“Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most. — Joseph Wood Krutch
N O T R E A L L Y A N I D E A L H O U S E P E T
I woke up this morning shortly before 8:00 a. m. and wrote a long, explanatory email message to the site manager’s office. She was not here all week and I wanted to keep her updated to what was happening on the site. There were many questions needing answers and there was no one in the office to help.
I pressed the send message button around 8:25 a.m. and at 9:00 a.m. the telephone rang and it was the female manager on the other end. She was at another remote site until next Friday but offered to answer almost all my questions.
It seems that she was bound by a “non disclosure agreement” and was unable to offer me specific details about any one particular suite’s situation. I told her I understood her position but added that I was familiar with the various players in this particular scenario. We had griped about the situation on Friday afternoon.
I wanted to know why the memo they sent the tenants in this block was so vague and lacking details. I expected the annual suite inspection. The guy on main floor prepared his suite and possessions for a general fumigation effort. The two women on second and third floor did not know what to expect.
We were all surprised when a pest control representative knocked on our doors, placed his large brief case on the kitchen counter top and started to routinely setup the peanut butter traps for some unknown pest.
He told us he was on the hunt for cockroaches. What a surprise. I think he did the job in a less than perfect manner. In two suites he moved the fridge and stove around and in another just started to routinely place the sticky pest traps under the kitchen sink, by the fridge and in the main bathrooms by the toilet bowls.
The manager tried to dismiss the confusion about the notifications:
She said “there were a number of types of notices issued: (1) inspection notice – for pest control ; (2) annual suite inspections; (3) notifications to enter a suite; and (4) notification to examine suites for damages.”
It all made logical sense. But not really. How are tenants going to know the proper way to interpret the notice they were issued?
Why the overt subterfuge? Why not inform affected tenants outright that there was some type of pest infestation and that suites would be visited by a pest control official?
She told me they like to protect a tenant’s privacy. I thought it strange that the privacy clause protects the identity of one tenant while exposing tenants living near the infested suite in harms way.
She kept her answers short and evasive and told me that what she said to me was done in confidence. This is the way she is expected to handle all customer complaints and concerns.
She was baffled by the fact that the telephone answering system malfunctioned. I told her I called the after hours number and made my complaint vocal and wanted answers.
I asked how long do we keep the peanut butter traps in our suites? She said she would tell the pest control worker to remove them at the end of the test period.
I told her that one other resident and myself saw cockroaches climbing all over the washer and dryer in the laundry room. This was one place where he did not place a much needed trap. She did not answer that query.
She did not believe that another office manager told one tenant that cockroaches ” are a normal part of apartments and that one is no real concern.” To that she said that even one cockroach is a major concern.
I know the answers to my questions were not especially revealing or helpful but until the pest controller returns all we can do is cross our fingers, clean our suites and make sure we all have a good supply a smooth ( not crunchy style) peanut butter in our pantries.