[editor's note: this entry is very long.]
i am passive. i take after my mom that way. when confrontations arise, i do like the lamb of god and turn the other cheek. i trick myself into believing that this is taking the high road, but, really, i just don't like to fight. i don't like arguments. this philosophy suits me fine on most days. i float along and the boat don't get too rocky. sometimes though, this means that i have to accept things i don't like. that's fine, too, as my tolerance level for most bullshit is pretty high. i don't expect too much out of people, so i'm not often disappointed by their actions when they turn out to be uncompassionate or not well thought out or, in my opinion, just wrong.
so, when there comes a time that i'm not passive, that i don't turn the other cheek, that i somehow manage to find, in the way-back of my closet or buried in my bag, an actual working spine, it becomes necessary to note those times. this morning was one of them.
as you know the landlord saw fit to work around the realty company, hire his own contractor, and rip my bathroom out without notice. in the interim, i stayed with a couple of very generous friends and the realty company told me that i'd be given $40 per day for the inconvenience. the repairs were completed last thursday and, after doing the math, i discovered that i'd be getting more than a full month's rent for the two weeks that i was out of the apartment. thursday afternoon passed, then friday, the weekend, and monday. i still hadn't heard about this check.
so, i went to their office this morning. the agent and receptionist said hello, then the agent said, 'james, what do you think is a fair amount of money for your trouble?
naturally, i was taken aback. the figure had already been decided and i sensed that a fight would soon ensue. i told him that, naturally, i would have liked more, because of the shoddy way the situation was handled, the fact that you can't get a hotel for $40 a day, etc. he launched back with all kinds of rebuttals. how the offer was more than generous. how, in cases such as these, the courts have ruled in favor of landlords, if emergency repairs need to be made. how if the landlord hadn't worked around their realty company, they would have handled it differently and probably not offered me any money.
when he started to bring up court cases, that is when i sensed the money slipping from my fingers and found that spine i mentioned earlier and said, 'well, thankfully, all of this is incidental, since we already agreed on $40 a day.
' that pretty much shut the realtor up, he retreated to another office to get the checkbook, then the receptionist cut me a check.
so you see kids, sometimes you have to talk to adults in the same rude way that they talk to you. otherwise, they try to give you the shaft.
: autumn sonata
: gillian welch 'paper wings'
: "Purdy writes, if the Egyptian government is hopelessly corrupt and we support it, what else can the Egyptians conclude but that our government too is hopelessly corrupt? Perception becomes reality. Who placed the repressive Shah in Iran, and once courted Saddam Hussein, and who supported the mujahideen warriors against Russia in Afghanistan? Us. And who financed the mujahideen? Osama, among other radical Islamic fundamentalists. Yet, at the same time that Americans are perceived as hypocrites and dupes, we are also envied for our liberty and wealth. Admired and resented.