A little bit of background: I live alone in a small one bedroom apartment that has about an 8ft high ceiling (this is important). The building is owned and maintained by a large and fairly disliked real estate company in Boston.
I arrived home on Monday night around 10pm to find my smoke alarm beeping loudly about every 30 seconds. I was pretty sure that meant the battery is low so I attempted to take it down using a chair to hoist me up. I was about a foot short of getting to it so I called a friend to see if he had a short ladder that he could bring over. He didn't have anything, but suggested I maybe try hitting the reset button. I used a broom to push it and that seemed to stop the beeping. I decided I would call the maintenance company in the morning and see if they could check it out for me. They are usually pretty nice and I had a problem before with hot water that they fixed fairly quickly.
During the middle of the night around 3am, the damn thing starts beeping again. I try hitting the reset button, but the beeping started up again about 15 minutes later. I am bleary, groggy and really wanting to get some sleep because I had to get up at 6am for work. Meanwhile, I have neighbors all around me who I am sure can hear the beeping due to paper thin walls. I try calling the 24 maintenance line to see if someone there could have any suggestions on what I could do seeing as I cannot reach the smoke detector. The conversation was as follows:
ME: Sleepy, groggy me.
G: 24-Hour Maintenance Guy
ME: Hi there. I am having a problem with my smoke detector, it won't stop beeping and I can't quite reach it. Would you happen to have a ladder that you could bring over so I can disconnect it?
G: *silence*....what? Your smoke detector?
ME: Yes, it is extremely loud and I am sure it is causing a disturbance to my neighbors. However, I cannot make it stop beeping as I have no way to get to it. Can you please help me out? It shouldn't take long at all!
G: Uhhhh....well, I would have to put my clothes on and drive to Boston in my car.
ME: *thinking* "What? This is the emergency maintenance guy and he doesn't even live remotely close to my building?"
ME: Listen, I am just wondering if there is someone on the maintence crew nearby that can help.
G: Can't you just put a towel around it? There's lots of guys who can help you tomorrow. I don't even have a ladder.
ME: Well, I am not sure how I would do that because I can't even reach it. Please, I just want to get back to sleep.
G: Well, I need my sleep too. Listen, you want me to come over there or what? I can be there in probably an hour and a half.
One of my neighbors starts banging on the wall at this point. I am sure the beeping isn't making them happy either.
ME: What? How is this at all 24-hour maintenance while you are an hour and a half away? Look, the neighbors are getting upset. Is there anything you can do? Can you call a maintenance person closer?
G: I can be there in an hour and a half, but I need sleep too you know.
ME: Thanks anyways, I'll try not to kill myself trying to take the smoke detector off the ceiling.
G: Okay bye. *Click*
I ended up putting a couple of books and a subwoofer on the chair to make a wobbly and pretty unsafe platform for me to stand on so I could take the damn thing down. It was the last thing I wanted to do at 4am seeing that if I got hurt, there was no one there to help me.
Was I asking too much? There is nothing that indicated it was an emergency line or anything, just that it was the number to call for 24-hour maintenance. I assumed that the guy would live in my building or in one of the surrounding buildings on my block. Also, I think he was pretty rude to me when I was clearly distressed and the noise was upsetting my neighbors.
Thoughts? Should I call and complain? I feel like it won't do any good and I should just go buy a stepladder.