Yesterday the temps were hovering around 25°, which is no fun for anyone and definitely miserable for someone like me who is cold all the time. I had just come home from the gym and within minutes of returning, my power went out.
I’ve had a fuse go out. I’ve had my fridge go off only to come home after being away for the holidays to find all of my food spoiled inside, but in my 14 years of living in this apartment, I’ve never had the power go out.
I walked into the hallway to see if it had happened out there, too, but no dice. The lights were on, i could see a neighbor’s light on and I heard the elevator running.
I texted my super right away. He’s always been good to me and takes care of things relatively quickly, which is impressive since he works with three buildings.
After he didn’t respond, I texted a few other neighbors to see if they had run into the same experience. Two weren’t home and I never heard from the other one, which is odd. He must be overseas.
I am grateful that I have gas heat, so I could stay warm. It was still freezing in my apartment, but I knew it didn’t have anything to do with the power outage.
I thought about calling Con Edison, but decided to call 311 first and got a surprising response.
Four tones followed by “The number you have reached is not in service in this time. Please check the number and try again later.”
For a city service as wide-ranging as 311, this response was a bit alarming.
I called Con Ed and after a surprisingly short wait, spoke to a customer service person. For the purpose of this story, let’s call him Ed for Con Ed. :)
Ed asked if the lights were on in my hallway.
“Yes,” I said.
“Then, the problem is isolated in your apartment. There’s nothing I can do. You’ll need to contact your building management,” he said.
I told him I already reached out to my super.
“Then, you’ll have to wait for his response,” Ed said (I love that that rhymes.)
“What if he doesn’t respond within a certain amount of time? Is there any way I can escalate it?”
Even before the words came out of my mouth, my lack of trust kicked in. I felt bad about it, but I didn’t want to be without power. All I could think of was the story about those prisoners who recently went without heat and hot water during the worst cold spell of the season.
Ed reiterated that I’d have to take it up with building management. He knew that wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but at least he apologized and wished me well before we hung up.
Normally, I’d wait for a text response, but I was eager to get this resolved. I immediately called my super, who rarely picks up the phone, but to my delight and utter surprise, he did. I told him that the power was out and he said, “Ok, Robin, I’ll check the breaker.”
I thanked him and within a few minutes, my lights and cable box came back on. I was thrilled.
In my heart, I knew that he would take care of it. I have lived in my apartment since 2004 and over those 14 years, he has only let me down a few times. He’s got a great track record, but he doesn’t always respond by phone or text and I just want acknowledgement of the problem so I know he’s on top of it.
In yesterday’s case, I’m glad I followed up. Normally, I’d be patient with him, but I had to shower, dry my hair and get things done. Plus, I didn’t want my food to spoil in my fridge.
But my quick phone call got him to act and take care of the problem quickly fully. And in the end, my power and trust had been restored.
Do you have a good relationship with your super if you live in an apartment? Do you follow up after sending a text or do you wait? Tell me that and more below.