Tonight I went to my new apartment and hung up the shower curtain.
You’re probably rolling your eyes and saying, woop-di-doo, Abby! But seriously, if you understood what I had to go through on Friday to be able to do all the necessary things to buy a shower curtain, you’d understand.
It all comes down to a few little pieces of metal: a key and a dead bolt lock.
Friday morning I went and picked up the keys from the real estate agent, then went to measure the apartment so I could go to the Falabella outlet and see what they had in terms of beds and refrigerators. But we got to the apartment, and the keys the woman gave me didn’t work in the dead bolt lock. As they would say here in Chile, cuak.
So I called the real estate agent, and as if I were an idiot, she told me, “Look, Abby, just put the key in and turn it. Then it opens.”
Umm. I’m not an idiot. Believe it or not, this is how we unlock locks in the United States too. It’s not a cultural difference or something. She was not helpful at all, and F. told me I was being too much of a push-over (well actually he said I was too “soft”, but he was being nice) and that I should call back and insist. So I did, but the woman had entered a meeting and so I was assured that I would be called back. I didn’t believe that at all, but we decided to go and get a coffee while we at least gave her a chance to call back. No go. So F. called back after waiting 45 minutes, because I’m too nice and wouldn’t have insisted enough.
So after telling him the same thing she told me, “Just put the key in and turn it! We’ve opened the door millions of times like that,” and him insisting that it was the wrong key, she hung up on him! So that made us both mad and so we decided to go to her office.
I have never been so angry in my life as I was talking to her. She took my keys, looked at them, then shoved them into my face and told me that we could meet someone at the apartment at 4:30 and they would open the door with the same set of keys. So I asked her what would happen if it didn’t open. She did not want to promise that she was going to do anything more about it no matter how I insisted. I started trembling and literally could not talk. So luckily F. got her to promise that a solution would be found before my rent contract technically started.
At the end, it turns out that the owner had changed the dead bolt lock. But we didn’t find that out until around 5:00pm, when the real estate agent finally decided to call her. Why didn’t she just call her when I called and said it didn’t work? I’m clueless.
So after my class on Friday night I went and picked up the right keys that had been left with the doorman. Por fin I could get into my apartment. I made some measurements and admired the breathtaking view. And yesterday I took advantage of the sales at Casa y Ideas and bought a shower curtain. It felt so satisfying to hang it up today.
Unfortunately, this may not be the end of having to insist that people give me what I deserve. But at least I am better prepared not to be a push-over.