My Arctic Apartment

Hello, and welcome to what may possibly be my last post since I may die from hypothermia or frostbite in my sleep tonight.

But really, it’s kind of chilly in my apartment this evening. It’s currently a balmy zero degrees outside with a wind chill of -18…and about the same in my apartment. So yes, I’m currently curled up in my flannel-sheeted bed under two down comforters wearing long underwear, socks, sweatpants, a henley, and a sweatshirt. With a space heater going and my bedroom door shut so the small amount of heat it puts off stays in this room and this room only. No joke.

Why, you may ask? Because there’s nothing I love more than being given the run-around.

Nearly three weeks ago when #Chiberia became a thing, I realized that my apartment was a little drafty. Hmm…perhaps because I’d never called to get my fancy high tech vintage turn-of-the-century air conditioners winterized. Smart, right? So what better time – than when the high temperatures of the day are sub-zero and the wind chills are downwards (is that even the correct term?) of -50 degrees – to put in a maintenance request to have this done.

One of the perks of living in a condo is that there is a maintenance team on staff. The downfall to renting the condo from the owner is that they apparently have to be the one who puts in any work order because they receive the final bill for service.

Here I am around 9:30am on a Monday morning, working from home since my office had issued a mandatory work-from-home-because-it’s-cold memo. In nearly the same outfit as I’m wearing now (i.e 24957249230+ layers), I call the management office to let them know two important things:

1. It’s freezing in my apartment and the baseboard heaters don’t seem to be doing much.

2. My air conditioners need to be winterized. Stat.

I’m told that since maintenance is in the building checking to make sure the smoke detectors in each unit work (although a fire would be nice so I could stay warm), they’ll stop by and check my heat too. You’d think that if you turn the dial up all the way you’d at least get some heat. Nope…not really.

Maintenance stops. Checks the smoke detector. Leaves.

Okay. Fine. Perhaps they’re coming back when they’re done.


So I call again the next day to ask why they didn’t check it out and see when my AC units will be winterized. At this point I’m informed that the owner of my unit has to call in the request AND (drumroll please) that it’ll probably never be very warm in my unit because the windows are old and the brick facade needs to be repointed and until the condo association approves that someday it’ll always be drafty. I’m also informed that it’s “too cold to winterize the AC units” and that I’ll have to wait until it warms up some.


So I call my landlord. He puts in a request for both. It warms up. Still no one comes. I proceed to forget about it (because I was busy working late at the office and because I went to Atlanta).

Now it’s three weeks later, and Mother Nature has decided to be a raging bitch again and turn Chicago into an arctic wasteland. What still hasn’t happened? My air conditioners are still blowing enough cold air that they may as well be turned on, and my heat still isn’t working right.

Cue the call/text to the landlord. He apologizes profusely for not following up with me within a few days of putting in the request and calls it in immediately. He also says that he’ll be following up with the office tomorrow to make sure it’s been taken care of. Forgiven.

Meanwhile, I leave for dinner five minutes later, and my doorman stops me to tell me that the owner of my unit just called in a maintenance request and shows me a binder in which I have to sign a request for my AC units to be winterized. 

Ummm…where was this three weeks ago, and why did I not have to fill it out then? Apparently, in the exact words of Mr. Lamar my doorman: “The girl in the office is stupid and has no idea what she’s doing and is the reason the (condo) association has a new management company taking over starting next month.”

So we’ll see if I have (an acceptable level of) heat tomorrow. If not, perhaps maintenance will find me frozen solid with icicles hanging off my frostbitten fingers in the morning if/when they come to fix the heat.

Until then, however, I’ll be attempting to shiver to keep warm in my 60ish-degree apartment…because you can get frostbite in temperatures that cold, right?

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