Answering the question, “So what do you do?” is a rather interesting experience for me. If I want to avoid a massive discussion, I answer, “I work for an environmental consulting firm”. This response is perfectly vague and boring and the conversation is quickly dropped. In reality, my job is anything but boring. It’s simultaneously mortifying, hilarious, and a source of pride to admit that at my environmental consulting firm I am known as the mold inspector.
You heard me. This twenty-three year old, reasonably attractive, Ivy League graduate is a mold inspector. I spend my time hauling my carcass around New York City performing mold tests in people’s apartments.
You may think, “Oh, well at least that’s an important job!”. No, no it’s not. I’d say that the majority of inspections are absolutely pointless. Real Estate management firms simply do not know how to properly take care of a water damage situation and apartment residents with too much time and money on their hands love to freak out about “the BLACK MOLD OF DEATH”. I’ve been doing this for over a year, and I still have no idea what people are referring to as the “black mold”. In my experience a mold inspection is, more than anything, a mediation between feuding management firms and residents. I’m there to pacify people who are absolutely convinced that they or their children will become horribly, horribly ill. Keep in mind that these apartments in no way resemble grass huts built in a monsoonal region of a developing country. That would be a legitimate case in which I would worry about becoming sick. In reality, I rarely see any visible mold growth whatsoever. The only instances where I feel like a mold inspection is truly necessary are when there are legal disputes between management and the resident, or if a resident is experiencing inexplicable health problems.
Because I have to deal with a plethora of raving lunatics on a daily basis (including myself), I’ve acquired an amusing story or two during my time as a mold inspector. Friends seem to enjoy the retellings of my adventures, so I've decided to go public with my experiences. Look out world! Here are my stories…