This morning, I awoke at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of rushing water, and I thought I must be dreaming of waterfalls. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that the sound of water wasn’t in my head, but was actually in my apartment. I went to the kitchen to find water not dripping, not spraying, but gushing out from under the kitchen sink. I would have taken a picture, but as I’m sure you can understand, I was too busy trying to stop the water. But I can tell you that it looked a little something like this:
I immediately called the emergency maintenance number for my building (more on that later) but got no answer. After throwing some towels down and realizing that this was a super serious situation, I started to really panic. I did the only thing I could think of, which was to knock on my neighbor’s door.
First let me be clear. I DO NOT KNOW MY NEIGHBOR. I just moved in a little over a month ago, and we’ve only exchanged a few polite hellos in the hallway. But I decided to knock on his door because he has a nice dog, so I figured he must be nice too.
Our conversation went something like this:
Me: *knock knock*
Neighbor: (in his underwear) Uhhh…Huh…???
Me: Umm, hi. You don’t know me, but I’m your neighbor. And my apartment’s flooding. Can you help me? By the way, I am so, so, so sorry to be waking you up in the middle of the night.
Neighbor: Did you call maintenance?
Me: Yes, but no one is calling me back.
Neighbor: I don’t really know anything about plumbing, but do you want me to come take a look?
Me: Would you please?
Enter Angela’s apartment
Neighbor: Holy shit.
Me: I know, right. I don’t know what to do.
After a few minutes, neighbor guy - who I now know is named Keith - was able to get the water turned off. Sadly, it had been on for a good 10-15 minutes and my apartment was completely drenched, except for the bedroom. Neighbor guy left and I’m quite sure he was happy to be out of there.
I looked around and realized that I had a lot of electrical cords that were lying in water and still plugged into the wall. So I started unplugging them and prayed the whole time that I would live to tell this story. I then used my superhuman strength to lift my couch onto my dining room chairs so that it wasn’t soaking in water. (The truth is the couch isn’t that heavy, and I lifted it one end at a time.) I also moved any and all of the furniture I could out of the living room and into my bedroom.
By this time it was maybe about 6:30 a.m. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, at 8 a.m. - a full 2.5 hours after I first called the emergency maintenance number - someone finally called me back. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. But in my world, an emergency maintenance call should be answered in a timely manner! I have the following letter to send to my apartment, Mariposa Lofts, regarding this incident.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for offering an emergency maintenance phone number to your residents. I can tell you that as a resident, I find this to be an important and necessary part of living in a large apartment complex. However, the emergency maintenance number is only helpful to residents if you ACTUALLY ANSWER IT.
After the damage that has been done to my apartment and belongs, and the inconvience it has caused me, we have much to discuss. Please contact me as soon as possible. You can find me living in the hallway of the apartment building, as I am currently homeless.
Below are some pictures of my hellish day. It doesn’t look great, but it could have been much worse. I also want to take this time to give a shout out to my neighbor, Keith. Without him, there would have been much more damage done. I also want to send a shout out to the neighbor whose apartment is below mine. I know it’s bad. I’m so sorry all that water soaked through the ceiling onto your stuff.
The scene of the crime. See that tubey thing. Apparently that should be attached to that spouty thing.
The flooded kitchen.
One should never be standing in this much water in their kitchen.
Down the hallway towards the bedroom.
The water only made it into the entrance of my bedroom. Good thing I could move some of the furniture onto dry land.
I first tried leaning the couch up to get most of it out of water, but then realized that just wasn't working well.
Aha! I will put the couch up on the chairs.