Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You didn’t need that, did you?

You wake up, go about your normal morning routine, walk out your front door, lock it and head to work. Five hours later you return home to find your apartment empty. Did thieves break in while you were gone? No, it was the landlord.

In Madison Wisconsin, Edward Peterson came home to discover all of his possessions gone. Numerous CD’s (about 150), DVD’s, books, credit cards, cash… all gone. His landlord (who manages several complexes) had maintenance workers clean out the wrong apartment. I would freak out.

Most of Peterson’s property was found in the dumpster and his TV with its remote was in the rental office (I guess they found it difficult to throw away a TV). The landlord says he’ll be reimbursed for all his property. Thank God for that anyway.

If I were that landlord I would be so embarrassed. He got the apartment number correct; it was the complex that was wrong. I can see how that would happen.

Many years ago I lived at 252 Tyler. A hang up 911 call from 252 Taylor came into the police station. They sent an officer out and he came to my house instead of the house that placed the call which was about 3 blocks from us. He was really upset when I said we hadn’t made a 911 call. He was quite insistent. He accused me of lying. That made me mad. I could have made things better immediately by telling the officer that we didn’t have a phone in our house (we didn’t) but when the words “Why do you want to lie to me?” came out of his mouth, my brain stopped being reasonable and my mouth quickly followed. I said “Why don’t you send another officer out here since you’re too hardheaded to listen to me.” I’m surprised I didn’t go to jail that night. I was mad. Very mad. When I’m that angry I’m not friendly. It’s something I really need to work on.

He did call for another officer but he didn’t leave. When the second officer arrived I invited him inside (I was already calming down and therefore I was being a little more reasonable) and showed him that we had no phone. I asked him how we could have made a 911 call with no telephone. He told me I couldn’t. He used his cute little radio (I’ve always wanted one of those radio mike’s that attach to your belt. Don’t ask me why. I just like them) to call the station and found out the address of the hang up call. I heard them say 252 Taylor and I started laughing. He said “what?” and I told him our address, 252 Tyler. He smiled and walked outside to talk to the other officer.

The original officer that visited me got a weird look on his face. I knew he knew he was wrong. He walked over to me and apologized. Then I felt bad that I had been rude to him. It was an honest mistake. I apologized for that and told him I hoped everything was ok at the other house. He got another weird look and said he had to go. Obviously he had forgotten about his original mission. It was a pretty bad night for him and I still feel terrible that I was rude even though it’s been over 15 years since this happened.

So I can understand the landlord making a mistake. I feel almost as bad for the landlord as I do for the man whose possessions were thrown out. ALMOST.


Deb said...

I can't imagine coming home and all my things gone, atleast they got it all straightened out.

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