Saturday True Stories: Room for Rent
It is the new school year and many persons are now starting a new chapter in their lives at a new college/university. Many are also in a new environment and are somewhat unfamiliar with the area they are in, so they turn to familiar faces in order to help them settle in. I will not be one of those familiar faces that will help you, let me explain why.
How All This Began
I have lived in Kingston for quite some time and have come to love and understand the city as both an outsider and now as a bona fide Kingstonian. In my first year here, I was clueless as to how the city worked as I was a country bwoi come to Town. I had heard all the stories of Kingston being a dangerous place and it seemed like criminals were standing at every corner waiting to ambush me at any second. But I was willing to persevere and learn with a bit of caution at every turn. Eventually I made friends, then connections and settled quite nicely here, working and enjoying the city. Now, I have always been a friendly person, willing to help however I could and many persons from Westmoreland always contacted me whenever they started at either Utech or UWI asking if I knew about housing accommodations or where they could find part time jobs. I tried to help as best as I could, I was relatively lucky to have stable renting accommodation so I didn't have to search for a new place every year. After helping out these persons, I wouldn't hear from them sometimes for weeks or months. That's fine in my book, we all have to grow and leave at some point, but eventually we would meet up and joke about our first time in the big city and toast that they that they were doing well! Awesome!... Or as more common than not, have gotten themselves in some problems or that they were having problems with their employers/landlord. I give you three guesses whose reputation was being dragged through the gutter for recommending these persons? The straw that broke the camel's back was in this last instance where a "friend" of mine called and said she had to immediately leave where she was renting because the landlord was leaving due to some vague emergency and would not be present at the house for some time. I managed to secure her a place foolishly I must admit WHERE I RESIDED. It was the Summer so we had plenty of rooms and could let her stay temporarily while she searched for other more permanent lodgings. I would come to regret that decision.
Acting The Fool
Initially things were fine, she paid her rent and all was good. The caretaker later said that she was rarely at the house so there wasn't much to say there, I wouldn't have known what she was up to. I work from in the morning until nights, this coupled with my love of wandering and photographing the city ensured I was at home only late in the nights and leaving early in the mornings. I checked on her at intervals and found out she was at her boyfriend's house – and also frequently in Ocho Rios but more on that later. - Whatever I don't care, we're all big people. She claimed she hadn't found anywhere as yet but she was looking so I thought the situation was under control. Time passed and her day to move out was quickly approaching. I hadn't seen her in days and she wasn't answering her phone, naturally I was getting irritated. I stuck my neck out for you and this is how you reply? So be it then I was getting cussed out because this girl needs to leave for the other tenants to move into their rooms. To say I was pissed would be laughing off a 9.0 earthquake as Jamaica moving shaky but I had to bear it because I was her recommendation and had brought her there. But the madness was just beginning; My landlady is.....eccentric. She's a Seventh Day Adventist in mind but a batshit crazy old lady with a cat that she kidnapped at the end of the street at ALL TIMES. I once found her just wandering the property at 5 am in the morning.... that's it. She just walks around the house at 5 am in the mornings, CREEPY? Yes; and she has the uncanny trait of just popping up as soon as you open your door and in a sweet sing song voice ask if you've paid the rent. We -the tenants- have an unspoken agreement with her in that we pay everything on time and she stays in America and doesn't speak to us, I would build Trump's wall by hand if she stayed on the other side. But back to the story, crazy landlady was back and wanted to meet this young lady who was taking up space in her house and seemed primed not to move. Naturally since she could not find this young lady I was to be given the grilling and I am not about that life. -Disappear into nearby bushes-
New Phone, Who This?
I finally got to her on the day she was to leave, after employing blasting her crappy and downright disrespectful attitude to someone who helped out and telling her to get her ass in gear. I finally demanded an explanation of what the hell was her deal? Long story short, she was in Ocho Rios, working on…. something. I never found out what that something was and at that time, I was too angry to ask. -My first thought was she was a Pro...... NVM.- After acidly making it clear that she needed to get her shit and get out, I hung up. She later came by and collected her stuff after being charged for a late fee and in general being annoying and frustrating as shit. She has called me since then but I haven't answered, I am not about that life.
People, don't be crappy and try your best to make life hard for those who help you. It makes your life harder and those who try to help you less reluctant to extend opportunities they find to you. One of the key things I've found out about Kingston is that it is a city built on relationships and connections, who you screw over today might be your boss tomorrow.