Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Tenant

About two years ago, I purchased an additional property because I got it in my head that it was the smart thing to do. In actuality, it was but the hassle was a bit much. Pictures of the living room, dining room and kitchen are at the end.

Since I was still in school at the time I purchased it, I couldn't really take on the responsibility for managing it on my own. I had NO time and NO experience. What would happen if something needed to be repaired? Lord knows I have plenty of tools and know how to use them but can I haul a toilet up 3 flights of stairs....don't think so. The complex where the property is has an on-site management company. For a finders fee and a small monthly management fee, they would find the renter and take care of everything! Wonderful. I could swing that. The rent was enough to cover the mortgage, condo fee, management fee and I still could get my nails done! :)

The first tenant moved in and that's when the problems started! I wasn't getting my investment check from the corporate office on the specified date. No one at the corporate office would speak to me. The rental agent at the on-site office never returned my calls. Getting information and money from them was a nightmare. This went on and on until I got a statement from the corporate office that no rental income was received. Hmm, I said, what's this about? Well, come to find out, the renters skipped out leaving me without 4 months rent. It turned out that the rental agent was a relative of the renters and really royally screwed me.

Fast forward to the new tenant. He's been living there for over a year. Again, the management company was hard to work with. Then, I graduated and decided that enough was enough. I didn't have this property to have to fight for my money every month. I fired the management company! They reluctantly refunded the monies they had on account for me -- after a few harsh emails and voice mails from me. There is way more to this story but, suffice it to say, it was nothing but a hassle!

I informed the tenant that I was now taking over everything and that he was to deal with me directly. I drew up a new lease, went over to the property, met him and we signed everything. So, the first month passes with no hassles -- except a leaky toilet, which, by the Grace of God, was fixed before it caused major problems for the downstairs people. Then comes the next month....I get a call......I'm going to be a little late with the rent but I can pay you half now. HERE WE GO! I said okay. Now, here's why I said okay...when I first was separated from my ex husband, I rented an apartment. I didn't have anything. I had to rob Peter to pay Paul. I had to borrow money from my dad. If my landlord hadn't helped me out, I would have been out on the street. So, I was okay with that. He finally paid up and all is well.

Then, I get a call that he was hurt at work and was going to be late again. I asked him when he would be sending the check and that he must include the late fee. Enough is enough. I can only be so nice. That month got paid with no late fee. In the meantime, I had to go over there to replace pipes under the kitchen sink. Now, at this point, he never says anything about January rent being late. Until he calls and tells me a few days later. By now, I'm not tolerant.

I have been sick since the New Year began. I lost my voice. It's almost back but that's irrelevant. So, since I can't talk, I text him. When is the rent being paid? He says that I should have gotten it by now and that he needs to check to see if his son mailed it. I said that 2 months worth of late fees were to be included. He says he forgot. Ok...are you seeing anything wrong with this picture? So that was Wednesday. Yesterday, I got a check dated for 1/9 mailed on 1/8. No late fees. So, I text him again telling him what I have and that I expect the late fees to be paid by Wednesday and that the rent would be paid ON TIME in February. He texts back that his son forgot to mail the check and he just wrote a new one and forgot the late fees. WRONG! I might have been born at night but it wasn't last night! We shall see what happens with this man.

It gets better -- he keeps complaining about the "industrial" carpets and wants them replaced. Um......NO. They were brand new when I bought the place, cleaned before he moved in and staying there! He says they stink. I say rent a cleaner but I'm not paying for it.

Then, he didn't clean the stove and the burner caught on fire. Stove had to be replaced. I said keep it clean. Is it? NOPE.

Then he says he wants to paint. I say fine but I'm not paying for it and when you leave all the walls must be white. He hasn't done that.

THEN, he has the nerve to ask if he can get a dog because his kids want one. I'm not against animals, really and truly. I believe that children should grow up with animals but they should be able to care for them properly. But, come on.....your lease says NO PETS. The by-laws of the association say no rental properties can have pets. Sorry, dude, no pets. My luck, he'll get one and it will tear up the place.

The saga continues!

Hysterically funny

Warning -- it may be offensive but it is hysterically funny. Guess ya gotta give the guy credit for being brave enough to post it on youtube!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Actions speak louder than words

Actions really do speak louder than words. It really just hit me today.

The guy in the cafeteria, who has been saying for the past umpteen months that "we're gonna get together," told me this morning when I went down for breakfast that he was going to make Cream of Potato soup. Big deal you say. I'm with ya! Here's the thing: he knew I had no voice and wasn't feeling well. I specifically asked him to make something "comforting." He knew what I meant. Lo and behold, I trot myself down again at lunch time and guess what? It's CLAM CHOWDER! Eww with a capital EWW! So, of course, I can't let that go and say something to him. He says, "Babe, you know I care about you." Whatever, I say, actions speak louder than words.

The background with this person is too extensive for me to even get into right now. It's the point of saying one thing and doing something else. I always try to have my words and actions consistent with one another. That's the way I live my life. I very rarely say one thing and do another. I just can't, it's not part of my nature. So, gullible me trusts that everyone operates on the same premise as I do. WRONG, Jill, doesn't happen that way! I am trying not to be jaded. I really do give everyone chances...many more than some of them deserve. Is it wrong to expect that people will do what they say they'll do? I just don't get it.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing my own comfort food!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have been home the past two days with a cold that has left me voiceless. Usually, I am sick around Christmas but it seems as if mother nature decided that I would be sick for the new year. 'Tis okay, though, because I was running around so much during Christmas (aha! running around = contact with lots of people=no rest=cold!) that I didn't have time to be ill. For most of you, no voice isn't a big deal. A few days, it comes back and you're good to go. For me, however, my voice is my life! During my days, I am a trainer and do marketing and public relations. During my evenings, I am a counselor. So, therefore, no voice = lots of problems.

It's actually a little better today but I still have to strain. I slept with one of those waterless Vick's things plugged in last night -- I love the smell of Vick's -- and then ran the vaporizer all day today. Seems to be working. I'll sleep with the vaporizer on tonight and hopefully, tomorrow, will be a better voice day.

Regardless, I have been cooped up in this house eating chicken noodle soup, watching TV, reading, working (I can do that, yay!), napping, and bonding with Mr. Max. I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my house but I've had enough of being a couch potato. Plus, I've read the first two books in the Twilight series and just started the third. I still don't understand the big deal with Edward and Bella but I will finish so that I can hopefully gain some insight into my kids and my clients.

It's funny, someone said to me today that I am permitted not to feel well and that I don't need to be a workaholic. It really hit home because that's exactly what I say to my clients. It is true, we are only human and therefore will have days when we don't feel well. There is no reason for me to feel guilty about it. I am not indispensable; therefore the world will not stop if I can't check email for a day. Although with the state of the economy, I don't want to even think about unemployment!

So there you have it. I'm going into the office tomorrow regardless of the strength of my voice. As long as I can whisper, I'll be good -- I just won't answer the phone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's Sunday and I should be excited about getting ready to go to Church. For some reason, I'm not. Well, actually, I do have a clue as to the reason. The morale of the people is at an all time low. We're losing families left and right. We're being subjected to an "iron fist ruling" where there is no compromise -- EVER! I sit and listen to the sermon and half of the time I have no idea what the point is. There isn't a connection between the Word and real life. On a "good" day, we're not yelled at. On a bad day, I feel like I'm at a revival and if I don't jump up and yell, "AMEN" I'll be condemned to hell.

I love my church family. I love 'my' kids. I love the music (most of the time). I love that the Word is still proclaimed each and every Sunday. I love that we reach out to the community.

Even with all of the positives, I leave the service feeling a void. I don't feel spiritually nourished. I don't feel the unconditional love that God has for me while I'm sitting in the pew. I feel beaten down and made to feel that I'm not doing enough.

I've been worshipping and very involved in this church for 20 years. I've watched things change for the better and for the worse. We've prevailed through the hard times. We've celebrated the good times. We've shared joy and pain.

I'm at a point where it may be time to time to start figuring out which worship space is right for me. It's hard to even write that. It's even harder to admit it. As the new year begins, I am committed to strengthening my faith. I know that God has big things planned for my life. I know that I will be led on an amazing journey and I am ready.

Through all of this transition, I will take refuge in the quietness, for it is not in the "busyness" of the world that I find my rejuvenation.

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10