We Have No Running Water; A Story of Capitalism and Responsibility, or the Lack Thereof
This morning, my wife emailed me at work and informed me that the water had been shut off. It wasn’t too alarming at the time; after all, there have been at least three occasions in the last four months where the water had been shut off for one reason or the other for a few hours–water main breaks, clogged lines, what have you. And it HAD rained very hard for a couple of days, maybe some line got clogged.
At noon, the water was still shut off. At 3:30pm EDT, it was STILL shut off. So my wife, who had seen a Water Department truck outside earlier and presumed that they were trying to fix the problem, called the Water Department to find out what was up.
We rent a house. Part of the lease deal thing is that the absentee landlord, who is at LEAST a millionaire, by his own admission and braggadocio. would pay for the water. Well, he hadn’t.
Not since September.
Cleveland Water had sent all of the notices to him, had called him a couple of times, and received no response. Under Ohio law, the notices go out to the person, or corporate entity, who is supposed to pay the water bill, not to any tenants like us. They did. They got no response, so, today, they cut off our water supply.
There was no bill in the mail for us. There was no knock at the door. There was just, hey presto!, no water. All of the sudden-like.
My wife DID call the water department and they informed her of these facts. She tried to call the landlord. He hung up on her. Then she left a voicemail. Then she called me.
I was too shocked to be pissed off at the time. So, I did what I could. I logged into my credit union account. The rent check, which we had given to the landlord on July 2nd, STILL hadn’t cleared. I called the water department, and discovered that I could have the water restored in one to four days for about $70 less than the rent check if I paid the freakin’ water bill. Then I called the credit union, stopped payment on the rent check for a $30 fee, called the water department and paid to have water service restored, for almost the price of the monthly goddamned rent, then called, and left a voice mail for the landlord informing him of the above developments and requesting a meeting so we could work this little problem out in a reasonable and equitable fashion.
Yes, I actually used the words “reasonable and equitable.”
My landlord is at LEAST a millionaire.
Then, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we looked up not only our own address but that of others owned by the same capitalist SOB. Public, tax assessor’s website. Wonder when Obama will classify access in the name of national security.
They are all delinquent on water bills. They are all seriously delinquent on property taxes. This guy has never paid a goddamn dime. Mr. Responsibility. Mr. Small Businessman. Mr. Whine About Those People on Food Stamps Sponging Off of Him.
Time to go to war against one of the “personal responsibility” adherents who loves to go on and on about how he worked oh-so-hard to make his money and create jobs for the hoi polloi. Time to build a frickin’ guillotine.
And have a nice day.
Photo by polandeze released under a Creative Commons license.