9:30 am; a time of morning I’ve only seen a few times in my years. There I am, on my comfy pallet in the floor and I hear the sounds of torture. Banging on the door and the yell of the maintenance men. Well, men being a bit of a stretch–they barely look out of high school as they barge into the apartment to find me, standing in the hallway. I’m wearing Ta’s giant Panther’s sweatshirt (and for those of you who know her, you affectionately know that sweatshirt well) and i’m in my yoga pants with my straw like hair pointing out of my head. I’m sure it was a sight to see such a woman stumbling toward the door.
Needless to say, I was caught off guard because the maintenance man yesterday told us he would be back today sometime after lunch. Just need to point out that 9:30 is not after lunch. And that man wasn’t the one standing in the hallway. No, I had two young guys before me and one of them starting rambling in grunts and slurs. I’m sorry, but I can’t interpret redneck in the wee hours, so most of the conversation was me staring at him, one eye closed and shoulders shrugged, chugging Pepsi. Something about the painting on the wall and where it needed to go. I just looked at him and said “I don’t know. I don’t even live here. Just don’t throw anything and don’t mess their stuff up.”
All the while, the other maintenance guy is just standing there, hands in his wrangler jeans staring up at the ceiling. I don’t think the boy said a word while I was there. He just stood there, as if he thought he was modeling those tragic jeans. I really don’t think I saw him move once. A maintenance man who doesn’t move–that’s always good to see.
There to paint the ceiling, they nearly painted the entire room… I freaked out. They then departed for twenty minutes and came back with Papa Bear of the maintenance men and he helped them pull it together. However, they still ended up getting stuff all over the freshly painted walls. Surprise, right? While the first redneck guy (whom we have now affectionately named Beavis) tried to explain to me what they were going to do and how they were going to clean it up afterwards (doubt that’s going to happen). Papa had to inform me that because of the leak from last week, the ceiling was soft and they needed to completely rip out parts of the ceiling and mud it and all that jazz. I was grateful for someone who spoke the english language. However, I was still disoriented from being ripped from my REM sleep. Needless to say, I got out of there ASAP and informed Ta to come home on her lunch break and make sure the apartment was still in tact.
This has become an all day process and as Ta and I are out to Starbucks working on stuff, poor Sus stayed behind to nap. I knew that was a long shot because Beavis and (well, you can guess the other one’s nickname) were pulling in as we left. Of course, we now know that they did wake precious Sus from her nap. I feel for her. Being jerked awake by boys who nearly destroy everything in their path and say things like “we gon’ done need to rip this here ceilin out” does not make for a happy girl, I assure you.
I would just once like the see the stereotype of apartment maintenance men broken. I KNOW THERE ARE RESPECTABLE MAINTENANCE MEN OUT THERE. Where are you? Where are the men who can fix a ceiling, speak proper english, read the work order correctly and not leave for twenty minutes to go find Papa Bear because they actually understand what they’re doing? Where are the respectable men who don’t make you want to run away and drive all the way back to Thomasville just to be away from their shenanigans? You know you’ve encountered true redneck when being in Thomasville starts feeling like a more respectable alternative.
I hope that Beavis and Wrangler Model get the job done sometime before the next ice age. The fact that I’m willing to wake up before sunrise tomorrow just to make sure I’m out of there before their gallant return says a lot. I’m thinking of going into the apartment maintenance profession. Somebody has to break this tragic stereotype and after today, I’m tempted to be the one.