Yesterday, while I was at work in Palo Alto and Tiersa was in Campbell attending to her ailing grandmother, we received a notification from our realtor that some documents had been overnighted to our apartment for us to review. Since we wouldn't be home to accept the package, it was going to wind up being delivered to the office.
At most apartment complexes, this probably isn't a big deal -- it's just part of the whole routine. But at The Presidio in Fremont, it's always an ordeal. The inattentive primates hired to staff the manager's office are challenged by even the most basic of tasks, such as "standing there while a guy in a brown uniform hands you an envelope." They lose packages at about the same rate as this year's Giants team loses games, and they also make themselves as unaccessible as possible to tenants, especially those who work. Their office is supposedly open until 6 p.m. on weekdays, but their door is locked and the lights are off every day by 5:40. (In fairness, they make no claim that they remain open until 6 p.m. local time. Apparently, once the clocks strike 6 in Omaha, it's time to close up shop at The Presidio.) If a package intended for us goes to the office, it's generally staying there at least until the weekend -- unless management "accidentally" gives it to someone else first.
Because these documents need to be reviewed quickly, and because we didn't have a valid tracking number to check whether the package had already been delivered, Tiersa called Presidio management from Campbell to see if anything addressed to us had arrived. One would think this would be a relatively easy query to handle. One would be wrong.
"We don't do that," said Martha, the rude Presidio beast. "Too many people ask."
Tiersa politely said she understood and that she didn't mean to be difficult. She pointed out that in the six years she's lived there, she's never called to ask something like this. She explained the importance of the package, and added that she wouldn't even consider asking if it weren't such an important circumstance. If the package is there, she added, she'd have to leave her ailing grandmother and rush home in order to pick it up before they close for the day. Thinking that it would probably enrage the beast, Tiersa left out any comments about how if they'd just stay open until 6 like they say they do, this wouldn't even be an issue.
"I will not do that right now," snapped Martha. "I'm with a client."
Now, I don't know much about the whole apartment-rental business. What I do know is that in the six years we've lived there, we have handed these money-grubbing lice more than $100,000 in rent. They have never received a late payment from us; they get each payment before it's due. No neighbor has ever complained about us, or at least we've never heard from management or security if they had. We don't grow pot or raise goats in our apartment. We don't start fires in our apartment, except for those confined to the fireplace. We don't play our stereo too loud, primarily because we don't own a stereo. We don't dump rocks down the garbage disposal. We've never tried to flush anything down the toilet that doesn't belong in a toilet in the first place.
I'm not sure if all of that qualifies us as ideal tenants or not, but I'd imagine it puts us in that ballpark. What I do know after yesterday, though, is that we are certainly not considered to be "clients." I would guess a "client" would be any unlucky bastard who stops in after thinking, "I guess these apartments wouldn't be all that bad." Because of the typical turnover among renters, it's unlikely that any "client" is going to stay there as long as we have, putting up with verbally abusive management, stinky neighbors and higher-than-market rents.
There's really little need to get irritated with Martha. She'll likely be replaced in a couple of months with someone just as unpleasant and just as inept. In the six years we've lived there, I don't think there's been a single on-site manager who has been there for more than a year. Not that we've ever really noticed, because they all have sucked. Martha is just the latest untrained, unqualified imbecile to collect a paycheck in exchange for scratching her ass and being rude to tenants.
For what it's worth, a whole lot of other people seem to agree with me about The Presidio and how far it has sunk. Notice the number people who complain specifically about management. Gee, you think there might be a trend?