A New York Story

I’ve written before about our plumbing problems. They continue. The good news is that we’ve figured out why our little interior pipes are acting leaky and sad. It seems that the claw feet for our solid ton (I think it’s made out of kryptonite) bathtub are more propped up against it than properly attached. So as it settles over the month it pulls the pipes, which bend and then weep water onto our floor. It’s good to know what the problem is, and we’ve got the building maintenance guy on proper soldering and then pipe repair.

This all seemed like a much bigger deal until Monday, when we were given a lesson in perspective.

**This story is, obviously, from my point of view. Others would likely tell it different. But I think it unlikely that anyone else is blogging this fascinating story.

Onward. Here’s the necessary context, and why this is specifically a New York story: We live in a co-op. Legally, that means we own shares in the corporation that is our building. Our shares give us the right to live in a specific apartment within the building. The building is run by a board of directors that makes all the rules for us. It’s kind of like a condo association, but with more power. For example: egregious rules violators can be forced to sell their shares and move. I’ve never seen that happen, but it is possible. One of the rules is that anyone needing plumbing or electrical work done must submit the plan to the board. The board then checks to make sure the plumbers are licensed and bonded, and that the plan is architecturally sound. It may seem a little repressive, but it prevents residents from users hack plumbers who do damage that extends past individual apartments. If that didn’t look like foreshadowing, look again.

So Sunday night around 11:30 everyone on the board (as Damon is) gets an email from the resident who lives directly above us saying: I’m having some plumbing work done tomorrow. Thanks!

That’s not okay. So the building manager is at her door bright and early to say, “Stop that! You know better.” So he makes her send her plumber away and reviews with her the required procedure.

It seems that what happened was that she sent her guy away, and told him to come back after office hours. So around 7 on Monday I hear the sound of metal banging on metal, and two minutes later Damon comes into the living room to say, “Hey, there’s water coming out of our light socket.” Damon runs upstairs to tell them what’s going on, to which he gets, basically, the “nuh-uh” argument. So he came back down and we called the building manager. By the time the right people had been tracked down on a Monday night it was nearly 11 and water was trickling both from the socket and the light switch. Which I’m pretty sure can kill you. So the maintenance guy shows up and tells them to knock it off immediately. When they refuse he has to threaten to call the police and have the plumber forcibly removed. That does the trick. He turns off the water to that apartment.

I won’t go on with each details. The quick cut to the ending is that it seems that while her water has been turned off to the bathroom, her plumber (who apparently forgot to turn the water off before he started banging on the pipes) damaged some of the pipes in her floor/our ceiling. Probably a ripple effect of something he damaged closer to the surface. Now on Saturday we still have water coming out of every electrical outlet, including filling up our light fixture every day. The ceiling and two walls are peeling, cracking, and badly water stained. There’s a hole in the ceiling where new plumbers attempted to reach the leaks, but failed. And the nursery wall, which is adjacent to the bathroom, is completely destroyed. It looks like one huge water spot. It’s cracking all over and the baseboard has pulled away. And, oh, it smells awful. Our building manager said it’s a toss up at this point as to whether that adjoining wall (which is the tiled bathroom wall on the other side) will be salvageable or will have to be totally rebuilt. Next stop is to tear up her entire bathroom floor to try to access the leak. In the meantime, all bathroom business has to be conducted with the help of a flashlight because we’re afraid of the building bursting into flames if we use the soaked electrical wiring.

Did I mention that I’m eight months pregnant? Because while I’m doing my best to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing (and knowing we won’t have to pay for any of it helps) I am eventually going to snap. It will not be okay with me to bring home a newborn while construction and painting is going on in our 800-square-foot home. No no no no no.

Advertisements

72 responses to this post.

  1. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  2. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  3. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  4. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  5. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  6. OH MY GOD.
    i’m so sorry. what a terrible mess.

    Reply

  7. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  8. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  9. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  10. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  11. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  12. Ugh! This would be nasty at any time, but the timing could hardly be worse. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Reply

  13. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

  14. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

    • Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

      Reply

    • Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

      Reply

    • Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

      Reply

    • Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

      Reply

    • Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

      Reply

  15. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

  16. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

  17. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

  18. I must say you’re handling this much better than I would, and I’m not pregnant. I’m afraid that were I in your shoes, it would be me and that woman, and mostly me.

    Reply

  19. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

  20. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

    • Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Reply

    • Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Reply

    • Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Reply

    • Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Reply

    • Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
      Thanks for the good wishes!

      Reply

  21. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

  22. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

  23. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

  24. Hm. Maybe you’ll get to see what forcing a violator to sell shares and move out looks like Real Soon Now.
    And I hope stuff gets fixed even more Real Soon Now, and that this set of contractors is fast and efficient. Sheesh.

    Reply

  25. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

  26. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

    • I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

      Reply

    • I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

      Reply

    • I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

      Reply

    • I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

      Reply

    • I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

      Reply

  27. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

  28. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

  29. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

  30. Tell me that this is one of those situations where you’re going to force the person to sell and move?

    Reply

  31. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

  32. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

    • The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
      I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

      Reply

    • The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
      I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

      Reply

    • The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
      I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

      Reply

    • The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
      I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

      Reply

    • The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
      I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

      Reply

  33. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

  34. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

  35. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

  36. Oh. My. God. That is just terrible. Who is paying for everything? Wonder if you guys can force her to pay for a hotel room for you and the baby while the paint and pipe fumes are dissipating? (If they replace pipes, do be absent for the duration. Whatever they sealed mine with is really nasty.)

    Reply

  37. Thank you. I am not at all above appreciating sympathy!

    Reply

  38. Much appreciated! My hope is that we can really get them moving fast this week.

    Reply

  39. Yeah. I keep going back and forth. Sometimes I hope she comes down here (as she has done once, when I wasn’t home) to deny that this is her problem. And sometimes I pray I never run into her. But the outcome of the meeting would probably be the same in either circumstance.

    Reply

  40. Yeah, around the time I saw mold blossoming on the nursery wall I stopped worrying at all about what was “too much” in terms of punishment for her.
    Thanks for the good wishes!

    Reply

  41. I don’t know, actually. We’re forcing the management company to deal with her, arguing that we didn’t do this and shouldn’t have to hassle with her on top of it. At the very least, her insurance company is going to be very unhappy with her.

    Reply

  42. The upstairs neighbor is liable for everything. Now, she’s denying that. But it’s up to our management company and their lawyers to fight it out with her. Honestly, she doesn’t stand a chance. And all of us were required to file our liability insurance information with the board, so it’s not like they can’t call them whether she wants them to or not.
    I’m going to insist that all the work that gets done involves the least hazardous chemicals (low VOC paints, etc), which will probably substantially increase the cost. But it still won’t be as much as the lawsuit over my baby’s brain damage, which is something I feel I can make the insurance company appreciate. Still, I’m definitely whipping up the plan for being out of the apartment as much as necessary while the work gets done.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: