Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bureaucratic Bumbling

My move to the new apartment went well -- I mean the actual transporting of my stuff from one place to another.

And now I have lots of stuff all over the one-bedroom flat and it's going to take me a while to sort through everything.

My new place doesn't have much storage space which means either buying more shelving or boxing stuff up -- or going minimalist and purging even more stuff.

I've decided to do the latter, and it's going to take a lot of determination! Do I still need those worn out pair of shoes? Yes! Do I need this sweater even though I haven't worn it in over a year? Hmmm... maybe.

Hopefully I'll get the culling done in the next few weeks and then the place will look... less cluttered. The only thing that looks good so far is the bedroom and walk-in closet. The living room is a bit of a mess...

However, when it came to begin the process of moving my boxes and suitcases of stuff into our small moving van, you'd think you just load up and go.

But the young uniformed security guard at my building tried to explain to me that he needed to make a list of all the things I was taking out.

Excuse me?

I didn't quite understand what was going on and he dragged a guy out from the management office to speak to me.

This other young guy tried to look more authoritative, again saying that he needed to make a list of all the things I was taking before I could actually move out.

I said, I'm not moving my landlord's stuff out, I'm moving my own stuff out!

He again tried to explain that it was a procedure that had to be done with my landlord present otherwise he would have to stop my move.

I was dumbfounded, while one of the movers tried to smooth talk him, saying we're only taking a few things today and will come back later, when this bureaucratic process can be finished off.

He still wasn't satisfied and I had to explain to him that it wasn't me renting the place -- it was my company who rented the place from my landlord and no one in my company had explained the process of moving out to me at all.

I said that I would come back Tuesday to sort everything out with him, including paying water fees for the past two years and any other outstanding fees.

All the while the movers continued carrying my things into the van and after a while the guy from the management office gave up trying to stop me -- what could he do really? And he said the matter would be settled on Tuesday.

I still don't understand what he needed to do, but I'll let my company sort that out with him.

And then when I got to my new apartment, the security guard said we needed to get some kind of form filled out at the management office to allow us to use the service elevator!

This time the security guards were polite and two of them escorted me one after the other to the place.

When I walked down the stairs I could see the guy in a suit lying on the sofa for a snooze, but when he saw me coming, he quickly got up.

He filled out a small piece of paper and asked me to put my name on it.

Do you have a lot of stuff? he asked.

I asked him what a lot meant.

He then asked how many times I would need to use the elevator and I said once or twice?

"Oh then that's fine," he said and then told me to give the piece of paper to the person manning the service elevator.

The movers had already moved my things to the service elevator, waiting for me to give the slip of paper to the woman who refused to let them in the lift without it.

So when I leave this new place, I have to fill out that same kind form that the first apartment had wanted...

I can understand that the managers of the building worry you're moving out without your landlord's knowledge, but why should be onus be on the management office? They should really be concentrating on making sure the property is secure and fix things like the elevator that hasn't been working for the past several months, not chase you down to do paperwork that really is none of their business...

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