May be time to move

Warning: Whiny rant follows.

Over the weekend, I slept better than I have in weeks, though still not enough to catch up on missed sleep.

Unfortunately, tonight Loud Car Guy has parked right outside my window again. It's been only five days since last time he parked in the wrong spot and was supposedly told again not to do that. I didn't know he'd parked there, of course, 'til I got home at 8 p.m. By which point the apartment managers' office is closed (of course, they rarely answer their phone during the day either), so I left a message on their machine and then called Apartment Complex Guy at the emergency home number I was given last week.

Apartment Complex Guy informs me that he's not a 24-hour service, and that he can only help me during the business day. Of course, there's no way for me to find out during the business day whether Loud Car Guy is parked where he's supposed to park. Apartment Complex Guy seems uninterested in this fact.

Apartment Complex Guy doesn't know Loud Car Guy's last name or his phone number, so can't call him except from the office.

(Meanwhile, unrelatedly, the apartment people have now attempted to fix my water-temperature fluctuation problems in my shower twice, to no avail. My requests (emailed over the weekend) that they fix it again have not yet received a response.)

Apartment Complex Guy notes that nobody but me has complained about the noise, and that he's not saying there's no noise problem, but y'know, when people live in apartment complexes there's sometimes noise. He notes that Loud Car Guy probably just figured once in a while was fine, and that tomorrow ("first thing," which will probably be after Loud Car Guy goes to work) he'll tell Loud Car Guy to park in the assigned space, and that if it happens again then he'll talk to upper management about it. And that maybe Loud Car Guy will decide to move out if that happens, or maybe if he can't follow the rules they'll ask him to move out, or maybe (Apartment Complex Guy adds casually) I'll get tired of it and I'll move out. (Hint hint.) (And I gather that evicting people is pretty much impossible in California, so honestly I don't see that Loud Car Guy has any motivation to do anything about the situation. If he parks in the wrong place, then oh, no, he gets another phone call from the sympathetic Apartment Complex Guy who tells him that Unreasonable Oversensitive Guy is whining again! Getting a few sympathetic phone calls is a small price to pay for getting to park exactly where you want to park.)

I'm clearly not doing a good job of making allies here. Apparently Loud Car Guy sounds very reasonable when he talks to Apartment Complex Guy, while I (I assume) invariably sound whiny and upset. I don't like sounding whiny and upset, but I'm having a hard time avoiding it these days.

The real solution, obviously, is for me to let go of it. (This paragraph is not sarcastic; I honestly believe this.) I should relax. Learn to sleep through the noise—it's just plain not worth getting this upset over 45 seconds of loud noise every morning. Anyone reasonable would learn to fall back asleep when it's over, maybe even eventually to sleep through it. Unfortunately, I'm really really bad at letting go of things. I can sometimes do it, eventually, by avoiding the stimulus that I'm getting upset about; I think that if he were to park where he's supposed to, I could probably learn eventually to deal with it. But if every five days he reintroduces the problem, in a couple more weeks I'm going to be too tense to think straight. I may already be.

The apartment complex across the street has vacancies. I seem to recall Kam saying at one point that those apartments were kinda dodgy-looking, and I'm very hesitant to trade in a set of known problems for a set of unknown problems. (For all I know, the walls are thinner, the shower water is colder, and the cars are noisier over there.) But this noise situation has been going on for well over a month now, with no end in sight. Up 'til now, the apartment-complex management people seemed to be sympathetic to me (though they've always been pretty flaky about communication—and if I were laying blame, I would point out to them that we could've avoided a lot of unpleasantness if they hadn't given me inaccurate information in the first place, and then stopped returning my calls for a week), but I seem to have lost their sympathy—five years of good tenantship and zero complaints doesn't count for much in the face of calling them at home once after 9 p.m.

If this keeps up, it just won't be worth it to stay here. My desire to be able to sleep outweighs my desire to not give Loud Car Guy any satisfaction.

4 Responses to “May be time to move”

  1. metasilk

    I think you’re right: the life-lasting solution is the one within you: finding in yourself ways in which stuff like this ceases to bother you. This kind of thing always comes back, until we learn how to let it go… and I don’t just mean evading/escaping it, because people are so wonderfully persnickety, but it’s not important anymore.

    I wish I knew how to help you do that more easily or more soon. Maybe there are smaller annoyances you can practice with, or a vacation you can take to separate for a while, loosen the twist far enough.

  2. Greg van Eekhout

    Man, that sucks, Jed.

    Is your complex owned by a management corporation? Because Apartment Complex Guy even hinting that you might consider moving is the sort of thing corporate-level management might want to know about, and there’s no reason why your communication to corporate-level management should have to go through an intermediary.

  3. Jacob

    Oh, Jed. I’m sorry this is such a pain.

    If it was me, part of what would be bothering me would be the sense of powerlessness. Perhaps there are things you can do that would help on your own end? I’m thinking of stuff like earplugs, “white noise” generators, thick quilted wall hangings, etc. Perhaps you could even record the noise and set it up to happen every day (or some other more pleasant loud noise), whether the car is there or not, so that you can get used to it and not feel like you never know when it might come. Maybe you could find a way to add it to your routine — like, you do 20 minutes of meditation or yoga or t’ai chi every morning and then go back to sleep, so the noise is just a reminder.

    As far as “letting go” goes, I know it’s hopelessly New-Age-y, but I’ve had some success with affirmations. You come up with a statement that says something that you wish to be true, and say it aloud to yourself. The same exact phrasing every time. Myself, I always have lots of “tapes” playing in my head, some good and some (many) bad — this just adds something to that chorus that I actually want to be there.

    All of the above is just brainstorming, and comes out of sympathy. Feel free to ignore all of it.

    Take care of yourself.

  4. Jon

    This does suck, and I agree with Greg. Corporate folks might be interested in this, especially when they’re cutting your rent left & right. They’re not doing that to be nice, they’re doing it because they can’t fill the units.

    As an alternative, I can only suggest one other thing: can you park in the space yourself? Or alternatively, do you know anyone who’s got a spare piece of crap car that you could park in that space? He can’t take it if it’s already occupied. This may not be a practical suggestion, but it’s the first thing that came to mind. Ok, really the first thing was squirting superglue into his cardoor locks so he can’t get in to start the car, but this is a little less confrontational. And, um, illegal.

    Alternate plan: does this doofus apartment complex have another vacant unit you could move into? Preferably higher up, on the other side of the building, or in another building altogether?


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