Diatribe on not having an apartment intercom (aka - our landlord is a cheap bastard)

August 07, 2012

We live on the second floor (that's the third, in American apartment-speak) in a building with no intercom. There's evidence that there was one at some point, but looks like it hails from the dawn of electricity and has long-since been unusable. At one point, we had a lovely Deutsche Post man who would bring my packages to my door, always with a smile on his face and a joke about my always-barking dog. I haven't seen him in over six months.

I was here all day. What do you mean you 'tried' to deliver??

Now it seems, delivery man or otherwise, people have taken to buzzing the bell, to which I let them in blindly (as there is no intercom to first verify they are not a mass murderer, Bofrost salesperson or Jehovah's Witness) only to then keep buzzing it. Did the door stick? Is this now a secondary post/ Hausmeister/ salesperson trying to get in? How am I to know? Continually buzzing the buzzer, or better yet, standing down in the entryway yelling at me - which of course gets lost in the cacophony of sound with my running appliances and barking dog, not to mention my ears that are nearly deaf to all low, muffled sounds - are not solutions. You, delivery man, have been paid by me or someone else to deliver said package to ME, not to use our poor ground floor neighbor as a reception for the rest of the building or to just leave a delivery note rather than hauling your lazy ass up our stairs. And yes, Landlord, you bear some responsibility here too. How about an intercom, like every other building in town, for the safety of not only your building, but for the people who live in it?

The remnants of what looked to be an intercom, circa 1910 

I'm not even going to go into the stairway project that's been underway for most of the year yet has been left half-finished for the last several months or the rotted out floor that threatens to plummet us into the flat below us with every creak and increasingly buckling tile. Or when he switched all building issues over to an apartment management service (with the availability of only three working hours during only five business days - nice) without telling any of the tenants, and just stopped returning any of our phone calls. When I first laid eyes on our beautiful apartment (note: the beautiful interior of our apartment, the outside looks at though it's seen war - which, in case you were wondering, it hasn't) and realized we were paying a quarter of what we would for something similar in San Francisco, I felt like we had scored. Now, I think I judged too quickly.

Perhaps this is another sign that it's time to make a move...

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische