Leak Out Leads To Freak Out

, , , | Working | September 10, 2018

(I am attending university and have started my third year. After some bad experiences with roommates, I have moved into an on-campus apartment where I live by myself. Everything is just fine until I come back from visiting my parents over winter break. One morning when I wake up and start to get ready for class, I notice an odd sound, like someone has turned on a garden hose and left it running at high volume. Because it’s winter, this seems very strange, but I need to eat and get to class so I put it out of my mind and continue on with my day. By the time I get home that evening, the sound is still going, and I manage to figure out where it seems to be coming from, so I submit a ticket to maintenance describing the sound and explaining that it is coming from somewhere beneath my ground floor apartment. The next day, I get a call from the maintenance office.)

Maintenance: “We have a ticket that says you think someone left a hose running on the premises?”

Me: “I don’t know if that’s what it is, but I’m hearing a lot of water running.”

Maintenance: “We don’t have any hoses out right now; are you sure you’re hearing water?”

Me: “Yes. It sounds like a lot of it, too.”

Maintenance: “Is there water on your floor?”

Me: “No, but it sounds like whatever it is is below my apartment.”

Maintenance: “If there’s no water, there’s nothing we can do. If you have no further questions, I am closing your ticket.”

(The whole conversation is a bit odd, but I don’t have much to report other than the sound. It continues non-stop for two weeks before the water pressure in my apartment suddenly dips. I send in another ticket and request that maintenance come by on an afternoon when I’ll be home so I can ask a few questions. When the maintenance person shows up, it’s the same man I talked to on the phone. I turn on the sink in the kitchenette and the faucet in the bathtub to show him that it’s not just a problem with one fixture when he asks about it. He tinkers around for a while before declaring that it’ll probably solve itself in a couple of days. Before he leaves, I ask about the running water sound. It’s been ongoing since he arrived, and it’s very loud.)

Maintenance: *giving me a skeptical look* “That’s your heating unit kicking on.”

Me: “Why does my heating unit sound like running water?”

(He shrugs and leaves. At this point I don’t want to argue because I need to head to work. As the semester continues, however, I find myself becoming increasingly concerned. Whatever this is, there is a lot of water involved, and whenever I try to talk to maintenance about it, they completely dismiss my concerns. By the time spring break rolls around, I have gotten the housing department involved in the hopes that they will take this more seriously. At one time or another, I have spoken to a majority of the maintenance staff, and I get the feeling they’re now convinced I’m a nuisance caller. Since I’ll be gone over the break and I want to get this dealt with, I print off copies of each ticket I’ve submitted and make a recording of the sound on my phone before heading over to the housing office to talk to someone in person. I am assured they’ll look into it and leave a few days later. I’m out with my parents when I start receiving frantic emails and a couple of phone calls. When I can, I answer the phone.)

Housing Rep: “Hello? Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, hello. May I ask who this is?”

Housing Rep: “This is Student Housing. I’m calling regarding your apartment on campus. The building has been condemned by the city, and we’re trying to move all student residents to other units. Do you have a preference for where you would like to move?”

Me: “Wait. My apartment is condemned? What happened?”

Housing Rep: “Due to a leak in the water main, the city has declared the building unsafe for residents. We are evacuating all apartments above the leak and moving you into alternative housing.”

(When I got back and went in to move my stuff, I found out that they had an “oh, s***” moment after jackhammering into the concrete pad under my apartment. I guess three months of leaking water destabilizes the ground when you’ve got buildings on a sandy floodplain. Who knew?)

 

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