* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we take great pride in being able to tell big emergencies from little emergencies. We learned from the best: Time Barrow (and no, he does not have a brother named Wheel).

It’s Time We Prioritize Your Emergencies

By: Time Barrow

Dear Ashwood Tenants,

Due to the unusually high number of recent maintenance requests and unexpected events, we’ve been unable to address them all in a timely manner. We apologize.

Remember, we’re still short a technician, since Wesley is hospitalized (and healing well) following the fiasco trying to retrieve Mr. Martin’s Professional Phantom III drone off Ms. Pritchard’s third-floor bedroom window overhang. (Know that we’re currently updating our policy on the use of video-enabled R/C devices near the building.)

While every situation and tenant is important to us, it’s time we prioritize your emergencies based on urgency and impact. Moving forward, we’ll address issues in the following order:

  1. Floods and time-sensitive emergencies
    Now that marijuana is legal here in Washington, if you hear an unexpected knock on the door, there’s no need to flush your stash. More to the point, our toilets cannot handle plastic bags, particularly those filled with large amounts of organic material. Young Jimmy Brophy in 1703, and the McEwan family in 1603, can attest to the resulting water damage.
  2. Anything of a fecal nature
    Many of you were witness to, or casualties of, Mrs. Esterhouse’s exploding colostomy bag in elevator #2 last week. The elevator has since been cleaned/sterilized and the hall carpets replaced on level 3. We’ve also removed the Jackson Pollock reproduction from that area, as it was a visual reminder.
    Remember: If you use similar devices, please change them, frequently.
  3. Electrical sparks, smoke, and gas leaks
    Rest assured that the simultaneous calls we received regarding these issues last Tuesday were unrelated and purely coincidental.

    1. Thanks to Mr. Steinberg on 7, we’ll remind you that your lease stipulates you not conduct auto bodywork (even just power-sanding a Ducati gas tank) on your terrace, as the sparks do shower down on those below.
    2. The smoke and resulting alarm were due to young Jimmy Brophy and friends under the conference room table (remember, you must reserve that space).
    3. The clubhouse gas odor was no leak at all, but rather just Mr. Vitanza’s IBS acting up in an unprecedented manner.
  4. Locked out situations
    We’ll address these requests based on situation:

    1. Is there a child or dog locked inside? We’ll be right there.
    2. No endangered child/dog:
      1. Clear-headed? The first time’s free (it happens). After that, it’s a $35 charge for each occurrence.
      2. Inebriated? There’s a $127 charge to let you in; $373 if we find the key is actually in your possession.
    3. Locked out of your car? Call AAA, your insurance company, or a locksmith. We’ll no longer assist in opening car doors with a slim jim, given the recent events (and impending lawsuit) after we assisted young Jimmy Brophy in entering and starting what we now know to be Mr. Scott’s classic Porsche.
  5. Legally dubious issues
    During the service call to fix Mr. Manz’s ice maker last month, our technicians were quite surprised to find numerous bags that look suspiciously like severed body parts. We’re cooperating fully in the investigation, and Apartment 1521 will likely soon be vacant.
  6. Bugs, rodents and critters (in order of likelihood)
    1. Bugs. We bring in exterminators upon new move-ins and as needed. If you contact us about cockroaches, as Ms. Brewner on 11 did, it can take a few days to schedule the exterminator. Assuredly, baking a “pecan pie” for the maintenance team is unnecessary and does not speed up the exterminator’s visit.
    2. Rodents. For years we’ve placed traps around the building without issue. This month was the first time we found one occupied. To the Goethe girls on 9, sorry Lauren & Olivia, we found Hail and Sleet, but you’ll need to secure that cage if you get any replacement pets.
    3. Critters. Occasional skunk/raccoon sightings have occurred. They’re occasional!
  7. Fires
    While this should seemingly rank higher on the list, fires aren’t really our thing. We’re maintenance technicians, for chrissake. If you have a fire and go to call us, hang up and dial 911. On that note, here are some tips to allay the need for the fire department:

    1. You should have learned, at a very young age, NOT to throw water on a grease fire. Ms. Hwang on 14 did not know this. Apparently, we also need to share that you should not spit on a grease fire, throw beer cans at it, or try to flash-fry sandwich meat over it.
    2. Your lease bans the use of barbeque grills on personal terraces. Accordingly, we maintain two grills in the common pool area. Your desire to BBQ nude at home, to respectfully avoid exposing your fellow tenants to such activity in the common area, is not justification (though somehow appreciated). As Mr. Kim on 9 recently learned:
      1. Grilling nude can be quite painful
      2. Balcony plants catch fire quickly
      3. Our security cameras broadcast a public 24/7 live stream
      4. One cannot remove such recorded streams from YouTube or LiveLeaks
    3. Thanks again to young Jimmy Brophy, we must mention that setting alight a quarter ounce of any substance in a bathtub–particularly with seven other people packed in the closed bathroom–is very much a fire hazard and can ignite the shower curtain.
    4. God forbid, if you’re experiencing a fire and booting up your laptop to alert us via email, just hang up and dial 911. (Just dial 911 from the get-go, Mrs. Parkin.)
  8. Broken appliances, doors and utilities
    Yep, we fix this stuff. In fact, it’d be our #1 concern, if not for this list’s other scenarios. Just put in a request and we’ll come… unless we’re tending to more pressing issues.

We appreciate your understanding and adherence to this updated policy on maintenance request prioritization.

Thank you,

The Ashwood Management and Maintenance Team