Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Of Interest:

Think back to the first interesting comment you overheard from someone. It can be hard to remember, indeed, but if you think back, it was perhaps the most raw and truthful first impression of that person because it penetrated power, prestige, money, looks, clothes, accents, or any of that---and it connected you to that person on a different and new level.

So just for fun and for the sake of this Dandygram (plus, who doesn't like a new word?), let's call this interesting comment the "intrement" (interesting + comment, pronounced: EN'tre'ment).

An intrement might not work its way into the first, or even the second conversation, but it will certainly be spontaneous, unprompted, and will ultimately find its way into common conversation, such as the stories about someone's past, a previous job, their passion, how one might approach a problem, answer a question, or provide their genuine opinion.  These are just a few examples.

In DC, however, there are high expectations from others to be interesting because DC is an epicenter of the world.  DC is not a financial epicenter (h/t New York City), a fashion epicenter (h/t anywhere else, Earth) or even an emotional epicenter (h/t Middle East, India, et. al), but DC does possess worldly and legitimate recognition as an epicenter of the interesting and intellectual.

So perhaps, DC has a higher rate of intrement per capita than other cities in the United States, and one might argue this because of how Washingtonians engage with other intellectuals in the city in most initial conversations.  For instance, Washingtonians:

Fein for intrement of others. Draw intrements out from others. And naturally seek intrement in others.

Though DC is not financially rich (Congress is broke), fashionably inclined (read: "Ugly Hollywood"), or emotionally sound (these shortcomings abound!), DC will always have a lot of interesting people.

I'm not gushing, nor am I bragging about DC, but in my three years in DC, there have been numerous intrements around the following topics (I'm surely missing a few):


At the end of the day, whatever the noun or adjective used, an intrement will strike when least expected. And when it does, you will hopefully find an unsolicited and unprompted interest in what was said, and a newfound interest in that person.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Open letter to Washington Apartments in Washington, D.C.

Dear R******* and team:

Thank you in advance for reading this email. I want to kindly circle back to my concern about a faulty HVAC unit in the row of apartments (#101, #201, #301, or perhaps, #401) in  the building of 1*** *th Street NW.  I've expressed this concern to M***** in person in your office about a month ago, to M****** T******* in follow-up to my request for assistance over the phone about two weeks later, and then over the phone to R******* (you may recall this conversation on a Friday afternoon?), to whom I then told, for a fourth time (because I had to tell M***** twice) the problem that is occurring.

My concern has been quite explicit each time I've told it to the various people listed above, and with nothing being done or changing to the current condition of the noise coming from one of the units (it has to be one that is close to ours - or perhaps it is ours?), along with the noise being more cumbersome as time goes on, my concern has grown to disappointment and frustration.

Let me explain why:

Each evening, as I have prepared for bed, the noise from one of the HVAC units has been vibrating the wall that my bed is situated against, which is accompanied by a constant noise and can be felt on the wall of my kitchen if you put both your ear or your hand up to it, as well as any other place in or near the kitchen where our HVAC unit is located.  This is occurring regardless if our air conditioner or the heater is running, and this noise and vibration through the wall has prevented me from falling asleep numerous nights to the point where I lay in bed thinking, "Is this considered a noise complaint?  Should I call the authorities?" But I then think, "No, my apartment management office is clearly looking into this and the situation will be resolved soon and the unit fixed, or if need be, replaced/upgraded."

This clearly has not happened, and now, over month after my original request to M***** asking to have maintenance look at it the situation in our building, which he had no recollection of my request when I had to call to follow up over a week later (therefore telling him again, but with no follow up or concern for this matter), I feel that I am fully justified with my feelings of true disappointment and frustration in this entire matter.

In addition to this, we dealt with MONTHS of ongoing construction right outside of our window for a project that we were told would conclude in September but did not finish until three or four months later.  In this instance, what accompanied standard construction procedures, which I was fine with given the renovations and new management office, was loud shouting and arguing, start times much earlier than the building permit allows, and all around frustration for nearly 6 months of work, which impacted my sleep, my roommate's sleep as well as those of our neighbors whom we spoke with time and again about these noises.

This simply seems unfair--not only to me with the faulty HVAC unit, but also to deal with such an ongoing issue without restitution.  I don't expect for things to be done immediately or overnight, but what I think is reasonable to expect, and for what we pay, as well as bringing numerous tenants into these apartments as our friends (and your business) is a level of respect that matches ours for where we live.  We are respective of our apartment, of our neighbors and of people's privacy, time and livelihoods.  This is matched by our neighbors.  Is it too much to ask for this to be reciprocated and have this issue dealt with?

I don't need to be contacted about this matter directly, but if you'd need to know whether entrance into our apartment would be acceptable to fix this issue, I welcome your maintenance team and staff to come by anytime to see what your tenants have dealt with for over a month.

Additionally, I'd like an official service request created with these concerns and the issue very explicitly indicated so if they decide to resolve it, I would like to know what they did in case it is not fixed.

Best regards,

Trevor Sparks