Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The unbending fury of a thousand suns

So I had to go downtown yesterday yet again to the Daley Center, thanks to asshat former tenant Casey Moll and the small claims court thing, and the fact that the court date was originally set for tomorrow. You know, when I’ll be out of town. As I walked into the federal building, my eyes darted around surreptitiously – would there be a wanted poster? An APB? Or something more subtle, like alarms blaring as soon as I walked in, thanks to my less-than-successful day the LAST time I was here?

But I get ahead of myself. Let’s go back to that halcyon day in late December…

(cue too-doo-loo Wayne’s World music)

December 23

It’s blizzarding outside, and I have to head downtown, in the windy, pelting snow. Fantastic. Why? Well you see, gentle reader(s), Miss Tasha has supremely bad luck when it comes to tenants living in the upstairs apartment of her 2-flat. There were the idiots who drilled huge holes in the wall to run cable into every room, then there was deadbeat tenant Katherine Hart who trashed the place and skipped out on the rent. The latest crop of ne’er-do-wells were the Springer Girls. Yes, 3 girls in their 20s, all of whom worked for the Jerry Springer Show. That should have been tipoff right there, huh? Duh.

Anyway – they were your typical useless tenants for the 2 years they lived here – never paid rent on time, couldn’t change a light bulb, always left the common lights on, broke the back storm door because they couldn’t be bothered to close it, etc. But finding new tenants is a hassle, so after warning them that they’d be racking up late fees because of the rent issue, I let it all go.

Then they move out. And I discover that not only did they paint the walls garish colors (brown, bright green, maroon), poorly at that, but they caused a lot of other damage and left a lot of junk behind and filth, for which I had to hire people to a) get rid of stuff, and b) clean. And my favorite? They put a fucking HUGE HOLE in the formerly pristine 100-year-old hardwood floor.

So call me crazy, but they didn’t get all of their security deposit back. I would have kept the whole damn thing, but one of them didn’t pay the last month’s rent. So I kept 2/3rds, far less than what the actual damages were. And while I seriously thought about taking them to small claims court myself, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle factor, nor pay the fee to file, which in IL is a couple of hundred bucks.

Now, since we’re talking about spoiled, overprivileged brats here who’ve apparently always had their daddies take care of everything for them, and who don’t realize that when you trash the apartment you live in you have to suffer the consequences – one of them decided that SHE would file in small claims. WTH? I mean, how do people even think they can get away with this shit??

From what I could decipher from all the legal mumbo-jumbo on these documents, I needed to go downtown by December 24th to file…something. I somehow got the impression that I needed to file my supporting documents, so I run around getting pictures printed of the damage, writing things up, etc. And head downtown, in the aforementioned blizzard. Looking on the bright side, I figure while I’m there I’ll get this crap taken care of and then head to the Christkindl Market for some glogg and potato pancakes, since I’m, umm…..carb-loading, yeah, that’s it. Carb-loading. Eating potato pancakes only under duress.

I get to room 1601, where I see signs about paying some $168 fee. Hmm. I had better not have to fucking pay that, or this is going to get ugly.

I have to pay that fee.

Me, furious, talking to hapless clerk: What? You’ve got to be kidding me! If I could have paid that, I would have filed the suit in the first place!
Hapless clerk: Sorry miss, but you can file these papers to waive the fee.
Me, muttering, snatching the papers from him: Give me those. You people have got to be kidding me….

I fill them out, all this stuff about income last year and expenses, etc., then make my way through elevator hell and trudge over to the other office via the other elevator bank. The rage is building, that I even have to waste time on all this bullshit thanks to some spoiled indulgent brats.

Office 1305 – I go in, and a man who looks amazingly like Dwayne from The Office – or the stapler guy from Office Space – finally looks up.

Dwayne: Do you have a picture ID?
Me: Sur…
Dwayne, interrupting me: Yes or no!!!
Me: Yes!

You know, you watch shows like The Office and think, there can’t possibly be actual people like that, such caricatures – and then you meet someone like Dwayne here at the Daley Center, and realize….oh yes. Yes there can be. As Dwayne shuffles through my papers, asking a few questions about expenses and such, I idly look at his desk to see if there’s a red stapler. There isn’t – but there is a bamboo plant, a snowglobe, and of course a beanie baby. Really. And anyone else who comes in gets the same “Yes or no!!” barked at them – so at least he’s consistent, in a very scary way. He finally sends me off to wait in the hallway.

Another 20 minutes pass, and I’m called in with 2 guys, where Dwayne almost seems reluctant to tell us the bad news.

Dwayne: I’m sorry, but none of you got your fees waived.
Me, shocked: What?? How is that possible? I had negative income last year – and all those expenses!
Dwayne: The judge only looks at income compared to the official poverty level income.
Me: WHAT? Then what was the point of writing down all those expenses?

The two other guys haven’t said a word to this point, but the little thought bubbles over their heads are pretty obvious: “Boy, this white girl is gonna get herself arrested!” They clearly think I’m insane.

Dwayne: The decision is based on the off….
Me: Oh, WHATEVER! Give me those papers already!
Dwayne: If any of you can’t pay the fee now, you can have another week to pa…
Me, snarling, as the 2 guys are shaking their heads about paying: I’ll pay now! I’m not stretching this garbage out!

There’s silence as Dwayne scribbles some denial verbiage on my papers, and as I snatch them out of his hand as he holds them out, I notice out of the corner of my eye a security guard standing off to the side. No matter. My rage transcends such mundane details. Let’s be clear that it’s not the money as much as it is the fucking principle of the thing – again, that I have to deal with this shit because of these asshat bitches who TRASHED THE APARTMENT. What. The. Hell. Have I mentioned anytime recently just how tired I am of this kind of shit?? Of being taken advantage of by self-centered irresponsible vapid asshats??

Of course I have one final sally as I turn around to head out of this office.

“And you know, my TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars in medical bills from cancer THANK THE JUDGE!” I yell.

Really, I yell this. And start to stalk out, as I notice the security guy starting to move forward, while the 2 guys? I believe their mouths are hanging open at this point……

(to be continued)

(P.S. Low for Orlando for Saturday is now 26. I am not making this up.)

1 comment:

RP said...

Holy Crap girl! You get yourself into some serious shit, doncha? R'mber this has to go in the book vault. Oh, and yes, there are def Dwaynes out there. I've met them many times, *shuddering*