By Larry Teren
You know what bugs me? There’s a fine line between telling an outright lie and fudging on the truth. The latter is usually when all the facts are not available so you go with the flow because it is the easy or lazy way. A certain person fudging the truth gave me some aggravation just the other day.
It all started when about a month ago I noticed a baby ant in the master bathroom in my condo apartment. This was followed up over the course of the next two and a half weeks with another sighting in the bathroom and four more in the other bathroom. The two bathrooms share a common wall. At that point I figured it was time to arrange for the exterminator to check out my unit on his visit next to the building. For the record, I’ve never had ants before in the bathrooms in the more than fourteen years I’ve owned the condo.
Being obsessive compulsive, I brought it to the attention of the building superintendent several times over the next two weeks to ensure that he would get the exterminator to come to my unit. I nudged him one final time to reaffirm that the exterminator indeed was showing up the next day to my apartment.
I made sure I got up earlier than usual as the guy would only be in the building between 8:00am and 9:30am. I also made sure that I would not have anything blasting on the television or my computer so I could hear the knock.
You know where this is leading to. The guy never knocked on my door. At 2:30pm I emailed the individual who is the building manager to advise him of what happened. He responded to me, incredulously, that the exterminator claimed he knocked on my door. He also said that the building janitor said I was probably at the swimming pool.
I immediately replied to the manager telling him emphatically that I never use the pool and that no one knocked on my door. I also expressed disgust with the janitor suggesting something that was hearsay. Why would I hang out at the pool if I was breathlessly waiting for Mr. Pest Control to show up? I also wasn’t too pleased with the manager taking a cavalier approach and not trying to figure out a way to make me happy. I told him in reply that I expected to have the exterminator re-visit the building sooner than later.
The manager had the assistant manager arrange for the exterminator to visit me the next day as it was not far from his normal route. The guy showed up as promised and banged on the door. He did his thing and indicated he felt the concern for any infestation of ants was minimal. I did not joke and ask him if the same was true for uncles.
However I did ask him about the previous day. He told me that it was his partner that was on the premises and that he did NOT knock on my door as suggested by the janitor. That my unit number was not even on the list even though I had signed up three days earlier on the mail room billboard. Instead, there was a different unit on my floor that he was scheduled to visit. So, here was the fudging of the truth by the janitor who was too lazy to do his job properly.
The building manager, the other lazy player in this drama, never apologized for accusing me of missing the opportunity rather than how he could help. But, I never expected that from him. In the future, he did promise to make sure that the janitor supervises the exterminator when he makes his monthly visit.
If anything, you should learn from this not to cower when you know you are right. It’s just a shame that I have to expend the extra energy to get satisfaction. And now you know how easily I can get bugged.