Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Tenant

I am hardly going to say here that I am surprised at anything that tenants bring forth when it comes time to paying rent and - sometimes - one of them not paying it.

It is not pleasant business to have to get blunt with a person that is living in your home - which was my intial objection to engaging in such, long ago, but not now, not ever again. 

However, today's encounter was a new one on me.  I claim no life-long authority on this type of situation, I do claim a 2-1/2 year tenure in dealing with such and I am prepared for whatever comes against me, even such that occured today. 

For 2 weeks, the individual has told me he is going to pay back the $85 in arrears, today, he started a discourse.  His discourse was that he is supposed to be paying X amount per month and that today?  X amount has been paid.  He did not venture into the realm of "therefore I don't need to pay the other $85".

I did ask him anyway.  "So, are you saying now that you don't owe me the $85 that you missed 2 weeks ago?".  No.  He admitted such.  Then what, exactly, ARE you saying?  He "didn't understand" that he would have to pay "more" than the amount of rent accrued in one month.  Oh?  We are on a weekly deal here, you are paying by the week, not by the month.  If you were paying by the month, then you would pay me a month's worth of rent at the beginning of the month.

This is simple logic.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.  But this went back and forth for quite a while.  I ended the stalemate.  You owe me $85 in arrears PLUS this week.  That's a fact, you haven't disputed it.  If you can't afford to pay it up all at once, I'll work with you - pay it back in payments.  X amount over the weekly rent until you are caught up.

That was that.  He handed me a money order for the amount of $90 - $5 over what he owes for a week and that was that.  Oh, I see.  Well, if he didn't think he owed me more, why then did he give me more, even if only $5?  I didn't ask him that, but the reigns are going to be pulled much tighter on this individual.  He promised me the full amount owed for the past due and current due - but did not deliver it.  That has me on "flag".  Meaning, this guy is going to have to be pressed.

No biggies.  I can do that and will.  I have the advantage over a person that wants to get their own apartment: you going to do that, you don't want what I can put on your record.  That would be a judgment for forcible detainer/eviction.  A vast majority of apartment properties are going to reject anyone with such, or, force far more money down, like first and last month's rent plus deposit. 

I can't possibly write here the entire dialect between us, take too long.  It might be entertaining reading to certain individuals, however, I have had a full weekend and I think I've had enough. 

The fact of the matter is, it was the boost I wanted to get on with this computer project AND be able to pay my bills. The $325 water bill really hurt this month, I admit I have myself to blame, but that does not ease the pain.

Umm, so it's drawing to a close, the day that is and I have plenty to do. 

C'ya tomorrow.

ben

Sunday

What an unbelievable amount of rigarmoroo to do the fumigation of this house!The prep work is incredible.  Pulling everything out of your kitchen cabinets is much more of a chore than one might imagine if one has a lot of them.  I have no idea what the final verdict is.  Did it get all of them?  Judging by the choking sensation I had when I walked in here after 4 hours of it - I would say the poison certainly had it's opportunities to kill them out.  I also pulled of several electrical outlets in hopes of that stuff getting into the walls.

Honestly?  There was only some fogging for a short period of time after setting off those bombs.  I thought maybe they were making claims that were far beyond reality.  Looking through the windows, after maybe 30 minutes,  you couldn't see anything in here.  However and again, walking in here after 4 hours of setting them off and choking - coughing, hacking, I was running through here to open up the windows and air the place out - well that made a believer out of me, at least to the longevity of the poison's ability to stick around.  The dead roaches on the floor this morning was further indication that yes, it had to at least partially do it's job.  I'm considering doing it again - though getting tenant cooperation with such may be a bit difficult. 

I'm certainly not calling it a waste of time.  For the roaches I found dead on the floor, I'm assuming much more dead out of sight.  BUT, it was "the" project of the weekend.  I was going to run a line and get another electrical box going outside for the ponds, NOT.  Wait til' next weekend.  Looking at this week's projected low temps, I'll be safe.  I don't want to load anything more onto that extension cord - 300 watt heaters will be too much amperage combined with the pumps and aerators on that one cord.  The pumps and aerators are very low wattage, no problem with current setup but it's only a temp deal. 

Enough about roaches and electricity (though, the electric usage was $5.40 yesterday!).  Computers.  If you've never entered the world of attempting to figure out what to put into a computer to build one yourself, well, unless you are going to blindly go in swinging, you are in for quite an education.  I have spent days and even a couple of weeks now poring over an unlimited amount of websites, blogs and internet store pages reading about everything the mind can imagine.  Yes, I want to become well-versed on core components, no, I can hardly say I have any amount of expertise, I am relying on opinions and reviews of others.

Well, I've read hundreds of them so far.  That is no exaggeration.  I'm seriously telling you that there must be millions of pages out there - you can find opinions up the ying-yang ad-infinitum.  I neither have the time nore the desire to do all of that, BUT, I definitely have the desire to go ahead and do at least some research.  I want the best machine I can build for the money I have to dump into it.  Motherboards and processors and video graphic cards.  PCI Express, how much wattage in a power supply, do you want to overclock, on and on and on.  It's unbelievable the amount of different technology out there.  Almost equally as unbelievable the amount of people that actually KNOW - ALL - of this stuff. 

I talked to one such individual today.  My quest:  go to Fry's electronics, pick the brain of whatever computer geek I could find.  Well, I found a doozy.  The guy was a walking encyclopedia.  He had opinions on everything.  No, more like, he had EXPERTISE on everything.  I spent an hour standing there listening to this guy showing me everything and attempting to show me what I could get with the budget I have in mind.  The quest included getting pricing on pre-selected items that I found the experts to agree on - at least to some degree so I could compare pricing with online stores; glean as much information as I could from the guy - especially about motherboards because I find the "expert's" opinions on that to be confusing at best; and possibly even buy the setup then and there and just get it over with. 

I ended up being bombarded with information from 2 fronts:  the store employee and an older gentleman who knew more than the store guy, which in itself I found quite amazing.  He was listening to the store guy talking and just had to chime in.  In a scenario where I really don't have a clue, I'm going to take all sides even if unasked for.  He apologized for nosing into my business - I replied I was glad to hear the information.  He WAS impressed by the motherboard I was looking at buying.  He suggested a processor to go with it - WAY out of my budget, lol, at $250.  He started laughing as well, "Well, I AM good at spending other people's money!". 

I also took a second trip to see the pre-built systems they had.  One advantage is they are, of course, already set up.  The huge disadvantage is you are paying the same price or even more for a system that is far inferior to one you can build yourself.  The money you save in building it yourself is the money you spend on better components.  There was nothing there under $900 that was worth spending that kind of money on.  Even the more expensive systems - they had better components, but for THAT kind of money you could build your own system that would be doubled the computing that those things offer. 

So, here I am with about $400 sitting in my pocket.  Waiting on one particular tenant's money - he will be addressed personally today if he doesn't ante up.  He left yesterday and I have had no opportunity to - discuss - this issue with him.  Money in the bank is for bills - can touch a bit of it but not too much.  I haven't gone off the cliff yet - I am still considering my options.  I will undoubtedly not be able to buy or build another computer for a long time, this one is going to have to be able to tide me over for quite a while. 

The HUGE water bill - 2 months worth is -paid.  Felt good to pay it, yet it felt bad to have a bill THAT big just for water, sewer and trash.  Criminy.  Water consumption is way down, I haven't watered plants in 2 weeks.  The next water bill should be as shockingly low as the low amount of electricity that is being used : )

Oh, Direct TV.  Yes another run-in with Direct TV.  I decided that if they weren't going to give me new equipment (and in exchange, I would sign another 2 year contract), then they ARE going to continue to give me free movie channels.  This was one of the worst interactions with Direct TV employees I have encountered yet and with the LONG list of encounters I have had with them in over a decade, that IS saying something. 

These people are getting ruder, more condescending and being very flippant about the fact that you are their customer.  They could CARE LESS.  Their policies are their policies, if you don't like them, tough.  But, experience that I always fall back on, persistence is key.  Not with the same person who is mouthing off to you, get beyond that and call again.  And again.  And again.  I spoke with 3 separate "supervisors" which in my view are nothing more than a glorified incoming 800 call center operator - they have no powers to speak of.  After all of that, I finally ended up at the Office of the President.  I was - getting pretty upset at that point - about the way those people were talking to me.  This guy says he's in Iowa somewhere.  I had to ask how he could be in the same office as the president is in considering the present's office is in California. 

Ohh, sir, but this IS the right department.  I had gotten the runaround so much, I didn't even want to talk to this guy.  I had specifically asked, after being transferred off to Iowa the first time, to speak with someone in the office that I had called directly, which, btw, was NOT an 800 number.  It's in El Segundo, to be precise and yes, the number to headquarters is listed online (albeit ifyou ask any Direct TV employee, they are going to tell you they don't know or have access to that number).

I finally relented and gave him my information. This was after 10 or 15 minutes of me telling him about the previous phone calls, the length of time I have been with this company on 2 accounts for over 10 years, and the fact that I had been PROMISED free movie channels by the 1st individual I had talked to (whose manager came on the line and retracted).  I "earned" 6 months of free Starz channels for that.  Look, they all occasionally have some great movies and the rest are junk you don't want to watch anyway, which is why I refuse to pay for them.  I can't always just turn on any movie channel package and find something I want to watch, not at all.  I actually did it for the trailer tenants who told me the Showtime channels had been shut off.  Yes, I replied, it was a 3 month freebie, but I'll try to get some more.

Anyway, it was worth the effort.  I guess.  I mean, it helps my bottom line and that's what counts. 

It's 3:00pm Sunday afternoon, the weekend is winding down, they always disappear like lightning.  Mind filld with all kinds of stuff.  I'm going outside shortly to take care of more landscaping issues.

G'day.

ben

 So yesterday, I write a professionally worded intent to terminate employment, here is the advance notice you requested email to the manager...