Then came yesterday. I got a flyer in my mailbox -- the usual Washington Way news (please pick up after your dogs! Please flatten cardboard boxes before putting them in the dumpster! Please don't break your garbage disposals!). And inside the newsletter was an application for POOL MEMBERSHIP. These fuckers want to charge me $25 for the season. Twenty-five damn dollars! And for a guest -- for a GUEST -- it's $35 for the season. Which covers only ten visits. And I live by myself, but if I'm going to play in a pool, it's going to be with a friend, by God. Well, it was going to be, anyway.
I KNOW they did not mention that extra fee when they showed me the apartment, or at the lease signing, or anything. I would have remembered that shit. I'm sure it's written somewhere, but certainly not anyplace obvious, because I was bored and stuck at my new place the first day without a car and read everything in my welcome packet while waiting for my friend to come by. Twenty-five dollars! Forty for couples! Please! It's not that big a pool. It's open like noon to 7:30 or some shit. There's no lifeguard. What a fucking rip deal.
I don't like the mentality of my apartment complex. It's pretty nice for what it is; it has a lot of grass and trees around, the apartments are very spacious. But I feel like they don't trust me or something. Like I'm an inmate. Want to hear more? Sure you do.
They charge me $25 a month to have a pet. Now, I can understand a larger safety deposit, or even a one-time fee. But a monthly charge? Why? They're doing it because they can. That's the only reason. If there were two people living in my apartment, there would be no extra fee. What difference does a cat make? He doesn't take up a parking spot.
Here's the kicker. Okay, the place is very big and sprawling. And all the parking lots are connected; there's only one entrance and one exit, which is a pain. I believe that at one time they had a security dude at the entrance. (Wow, what a pain that would have been). To make sure that people came in through the entrance at the security dude, they installed treadles at the exit and entrance. In case you don't recall, "treadles" are those mean metal spikes at airport parking lots and such, that fold down nicely if you're going the right way and PUNCTURE ALL FOUR OF YOUR TIRES IF YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY.
Now, fine, make everyone go past the security man, no problem. But by the time I got here, there was no security man, but the treadles are there. Is it really THAT important that people enter in the entrance and exit out the exit? They're both two lanes, you could make them both BOTH, which most residents would probably appreciate, since they probably live pretty far away from one of them. And treadles are, I would think, very unexpected in this venue. Usually the punishment for disobeying a Do Not Enter sign in a parking lot is . . . nothing. So you know that every once in a while someone isn't paying attention, or can't be bothered to find the exit, or thinks the entrance is the exit, and BAM! major problem. I was going out once, and a lady was coming in and was so concerned in finding the "X" building that she didn't notice she was coming in the exit (the signs are pretty little and faded there). If I hadn't been going out, she wouldn't have stopped to ask me where the "X" building was, and she would have been screwed. And just a few weeks ago I came home and there was a flatbed sitting by the entrance; and sure enough, behind it was a car with FOUR flat tires. And a sad-looking Asian woman standing by it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter for the Death Penalty for Inconsiderate Driving. But who doesn't try to sneak out of a parking lot the wrong way, if that's where they are already and no one else is around? And what a MAJOR financial inconvenience having four flats must be. You have to get a special flatbed guy to come instead of a regular towtruck (that costs more, right?), and I'm guessing that you can't patch those kinds of punctures. There's probably two holes in each tire, anyway. So you have to REPLACE four tires. Tires ain't cheap! And I buy cheap tires!
A few weeks ago (wow, this post is getting long) the treadles were gone from the exit. The plates were still there, but the spikeys were gone. AND you could always sneak around the treadles at the entrance, which I (and most everybody else) did. Those things just make me nervous. And even though I could fit no problem, I never did it the wrong way, because I was scared I would miss and THEN I would be sorry. So with the ones at the exit gone, I thought maybe they would get rid of them. But NO! They put new, shinier and therefore scarier ones in! And they put another set at the entrance, to MAKE SURE no one got out! WHO CARES!?! What purpose do these evil things serve? And in the winter, they would get covered with snow, and I was afraid that the snow would melt and then freeze again and they would freeze in the up position and fuck me when I drove over them.
I wish they would ASK. I bet if they took a poll of all of the residents, everybody would either say that they wanted them gone, or didn't care. On the way to the laundry building there's an apartment with a sign in the window that says "Washington Way Residents Association" or something. I wonder how they got into that. My downstairs neighbors, who moved in a few months after me, recently put up an identical sign in their window. Ah! How did they know about it? How do you get into this association? Do they have meetings? Do they vote on things? I get a newsletter, why don't I get notices about this shit?
That's it. Foof! Meant to just mention the pool thing, and look what happened. Oh, and I probably won't be renewing my lease. In case you were wondering.
Edited February 26, 2009 to add that I lived there until December 2005. Haha.