Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Mold is a completely unregulated field. A real estate owner/firm is almost never legally required to conduct a mold test. You may be wondering, "then why do you have a job?". Truth be told, nobody ever wants to hire me. The way in which I get work is this: a leak occurs in an apartment. The resident freaks out and harasses their management firm about mold. Initially management ignores the resident. After the complaining continues, the management firm caves in to the resident's demands. Management finally calls me when all parties involved are angry, bitter, and convinced that the other needs to be institutionalized. 

Because of the way this works, the more money you pay in rent, the faster a management company is willing to bow down to your demands. While I perform mold investigations in all kinds of neighborhoods, I visit the upper-middle class, and even the One Percent, much more frequently than I travel to those living in, shall we say, less savory areas. 

How to determine that you're in a building occupied by the One Percent:
1. They make you ride in a service elevator. Because, you know, they're too important to share a small enclosed place with the common folk. Sometimes there's even a separate entrance for service calls. 
2. You are required to wear booties on your feet. Can't have my dirty self mucking up the place!
3. They have a staff. Not just a full-time cleaning lady, but an entire staff. There's always a cleaning lady, a nanny/cook (sometimes that's even split up between two people), and a random dude. I have absolutely no idea what Random Dude does, but he's always just around. 
Hot damn! Now that's what I call sexy!
Now's time for the story of one of my most awesomely ostentatious house calls. 

I was called to do a mold inspection in the bathroom of a Park Avenue apartment. When I arrive, I rode the service elevator, strapped on some booties, and was shown the bathroom by Random Dude. He indicated a dark spot in the corner of the bathtub sitting in a small pool of water. He mentioned that the resident had noticed the spot before and had the cleaning lady scrub the area with bleach, but the spot soon reappeared. I was like, uh yeah, duh. Standing water accumulates in this corner. My professional recommendation: wipe down the corner with a paper towel after every shower. Problem solved. Silliest job ever. 

As I was talking with Random Dude, I listed off the usual mold prevention advice including maintaining a low humidity. Random Dude then mentioned that legally they are required to run dehumidifiers "for the paintings". Seeing the confused look on my face, Random Dude gave me a tour of the apartment. Paintings covered pretty much all available wall space of every room (and this was definitely not a cozy apartment). I was shown around only two or three rooms, but in that space I recognized three Monets, three Picassos, two Renoirs, a Degas, and a portrait of Christopher Columbus. These were the paintings I recognized. There were about twenty other paintings in which I did not know the artist. The apartment absolutely blew my mind. It was like walking around the Met all by myself!

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. ...And then had his portrait painted, because, you know, he "discovered" America and was a total bamf.
After leaving the apartment feeling slightly depressed that I can't even afford to pay the admissions price to most museums, I came across a newly opened doughnut bakery called BAKED. It was giving away free samples of their non-fried treats (doughnuts that aren't fried are healthy, right?!). I quickly made the owner my bestie and sampled all six flavors. Yeah, I'm that person, no shame! This was the perfect tonic to my momentary depression. And I went back the next week to buy these babies:
Doughnuts = best anti-depressant ever!
Photo credits:, Sebastiano del Piombo

No comments:

Post a Comment