Monthly Archives: May 2011

Cars, Part 2

I have been sadly remiss in updating on our car situation. April is a busy month for us. I’m not sure why, but it always has been. At any rate, late it might be, here is your update.

Ali was able to take us to the towing lot, where we ran into a family picking up their two cars. They were also renters in our neighborhood who’d had their cars towed away. We got our cars back, although the shady gentleman behind the desk was not prepared to give us a receipt until I asked. Cars (and set) thus retrieved, we returned home.

Did I mention the set before? Right, Ben’s current show (with the company Ali owns) is a two-actor tour where the actors each have half the set in their personal vehicles. Which meant that when Ben’s car was towed, so was half the set. Which was the other half of why Ali was so amazingly great in helping us retrieve the cars: she had a professional interest in the matter. The other half is that she’s just awesome like that.

So, now we had our cars back, we had to make sure they wouldn’t go wandering off on us again. That meant more phone calls to the landlord and the management company. I just want to state now that our landlord has been amazing and 100% supportive through this whole thing. When we moved in, she said they had been talking about new parking permits and would let her know when they planned to put them into effect. She even called them before they sent out the letter, and the management company gave us nothing.

Ben had an MRI scheduled with NIH that afternoon (part of a paid study, not a health concern), so I was on my own. Calling the management office told me that their physical office was in Wheaton, half an hour away. They said we’d be able to fill out a “reimbursement form” and pick up new permits that day. So I drove down.

The address was confusing, taking me to a high-rise apartment building, who told me what I was actually looking for was in a suite around the side of the building. Once I got in, the receptionist was friendly, but didn’t really have much information. The “reimbursement form” turned out to be a form for a letter of inquiry to the Board of Directors, requesting they consider reimbursement. I had three lines to describe the problem, and then the management company would represent my case to the board. Right. I filled it out and turned it in, then was taken to another desk to actually get our new permits.

I spoke to a wonderful woman who not only got the permits, but also answered my many questions. For one, our landlord had been told letters were sent to her and to us. The woman at the desk told me that couldn’t possibly be true since they did not have authorization from the board to spend the money to send out additional letters, so tenants did not receive notification. She handed me a copy of the letter that was supposed to have been sent to our landlord. It said that parking permits would not be mailed and were instead to be picked up at the community center on two dates. The community center that is across the parking lot from our front door. On two different days in March. And no signs were ever posted.

Ben and I lost a day of work each, $350 in towing expenses, a day of driving around and dozens of phone calls because the board of directors was too cheap to put up a piece of paper taped to a stick that said “New Parking Permits in effect 4/15.” Or “New Parking Permits at the Community Center 3/15.” Either of which would have caused us to call our landlord for more information, avoiding this whole mess. A piece of paper, a roll of tape, and a sharpie.

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

The other thing the management company told me is that the board meetings are in our neighborhood at the same community center across the parking lot, and the next one is May 10th. As a tenant, I do not have a vote, but I can attend and voice opinions. I have an outlet for this rage that is building inside me. The meeting is tomorrow night, and you bet I will be attending.

Oh, and the kicker to all this? Last week, we received a letter from the management company about pool passes. Apparently, they can find funding to notify us about the really important things.