Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Crappy Day

Stepping away from product reviews for a few minutes...

Things have been going extremely well around these parts. Almost too well. My sneaking suspicion had been something would wind up taking us down a peg or three soon. Typically, that's something easy like Sallie Mae wanting some student loan money. You know, hard at the time, but in the grand scheme of things nothing all that bad.

Well, my instinct was right. It was just the scale that was wrong.

On Tuesday evening, one of our upstairs neighbors knocked on our door. This was unusual if only because we all tend to keep to ourselves and it was 9 PM. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey, what's up?
Jon (neighbor): Have you been downstairs lately?
Me: No, why?
Jon: Your storage unit faces Brighton Ave, right?
Me: Yes. (sense of dread building).
Jon: You're going to want to go downstairs.
Me: Why, what's going on?
Jon: Fishman (property managers) were downstairs, found some nasty stuff in my storage. They couldn't get a hold of you to check on yours, so I said I'd tell you.
Me: Alright...I'll check.
Jon: Just, don't shoot the messenger when you get down there.

That never sounds promising, but I still held out hope that it couldn't be that bad.

I was wrong.

Yes, that is all what you think it is.

Almost half a foot deep across the majority of our storage unit was a putrid mess. The stench was horrifying. And it covered everything in its path.

I'll save you the pictures of how it covered all of the stuff that was down there. Out of everything that we had in the storage unit, only our Christmas stuff and a set of snow tires survived.

Now, here's the thing: I don't like asking for help. I hate asking for help. I'm a "pull yourself up from your bootstraps" kind of guy. I'd rather look around for something on my own, not ask for directions, etc. You know the drill. Typical "I know better and will figure it out!" male.

We lost everything. My brewing kit (apologies to the Team Rev3 mates, but there's no way in hell I can make that Revolution Rye Pale Ale now), bottles, sports equipment, electronics, all my old law notebooks (we might consider that a plus...depending on how much sarcasm I'm feeling at a particular moment), some old photos, on and on...

My insurance is not covering the losses, as this is considered a "flood." One could make the argument that sewage does not equal a flood, but knowing my insurance law like I do (hey, that law degree does pay off!), I'm not going to win that battle. As an aside: do you think I just added flood insurance to my policy? If you just nodded your head, congratulations: you're correct. No prizes, though, because...

We can't replace anything that we lost. Nothing. There's just no way for us to do it.

I don't know what exactly it is I'm asking for. Whether that's sympathy, help re-building what it is we lost, or what. I just know one thing: we can't do it alone.

I want to take a time-out to thank the folks at Fishman, our property managers, for doing the best they can with this; our landlord, Jon, who's been checking in with us to see what the situation was; and Greg over at the Bier Cellar, who helped pick out some killer brews to help dull the ache of yesterday.

Today was "throw everything out" day, and was the first time I really lost it. In some cases there's 15-20 years of life that just, quite literally, got crapped on. It's heartbreaking to have things you worked so hard for to have to be tossed into a dumpster, never to be seen again.

We'll be OK, eventually. Just really not sure how to get there.


Matty O said...

oh man dude. I didn't realize you had that much stuff down there :(.

I can't even imagine throwing stuff out like that especially the brewing kit man.

Maybe ask your property manager to install a backflow preventer to make sure this doesn't happen again.

It is not common to do this on residences but as the infrastructure is being taxed out more and more this problem is more common now.

Jamie said...


I can't come up with any ways I can help out, but if you think of any - don't hesitate.

Unknown said...

im so sorry ryan :(

let me know what i can do.
if you want my old business text books they are all yours.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you! Ugh!! I have a bit of an understanding, as a car packed full of all of my "I don't trust the movers with it" stuff was stolen outside a friends house during our move from CT to IL. Stuff that couldn't be replaced... mementos from travels, photos, etc. It is heartbreaking. Maybe put a list together of stuff that was lost and folks might have extras or hand-me downs to give away or let go at a discount price??

Unknown said...

I can't even imagine... I'm so sorry Ryan! :(

I know that there isn't much that I can do, but if there is anything that you can think of, let me know!

Sending you guys all a big hug!