My lease doesn't end for another month, but the rental company that manages my building has already started showing my apartment to prospective tenants almost every day, all day. This means that random strangers have been coming in and out of my apartment, making me paranoid that they're going to run off with my laptop, or worse, my stash of M&Ms.
I know that it's important for the rental company to show the apartment to other people. After all, I don't own the apartment; I just pay rent on it. They need to make sure that every apartment is being rented, and the best way to do that is to let people see what the place looks like.
If I had a normal 9-5 job, it wouldn't matter. I wouldn't even be at home when the people stop by. But because I am a broke grad student, I spend a lot of time at home. And I am fiercely protective of my privacy, mainly because I don't want people to see me weeping over my laptop or tearing my hair out over a stack of textbooks. I also don't want people to see all the Coke bottles and empty coffee cups scattered on the floor and on my desk.
I also like to take naps in the afternoon, but now I feel like I can't sleep until six-thirty P.M. when the tenants stop showing up (and by then it's too late to take a nap). I was able to get the building engineer to call me beforehand if anyone is planning to stop by. That's a good thing, because I can be very cranky when someone wakes me up in the middle of a nap. Then all hell breaks loose and people start screaming, "Oh no, they've woken up the beast! RUN!"
For the most part the prospective tenants usually just stop by with the realtors for a few minutes. But occasionally I find myself watching them warily while I pretend to work at my laptop.
Prospective tenant: So is this a quiet building?
Me: Usually. Most of the people who live here are young professionals. Everyone's pretty nice. Except when they're coming home drunk at two A.M., stealing other people's packages, and throwing their cigarette butts all over the front yard.
I decided to hire a moving company, because I don't have a truck to transport all of my furniture. I could have rented a U-haul, but I don't really trust myself to drive it. I actually don't even know how to parallel park, because I grew up in a small town where it wasn't really necessary to know how to do it. I also think it's because I accidentally ran over a can of disinfectant that had been left on the curb during one of my driving lessons; the can flew up and exploded all over the window. I think my driver's ed teacher figured that teaching me how to do anything else after that was a lost cause.
I'm moving to a building that's only a couple blocks away, but the moving company has all these fees. There's the base fee, the even though this may only take one hour we're going to charge you for three hours because that's how we roll fee, and the we're carrying all this heavy stuff for you so be THANKFUL fee. (There's also the tip to consider.)
My current rental company also manages the building that I'll be moving into, but they are still charging me fees. I had to pay the first month's rent, along with a nonrefundable $300 move-in fee. I can't help wondering what the move-in fee is for, seeing as how they're not actually helping me move in. Maybe it's to protect the building against any possible damage that might result from the moving process. One year two new tenants at my current building were in the process of moving in when they crashed their furniture into the front door (which is made of glass), causing it to shatter into a bunch of tiny pieces. One of the tenants scratched his head and said, "I think I broke it." They didn't bother to apologize, clean up, or even tell the building engineer what they'd done. Maybe they thought no one would notice.
All this hassle of moving (and I haven't even started packing yet) has made me remember why I chose to stay in an apartment I disliked for so long. But I can't think about it for too long, because I have to hide the Coke bottles and coffee cups. And also my M&Ms.
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