Monday, December 17, 2007

Venting

Those who know me know that I do not do this very often, at least not in a public forum, but sometimes, you just have to vent.

Have I mentioned how much I hate my upstairs neighbors? And yes, I do mean HATE. They are loud, rude, and completely lacking in any consideration for others in the building. We have so many grievences against them it's difficult to decide where to start.

No, maybe not so hard. Let's start with the fact that it's 11:20pm on a Monday night, I'm tired, I have a headache, I have to get up in the morning -- and I'm still up. Why? Because apparently the sows above me think they live in a vacuum. They must, judging by the fact they seem to think no one can hear them chasing their stupid dog around, or the damn washing machine running after hours. I was actually ready for bed about 9:30 tonight--which, as those who know me know--is pretty rare for me. I confess to night owl tendencies I frequently have to fight. But I've had a sinus infection for some time now and am really tired. But was I allowed to sleep?

No.

Why? Because the stupic dog they kennel above my bedroom when they are gone was barking, whining and battering its cage, as it often does when abandoned. And let me tell you all--a muzzle does not completely deter a dog from barking. It may not be able to produce a full-throated bark, but a muzzled dog is still capable of short, sharp barks. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Anyway, about 10:30pm the sows above me came stomping in (and I do mean stomping), prompting the dumb dog to buck in its cage like a crazed bull, lifting it and slamming it against the floor--which is MY ceiling. This is no little dog, either, easily weighing in at around 80 pounds, if not more, so I'm sure you can imagine how loud it is. The first time my BIL heard the beast romping overhead he looked at me aghast and said, "How can any manager allow a dog like that in an upstairs apartment?" And believe me, he knows what he is talking about. He has managed university owned properties across the country and is so effective at turning them around that he has frequently been sought out. Too bad you have to be a student to live in his buildings--or that I'd then be surrounded by undergrad stupidity.

Unfortunately, this is typical behavior for this dog. It does this so often I'm surprised there isn't a hole in the ceiling, and you can't tell me that they don't know how loud it is, either. But do they try to deter the dumb mutt from this negative behavior? Of course not--quite the opposite, in fact. Yes, they make an already high-strung dog even more excitable. Nice, huh?

So, sows come home, dog goes ballistic until they let him out--at which point we are treated to an hour of the dog stampeding over our heads while we are trying to sleep. As if that isn't enough, the narcissistic sows decide to do laundry after hours. Never mind the fact that loud appliances are NOT supposed to be used after 10pm or before 8am. Not only is this in accordance with city/apartment complex noise ordinances, it's common courtesy. You don't run loud machines late at night when people are trying to sleep. At least, people with MANNERS don't run loud appliances late at night. Not when you live in a multi-unit apartment building with little soundproofing.

So yeah, here I am online after 11:30 at night when I'd rather be sleeping--all because my upstairs neighbors are being their typically rude selves.

I suppose I should be grateful I didn't ccome home to their loud stereo, as I did Friday night. I got home a little after 6pm and could hear the music as I entered the building. My apartment sounded like a State Street bar. I couldn't even sit in the living/dining area to eat dinner, it was that loud, no exaggeration. Seriously--if I wanted to live in an apartment that sounded like a State Street bar...I'd move into an apartment over a State Street bar. But this isn't State Street, or even Langdon for that matter. It's a residential neighborhood and there are a lot of families and people who have to get up early for work and don't want to hear pounding music after being surrounded by noise at work all day.

And seriously--why are so many people afraid of silence? While I revel in power outages, others whinge and complain at not having their stereos, TVs or video games.

But I digress. To return to what I was saying, no one wants to hear someone else's music all the time, particularly when it is so loud it drives you out of the livingroom you pay for. I'm not saying people don't have the right to listen to whatever they want to listen to, but they need to be mindful of the fact that others don't want to hear it, nor should they have to. As Alderman Schumacher said several weeks back, "Peoples' rights end when they infringe upon other peoples' rights,"--and I have the right to sit in my livingroom at night, and hear my TV or music without having to crank it up over someone else's--which would make me as rude and guilty of negative behavior as they are, not to mention irritate the people next to and across from me. I have the right to eat at my dining room table, and to have company over and not have to shout at each other in order to be heard over someone's loud music or unruly dog romping overhead.

That last one is a major bone of contention right now, what with Thanksgiving being ruined by them. We couldn't even have a normal conversation without having to yell over the pounding bass coming from upstairs. It did not make me happy. And now, as if ruining our Thanksgiving wasn't enough, they are working on destroying our Christmas. Seriously, what little bit of Christmas spirit I had the beginning of this month has been depleted by their escalating rudeness. My sister, niece and BIL are supposed to be here Christmas Day and I can't even look forward to it because you know the sows upstairs are going to ruin it.

Anyone reading this is probably wondering why I don't talk to the manager. The thing is, she's half the problem. The current manager is extremely ineffectual and by far one of the worst this property has had in all the years we've been here. We have complained to her several times over the past three months about the dog, constant noise (especially late at night), and excessively loud music--to no avail. Her opinion is that people can do whatever they want, no matter what the hour, rules set forth in the lease agreement, or how it affects those around them--with no consequence. She'd be of a completely different opinion were she to spend one week under these people and got as little sleep as I do. It's a rare night when they don't keep me up late or wake me between 2 and 4am.

And yes, we have even called the police, who were also no help. In short, we were basically told to take our noise complaints to the manager, that it was their responsibility to do something about it, never mind the fact their loud music was in violation of city noise ordinances. Yes...our tax dollars at work. In fact, the officer was even quite insulting, saying at one point, "Well, they pay rent." Excuse me? And we don't? And yes, it was said in that snooty, condescending manner. I pay rent, too, and my rent includes the use of a livingroom. I shouldn't be banished to the bedroom or forced out of my apartment whenever they're home, simply because they have to respect or consideration for others.

And yes, I would like nothing more than to file a complaint against the current manager, but cannot find a number or address for the property owner. Nothing we have received since this rental group took over the property contains that information and we've had no luck searching it out.

So, what recourse do we have, other than to move? Granted, we would like nothing more when our lease is up at end of April, provided we can find affordable handicap-accessible housing. And that is the biggest problem--finding a quiet living space in a decent neighborhood that my disabled mother can access...and that we can afford. Not exactly an easy feat in this city. I've been scoping out properties for more than a year and everything within our budget either isn't handicap accessible or is in an undesirable neighborhood. I've noticed this problem with many of the new condos and apartments that have gone up in Madison over the last few years. Very few are accessible to disabled individuals, with most having flights of stairs or even short stoops in front of them. Whatever happened to ordinances mandating that buildings be handicap accessible? And those that are want $1000 a month in rent or more. Like anyone on a fixed income or disabilty could afford that!

So, at least for the time being we are stuck where we are. If I make it to the end of April without strangling someone (or their damn dog)--it will be a miracle. Merry ho ho ho.


5 comments:

Jana said...

(((Heather))) I'm so sorry your neighbors are so ridiculously rude. Sounds like it just keeps getting worse and worse. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all better. :-/ Here's to hoping the sow's upstairs go away for Christmas and take their dog with them.

Heather said...

Thanks, Jana.

I was actually able to stop in at the office today and speak with a manager. They're usually either not open yet or just opening as I'm leaving for work and closed before I get home, and office was closed without notice on Saturday. I left them a copy of the log I've been keeping of all the times they wake us up or crank the stereo, as well as when we've spoken to management and the police. Adam seemed rather surprised it was three pages long. As I told him, I don't make a habit of tracking my neighbors' comings and goings, but it's hard not to hear them, especially as often as they wake us between 2 and 4am. So...we'll see if anything is said to them. Or if the hole in my wall gets fixed.

doglover said...

sounds like you've got a bad situation, but...don't take it out on the dog! try substituting "kid" for "dog" in your post...could you still say all of it? the problem is the so-called humans, not the animal.

ps - i've lived underneath some "thundercats", too - it's not just dogs!

Annie said...

I think you could make a serious impression if you could just go upstairs and give them that piece of your mind you shared with us. You said it and I think it would be good to say it again and again and again - to them.

Heather said...

Annie~ Unfortunately, I doubt anything we say to them will make a difference, one way or another. In this particular instance, it needs to come from management. Management needs to remind them that having a dog on the property is a privilege, and privileges can be taken away.

Doglover~ I know the bulk of the problem lies with the humans, but it is extremely difficult NOT to be angry at both dog and humans.

As for substituting "kid" for dog...sorry to disappoint you, but I wouldn't appreciate a kid doing cartwheels and roughhousing over my head all the time, either and honestly don't know anyone who would. Been there, experienced that, and after two years of the entire building (not just us) compaining, they were finally asked to leave.

We were raised that there are indoor activities, and outdoor activities. Running, jumping and roughhousing belong outside, and this rule applied not only when we lived in an apartment, but when living in a house as well. The noise was so bad at 9pm this evening I thought my living room ceiling was going to fall in on me. Sadly, this is NOT an exageration.

I'm so upset about current living conditions that I am on the verge of calling my sister and canceling Christmas.