I had four months in between my job offer and my start date and not much time off to properly apartment hunt. In addition, I had to struggle to remind myself that I was only in year three of my five-to-six year commitment to live like a resident in my first years of practice.
The apartment I truly wanted – a converted home in the center of the town of my choice – was rented to someone else. The next apartment on the list – a condo in a nearby sprawling city – was a bit secluded. Thus, I ended up back in the town of my choice but in a unit in a large rental complex.
I have been beset by a series of unfortunate events that I think I’ve taken in stride. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recount them. So here goes.
I actually rented my unit, lets call it A, sight unseen. I had seen the complex and was reassured that all the units were basically the same. I had a tight moving schedule – finish taking consults and doing patient care at old hospital 12/26, drive roughly six hours to new town 12/27, sign lease 12/28 and get keys, start new job 1/2 and somehow get the moving company to deliver my things in that time frame. In addition, I had been working non-stop since 12/10 and had spent the previous weekend travelling. I have been exhausted mentally and physically.
As luck would have it my village in the tundra decided I deserved a blizzardly sendoff. Worse off, the same blizzard was threatening to prevent my colleagues from coming back from their Christmas breaks. So come the morning of 12/27 I am still taking hospital calls because there isn’t anyone else around! I began to wonder if the universe was conspiring against me. Seriously! But I had no choice but to leave. The moving company had called that day to say they would deliver on 12/29. I needed to be there with keys in hand! Luckily, the first colleague arrived by noon and I was able to sign out all the patients and leave.
I arrived into my new town exhausted. It was late at night and I was yet to find a hotel to spend the night. Yet, I chose to do a drive-by of my unit A and HATED its location and parking situation. The next day when I went to sign the lease I informed the leasing agent no bueno. She was slightly annoyed with me but in the end gave me a new unit B. I’m not sure how long the unit B had been unoccupied. The electricity and gas were completely off. When we called the utilities company they were about to tell me that the first available slot for service was 1/2/2013 because of the holidays. Which would mean the leasing agent wouldn’t be able to give me the uninhabitable apartment. Luckily, there was ONE slot available that day, so I got a new apartment. Now, on to the hassle of calling the moving company to update my address and finding the local library to get internet access so that I could re-forward all my mail. That night, I slept on my Aerobed in my new apartment and listened to the sound of an amazingly loud hum. Days later when I inquired about the noise, I was told that it was the boiler. Great!
Saturday, 12/29 the moving company arrives bright and early…at unit A. A quick phone call though, and they find their way to me. Everything is delivered without any issues.
When I go to take a bath however, the hot water faucet screws right off without giving me water and the cold water tap initially pours out brown fluid. Welp, there goes that. I had to wait till Monday 12/30 to get that fixed.
Let’s see, what else?
Oh yes, there are two main entrances to the apartment building, one in front and one in the back. The back door is a struggle to open and close yet it is the closest entrance to the car park. I end up bending my key out of shape in the lock. I kid you not. It bent like rubber. Then the key to my personal back door entrance jammed in it’s lock. Seriously, this apartment is so ghetto!
And then, late in the afternoon of 12/31 while shopping for apartment necessities, my car, likely protesting the weight it carried during the prolonged drive here decides to not open up its boot. This with stuff I had just bought for the apartment in it. So I end up driving around and luckily see an auto store that I pop into and they get my trunk open free of charge so I can get out my purchases…but it’s not yet fixed.
But wait, there’s more!
I visit a few furniture stores including Ikea and decide to get a TV console from my local Best Buy so that it can be delivered by UPS in time for me to set it up before my cable installation, slated for 1/6, that way I can truly create a list of things to purchase and be delivered from Ikea in one shipment down the line.
Well, that TV console from Best Buy, being sent from the central warehouse, never arrives. Instead I track the package on UPS to learn that “the recipient requested re-delivery” which I of course did not. I followed up to learn that UPS damaged the package so they were sending it back to Best Buy.
That same day I get a letter from the utility company addressed to “occupant” saying that I’ve consumed $15 of charges so far so I better open an account before they turn off service. I have to wait until the the next day to reach a live operator to clarify that I already have an account.
In the midst of all this, I have started work and it’s not easy being new and learning two new hospital systems. In addition, I had the briefest of orientations and was quickly given a whole host of patients to see. Having already been exhausted I come home each day and often fall asleep in my work clothes.
January 6th, I am off work and have a full schedule. Car repair at 8 am. Cable installation between 9 am and 11 am. Delivery of couch from local furniture store between 9 am and noon. Delivery of huge IKEA shipment between 1 pm – 4 pm. Luckily, my sister M’sa has come to help. Or rather she came to take out her braids and leave hair all over my hardwood floors. Anyways, the best part about her presence was I was able to leave my car at the auto store to repair it’s boot. Very vital, because I no longer have a private office in the hospital and cannot leave belongings anywhere but in the car.
Cable installation is first and guess what? The modem that I had just bought from Best Buy was dead on arrival. The cable guy therefore gives me one of their modems to rent for ~ $8 monthly. The local furniture store arrives at my doorstep just before noon to deliver the couch only to inform me that it’s damaged and they would have to get me a new one. They say they would be back in an hour. Meanwhile, IKEA has pushed back my delivery to between 4 pm and 8 pm. I therefore decide to go with the flow and take use of the hour given me. I go pick up my car now with a functioning boot, pass by Best Buy to get a new modem, and inquire about my TV stand. The manager apologizes and offers to order one into the store and call me upon it’s arrival. I drive by another furniture store where I had intended to purchase my second bed from to get M’sa’s approval of it.
We make it back in time for the couch to be delivered. Off course, the delivery people try to tell me that they won’t be able to get it into the apartment, but with a little prodding and maneuvering they apply the correct physics to get the job done.
Now, I have a couple hours before the next delivery so M’sa spends the next hour or so it seemed in an odd conversation with the cable company representative on the phone trying to get my new modem recognised. I decide to return the rental modem to the company and spent probably about 40 minute waiting in line.
My router is set up in a breeze and eventually IKEA comes to deliver my shipment. Well that is all but two shelving units. The Belarusian guy setting up my wardrobe tells me not to worry about it, they will eventually find their way to me. Of course I’m worried as I don’t have the luxury of time ie. alternate days available to wait for delivery people and their shenanigans. But they do find their way to me at the end of the night and after a handsome tip, he offers to build set up my chest of drawers also. Score!
Another week passes and I’ve begun to falter in my unpacking mostly because I’m on the computer trying to set up my new online status. Specifically, I restored my netbook and upgraded the memory so I was working from scratch. I will soon learn that it’s almost impossible to re-sync my iPhone! I’m off Saturday so have arranged for delivery of a dinette and the second bed…and hopefully the TV stand from Best Buy. I can’t bring myself to watch TV when it’s on the floor. Friday, I receive a call from the furniture store informing me that the bed is back-ordered and won’t be available until at least two weeks. Great! I decide to call Best Buy and follow-up on the status of my delivery. I’m told that there is no record of a delivery pending to me because the warehouse refunded my purchase when they received the damaged TV unit from UPS, but I’m quite welcome to come into the store and pick up one as they just got a few in that day. I’m angry, but trying not to get too angry. It’s also pouring rain when I leave work to go to Best Buy and I almost have it in me to forget it, go to Target and get a cheap console. But, my car takes me to Best Buy and just as I walk into the store the manager calls me on my mobile to inform me that he has received my console and would I like it delivered that day instead of Saturday. Yay! Since it’s too big for my car, he puts it in his van and follows me home to deliver it…in the pouring rain. Double yay!
Now I patiently wait for my second room. Maybe, when I receive that call that it’s on its way I would be prompted to get back to the task of unpacking. That second bedroom has become one large disorganized storage area. Not good!
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