Wednesday, January 29, 2003

What is going on with people these days? I have never had this much trouble finding a roommate before in my life.

Back story – Roommate (the really snotty, thinks he’s too fabulous for anything or anyone) decides to move out of the apartment (a nice three bedroom affair in Washington Heights). Of course, he gives us no notice whatsoever and agrees to pay his portion of the rent for the month of December to make up for it. The other roommate and I decide to play it a little cool and see if we like the two person arrangement (which we do) however, when we get the new lease we see that the rent of the apartment has gone up which means we need to bring another new person in to make it affordable.

In my first attempt at finding a roommate I was overwhelmed with a number of emails and phone calls from people who were dying to live in my two bedroom apartment in Astoria. Within two hours of placing the first round of postings, I had over twenty phone calls with some people even offering me money just so they could have the place. One poor id who had just moved here from Japan asked what happened if more than one person wanted to move into the apartment and was shocked to learn that I would be making the ultimate decision as to who would be moving in.

Sorry, this wasn’t a first come, first served situation. It was all about finding the right person that I could live with in the apartment – someone I could get along with.

Well, I picked the wrong person.

The new roommate was a clean freak and pretty much petty about everything. If I did something not to his liking then I heard about it in spades. He didn’t like me being online (even though he knew I did a lot of online research for my job) because it kept him from being on the phone for hours at a time. To give you an example, I was working on a turnover report for a company that declared bankruptcy recently and I needed to pull statistics from various government agencies and independent studies in order to back up some of my suppositions. Roomie was on the phone from 7:00pm when I got home until well past 10:00pm and pretty much ignored my repeated requests for use of the phone line to complete my work.

“Oh, I’ll be right off,” he would say and he would keep on yammering. But if I was online I had to get off right away so he could check his external voicemail to see if there was anything new on the dance front. He fancied himself a dancer but I saw some of his work and it was nothing special. I made a gentle suggestion that he might want to invest in his own phone line since 1) it was my original phone line to begin with and 2) I was doing a lot of research over the course of that job and they kicked us out of the office after 6:00. This did not go over well and he said that there was no way he was getting a new phone line since it wasn’t a part of our “original agreement” (a phrase he used rather often) when he moved in and if anyone was to get a new phone line it was me. So I did it. I got a new phone line just for my computer so he could be a happy man and chat his fool head off.

Later this phone line would come in handy when he got pissed that I mailed the phone bill off late and told me that if I was going to be like that I should just turn off the phone line entirely. So I did. I suspended the service to the phone line and directed people that if they wanted to contact me they could on my computer phone line. He went ballistic and all I said was, “You said to turn it off. So I did. Why are you complaining?” I did the same with the cable as well to which I responded in the same manner. He bitched that I couldn’t do it (which I could since the bills were in my name) and that if he needed to make a phone call he was going to plug his phone into my jack and have his friends call on that line. I told him that if they did call on that line they would be told that they were calling on my private phone line and that they would have to wait to talk to him when he established phone service of his own. Ultimately, I restored the main phone line and turned it over to him with the bill under his own name and used the computer line for both personal and computer uses. As I told a friend, it took losing a battle to ultimately win the war.

This roomie finally moved out in December 2001 when he bought a house in New Jersey. Mind you I knew he was looking at buying houses because I came home from Thanksgiving to find realtor magazines on top of the TV in my room. (Oh yes, I restored cable -- but in my room only. If he wanted cable, he would have to order it himself.) This of course pissed me off because he went apeshit the one day I put his mail on his bed instead of in some other location he never specified. He installed a lock on his door and then a padlock as well just to make sure I didn’t go in ever again. Mind you he had no problem going into my room (which I couldn’t lock since it had no doors as it was the former living room). I later asked him if the magazines were his and he said “no” which I knew was a lie but I wasn’t surprised when he told me in December that he was moving out but it was all good because his friend “Tom” was looking for a place and he could move in immediately.

Hell no. No one even remotely related to him was going to move in. I wanted to sever all ties.

So I said “Tom” could move in for that month since he was looking for a new place but it would be just for that month since I was going to get someone else to move in and since he was paying rent for the month of January, well…I guess it was okay. Well the now ex-roommate moved out while I was in Florida and the landlady was pissed because he had given her no notice whatsoever that he was moving out and was, apparently, rather rude to her when he was doing it. No surprise since he was rude to her all throughout the time he lived there. However, he didn’t tell her that his friend “Tom” was moving in nor had he explained to her that he was using his security deposit for his last month of rent in the apartment.

Thus began the litany of phone calls between me, ex-roommate, and landlady (who would later turn psycho) to get the entire thing straightened out. Technically “Tom” should not have been living there since he had no paid security deposit and was living off of my security deposit which made me nervous and then there was the question of whether or not he had paid rent or if the ex-roommate had paid rent and I was almost stuck with paying for the balance of the rent which really sucked but that finally got worked out and it was one stressful month for me and the landlady who would later tell me that the ex-roommate had done nothing but bad mouth me to her for several months.

Great.

Just what I needed.

My last roommate, I adored. Sweetheart of a girl from Kentucky. Miss her sometimes since she had a vicious sense of humor.

So here I am on a roommate search again. My current roommate interviewed a guy who seemed more interested in dating him (or at least having body slamming sex) than the apartment itself and yesterday I called back a guy who had called about the apartment to set up a time for him to come see it only to have him drop out an hour later when he said that he couldn’t afford the $700 a month even though it included all utilities except phone. Since then it’s been a barren wasteland with no calls, no responses, and some desperation building.

Sigh.

What is up with people?
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