The Vine: July 25, 2012
I live in a large apartment building that has two washers and two dryers downstairs in the laundry room. Today, one of the washing machines ate my quarters and jammed without starting up the load. I'd had the exact number of quarters I needed, and my laundry was already soapy because I'd added the detergent before putting in the change. A broken hot water pipe in the basement had prevented everyone from doing their laundry earlier in the day, so by the time the machine jammed, the bank-slash-quarter-dispensary was far away and closing fast.
I was already on edge because of some unusually extreme stresses, but this pushed me over. I called our building manager and left a not-very-nice voicemail, ending with the request that I get a refund for the two bucks eaten by the machine. After a few minutes, I realized how inappropriate this was (it wasn't the guy's fault the machine jammed, after all) so I called back and left another message apologizing. I said that my tone was totally out of line, and admitted that it was "bitchy" to ask for a refund.
I know it's entirely possible that he noticed I'd called again and simply deleted the second voicemail; do you think I ought to send him a letter or email of apology as well? I feel really embarrassed, because I've never done anything like this before (and can't believe it happened over a busted washing machine).
Thanks for your time,
It wouldn't hurt; nor is it necessary. You reacted somewhat ungraciously to the situation, but you've already apologized, and the manager probably did hear that voicemail. Try to forgive yourself and let it go.
In the interests of doing that, keep in mind that that is almost certainly not the most abusive or assholic tenant interaction the building manager had that day. It doesn't excuse your tone, but the average super is used to residents freaking shit on him/her about roaches or plumbing fails or OMG my doorknob came off and I'm trapped in here aieee or whatever the hell. That's the job.
Again, a reason isn't an excuse, blah blah — but a good friend of mine manages a building, and if anyone ever left him a follow-up voicemail saying "sorry," he'd swoon from the shock. The next time you run into the manager, you could reiterate that you'd had a bad day and you regret kicking your shit downhill. Other than that, you're good.
Tags: etiquette home 'n' garden