth to make it fit to the sides.

Anyway, I'd just do it myself and say screw 'um.