Angels In My Rearview

I am a 30 year old MOM of 2, WIFE of 1. My chilluns are almost 3 and 1. I live in Texas as of the beginning of 2006. I have a wonderful and nearly-perfect husband who such praise is lost on because he is much less swayed by any acclaim, or already knows it. I am mostly fulfilled by my job, sometimes overwhelmed, and frequently searching for deeper meaning under piles of laundry. I believe in documenting the things that leave impressions and that make you laugh. Thus, I blog.

Friday, June 23, 2006


We're still safely housed. I knew the eviction notice was a formality, but oh the drama of pretending I didn't! The management lady (ML) tried to appease my no-tolerance-for-this-crap-in-my-life attitude with "and good for you that you have never gotten one of these before so you don't know how it works". (I had said, "Don't you think an eviction notice is a bit of a rash response to a bounced check?") I stared incredulously and said, "I fail to see the silver lining here. It's good that I have to deal with this for the first time because you guys are unorganized?" I went in being nice but firm, but I think that got mistaken for ignorant and vulnerable.

I have come up with 7 tips for dealing with management when bogus eviction notices are placed on your door while you are out of town for a family reunion.

1) Get dressed and apply mascara before going to the office. I don't think the frumpy housewife look holds much credibility when saying things like, "I corrected my mistake quickly, it's not my business to pay late fees on your mistake." For mascara, I prefer the Clinique High Impact, dark brown. I needed the extra pow of high impact, since I wanted to make one. And dark brown is a soft color for fair-skinned redheads, it says, "I'm awake and alert" but also "I'm approachable with this soft hue, versus a more harsh black."

2)Take your 1 and 3 year old children with you. Even if you have two capable teenagers at home to watch them. They add so much credibility to the "I really don't have time for this crap" factor. It's particularly helpful when your son is wearing a bright orange flowered hat, singing half the alphabet over and over, while spreading sugar cookie crumbs all over the office, and your 1 year old is slapping your face and screeching with slimey sugar cookie crumbs covering her hands and face.

3) Be armed with the facts. I knew that legally they couldn't evict. I also knew the policy on bounced checks because I read the lease before going to the office this morning. When she tried to pull a fast one and say she was bound to only accept a money order from me, I quoted the portion of the lease that stated they could "opt" to only accept money orders if they felt personal checks weren't reliable. She stopped suddenly when I did that. Because she had already said 3 or 4 times she "trusted me" and "believed me" and wanted to "make me happy. She kept telling me it wasn't personal and she had nothing against me. After the third time I said, "the wasting of my time and money IS personal to me." Did she really think I was in there to win over her friendship?

4) If you can swing it have your own "Wedding Singer" moment, complete with 3 year old repeating what he's overheard a grown up say. "You duys are wee-dickey-us!" That came after I got a little worked up at the "my hands are tied" line ML kept trying to play. Ben picked up on my frustration and got protective and threw in his two cents. It was priceless.

5) Repeat, repeat, repeat. That's what they do to you, you do it back. Only when she went to repeat herself I'd say things like, "You already said that." That was the 3 year old in me shining through. It was a little fun.

6) Don't leave until you are satisfied. She tried to end our "meeting" several times, with me still owing $240 in fees I shouldn't have to pay. She said things like, "When can you pay this?" I never answered it until the amount she stated was owed, and put in her computer, was an amount I agreed to pay. In fact, when I walked in and said I had come home to this eviction notice she immediately said, "Okay, when can you pay what you owe?" Finally after the 4th time of asking when I could pay in an effort to be done with me without resolving anything, I said, "That depends, when will you be able to be an organized office that doesn't waste my time like this?" She finally quit asking when I could pay.

7) Hold your tongue on the unnecessary comments. First she said she had to take a money order from me. I said she didn't. Then she said if she made an exception for me and let me write a check, she'd have to make exceptions for others. I bit my tongue and didn't say, "Isn't the definition of exception to let one and not the others?" but I did say, "Um, no one else will even know you have let me pay with a check so that's not true." Then she said management checked her books and would see she made an "unauthorized exception". She said that several times. I wanted SO BADLY to say, "If it were true that management checked your books, then they would know that we haven't paid rent for the last 5 months and have in fact been squatting." But see, that isn't true, and I just really had to keep it simple with this lady. But it would have been fun.

And as sort of a bonus suggestion---It's sort of luck of the draw, but try to contract a stomach virus in the few hours before you go into the office and breathe excessively while there. Increase breaths per minute and force per breath with each annoying response and unhelpful suggestion

Well, I have 3 suitcases full of dirty laundry that aren't going to unpack and wash themselves. They are however going to multiple and spread through out my house, by themselves. Is there no justice?


  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said…

    :: breathing a huge gusty sigh of relief ::

    Angela, I am so happy for you, and your post was hilarious to boot. I, for one, was unaware that only certain mascara brands are to be used when confronting apartment management. This is why I read your blog: to get the crucial information I need to live my life each day.

    You are brave. I admire you!

  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger Code Yellow Mom said…

    I cannot STAND it when I'm-the-boss type people say, "If I let you, I have to let everyone else." WHAT?! Is everyone else standing here asking for the same favor? Do you think I am going to put out a flyer to the whole 5th grade class/apartment complex saying that you did this for me so now you will be doing it for everyone else? It's not even that special of a "favor" because YOU are who screwed up in the first place. And you know what, so what if you have to do it for everyone else? Seems a lot easier than dealing with irate people who you've given bogus eviction notices to...Yep, that's the line that will get me frothing (or bawling) quicker than any other. It is utterly unfounded and ridiculous.

    And the repeating thing. One day the office manager at our old place kept saying, (in her Italian mafia accent)"It's the fair housing law." The freaking fair housing law had NOTHING to do with what I was asking about. Then she started saying, "I understand" over and over and over. Funny that it's such a common tactic. And how clever of you to pinpoint it!

    And thanks for the mascara tip.

  • At 1:50 PM, Anonymous s said…

    Yellow! Breathe its all going to be okay- A- don't talk about the DMV or the Airport for awhile, let the air settle down:) Do you have a substitute for the one and three year old tip- I just don't have that to work with:)

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger No Cool Story said…

    What excellent tips!, Naddin said it best: this is crucial information we need to live our lives each day.

    "I'm awake and alert" but also "I'm approachable..."
    A wise woman you are, I salute you.

  • At 8:59 PM, Blogger Linda said…

    You are apparently one smart girl. I am impressed, and I'm betting you're half my age. This is my first visit here; I'm checking out your friends on "And then," and you guys are clever and funny and great writers. That's the end of my ton-vo-sation.

  • At 11:06 PM, Blogger Kayelyn said…

    It's a long story how I found you and a way late post, but I would definitely like you IRL.

    I have actually used some of your tried and true tactics on a law enforcement person who was having a control issue. Worked on the captain, too.

    Yay for winning!


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