March 25, 2020

3 not-so-blind mice, Mr. Connections and remotely dealing with an a-hole landlord

(this was written pre-EVERYONE must stay home and colleges are closing, but it has more info on Lad's apartment and Coach's inability to see well, which is quite humors, I think anyway - you let me know if you find the humor in it).

While I was in St. Louis (FOREVER AGO for volleyball) I got an email from a man who is an alum from the school Lad attends.  This guy, Mr. Connections, met Lad after giving a talk at the school a few years ago.  Realizing Lad was an ND fan, he told Lad, "Oh, you need to meet Rudy."  -as in the original Rudy the ND football movie was based on.  Lad had a conversation with Rudy over the phone and Rudy flew Lad and his buddies out to ND for a game.  

Mr. Connections had Lad come and stay with his family for Thanksgiving of '18.  He and his family love Laddie, and they have really taken him under their wing.  

Mr. Connections emailed me to say that he wanted to get involved, with my permission, to deal with Lad's landlord issues.  In short, Lad and his two roomies are living in a building infested with mice.  His fridge didn't work for months.  His oven wasn't working.  The front door to his apartment (that opens to the hallway) does not lock.  In a word:  frustrating.  

Have I mentioned that we pay $700/month for this pit?  Initially Lad thought it was a step up from the joint he lived in last year.  That's not saying much.  I couldn't send packages there for fear they would be stolen.  Instead, I mailed them to his friends' places.  

I called the landlord a few weeks ago.  She did not call me back.  Two days later I called again.  I left an irate message.  She called me back.  She tried to tell me that the guys had not set up a con ed account and that is why the fridge didn't work.  I was like, then why does the freezer work?  The lights?  

This is a photo of Lad's shower.  Total
rent is $2100/month divided by
 three students.  Outrageous.
She claimed the super had never been in the unit to service the appliances.  My initial complaint was 'Get these kids a fridge that works so they can stop eating out exclusively!'  I told the woman her thinking the super hadn't been there was a lie.  Lad later said that they begged the super to look at stuff but he hid from them.

The longer we spoke, the angrier I got.  This chick told me that I should not take that tone with her.  She was calling me back as a courtesy but that my name was not on the lease as a secondary.  I told her I signed the lease and she damn well better talk to me.  I told her I would let the college know about these issues so they would discourage students from renting there again.  

Oh, and she told me she hadn't called me back after the first message because she was sick that day.  I told her I really didn't give a shit, when you are out sick and someone calls with an urgent matter you have someone call them back.  Like, what the actual EF?  

Then the mice.  She explained that a letter had gone out to the entire building instructing them to choose a day when they would be around for the exterminator to come in.  She said the guys had yet to respond.  All I needed to hear was 'whole building'  - so the place is infested?!  Lad said all he did was clean and the mice just kept coming.  There were mouse poops everywhere.  

The super arrived soon after and cleaned the vent or something so that the fridge could start to cool again.  They fixed the oven.  Apparently over the weekend Lad found mouse poops on top of the laundry in his laundry basket.  

I am fuzzy on when he saw or spoke to Mr. Connections, but this guy is the bomb.  He talks the talk, sounds New York-ish.  I think people listen when he talks.  He asked me to call him.  I took a break from my Tank-tongue lashing on my drive home from St. Louis and we chatted.

Before I called him, I touched base with Lad.  Lad was not interested in moving in with Mr. and family (which Mr. offered) because they live on Long Island and he didn't want to be 40 minutes from school.  He was kinda back-pedaling.  His roommates didn't want to move out.  It was only four more months.  He could stick it out.  

Info on roomies:  They are both from Serbia.  Play b-ball at the school.  Full scholarship - their rent is paid for.  Their families are in Serbia.  One of them lost his father over the summer.  Remember when we bought all the gear Lad needed to furnish his kitchen?  They were overjoyed to have a microwave.  At one point they bought a cat (did I write about that here?  How I found this out because Lad spent some moola at Pet Smart - admitted it was a cage for the cat.  Found out yesterday they gave the cat away).  

Phone conversation with Mr. Connections:

Mr.:    I forget how young Lad is sometimes.  You know Lad, he changes his mind every 5 minutes.  This is nonsense.  I know people.  I say we get him out of there.  This lawyer is a friend, he works here for us.  This is what he does.  Lad's like, buy my roommates don't want to move out.  I'm like Lad - mice carry diseases!

Me:  I think Lad is worried he will lose his security deposit.

Mr.:  He's losing nothin.  He's getting it ALL back.  They can't be charging him to live like that.  No way.  Listen, you talk to your husband.  Talk to Lad.  Let me know what you want to do next.

Me:  OK, thanks.

Tank was in the car and he was covering his mouth trying to stifle a laugh while Mr. was spouting off about who he knows at the college.  His best friend from high school's dad is the major funding body for the newest expansion at the business building, etc.  

I called residence life at the college.  Dorm rooms?  Sure, there are some available for the rest of the year, but they have kids living in them.  It would look like this:  here's a double with a kid in it.  Here comes Lad, a senior.  

I told her that would be a hard sell and would never happen.  She also mentioned that there are apartments that can be rented month to month, but tend to be a bit pricier.  If we are getting money back from this place like Mr. says we are, then who cares?  

Lad was still hesitant.  He was out buying more traps yesterday.  Um, this kid needs to study.  Not sure if I have updated you, but a few weeks ago Lad called to say that he WILL be graduating on time in May.  There was one class they were going to make him take on campus this summer, but he met with them and convinced them to reconsider.  Maybe he is the next Mr. Connections?

This morning while I was eating my breakfast, Lad texted me a photo of a mouse trap with two mice in it.  And, yes I kept right on eating.  I roll that way.  (just don't ask me to give blood - then I pass out).

Coach was so confused.  He couldn't see both mice.  People, I am hesitant to share because I want us to stay friends (it is not gory at all, promise), but still.  Two little bodies are sticking out from opposite directions.  Reggie and I were howling to Coach, "How can you NOT see two bodies?"  It was on my phone so I magnified it big time.  Yum, oatmeal.   
OK, I wasn't going to share, but I colored in the part of the peanut butter palace that showed their heads.  There was no blood or anything.  But I must ask, HOW IN GOD'S NAME DID COACH NOT SEE TWO MICE HERE?  I was like, Do you think one is dead and the other one is just coming over to be a callous friend and lick the rest of the peanut butter out of the trap?  I'm telling you every morning should start out with this kind of entertainment.  OK, no - rethinking that -not really.  But it was funny!

It did not look like they were dead, it looked as if they had just met up at this new peanut butter bar and were enjoying a feast while their heads were inside the little white building ie the trap.  Reg and I exchanged a glance that screamed, "Wait, is Daddy experiencing early onset dementia that he cannot recognize this as what it is?"  I think it was a new fancier trap than what we have ever seen.  

After his morning class, Lad came back and had caught another mouse in the same re-set trap.  These three mice (are you humming 3 Blind Mice yet?)- all caught in his bedroom.  Not the kitchen.  

Lad is starting to embrace finding a new living arrangement.  Wish me luck as that has become today's mission.  But Tuesdays are for bathroom cleaning.  Guess I will be working double time here.  

This upcoming weekend is one of two weekends inside of 6 weekends that I am meant to be in town (b-ball, dancing, volleyball, college Mom's weekend, etc).  I am now wondering if a last minute flight out to New York might be necessary.  


Saimi said...

Good luck with a last minute flight out of New York, If the mice disease doesn't get ya, the Corona Virus will. I hear it's running wild in New York. Man I am not a fan of mice sharing living spaces. Some how when we were camping we managed to bring home two stowaways in our camp trailer. I always give it a good cleaning when we get back and low and behold, mice poop in places it shouldn't be. Like the silverware drawer, pots and pans the kitchen towel drawers, poop everywhere and there were only two. The husband caught one but we know where theres one, there's another that follows and the very next day he caught the second one.
I'm thinking they wanted to set up house before the babies come. Why nest outside when there is a warm cozy trailer with food. Well that idea didn't last long, snap, snap and boom they were gone.. I tore that trailer apart and cleaned every nook and cranny and cleaned it again. Did I mention how much I hate mice? I sure hope your son can figure something out, investing in more traps sounds like a much better idea than a cat.

Busy Bee Suz said...

That apartment is a shit show! I can't believe how expensive it is and for all that is broken too? Yikes!
I know he's home now, do you think they will have any classes the rest of the year. In-person? Not online?
I hope he's gonna be able to graduate and put that place behind him.
Yes, Coach needs to get his eyes looked at. :)

Ernie said...

Saimi - Lad is home now, so we are done with the mice. This post reiterated an earlier post about us clearing out his apartment and not planning to pay anymore rent. It was gross and one of the struggles of having a kid go to school so far from home.

Suz - Yes, he is home. Hardly what I would call a peaceful living arrangement. I told Coach today that this kid might need to move to an extended stay hotel - that is how well it is going. They have cancelled in person classes for the rest of the year, which is why we felt his insistence to see his prof face to face odd. At best. Yes - putting that place behind him. Hoping the aftermath of not paying remaining rent is not too ugly. Hoping he maps out a next step soon - or it will be Extended Stay or bust.

I was dying when Coach could not see the mice. I was like, wait - this is not one of those trick visual games that only certain people can see. THERE ARE TWO MICE THERE!

Bibliomama said...

Maybe he thought it was a really large bendy mouse? That landlord situation makes me stabby - I had a sort of similar one although to less of a degree in my student house. Full of mice, landlord did nothing. Once his son walked into our house in the middle of the day, no knock, no appointment, and took the door off our only bathroom for four hours to do something to it. There was no lawn mower and the back yard was disgusting. We were young and didn't know our rights. People who take advantage of that are pond scum.

Ernie said...

Ali- really bendy mouse. . . ha ha ha!! This place was the pits. I am a tad nervous about the repercussions of not paying the rest of rent, but given the plethora of photos I am thinking they have no leg to stand on. Maybe? I am a typical rule-follower, OK except maybe speed limits.

Beth Cotell said...

THREE MICE? In his BEDROOM??? I can't even. Glad he's out of there! Will he still be graduating in May? Is he currently looking for a job? Although I guess with everything going on, that's going to be impossible.

Kari said...

The first time I looked at the picture of the mice, I thought they were talking on an old cell phone, so maybe I am the one who needs her eyes looked at. I actually do need an eye checkup soon but that is on the back burner for now, obviously.

I can't imagine how he lived there. If I know that there was a mouse in my GARAGE, I couldn't sleep let alone in the bedroom.

Ernie said...

Beth- yes he should be thrilled to be out of there, but you would think he would be on his best behavior HERE as a result. Like hello, grateful? Heavy, weary sigh. He is on pace to graduate but if he fails any classes then he won't. Considering he is not great at spanish and FLEW to NY to see his prof, not sure it'll happen. Yes, a job. Please, God. How the hell will he get a job in this messed up economy now?

Kari- your take on what the mice were up to - just making a call- hilarious! Yes, in his bedroom. Gross. As I bite my nails fearing what happens next with the ticked off landlord who gets no more $$ from us.

Kara said...

Perhaps you should let Mr Connections deal with landlord communications? What do you have to lose at this point?

That reminds me of my first apartment with my college boyfriend (who I eventually married)- a 4th floor walk-up, under the eaves of an old house. So many things would go wrong in it and the landlords were just looking to sell the place anyways, so they did not care. No mice that I saw, but holy cockroaches. I wouldn't use the laundry in the basement because it was scary and disgusting down there.

Ernie said...

Kara - long ass story, but Lad was working for Mr. Connections in an internship. It didn't pan out and ended very awkwardly. Lad has shown us the email and text exchanges and it was odd. I wonder if maybe Mr. Connections just kind of lost interest in Lad. Lad said in the end he was more interested in talking about mice than he was in talking about internship assignment stuff. Lad was nervous that he wasn't going to pass the internship because Mr. Connections wasn't giving him enough to do and Lad needed to write up what he was working on. It was all remote, but fortunately the school is allowing him to write a paper after reading so many chapters in a marketing book. Seriously - it is always something!

Becky said...

What is it about college kids and shit apartments? Do you not recognize squalor until your frontal lobe is fully developed?

I once lived in an apartment that made my mom cry. She made me promise never to take my shoes off.

Ernie said...

Becky- frontal lobe, is that what we're calling knucklehead's issues nowadays? Squalor- yes. Why is it so unthinkable to live on campus in COMFORT?

You agreeing to never take your shoes off to your mom made me bust a gut laughing.

Kid you not with all of the kids home right now, we might land in squalor soon ourselves. Animals in the wild live with more thought to their surroundings.