Thursday, June 14, 2007

My kind of home

gingerbread house 2005
Originally uploaded by Watari Goro 渡五郎.

Alas I was unsuccessful in my application for the gorgeous apartment I so desperately wanted. I called the building management company today to follow up and they told me that they had already leased it to someone else. I was sad.

So I sought feedback on whether there had been something lacking in my application (so at least I'd know for next time). The woman said "oh no, there were 40 people ahead of you - we didn't even look at yours".

How did 10 people on the list suddenly become 40?! They never even considered my application?!

And to top that all off, they didn't have the courtesy to call me and advise me. If they had 40 people interested, fine. Why not call and tell people they're unsuccessful, and then perhaps offer to help them find another property similar to the one they looked at? Why not give your company extra business, or at least the possibility of it?

The woman already knew I was looking for a one-bedroom place in Lincoln Park, otherwise I wouldn't have put my name down in the first place. But what if I had been desperate for a place, and hanging all my hopes on this ideal apartment? What if there was a real threat I would come homeless in the immediate future? She didn't obviously care about my situation one bit. Why didn't she offer me something else on her books? Because she has no idea about customer service, that's why. And that is fairly crap.

So I've decided to outsource the whole apartment-hunting "thing". I've enlisted the support of Apartment People, a very famous (in Chicago at least) bunch of people who meet with you, talk to you about what you're looking for, and then DRIVE YOU around the neighbourhood to tour your chosen properties. It costs you nothing, and you're under no obligation to rent any property you see. When I called them to book time for this coming Sunday, they were so pleasant and really helpful.

Granted they were not encouraging that I'll find anywhere in Lincoln Park within my budget, but we'll see. Stranger things have happened.

In the mean time though, the gingerbread house in the photo is looking mighty tasty...

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