I have been totally screwed....
Posted by Jeremy Quigg on November 15, 2001 at 23:03:22:
BODY OF MESSAGE: The following is a rant I penned while fuming and temporarily homeless. Although temporarily housed, I am now hours away from my job in an area I never wanted to move to. Faced with moving soon or collapsing from exhaustion, my ten hour work day with five hours (worst case) commute is killing me.
Read on if you dare!
If when you're done you have any legal advice or condolences,
write me at Jeremy71@onebox.com. I have no family to fall back on and am fairly new in town (eight months). I came here to work, not fall victim to someones lack of common respect!
Talk to you later,
Hi everyone. I've been in NYC for about seven months. It's been trying and rewarding in equal measure. I want to share with you today a story gross abuse of one person.
For the majority of my seven month stay I've had a room in Park Slope (Land of Baby carriages). Small and cramped ($475/mo), I dreamed of the day I would set out and claim my cool piece of the apple. The first attempts came in the form of asking around and checking with realtors (yikes) and settled finally on placing an ad in the highly recommended Billburg.com.
My ad read: E musician G designer seeks share.
The body of which stated I'd pay around $600 and was a friendly graphics professional. I immediately recieved several responses from a host of friendly and well meaning people most of whom offered shares at $400-$600 above my stated limit. All except for one.
Melissa (also representing a friend Jung) called to say that they had a $700/ month situation and I was invited to meet, see the apartment and eventually sit down with the two of them for an interview. The one who called me, Melissa, seemed friendly and concerned about the input of her friend Jung (the other half of the deal.) and set up a viewing. I saw the place, liked it very much and said, "I'm in!". Melissas said that it was important that her friend Jung had her say and that there were others being considered. She consoled me that I'd get my chance for an interview and that we'd do that soon.
Maybe a week later all of us made time in our schedules and had a meeting in Williamsburg. Jung came from New Jersey, I came from Park Slope and Melissa came from her place which was downstairs from the proposed group apartment. We met at a quaint local Williamsburg establishment for candlelight beers and talk of our hobbies, interests, and cleaning habits. They told me about a domineering character who they'd already interviewed who seemed as if he'd be some kind of dictator, and maybe one or two other washouts. They seemed heartened by my talk of being a neat person and Jung in particular liked that I was graphics professional with a heavy interest in electronic music and beautiful soundscapes which I consume and create. I was greatly relieved when a consensus was reached and they settled on me as their new roomate.
It may have been my jokes of roomate "Survivor" or perhaps my candor. I was very happy.
As conversation went on touching on various subjects, I was a little perturbed that Melissa had a common reaction to many stories. If I mentioned a coke addict at my job, she's shudder and say something vague about some problem she'd had with that drug. If I mentioned positive experiences I'd had at raves and underground House parties, she'd shudder and say something vague about some problem she'd had with that drug or scene as well. I gathered that she basically had problems and vowed to make a point of being considerate about that and keeping such talk to a minimum. As our meeting near to an end, Jung had to go (long commute back to NJ I suppose) leaving me with Melissa and her boyfriend who'd joined us by this point. He seemed nice enough, I was a little put off when they started making out in front of me, we were at a Williamsburg bar with a big indoor-outdoor area and a nice electronic music selection playing, I'd just met them and didn't feel comfortable telling them to get a room. I suppose he wanted to mark his territory clearly in front of me or perhaps Melissa needed to be assured.
Needless to say I dallied only a brief while longer, confident in my new digs which would be available at the first of the upcoming month.
As time went on Melissa contacted me to inform me that the residents of the apartment we were to share were having problems gaining possession of their new place, apparently the loft they'd arranged for was illegal or had some code problems and that things were going to be pushed back. She told me she was sorry and that she wouldn't hold it against me if I lost confidence in the deal. I told her that I was still on if they were, and to give me Jung's number for a follow-up to restore my confidence. Jung assured me everything was okay and if I were patient the place would be ours.
This process repeated itself again the following month. Same guys same problem, only now I was assured that they had a legal place, lease and plans to move out on the first of October.
All the waiting was going to pay off. I was going to have a proper room in a proper house with a kitchen fit to eat in. All I had to do was wait for October 1st.
During the month of September we all know about the terrible events in Manhattan. I myself had passed through the WTC at about 6:30am as it was a part of my daily commute to and from my companies facility.
Shortly thereafter I called both Melissa and Jung to make sure that they were alright and that we were still on. At this point I'd been waiting for over two months to move in. Melissa and Jung had both had the opportunity to move in before me as some rooms had opened and they'd made some arrangements with the previous tenants. (I forgot to mention earlier that they'd both gushed about everyone in the building being friends and friendly, with building barbeques and the works.) They both assured me that everything was fine for the October move.
Now we are a mere week before the move-in date. I call to confirm schedules and finalize arrangements. Telling Melissa that there was no need for me to give her a check early for clearance, as I was bringing cash (My Virginia bank has no branches in NYC.) She tells me that Jung has decided for personal reasons to move out but that we were still on. I tell her that's no problem and that I'm sure we can find a good roomate (I having a few prospects and she as well, we'll work it out we both agree)
My understanding is that Jung will move at the end of October.
Fast forward to the final weekend of September.
Monday being the first, Melissa has kindly arranged for me to bring some stuff on Sunday. This being a kind thing as my schedule is quite tight and the very important factor being that my room in Park Slope will be occupied by the end of the first.
With the help of one of my few friends I can lean on I bring the majority of stuff in his jeep calling first to make sure Melissa is there. Some people in the building answer the phone and tell me that she is not around and that I can give them my check and drop off what I like. I tell them that what I told Melissa, "I am bringing cash as I told her about five times, and that I'm not comfortable leaving it with people I've never met." They said, "Oh that's fine, I'm sure she'll deposit it or spend it, ha, ha, ha!"
So now I depart with most everything I own in this city except for my computer and some music equipment which I don't feel comfortable bringing on this one way trip, compliments of my friend (As the girl is not available and there are ominous portents.) Things go well. The place is full of moving people and I get my first look at the nearly empty room and it's nice and toasty the heat is on and I'm very excited---> almost there!
I then return to Park Slope for my last night.
The next day I go to work at 4pm my usual time looking forward to moving in, Melissa calls to tell me that, "Jung and I get up at 5am." her words are loaded with the implication that I may disturb them. Although it's the very first day and you only move-in once, I assure her that I will not disturb them, feeling that this girl must be tripping on acid to be so self centered and without any thought whatsoever to the fact that I might be considerate, and that I might already have plans to move stuff during daylight hours.
Well the night comes to a close and I make my way to my new home, I actually stayed at my job doing busy work well into the night so as to miss the girls awakening and have free reign to move my little stuff about. I do this and then go to sleep for the first time on my floor as I have yet to get a bed (one was provided in Park Slope). Later that night a similar routine was followed with a late entry just after the stated wake-up time of the girls. Waiting til they'd both left before taking a shower, then to sleep.
Now here patient reader is where the story comes to it's exciting climax.
As I awoke later in the afternoon to the sound of things moving and conversation, I thought Jung must be moving early, not at the end of the month as she'd said. No matter I thought, there's plenty of fish in the sea.
After making myself presentable I went out and said my goodbyes to Jung who said she needed to save money for a future business she wanted to open, and a cross country trip she wanted to take. I said that our roomate relationship should be put into the Guiness Book of World Records and jokingly said, "Wham bam thank you Ma'am." all in good humor.
After she and her brother left I went to make small talk with Melissa as she was my remaining roomate and to strategize and plan for the next one in.
Melissa starts the conversation by saying, "Look at me, my hands are shaking.", I say, "If you're worried about a roomate, my friend would move in tomorrow.", she snaps to me that, "I'm frankly not interested in living with your friend.". I say, "Well I'm sure we can find someone, how about your friend you mentioned?. At this point she says,"I'm making myself sick, I'm making myself sick, no one understands the difficulty I'm in." she goes on to say that she hasn't been sleeping right and that nobody seems to understand her. I ask her what the problem is and she says that things haven't been working out for her, jobs, her friend Jung, etc. At this point she tells me she's thinking of moving back to Ohio to live with her family and what a difficult thing that would be. In the course of telling this she outlines a plan that her younger sister and friend (in Ohio) may want to move into the apartment as part of a future plan to take on an internship. I say that's fine with me and she says, "I don't know if my younger sister would want to live with you.", I say, "I am engaged to be married, a Graphics professional, and a musician, big deal!" This is when she reiterates that she is having a very hard time and says, "I Can't believe that you and my friends don't understand my difficulties and I don't like your sarcastic attitude.".
By now it's become clear that she wants me to move out. I tell her that, "I just moved in here. Now you want me to leave!?!". She goes on to tell me that she has emotional problems, "The kind you get medication for." and she still can't believe that I'm not more understanding. I tell her, "I just moved in here, I've been waiting for three months, living in a dump for seven, have been looking forward to this apartment like a dying man in the desert looks forward to Shang-gri-la! Furthermore, you called me! Do you remember that? A candlelit roundtable with beers and laughter?" By now she has stated that nobody feels for her position about four times in fifteen minutes. That in combination with her self-proclaimed shaking and mental problems prompts me to tell her she's being hysterical. She immediately responds that I am being sarcastic and that she is not hysterical. She is perfectly reasonable and that I have til December to move and that it's common for people to move around all the time. I tell her it's very generous for her to offer for me to move in the dead of Winter and that she is sounding very outrageous. She states to me that, "My family comes first, you don't understand that?", I said that from what I've heard there were no concrete plans for her sister to move only speculation, i.e., she may move here, she may get an internship. She goes on to say that the lease is in her name and I don't have any choice. I suggested she consult with her Mother and her sister and indeed her friends, and tell them of her plans and reasoning for kicking someone out that she had called and invited into the house three months earlier and that this person was a thirty year old man who had waited patiently for three months calling at regular intervals to make sure that everything was okay and who had just used up all of his favors to get here and that furthermore he was sick and tired and had just given you all of his money. By now I am very disturbed indeed. We have talked for about fifteen minutes. A good deal of the subject matter being a shortage of sympathy for Melissa in Brooklyn. I assure her that I am not satisfied with her reasoning and that, "I look forward to her thoughts in the next couple of days.". I then take my leave of her as we've really talked the subject down to the ground all in a relatively civil manner.
Retiring to my room where the previous evening I had made a list of things to buy including; paint, cleaning supplies (the stove was covered in baked on grease), and a broom (the room was full of dust bunnies). I was sitting there thinking that the world is full of surprises when Melissa walked in with a question, "Jeremy? What are you thinking? You can tell me whatever you want, I can take it."
This is when I, sitting on the floor in front of my computer trying to act like I had something to do (honestly my head was swimming), turned and said, "I just moved in here, I've given you all of my money, you're telling me I have to leave... You say I don't understand your suffering, you're telling me I have to leave because your sister "who you haven't" told she can move in may one day arrange for an internship and want to move in but won't like me......." At this point Melissa told me I was scaring her. I asked her why and she said I was yelling at her. I can assure you I was not yelling or being threatening in any way. I was sitting on the floor with my back to her and my head turned. This is when I reminded her that, "We discussed this in the living room, we talked all there was to talk about, I said to you, "I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the next couple of days", I came in here because the conversation was over, I am now in my room that I just moved into, remember I gave you $1200 dollars?" This is when she said she was uncomfortable and was going down stairs.
My first thought was to call Jung, which I did. I left a message and asked her to call me back. I then called the police non emergency number to inquire about my rights in this matter. They told me that if anyone were to change the locks or attempt remove my possessions, that I can simply call 911 to make sure that my rights are maintained. I thanked them for the information and we hung up, just in time for me to get a call back from Jung. Jung was practically disbelieving, one of her first responses though was that she wasn't involved! I told her that unfortunately she was and that If I needed to go to some kind of housing authority I might need her to at least back up my claim that we had been in an arrangement for these past months and that this was out of order. I asked her what the deal might be with Melissa and she told me that, "Melissa is a spoiled girl who is used to getting what she wants from her parents.". I reminded Jung that I had asked her several times if there, "Was anything I should know," about the situation weeks and then days before the move occurred. She reiterated that she was not in the middle and I reminded her that I had moved all of my things, spent all of my money, and used up all of my favors to get here and that she was involved.
So then I went to sleep, it should be noted that the aforementioned toasty apartment had been chilly every night with cold pipes from the first night of my stay. Why this was so I don't know, but to sleep I went.
The next day I awoke and made more calls to figure my situation and check for my rights. I assumed I had rights as I am an American citizen, and had entered upon a good faith, verbal agreement with two seemingly respectable young women three months prior.
Sometime later Melissa called me from downstairs to inform me that I didn't have any rights and that I was being unreasonable, she stated that she had now found two people to move in at the end of the month. I said, "I'm sure we'll get along fine." She clarified that she was staying (What happened to moving to Ohio?) I reminded her that she had called me to begin with and that someone now lived in my former residence and that I had given her every cent I had and that it took me three months to get this place. She stated that there was no point in arguing and I suggested that if she wanted me to move that she should bring my money upstairs. Shortly thereafter she and her boyfriend both looking very concerned came to speak with me. I came out to discuss the situation with these two people who I barely knew, hoping to make a case that the whole thing could be resolved, counting on decency and respect for the fact that life can be very difficult and that I was a person too. I wasn't really surprised when they said I should just move, asking me, "Do you think you can live in a situation like this?", I said ,"Honestly I just want to go and lay down in my bed, that's why I moved here.", the boyfriend in a weak spurt of bravado said that, "My friend is a Corporate Lawyer and he says you don't have any rights.", at this I had to laugh because I associate corporate lawyers with greedy inhuman scum who specialize in denying people of their rights, nice friend.
I basically said that I was going to investigate my rights with the housing authority which I thought was entirely reasonable as I'd pretty much burned my bridges behind me. It seemed reasonable that I might have some recourse worth investigating, considering the hardship that this girl Melissa wanted to subject me to based on some mysterious whim. I had been busy distributing resumes, changing my address with my university, the post office, my employer. Melissa at this point stated that, "I'm thinking of having a restraining order put on you.", I said, "For what? I haven't done a single thing to you whatsoever!", she said, "You yelled at me yesterday.", I told the two of them that yesterday she had told me to move the day after I had moved in, "What did you expect me to do, give you flowers?" At this point I let them know I had called the Police to check on my rights and that it was unlawful to remove my possessions or change the locks- just to make it clear that that kind of hostility wouldn't work. I further made it clear that I was indeed going to check on my rights, and they left.
I thought it was prudent at this point to call the police and make a statement, here I have a girl and her boyfriend who think it's okay to jerk me around and possibly file some kind of false charges, "You yelled at me." I can't believe the gaul. Well I sat down to collect my thoughts and regroup, calling some level headed friends for advice. One a former professor of mine who lives in the area offered to call and see about options, he reported back that,"She is going to f--k you over, and doesn't care." adding that, "You need to watch your back.".
Funny he should say that because about 15 minutes later, a man let himself into the apartment to demand to know what the problem was. I stated to him I had right to be here and summarized my deal with Jung and Melissa. After interrupting several times and being generally rude, this man, who looked like a street flavored crackhead stated, "You gotta go.", I said, "I'm going to the housing authority to see about my rights on Monday.", he said, "No Monday, you go now.", and began whistling for his thugs that he had brought with him to come upstairs and I assume put their hands on me. Fine and fair justice for the poor victim of the story Melissa. That is when I said, "I think I'll call the Police now." He looked surprised as if hoping I would have had no way to call for assistance and went downstairs.
I, in my sleeping clothes, decided that I should dress before going down to make my case. By the time I went downstairs, Melissa, her boyfriend, half of the young tenants of our building and the Puerto Rican thug crew were gathered around the Police car. When I approached the Police told me they didn't even want talk to me, "Go over there.", funny I called them because I was about to be assaulted. I could overhear Melissa telling the Police that I had threatened to call the Police on her and other injustices. Very funny indeed considering that she had sent a person with no inkling of the matter up to get me. I wonder what would've happened if I hadn't had my cell, this guy was calling his boys to get me.
All I wanted to do was to check out my rights, not as described to me by a sniveling ass who would forget right from wrong for a piece of pussy.
I may have been an inconvenience for a spoiled brat who invited me and encouraged me to come for three months. I may have been the only easy target for a miffed bitch who was snubbed by her friend who, "didn't want to be involved." But let's not forget, I am human being struggling like you too.
I have no parents to turn to, no money in the bank, and not many options.
My company is going to do me a great favor. They are going to have a freight service come by to move my stuff to a facility in Jersey City. Isn't that nice of them? My clothes, possessions and computer are going to be in a warehouse in Jersey City. That's great! If I sound sarcastic Melissa, it's because I am very angry at this point in time.
Thank you for choosing me, thank you for letting me give up my apartment.
And thank you for being so fair and reasonable as to tell me to move out the day after I move in. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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