It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?
Remember the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearing? I watched spell-bound as she persuaded and he attacked.
I had no idea, within a two days, I’d be embroiled in something similar.
Assistant Manager’s style: attack
My style: persuade
1. There were renter 20 rules to obey. , tenant’s cannot be in their rented casita (cottage) while housekeeping is cleaning. We reluctantly allowed access to our unit while Rick was at physical therapy. After the cleaning lady rifled through our personal possessions & briefcase with our passport & money, I complained. I stated I needed to be in our unit when serviced. Management insisted I stay outside, in the 90 degree heat and high humidity (or leave the property). Why did management enable this kind of behavior?
They have a list of some 20 rules. Requiring the tenant to vacate the unit and allowing housekeeping full rein of their units was a shock.
2. One of the propane burners was plugged and soot got on the pot holder. Management took a picture of the pot holder and I was chastised for getting it dirty. Creepy to realize someone was going through laundry and taking pictures!
3. Assistant manager sent me text this text where she noted I spent excess time in the supply room folding three small garbage bags:
…manager watched you fold up [3 waste-basket size] garbage bags the other day. It only takes 20 seconds to grab a garbage bag...you were in there several minutes…
We had been tenants for two months. Why start spying on me the last week?
When I was folding the small plastic bags, I sensed being observed. I dismissed the feelings…but apparently I was feeling her energy.
4. Rebuked for checking out 1 October; saying our rent was paid to the 30th. I showed assistant manager our receipt (in manager’s handwriting) and it clearly stated 1 October. We were out by 11am 1 October.
In my haste to write this post, I neglected to include the walk-through nightmare.This lively technicolor discussion loops around in my head and the reason the smaller events took on greater importance.
5. Assistant manager knocks on the door at 11am for the walk-through.
“Where’s the Roku?” assistant manager said as she walked straight to the TV and began looking around.
“It’s right there on the shelf under the TV,” I replied,
“I see the base, where is the WiFi adapter for the Roku?”
“We never had it, remember? It never worked,” I replied
“You used it.”
“We couldn’t use it because the adapter was missing. Later you found it in the main house.” I said as my gut tightened.
“I don’t want to pay for a new Roku!” fired back the assistant manager.
“The Roku didn’t work. We mirrored Netflix to the TV with our HDMI cable. I sent a text message to you when I was buying an HDMI cable. Look in the main house, it’s there.”
“I’m not paying $80 for a new Roku, I’m calling the police!”
“Go right ahead and call,” I replied evenly.
None of us spoke all that much Spanish, so calling the police was a bluff. I was thinking about calling our Mexican attorney friend for advice.
Assistant manager gets red in the face and starts crying.
“You owe us $49.55 x 40 days = $1982.00 pesos for electricity,” said the assistant manager.
Rick, my husband, held up last month’s power bill. He pointed to the kilowatt calculation table.
“You know the power bill is not averaged per day. The price is adjusted depending on the kilowatts consumed. We owe you $1,683.00 pesos, not $1,982.00.”
(The difference is about $17.00 USD.)
“You’re paying for the Roku!”
Rick, looked her straight in the eye and said in a firm and even voice, “We are not paying for the Roku. You know that Roku never worked. We never used it.”
Rick is a Taurus. He is a bull. Slow to burn, but when he does, steam comes out of his nostrils, he paws the ground, and everyone better scatter if they know what’s good for them.
I am a Libra; an iron fist in a velvet glove. When angry, I have a habit of staying silent and walking away. Peace at any cost approach. ALMOST. This time I mentally rehearsed staying present; addressing each accusations; and responding with the truth and facts.
I held my ground. I faced my accuser. I reminded her again, the Roku WiFi adapter was probably in her home. I explained we frequently shopped at Costco. Empty Costco packaging is large and bulky, therefore, I may have used several small garbage bags. I did get one roll of paper towels.
“Would you have preferred I tossed the used containers in the garbage cans without placing them in bags?” I asked.
“You stole five rolls of paper towels!” She stomped her foot.
“I did get one roll of paper towels. I have no idea what happened to the other four.”
“I expect you to cover the cost of products above and beyond what we normally supplied, that you helped yourself to.” She was livid.
Later, I realized they rented another unit about the time the paper towels went missing. In preparation for the new tenant, could they have put a roll a paper towels in that unit and forgotten? I’ll never know.
I also forgot to mention I have an autoimmune disease that causes two finger tips to crack and peel. I’ve been dealing with this for over a year. I’ve consulted doctors here in Mexico and United States. I’ve been described medication, hand lotion, and told to avoid contact with cleaning supplies, including dish soap. I wear rubber gloves. To reduce washing dishes, my dermatologist told me to use paper plates, bowls, and cups. Unfortunately, these paper products added to household trash.
6. Root canal the same week. The permanent cap built by a previous dentist fell off. A new dentist was recommended and an x-ray proved I needed a root canal. Just to be different, I had three nerve roots in my tooth (most people have two). I clutched the dental chair in anticipation of a sudden jolt of pain. The drilling seem to go on forever.
Why not ask me in a civil voice? Why assume the worst and hurl mean spirited accusations? Honest to goodness, I don’t which is worse the root canal or these rage-filled allegations from an over suspicious manager and fear-driven assistant manager.
I’m still numb. I just begun to discharge my rage, resentment, anger at being accused of petty theft. Writing about here, in this post, does help. I’m adding to this post as I remember more details. One letter at a time.
Here’s the problem: in my head, I feel, see, and experience the walk-through event. When I think about describing the scene, I’m stuck. I struggle to find the right words to fully describe the scene and the impact on me.
How do I begin to write about the viciousness of the last few days? How do I write in such a way that accurately details my inner turmoil? How do I begin to express events so foreign to me? Why attack me? Did she think she could bully me into paying?
We paid our calculated amount of electricity. Management owed us $100 MXN ($5 USD) for a past over payment. We told her to apply the $100 toward household supplies. Hopefully, she found the missing Roku adapter in her house.
To quote Pat Garcia, a member of IWSG, “Everything must change.” May the change be positive. May each of us experience peace and the strength to resolve conflicts with dignity and respect.