Daschund next door
Wednesday, March 1 2000
All day I found myself doing business on my home workstation. Not only was I fielding emails and phone calls about two different ASP projects referred to me by friends, but I was also tracking down references and pieces of sample code for the Santa Monica company that interviewed me on Monday. They scheduled another interview for Friday which will require another trip to Los Angeles, but I really can't complain. My chances of being hired there are improving every day.
At a certain point in the day I took a little break and stepped out into the sunny courtyard with Sophie. A new couple has been living next door for several weeks, and the guy half of this couple just happen to also be in the courtyard at the time. He was holding a cute little three-month-old Daschund dog with black Doberman Pinscher facial markings. He and his girlfriend had bought the dog only just last night. Sophie was overjoyed, of course, and the two romped around together up and down the courtyard several times on their stumpy little legs.
But this story is not a happy one, at least not yet. With a look of genuine anguish, the neighbor guy told me that suddenly our asshole land manager, John Raspberry, is telling him that he'll have to pay a $700 security deposit if he wants to have a dog. That's nearly twice what he charged Kim for Sophie. We're quickly learning how frequently John Raspberry confiscates entire security deposits, so this isn't just money that John Raspberry intends to borrow; this is money he hopes to put in his bank account. The thing that really sucks about the situation is that our new neighbor has no recourse, no higher authority to whom he can appeal. In our compound, you see, John Raspberry has dictatorial power, and increasingly he's been showing a nazi-like lust for using it. Interestingly, Kim suspects this all boils down to blue collar insecurity. Here John Raspberry is, in his late 40s, and he's still stuck as a building manager, watching people like me get good jobs in the unfathomable high tech sector. Knowing his life is going nowhere, he charges tenants who break their leases ridiculous sums to, among other things, paint their apartments. In our case, he plans to charge us $25/hour to paint our place ("possibly including the ceiling") once we vacate. That's the salary of a low-grade lawyer, for Christ's sake! Evidently John Raspberry feels that by charging big money for his services, they're no longer entirely menial. And best of all, he gets to pocket the money. He may never get rich, but he'll show those smart ass out-of-state tenants!
I expressed my sympathies to my new neighbor. What else could I do? For the past months I've been at work so much that I never had the time to notice how appallingly awful the building manager really is; I've just heard stories from Kim and the other tenants. But now here, seeing and feeling it first hand and I'm worked up. I want to cause trouble. Fuck John Raspberry.
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