Friday, September 03, 2004

Where did our neighbors go?

We live in a very large complex with over 500 apartments in it. I only know a handful of people here: the people that we always see at the pool and the moms of the kids from Lillianna's kindergarten class last year. Other than that I know a few people in my building but I rarely see any of them.

When *Ray and Deborah* moved in across the hall last year we were happy to have nice neighbors. Deborah was pregnant with their first child and she was very excited.
Whenver I bumped into Deborah we chatted for a while. She was very sweet and I enjoyed talking to her. A couple of months ago I saw Ray in the vestibule getting his mail and he told me Deborah went into labor 5 weeks early and they had a baby daughter. He was absolutely thrilled to be a dad. I congratulated him and said I couldn't wait to see the baby.

Two weeks later I saw Ray again and he said Deborah was in the hospital after emergency gall bladder surgery. She almost died. When I saw her in the parking lot a month later she looked great and she had the baby with her. What a cutie pie.
Now that Deborah was home with the baby, Ray was the only one working. I would see him leave at 6am and I never knew what time he got home at night.Like the rest of us, they were doing the best they could.

The company that owns this complex doesn't care what situation we are in. Rent is due on the first of the month and that's that. If you don't like it: MOVE! I think that's their unofficial motto. A few months ago Rich had an unexpected car expense of $500 a few days before our rent was due. He needed the car to go to work to make money so we paid the car repair bill. When I paid the rent I enclosed a note explaining about the unexpected car emergency and paid most of the rent and said the balance would be paid the following week. That's just what I did. The very day it was paid I found an eviction notice in our door. The total amount was paid on the 8th of the month but apparently that was still cause for eviction.

I was livid! I sent a note to the office saying that even mortgage companies don't foreclose on a house for a payment being 7 days late! I explained why the payment was late and it had never been late before! I was not surprised when I didn't receive a reply. We weren't evicted and we never heard another word about it.

A few weeks ago I noticed an eviction notice in Deborah's door. With all that had been going on I could understand why her rent might have been late. Today we received a note in our monthly newsletter to all the tenants.
"We will be sending out late notices as a courtesy on the 5th of the month. If we still do not receive your rent by the 7th of the month, you will be receiving an eviction notice."

As Lillianna and I carried our groceries upstairs around 5pm this evening I smelled paint. Then I saw Deborah's door was propped open a little bit. I asked Rich about it when he got home. He looked in. It was completely empty! Our neighbors are gone. We never heard them move. They must have moved on Tuesday because that's the day we are both at work all day and Lillianna is with my mom after school. Wow! Gone!

I know business is business and we don't know the whole story but if they were evicted because their rent was late I think it's a shame. Sometimes you do have to listen to the reason why someone's rent is late. Having a baby 5 weeks early and then having emergency gall bladder surgery is certainly unexpected. I am tired of everything being so impersonal around here. Life is difficult at times. Sometimes you just have to care about people even if you are a large corporation.

I am feeling very sad about all of this and I just needed to vent. Thank goodness I have my blog!

{* I changed the names to my favorite "Everybody Loves Raymond" cast to protect our neighbor's privacy.}

No comments: