The case of the mysterious rise in rent

Friday was an interesting day.  I received a call from my dad’s local banker.  There was a woman in front of him who was demanding $720 to bring dad’s rent up to date.  She said she was the landlady.

Amazing  how many calls I get and visitors this poor banker gets from people who claim to be a landlord of some kind to my dad.

Mind you, I had spoken to a two different women last week regarding my dad’s rent.  One, who turned out to just be a helper of some kind, told me that they had held dad’s room for him while he was in jail with the understanding that he would pay up as soon as he got out.  She told me he owed five hundred eighty dollars.  One hundred was for a deposit he never paid and the rest was for two months rent at two hundred forty dollars a month.  The other was a woman, who claimed to be the landlady, reiterated what dad owed.  Five hundred-eighty dollars.  She also gave me the same breakdown.

Okay.  I can deal with the possibility that dad owes back rent, but what I can’t deal with are people who request money on dad’s behalf without offering proof of who they are or whom they represent.  I told the “landlady” that as soon as she provides me with a copy of the application with my dad’s signature on it and a price sheet that shows the layout and price of his place, I would be happy to pay his balance.

After much back-and-forth, she finally agreed to send me the application, but she insisted that there are no price sheets.  Yeah.  Sure.  I did at least insist that she note the breakdown of what’s owed.

No price sheets?  I’ve lived in apartments before and not one didn’t have a price sheet  attached to some sort of layout or detail of the different apartments.

Interesting what I received in the mail this week:  a copy of dad’s application with his signature, a breakdown of the amount owed, and . . . a note that the rent is $360 a month.  Why am I not surprised?

When I spoke with the “landlady” who was at the bank, I asked her about the difference in rent.  She said she told me that the rent was $360 when we last spoke.  Poor woman didn’t know I have an eidetic memory.  I repeated our conversation, as well as the conversation I had with her assistant, to refresh her conveniently flawed recollection.  She wasn’t exactly a lady in her response.  Suffice it to say, she asked if I was calling her a liar.  I let her guess the answer.

In the end, I told her the originally requested amount of $580 was already ordered on-line, so I would not authorize the seven hundred-twenty.  She wanted the balance.  I told her I’d have to take care of that on-line.  Which I will.  As soon as I reach the person who actually owns the apartments and get to the bottom of this rent scam she’s trying to pull.

I am beyond tired of people taking advantage of my dad.  I am tired of being lied to while I’m trying to help dad get right in his world.

I think, what I really think, is that I’m just plain tired.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  NO PART OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION, ATTRIBUTION,  AND LINK-BACK.

Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Reproduction or transmission of any part of this work by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, beyond that permitted by Copyright Law, without the express permission of and payment to the author, is prohibited.

Text:  Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide.  My Life with Dad™ and related trademarks appearing on this website are the property of Diane Faulkner.

Photo:  Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide

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Unexpected turns

You know, when I was growing up, I never expected I’d be where I am now:  my dad’s caretaker.  Not the usual kind of caretaker, mind you.  My dad’s far from being bedfast.  He doesn’t even live in a home, let alone with me, though he sorely needs a caretaker.

My dad’s an alcoholic.  Throughout his adult life, his drinking got him into trouble.  Since he was quite beautiful in his day – much more than handsome, (I’ll post a pic as soon as I have the bunch I’ve found scanned in), he was also an unrepentant womanizer.  He was quite, shall we say, quite “active”.  He was, and remains, vain.  He’s always been a flirt, and women couldn’t help but respond.  Sometimes, he didn’t even have to make the first move, which is a little disconcerting when you’re a kid and watching things transpire.  Needless to say, dad never stay married for long.

Before my dad retired, he sort of started to short-circuit.  He worked for Fisher Body up in Lansing, Michigan.  Fisher makes the bodies of General Motors cars.  When it was its own entity, its logo, a stagecoach, was always emblazoned on the doorstep of every body.  They even had a gorgeous garden in the shape and colors of the logo which was taken care of by an old gardener who was let go when GM took over.  GM ripped up the garden.  That’s neither here nor there, I guess, but dad was always a little sore over that deal.

Anyway, dad started to short-circuit.  In his twenty-eight years at Fisher, he’d never missed a day.  One day, though, he didn’t show up.  After a couple more days, with dad nowhere in sight, his boss called me at my mom’s house.  Dad always used his office phone to call me, so they had my number.  I’d had lunch with dad several times when I was at Michigan State since it was so close to campus, so they knew who I was.  Who else would they call?

I had no idea where he was, but I promised to do what I could to find him.  Find him I did, though I can’t remember where I found him all these years later.  I got him back to work, but he didn’t show up sober.  He’d call me from the shop and laugh that he and the guys hid schnapps in the cushion room and would cover for each other as they took naps on the job.

Lovely.  Just what I wanted to hear.

Regardless of dad’s previous record at work, Fisher had no intention of keeping someone in the powerhouse who couldn’t keep himself sober.  Dad was a fireman, but not the regular kind.  Firemen at Fisher loaded and raked coal for the furnaces that made electricity to run the General Motors plants One, Two, and Three.  Dad ran a bulldozer, raked coal onto conveyor belts that lifted the coal into the coal rooms.  He’d rake the coal into piles, throw the coal into huge furnaces, read the different meters that measured the smoke from smokestacks, and climbed the smokestacks up to the top to capture the steam to analyze.  The steam had to be clean water vapor as far back as the ’70s and ’80s.  With all those duties, Fisher needed people to not only be sober, they needed them to not be hung-over.  Dad stopped making the grade.

I negotiated a deal with Fisher to get dad into rehab.  The place was between Lansing and Eaton Rapids.  Eaton Rapids is next to Springport, which is next to the Duck Lake area.  Dad’s friends from all those areas would not only visit dad, they would stop by his room’s window to drop off get well gifts of six-packs and cigarettes.  It’s no wonder he had two more 28-day vacations before Fisher decided to fire him.

When we found out that dad could lose not only his job, but his pension and benefits, my brother and step-dad set out to negotiate an early out that would allow dad to keep everything.

After dad “retired”, his life went downhill fast.  He was constantly drunk .  He got in trouble with the law.  He got in trouble with his family.  I had him committed for a time into Kalamazoo State Hospital where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophenia and chronic alcoholism.  He was released after three days as a result of a paperwork mix-up.

Oh, yea.

My life after his release, at first, turned into a nightmare, because dad was on a tear.  He wanted my head, and he made no bones about it.  I became a target.  I left home.  Lived out of my car for a few days, then moved in with my boyfriend and didn’t tell anyone where I lived – not even my family.  For two years, I was in virtual hiding from a dad who wanted me dead, because it was my signature he saw on the committal papers.  My folks, and from what I heard, my entire neighborhood, had a restraining order out on him.

Life with dad got very interesting.  Frustrating, challenging, and interesting.  It still is.

I think that’s all for now.  Things have happened, and life continues.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings us.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  NO PART OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION, ATTRIBUTION,  AND LINK-BACK.

Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Reproduction or transmission of any part of this work by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, beyond that permitted by Copyright Law, without the express permission of and payment to the author, is prohibited.

Text:  Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide.  My Life with Dad™ and related trademarks appearing on this website are the property of Diane Faulkner.

Photo:  Copyright © 2010 Diane Faulkner.  All rights reserved worldwide.