Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Very Small Victory

After the man from the Electric Company told them yesterday that in order to pass the fake inspection, they needed to complete a few changes, they removed the physical tube that proved the connection between my apartment and the illegal one downstairs.

This morning, another man from the Electric Company came to redo the inspection, and I pulled him aside and explained that they were gong to bilk him into giving the OK, upon which they would illegally attach the electricity to the apartment downstairs.  I don't think he had been bribed yet, and he told me that he can only decide based upon the physical evidence that he sees on site. 

Ten minutes later, I heard the representative from the Electric Company arguing with some Ultra-Orthodox man I had never seen before, but who obviously had some authority on behalf of the land lord.  The inspector was saying that he had seen illegal apartments before, and that he could not ignore the evidence and the signs that something was not kosher here.  The bearded Ultra-Orthodox man then shouted back, "Forget about the signs. Do your two sentence thing and give us the approval we want, and get on your way."

I did not see the end of this debate, but I do know that the electricians who had meant to continue working this whole day packed up their things and went away.  I felt good that my words had been taken into account, though I don't know if they had the desired effect.

I felt good that today I broke, and then stopped cowering in the corner.

As a side note, when I told the head electrician that I could not afford to replace all the things that they had destroyed through their work, he responded, "I heard that single mothers make lots of money, all sorts of ways."  When he saw the look on my face, one of shock and disgust, he smiled and said, "Where's your sense of humor? Relax."  I see we have another tzaddik in our midst.


Midlife Singlemum said...

Hooray! Well done you!

Sarah said...

Wow. Eizeh scumbaggim.

But good for you.

And for the Electric Company guy for not taking any bribes.

Amy Charles said...

Yes, good. Now call the electric company and report what the man said to you, also call whatever sort of women's center is big there. These things keep happening mainly because women suck it up and don't fight.

Doc said...

Here's the kicker: for the past two weeks (or longer) I have let my land lord and his workmen plow through me. I have allowed myself to be victimized on an emotional, financial and physical level.
I finally make a quiet and smart move and get a small dose of justice, and today...I get a lawyer's letter from the land lord.
My lawyer thank G-d is on top of it, he has already spoken to the other lawyer and turns out: they decided to come after me now because I stopped being "The Little Woman." It gauled the slum lord that I dared to stand up for myself, and for what is right.

Amy Charles said...

Good for you. Tell the lawyer to be aggressive. Take a piece out of the guy before you go. Seriously, the only reason he's doing this is it's tough to find a really good victim, and he thought he had one for life. Now he'll catch hell from the people in the illegal apartment, who'll want all kinds of things he can't steal from the lady upstairs anymore.

My experience with crooked landlords is they're not so tough. They know that in the end you can create more headaches for them than the other way around, because they have plenty to take, and you don't. Also, they're generally operating on very slim margins, because they're not as clever as they think they are, and usually they're already well-known to local judges.

Don't forget to make him pay whatever damages and deposit you can get back, too. Normally those guys don't give without being threatened and sued. It's worth the aggravation.

As for the lawyer letter -- it's nothing to him, like peeling a banana. He figures it'll rattle and scare you, that's all. Refuse to talk to him directly and direct him to your lawyer; shut the door, hang up the phone, document any/all harassment and get witnesses when you can. Let him pay your first month's rent in the new place.

Sarah said...

I'm curious to know what the lawyer letter said. "We demand that you cease and desist any actions that prevent us from bribing the utilities people"?

Doc said...

Pretty much. The letter tried to imply that I was to blame for the situation of them getting caught in the act. Of course they spent a whole week ripping apart half the building, so it is just as likely as one of the other neighbors called the Electric Company. Shame on me, the lawyer letter implied, for not continuing to roll over and play dead.

Sarah said...

Well, you can just ignore THAT then. I wonder what that lawyer THINKS is going on. Is he crooked too, or does he just not know the whole situation? Anyway, since they are up to their eyballs in illegal activity, and you are moving out anyhow, there's not much they can do to hurt you, unless they still have some of your money, like a security deposit. Do they?

Commenter Abbi said...

Sarah, even if there is a deposit, i'd leave that too. I'd just try to have as little as possible to do with him.

Doc said...

From now on, I take my lawyer's advice, and let him have direct dealings.
But yes, it will be quite a relief to move out, and move on.