Jena's Attempt at Cognition (thejena) wrote in bad_service,
Jena's Attempt at Cognition

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Raccoon dilemma....

I've lived in the same apartment complex for the past year. It's a bit on the expensive side, but I rationalize that by saying that I have a balcony that overlooks a beautiful lake. There are also very lovely ducks and lots of pretty flowers and such. One of the crappy parts of living in a complex with lots of welcome wildlife is having to deal with the uninvited wildlife.

You see, I have the occasional raccoon problem. They like to scurry on the roof and make lots of noise, but I accept it. After all, I lived in Enterprise, Alabama, for the first 18 years of my life. Pests are a part of life. The raccoons were making noise, but it wasn't like they were hurting me.

What I cannot accept is hearing a raccoon scattering around directly above my ceiling. At about 1 in the morning, I heard some hardcore scratching in my living room. I kept on waiting for it to stop, but by 5 in the morning, I'd about had it. I started banging on the walls, disturbing my downstairs neighbors and temporarily scaring the raccoon.

That didn't last for long. I finally fell asleep, and at 6:00, I was woken up by a chunk of ceiling falling on my forehead. I looked up, saw a paw sticking out of a hole in my ceiling, and screamed. The son of a bitch growled right back at me. Once again, I knocked on the walls, hoping it would scare the bastard away. No such luck. My banging made the hole a little bit bigger, and now the thing could stick its head out of the hole and flash me the evil look while growling at me. At one point, I think I heard it hiss.

Naturally, I freaked out and called the residential office. I talked to the person on call, and after she was done laughing, which I didn't mind too much because a raccoon growling at someone is kind of funny, she told me she was going to call a maintenance worker. I locked myself in my bedroom and prayed for someone to come quickly and save me.
7:00 rolls around, and there was still no sign of my maintenance worker on a gallant stead. The raccoon also seemed to have followed me into my bedroom. I call the office again. "The raccoon has moved from the living room to my bedroom," I told her. "It sounds like its trying to scratch its way in here too." The lady gave me a couple of animal control numbers to call because the maintenance folks wouldn't be able to come to my apartment until 3 in the afternoon.

By this time, it was 7:15 on a Sunday morning. None of the offices were open yet. That's okay. After all, there was no hole in the ceiling in there. Wrong. About 5 minutes after got off the phone with the woman, a piece of the ceiling falls in, and that asshole of a raccoon is once again sticking its paw through the hole and growling at me.

I called the lady again, and told her that the vermin had now invaded my bedroom. She laughed again, but by then, all of the humor in the situation was gone. She told me to look online and see if I could find any more pest control services, and she told me to see if I could find something to cover the hole up with. I could only find paper towel, so I folded it and stuffed it in the hole in the living room. The raccoon quickly scurried to the hole in the living room and pulled the paper towel up, and I can only assume it ate it. I locked myself in my bathroom and began my search. After 30 minutes of trying to reach someone, I finally reached a service that had 24/7 emergency personnel on hand. They inform me that it will be $265 to come and get the beast. Then, the raccoon makes another guest appearance, this time in my bathroom. I wanted this son of a bitch gone, but first, I had to call the front office to make sure THEY would pay for it.

They won't. I don't have $265 to pay someone to come and remove the raccoon from my apartment and then fix the ceiling. I'm also not sure I want a "humane" company to come and retrieve this raccoon. I want someone to kill it right in front of me. I'm an animal lover and all of that good stuff, but I want this creature dead.

I decided to wait it out. Yes, I was tired and hungry, but I wasn't about to pay almost $300 out of my pocket for something the front office is responsible for. A raccoon in one's apartment could pose severe health risks, no? Right as I called the animal control people back, a little piece of the ceiling fell out of the bathroom, and I hear the growling

And now I'm in my closet. I can still hear the raccoon digging and scratching above me. I'm afraid that it's either going to make a hole in my last refuge or make one of the other holes bigger and come into my apartment. If it breaks into my apartment, I'm pretty sure it would claw its way through my closet door. It's obviously got a personal vendetta against me.

Why can't I leave? The maintenance people can't get into my apartment if I'm not here. If I'm not here when they arrive, then I have to wait until tomorrow for them to come back. Plus, it's my fucking apartment, and I'm not going to let that little fucker win. No, sir.

WHy does it take this long to send a maintenance man here? It's not like my air conditioning broke. I think this is a genuine emergency. If they can't send someone to take care of the problem, then they should pay someone else to do it.

And yes, my apartment is clean. I'm a neat freak. The only thing on the floor is pieces of my ceiling. Why is this happening to me?

EDIT: I called the police, as a couple of you suggested. Animal control was here within 10 minutes. The raccoon has been caught and "eliminated." The officer commented that it was the biggest, meanest raccoon he had seen in his career, and he's been in this line of work for 20 years. A representative from the front office showed up when he saw a police car and an animal control vehicle in front of my apartment, and upon seeing the holes in my ceiling, especially the one that they had to make larger to get the beast out, told me that I was responsible for fixing the holes because I didn't wait until their maintenance people rectified the situation. The police are having a discussion with a couple of managers in the front office right now.

I shouldn't have to pay for the holes the raccoon made in my ceiling, y/n?

ANOTHER EDIT: I still have holes in my ceiling, but I've also got a lawyer. There are no renters' or tenants' unions in my area, so I'm working on establishing one. The police filed some charges against my management, but I have to wait until Wednesday to find out what they were. To answer some other questions, the police took pictures, and they performed a necropsy on the raccoon. The test results will be in by the end of the week. Everyone who saw the raccoon was convinced that it was rabid. Leaving a resident to tend to a rabid raccoon=not good news for management.

The police documented everything, right down to taking lots of pictures of the damage. I took a picture of the dead raccoon, and as soon as my boyfriend gets out of the hospital, (DId I mention that my boyfriend was in the ICU when all of this was going on? That added to the stress of the situation, I think.) I will try my best to upload them. They probably belong in too_much_info.

And yes, it is now funny, especially reading my detailed description and remembering cowering in my closet while writing it.
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