It may remain in Airplane Mode for a while.
It — not my iPhone, the air conditioner.
My apartment cooler is in a nosedive. Mechanical hodge-podge of clamorous clunking, struggling sputterings and overworked chug-a-lugs signal that big repairs or replacement is due.
It’s not cooling as before and that smell … like dusty hot metal, like gears grinding without lubricant.
At any moment, the big machine above bathroom ceiling could cough a rugged rattle and groan and give up the ghost.
I’ve sought to ward that off by informing the apartment management and establishing a work order. Same reason you bring a vehicle problem to the mechanic when it appears and before a breakdown.
I’m not just being a responsible tenant but a considerate one, trying to make management’s job easier. Tend to the problem sooner than later as it only worsens (and it has).
That was 2 weeks ago when I brought it to management’s attention. Still waiting. Patience thin, I followed up yesterday. Still nothing.
Followed up again today.
“He’s got your work order. We had 3, 4 air conditioners go out today,” she said.
Mine in queue seems to be marching to the same fate.
The hardship of being without an air-con in 115 heat (44.4) in Phoenix is real. Every year people die from desert heat both outdoors and indoors. Sad.
That’s fact, not my irritation.
My irritation is the intent to do right, to act responsibly, maturely and with consideration toward management/maintenance, is foiled.
This touches upon my deepest and humble pride: I am a dream tenant.
I know every inch of any space I inhabit. I’m both neat freak and clean freak, an anti-clutter nazi too, for the record. One truly could eat off my floor any time.
I know every sound, feature and quirk to the detail.
Before I unpack and settle in, I deep clean on hands and knees into every corner and crevice. Floors included.
If a faucet presents a change, even a microscopic drip, I’ll notice. If a window rattles differently, I’ll hear it. A different or new smell, even slight, I’m a bloodhound.
Nothing gets by me. Hyper-sensitivity and alertness and attentiveness are wired into my nervous system (for positive and ill effects).
When something is amiss, I am on it. No dicking around, no delaying. I’ll either repair it myself or turn it over to management.
I treat EVERY space, regardless of quality, condition and — importantly — roommate abuse and madnesses — with the highest regard and respect and as if it were my own.
I proclaim proudly that no matter how shitty any situation or space, I NEVER take it out on a space. I always take the high road. Could not do otherwise. Spaces and Places are woven into my integrity.
And, circling back, is why I’ma dream tenant.
So when I do the right and responsible thing — in this instance taking preventative action by reporting a dying air-con — and get repeatedly sidelined for emergency fixes, I’m frustrated and annoyed.
Here’s why. I’d venture that most if not all the air-con deaths are because the tenant did not report the problem prior.
Landlords through time have collectively said that most tenants do not report problems. They ignore that drip until it becomes a downpour into the apartment below.
It’s a common and understandable grievance among landlords for which I have great compassion.
“No worries,” I inform them. “The moment something’s amiss, you will be informed.”
My pledge my promise my integrity and my humblest respect and regard for Spaces and Places. I treat each as if it were my own.
Still. No good deed goes unpunished.
So as the air-con sounds its jet-engine roar in a nosedive, part of me can’t help but think:
Mature responsibility and thoughtful consideration of others are overrated.
I need a chilled beer, from the quiet cool functioning fridge, gratefully. Ever silver linings, n’est pas.