Friday, December 15, 2006

Storming the Bastille

So my fabled Two-Bathroom Barbie Dream Condo has become a bit of a nightmare. After endless delays and a wall of silence from the developer whenever my Realtor or my attorney or I pose questions, my attorney found a clause in my contract that said I could demand to close in 14 days or the contract would be void and I could move on to something even more Barbielicious.

Well, that 14-day deadline came and went almost four weeks ago. And all we need is a signature of release from the developer and I get my down payment back and I can move on to another Two-Bathroomed Barbie Dream Condo.

Of course, there’s been no word at all from the developer.

So I took time off from work today to storm the developer’s office in person and demand a signature. I put on my most intimidating power suit and I wore my I’m-rich-and-important-so-you’d-better-do-what-I-say top coat and I marched in with release forms and pens in hand, ready for Contract Smackdown 2006.

And I left half an hour later even more frustrated than before. Because there was nobody there to sign it. But at least I got some answers:

• The developer essentially shut down in May after a personal tragedy. The office laid off its entire staff and halted construction (except for a few essential projects) on my building. Yet they still decided to sell me a unit (and they had no trouble finding someone to sign my contract) with the verbal promise that it would be done in September.

• The only person currently on the office staff is a receptionist. She claimed to have no clue about who could sign my contract release, but she promised she’d “get on it” and told me to call her on Monday if I haven’t heard anything.

• She said that a number of other potential tenants are working to get out of their contracts as well, and that she was afraid to come to the receptionist desk every time someone came in the door. Apparently lots of people got my idea to storm the Bastille. And apparently repeated demands for signatures haven’t inspired her to get very far “on it” and find a goddamn fucking person authorized to sign our goddamned fucking contract release forms.

• She also said there’s a title company in California who has the power to get the project going again, but the company isn’t returning calls. Yet she told me repeatedly the project would be up and running again next week. Because when a title company won’t return your calls or give you money, of course you’ll call in all your angry contractors the week before Christmas and have them start hanging drywall again.

• And she told me that filing a lawsuit or a lien is useless because every unpaid contractor on the project is already in line ahead of me. And while I find it hard to believe most of everything else she told me, this seems like it might be true.

In the mean time, my life is kind of hijacked: I can’t make an offer on a different Two-Bathroomed Barbie Dream Condo (my favorite place got bought out from under me last week). I can’t access any of my winter clothes or the clothes I’ll need for my January cruise, all of which are stored in a POD 50 miles away. I really don’t want to lock myself into a new gym membership (I’m currently going to my old gym by my old job, which isn’t very convenient) until I know where my new place will be. I don’t want to mail my epic four-page Christmas letters until I have a permanent return address. And while I love the friends I’m staying with and I love their beautiful home, I feel like I’m always in the way. They’d bargained for a month at the most when they agreed to let me live with them last fall. And now they’re forced to look at me AND the boyfriend day after day, month after month. And with only a few changes of clothes at my disposal, I’m probably getting pretty boring to look at.

But! Tonight is our company holiday party. And the boyfriend is coming with me. And while the above long, boring, whiny drama is unpleasant and unfair and at its core probably illegal, I have a lot to be happy about: I really love my new job. I’m living in a beautiful home with people who don’t wear Capri pants or stab me in my sleep. And I somehow landed me a boyfriend who is kind and decent and attentive and loving (and hot!) and brimming with more show-tune trivia than your average encyclopedia. I love him and he loves me back. And no unscrupulous developer can take that away. No matter how many Two-Bathroomed Barbie Dream Condos they steal out from under me.

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