A lame pseudo-rant about a water-warped bag. (LONG)

So last Monday, I entered my place of work to find that my office had been completely wrecked. I work on the ground floor of a low-income apartment building, and all of the units above my head are residential.

Well, as can be expected, sometimes the residents do stupid things like leave the tap running in the bathroom until there’s a flood (sometimes they do really gross things, too, but that’s another thread altogether).

I’m choosing to believe that this is what happened last weekend, because half of my belongings (office furniture, papers, files, etc.) were strung out into the hall, and the other half were stacked haphazardly in one corner of my office.

And about 60 percent of it was sopping wet.

Now, I never got a straight answer out of the maintenance men as to what had happened. I asked them if the flood that came raining down into my office from the second floor had anything to do with the torrential rain that had taken place over the weekend.

“No, it was . . . " he began, then paused and continued, cryptically, " . . . something else.”

I decided that I didn’t want to know, given that the last time my office got flooded from above (on September 11, 2001–there was just no redeeming that day), it was . . . well, actually, it was initially because one of the residents had let a sink overflow, sending a cool clear rain right down my office walls and onto my desk and file cabinets, but then when the maintenance guys went up to stop the flood and fix the clogged sink, they managed to shatter a standing sewage pipe up there . . .

. . . and then the rain turned black. :eek:

So yeah–I didn’t wanna know.

Anyway, back to last Monday. So after having spent a good portion of the week sorting, tossing, and Xeroxing oodles of crap, disinfecting my office (which still smells like mildew), and moving my furniture back into it (all by myself, I might add, though my coworker, bless his heart, did offer to help, and he was the brave soul who dumped the water out of my space heater and tested it out–it still worked–before I wrote it off completely), I discovered that my beautiful, red, recycled-leather “business case”, which my mom bought me for Christmas a couple of years back, was totally warped from the water.

So after an extensive online search (my mom and I both remembered that she’d gotten the thing from a catalog, but neither of us could remember which one) I, armed with my ooey-gooey bag and a webpage print-out to prove the cost, went to the manager of the building to ask for a replacement.

She’d have to talk to the owner of the building, she said, and would get back to me.


Today I was informed that the owner of the building was not going to replace my bag. They would cover the costs of damage to the building, but the cost of my bag (and any other personal property, such as the office stationery and other supplies that had to be replaced) would have to be covered by my (non-profit) agency’s insurance.

And I’m just a little pissed about that. I mean, am I asking for compensation for the gazillion work hours I spent restoring my office to its original splendor (not to mention the grossness factor)? Did I ask for shit for the space heater, the continued performance of which is now questionable at best? Did I ask for reimbursement for the cost of copying all of the papers that got soaked?

No. I asked (quite nicely, I might add, because hey, these things happen, not their fault, yadda yadda) for the replacement of a SIXTY DOLLAR BAG (my mom says she paid more than that for it, but now a new one costs 60 bucks, so . . . ).

I talked to my boss about it, hoping he’d be willing to join me in some Kung-Fu Fighting, but he has chosen to replace my bag out of the agency budget.

I guess I can’t complain, I mean I am getting what I wanted–and maybe they’re even right about their legal obligations–but I think it stinks. I mean, can they squeeze that damn penny any harder between their collective ass cheeks?

If so, they could make a killing at carnivals.


I’m done.

Thanks for listening.

We had a flood from above in my office last year, the second one in 2 years.

Document what you did to restore order. Let your insurance pay for the damage AND the time you spent sorting, copying, drying, even the time you spend shopping to replace everything. Your insurance company will then go after the building insurance. Ours did and recovered every penny for every minute of my time and the replacement cost of every item damaged. They even collected and rebated our deductible.