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I'm back home tonight, but I'm not happy with what I see looking around. Work on the plumbing replacement began last Wednesday (May 18) — almost three weeks behind schedule — and we were assured by the property management that work would be completed within five to seven business days.

Well, tomorrow will be the seventh full day of work and there's a lot that needs to be done. And what work that have "finished" still needs a great deal of clean-up done before I'll be happy.

They've only replaced the drywall in my office bathroom and the living room; there are still cut holes in the hallway between the kitchen and washer/dryer area, in the master bedroom, and the master bathroom. The drywall in the entryway ceiling seems warped — the cut pieces were kept outside since the 18th and it rained at least once during that time (not to mention the sprinklers hit it, I'm sure). There's a great deal of plaster patching the mis-matched edges of most of the other replaced drywall — and more than a few dried globs of plaster on my carpet, black sofa, footstool, etc. (not to mention a layer of plaster dust covering most of the remaining surfaces). The plumbers I saw on day one were putting down nice big drop-cloths; apparently, all the workers who followed decided to rely on thin, clear, plastic sheeting — and they didn't bother to cover much of anything. Well, they did tape that plastic all over both bathrooms — so much so that I won't be able to take a shower or use the toilet until they remove it.

It doesn't appear they even attempted to put down any kind of plastic leading from the door to my office (formerly the front bedroom) to the bathroom in that room. Afterall, this was one of the "safe areas" marked on the floorplan given to me — an area that workers weren't allowed to enter. However, based on the soiled carpet, they definitely walked back and forth through my office numerous times rather than going in through the kitchen like I was led to believe they would. Believe me, I am documenting all of this via digital camera and camcorder.

I arrived home in time this afternoon for a foreman to tell me that they should be ready for the painters to come in by next Monday or Tuesday. Quite the optimist he is!

Unfortunately, I didn't notice the plaster on the carpet and sofa until after they left tonight (after 7 — the "what to expect" sheet said the workers were supposed to be gone by 5 every day); and I just noticed another casualty of the workers' disregard for personal property: a male Homo Sapiens skull I've dragged all over the country on moves ever since my college Anthropology days was laying on my dining room floor (he'd been resting on a high-quality stand on a shelf between my living room and dining room), the mandible cracked in half. It's a heavy object — around 15 pounds — so I'm amazed the skull itself didn't shatter. But I'm surprised that none of the workers heard (or felt) it fall to the floor and roll several feet, or bothered to set it on the table or counter or leave me a note about it.

I'm also a bit on edge from what a neighbor told me tonight: she overheard several of the complex's maintenance men saying how everyday since these workers started there has been things missing out of their supply room and several residents have complained about items missing from their apartments.

I don't see anything missing right now (other than my wooden bird from last week) but I think I'll stick around here tomorrow as something of a deterrent. The workers today did leave several things in my apartment — a compressor, a couple of ladders, a stool, and some other miscellaneous junk. How do they expect people to live in these conditions? (From what I've been able to gather, I'm one of the few residents who elected to spend at least some of the time staying elsewhere.

I'll reserve a final verdict on much of this until I see how well these workers clean up after themselves. At the very least, they will need to do some heavy-duty carpet cleaning and scubbing of spots on my sofa. I'm going to point out the warped drywall to a foreman tomorrow. Hopefully, my renter's insurance will cover the broken mandible (although I'm a bit reluctant to file that claim!) and anything else that might turn up broken or missing. I'll complain long and loud if the cleanup isn't done to my satisfaction (I'm not about to lose part of my security deposit due to damanged carpet and I shouldn't have to pay to get my sofa cleaned either).

That reminds me: one more thing to complain about is that the open holes in the ceilings/walls plus the fact they probably had the front door (which used to be a forest green but now is covered in dusty white fingerprints) open during their working hours has allowed numerous bugs to enter my home. As I type this, one of those scary New Mexican-sized moths keeps bashing itself into my flatscreen (I certainly don't want to squish him on the screen!) and I've seen four Daddy Longleg spiders in the last few hours (which I've been setting outside — it's bad luck to kill those). I just had my apartment sprayed for pests at the beginning of this month so I certainly don't want to deal with creepy-crawlies in here now. (At least mosquitoes are virtually non-existent in central New Mexico or I'd be REALLY unhappy!) There have been other small bugs as well but at least I haven't (yet) seen any of those giant ants inside. I've never been a big fan of insects, and I especially worry about them getting inside of electronic or computer equipment.


Glad I got all of this off of my chest. Obviously, I'll be relieved when all of this work is done and I can get back to my normal routine (I am SO far behind on so many projects now). We're in the "home stretch" now and I hope the remainder goes smoothly. Heads will roll if it doesn't!