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Bad Luck Brandi: Roommate’s ceiling falls apart

30 March 2014 By Brandi Bottalico, Senior Editor One Comment

This past week I was reminded of all of my public relations classes here at Towson because of an incident at my apartment complex, The Fairways at Towson. Last week I went into my roommate’s room and sat on her bed to chat. I looked up and saw that her ceiling had a slight crack in it, right above her bed, and that you could see the outline of the beams. I mentioned it and essentially made her scared to sleep there that night because she was convinced the beam and ceiling were going to fall on her in her sleep. But it looked bad enough that I felt like it would do exactly that within weeks.

The next day she called maintenance. They sent people that day to look and it was obvious it needed to be corrected immediately.

Then some workers came to fix it and we moved my roommates bed so that nothing would get on it and it wouldn’t be in their way. My roommates watched as they cut a small part of the ceiling to patch it up and then they realized more needed to be removed. And then the ceiling detached from the beam partially and a worker began to hold it up with his arms. Then the entire ceiling started to come down, along with insulation that looked old and dried out, and my roommate went to The Fairways to ask what was going to happen because they had said she couldn’t sleep there that night. She also expressed concern about breathing in the insulation and drywall that was going through our apartment. The property manager was not taking her seriously or being sympathetic, as if the situation wasn’t that her whole ceiling just collapsed, and didn’t seem like she even knew what was happening in the apartment. The manager didn’t apologize for any inconvenience or accept fault and my roommate felt it was obvious that she wasn’t getting as much respect because she was a college student. The correct course of action would have been to accept fault and apologize because although we are college students, we have been excellent residents and pay our rent from our own pockets. My roommate convinced her to come to our apartment and see the ceiling after it fell to show her that it was more than just a small incident. After seeing the mess it made in the room and apartment, The Fairways offered to shampoo the carpet throughout the apartment that had drywall and insulation, wash her bedding because insulation fell on it and replace anything that broke when the ceiling fell, which luckily seems to have only been one picture frame.

I thought this was a very generous offer on their part and a good PR move, considering one load of laundry won’t break their bank and it was something that could have been prevented if the furniture had been covered before the work. It was what they should do because if the building was not well maintained, it’s not our fault.

The next day my roommate called to see how to go about getting her bedding washed considering she was borrowing blankets and sheets to sleep on. The manager said that it was up to my roommate to clean it, taking back her previous offer. Overall, the workers that they hired, although they were hard to communicate with because they didn’t speak English, were very nice and considerate, it was just the apartment complex management that was difficult to deal with. We did end up getting a little bag of Swedish Fish with a note that said “We’re sorry for the inconvenience,” after all was finished and there was a thin layer of drywall on all surfaces of our apartment. Honestly, it sounds like complaining but I expect that we be treated as any adult and I guarantee that me and my roommates wouldn’t have been so annoyed if the first thing they said is “Sorry for the inconvenience. We will make sure to have this corrected as soon as we can.”

She called the group that owns the Fairways to express her frustration with the staff and was met with a very kind woman who was apologetic and is helping her make sure she doesn’t have to pay for anything that was broken.

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