|the soapbox @ benturner.com|
"February Sauna", an Essay
[So sad. I'm writing this in February, '00. Catching up on Soapboxes, as usual. Sorry to be out of order. But then again, the dates are fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things...]
We're sweating our asses off in here. It's not enough that it's hitting 80 degrees consistently in Austin in mid-February. But now the air conditioning has broken down for the whole building. Here's how it went down.
You know, usually we just attribute it being fucking hot to the fact that the landlord often likes to turn on the heater when it's hot outside and turn on the air conditioning when it's cold outside. If you stay inside too long on the weekends, normally, you'll freeze your ass off.
So two weeks ago we noticed it was getting hot. After a week, my roommate asked management if they'd ever switch over to air conditioning. We were told nothing was wrong with the air conditioning. We had them check it. It was broken.
Management of course had no clue. We checked in daily regarding the status of the a.c. and they always said it'd be fixed immediately. "Do you know when it'll be fixed?" "The mechanic is taking the whole day off from everything else so he can fix it. It should be working today!" It wasn't.
It's gotten really bad as of late. Austin is getting so hot after that one short week of really cold weather that came through. Yesterday it was so hot at night we couldn't do anything. We sat on our asses in the living room in front of the television watching all sorts of crap. We had no energy. So lethargic. So hot. Oh so hot. Fucking throw pillow, you go on floor now. You make hot.
Opened all the doors and windows, had room fans going full blast. Looked outside. Everyone else's doors open. Everyone in minimal clothing. Much disappointment that no cute girls in complex. More disappointment in current female residents.
Note to self about chicks from other countries. Ooh la la.
Too pissed off and hot to work. No stock scanning or French studying (took a test today that was mildly easy, most on 'depuis', 'pendant', 'il y a', l'imparfait, etc.) but just a little reading. I'm reading "The New Market Wizards: Interviews with America's Top Traders". Bits at a time. I just got "Le Petit Prince" so I need to read that too.
It's ridiculous. Management continued to have no idea until eventually we found out that supposedly there was a pipe broken inside the wall or something so that the mechanic couldn't get at it. We're talking contracting. Bids. Approvals. Corporate oversight. Ugh. They'll have to take all that shit out and replace it.
Everyone's so pissed at management right now. We know that asking them for help is pretty much like talking to a rock -- they don't know anything. The people who know what's going on are the people who are actually working (big surprise). We met the mechanic (handyman, whatever you want to call him), who was nice and genuinely wanted to help, but had to wait just as we did. He has a Minnesota accent.
Reason he came over was because the fridge stopped working. Yes. The fridge. The holiest of holy objects in an apartment. Well, maybe up there with the computer and DSL modem. (holy shit, Efficient Networks stock is through the roof!) Anyway, we suspect it's because it's so fucking hot (TM) that the motor overheated on the fridge. We found this out, of course, after just loading up on groceries. Needless to say, we were extremely pissed.
Handyman guy told us it would take six weeks to get a new fridge, but he had a spare that we could use if this one just completely gave out. As it is, we have a fan pointing at the motor to keep it cool. Ghetto style, baby.
We were so close to calling the head honchos of the company that owns this place. But the handyman told us that what we needed to know. That there's no hope of expediting this process. You know, if we really wanted to, we could call the city to inspect this dump and there would be ordinance violations everywhere. No one here likes the place -- it is sad that the company doesn't need to care, since students will live wherever they can in order to go to school.
This is the same place, I remind you, that still has no ethernet, while virtually everywhere else does. I mean, it's UT Austin. Hugeass Internet presence here. Dell, Road Runner, Motorola, DSL. Luckily we got DSL on the cheap.
Also the same place that raised food plan prices without telling anyone. When asked why, they say they'd been LOSING money before their management came in, and by raising prices, they'd just be breaking even. They don't offer weekend meals anymore either. Scam.
Same place that says it's not responsible for flaws in any of its water, gas, etc. services. Not responsible for acts of God. How about acts of Nature? Can you make a clear delineation between what is an act of God and what is an act of Nature? Heh.
Same place that hired the night watchman that got in my roommate's face and called the cops and was pissed off when the cops did nothing. We just heard he got fired, by the way. Turns out he was sleeping on the job when he was supposed to be patrolling the grounds. Funny shit. Loser. He said he'd have thrown us out of his club by then when the confrontation was taking place. Ooh, his club! It must be fun to be rich. Buy his club, then fire him. Be nice, hire him back. Fire him again.
The heat makes me delirious.
The heat plus the heat given off by two monitors and two computers makes me even more delirious.
We have so many negative anecdotes about this dive from other people that live here that it's not even funny. I'm really going to get myself a nice place when I settle down. It doesn't have to be big, since I don't need much space, but it will certainly be WORKING. I have it all worked out, really. Kitchen and bathroom have to be really spacious and nice. Don't care about the living room so much. I want a mammoth computer setup, maybe in my bedroom. My house, when I get one, would have its own computer room, of course. I want a huge setup. Monitors everywhere, different computers for different tasks, tons of components. Need lots of electricity slots. It's gonna be awesome. A veritable funnel for information, pouring straight into me.
It's so hot. Goddamn it's so hot. Tonight I took a nap and woke up at around 10PM sweating terribly. Rolled around to find a cool spot on the bed. No luck. Finally got up because it was so unbearable. Think I'm going to sleep on the kitchen floor. Mmmmm...
Other notes: people my age and younger are not very witty. You read a book and all these clever dialogues take place. It kind of makes the real thing more disappointing. "How is that working out for you?" "What?" "Being clever?" I hope those NASDAQ shorters are feeling maximum pain for their greed. How can you call yourself a trader if you've been bearish since NASDAQ 2900? I see the FBI still hasn't gotten anywhere on those DoS attacks. Just as expected. When you see those kinds of flailing "we'll do everything we can" press reports, you know they have nothing to go on. It happens with companies' press releases too. If it has no substantial info, short the stock to hell. Finally: Anna is the bestest.
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