Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm Thinkin' about my Doorman

This is exactly what happens on a mold inspection.
So far most of my blog posts have referenced unusual apartment residents that I've met during my travels. This is only a portion of the people I meet during inspections. I'd estimate that residents are present for only approximately half of my investigations. More often than not, I am accompanied to apartments by the building superintendent or handyman. Additionally, I always have to take a control air sample outdoors and spend a fair quantity of time with doormen as well. Like any of my meetings, these interactions cover a wide array of experiences and personalities--boring awkward silences, hilarious characters, creeps, idiots, philosophical discussions, you name it. Below is a list of some of my more memorable encounters:

-I visit a chic Chelsea building fairly frequently. The superintendent has a lovely Irish accent and a rather interesting (ie somewhat racist) world view. Despite some of his comments, I usually enjoy hanging out with this guy. Let's call him Seamus O'Reilly. When I email completed mold reports to Seamus, I send them to his email at: That's O'Reilly with three L's. His reasoning behind this email: "Somebody had already taken, so what was I supposed to do?". Duh, guys! Adding numbers to the end of his name is totally nonsensical. Tacking on an extra L is the clear solution. I forever refer to him as Seamus O'Reilly with Three L's. 
Seamus is a closeted genius
-I did an inspection of an apartment on the Upper West Side. The resident and building handyman enthusiastically discussed a rat problem in a different unit while I did my thing. Apparently rats are fighters. They can and will do anything to survive. Did you know they can easily rip through and free themselves from those sticky pad mousetraps? If you attempt to barricade them in a wall instead? Sorry, no dice. They will literally eat through anything. Including CEMENT. If you were not aware of these fun facts, now you are. Yay!
I didn't think anybody needed a visual of a rat chewing through cement, so here's a picture of Ryan Gosling instead. You're welcome.
-I've visited a Romanian super in East Harlem a handful of times. He loves to share with me all the reasons why he can't stand his three year old daughter. Yikes! Okay... Also, I've learned more than I ever dreamed of knowing in regard to the somewhat disturbing psychological tests a person must endure in order to become a trained army sniper.
Ain't no party like sniper training
-A doorman named Carmello (tastiest name ever!) and I discussed at length our favorite kinds of antiques. He likes coins and always keeps money from the 1840s and '50s on his person. We also share a mutual love for Bakelite products. I'm into the jewelry (hello awesome dice earrings I stole from my mom!) and he is more of a cutlery-paperweight man himself. 
They just don't make plastic like they used to!
Why couldn't Carmello always keep Caramello bars on himself at all times too?
-Albanians have really cornered the market in the world of superintendents. There are SO many Albanian supers. One guy learned I was Jewish and gave me a list of documentaries about Albanians saving persecuted Jews in World War II. He sometimes calls to ask if I've watched them yet. Lesson from these convos: DON'T MESS WITH ALBANIA. Another Albanian and I talked forever about all the scary ingredients in our food/health/beauty products. I was quite impressed, I have never met a man so well informed on health and wellness. A third guy and I lamented over the slim pickings of young men in NYC and how hard it is for the ladiezzz. "They're just so lazy and don't know how to treat a woman right!". Amen sir, Amen.
There are probably a bunch more super super (get it?!) stories to share, but this is all I can remember right now.

Photo credits: Wizard of Oz, Carmello Chocolate Bars, Bakelite,,,

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