Thursday, April 10, 2008

High Ceilings

I hate everything.

I hate coming home from a long fucking day when you've been up all night with no sleep, after being forced to miss the bus and wait an hour to take the next one, to discover you have hungry, annoying cats who overturned the litterbox, making a huge mess, no food in the house, and all three smoke alarms chirping that they need new batteries.

So I headed out. After partly dealing with the cat stuff.

Then I came back, with batteries and food. I wrestled a pill and some medicine into a cat and snarfed down some fast food. The smoke alarms were still chirping.

No, they are not synchronized. They chirp the way a junior high band plays a chord in unison. This offends my sensibilities.

Now, there are many things about this apartment I like. Usually, the high ceilings, along with good light, are a major point I appreciate for this space.

But the higher the ceiling the more the room echoes, and these smoke alarms are making ringing announcements of their lack of battery-ness. Two of them go off, close to each other, and the third follows soon after, as if an afterthought.

Which ones go and which follow changes each time, it seems, but the pattern is holding fairly steady.

The other problem with the high ceilings is that the smoke alarms are installed almost at the top. I am quite short. Standing on a chair and stretching has absolutely no effect. Standing on the chair and jumping at them seems many different types of stupid. Throwing a hammer at them starts to sound pretty enticing.

So I have to go down two sets of stairs and wrangle back up a stepladder.

Fucking. A.

Once back with the dirty, for-some-reason greasy, stepladder, I can easily climb to a point where I can read the face of Alarm Number One. Lead chair in the chirping trio. It says "to remove, twist and pull." So, I do.

The whole alarm comes off. I look at it, in my hand. It is no closer to being open. From this distance, the chirping makes my ears ring so hard I have trouble thinking or seeing.

There appears to be no way of opening it. Any sort of pulling or twisting on it or prying at it causes it to go off. Not chirping. The full-on siren effect of a pan of scorched onions.

Luckily I see a depression on the front labeled "Push and hold to reset or to test." Holding it down once sends it into test mode, where it then cycles through the following types of alarms: 1. Scorched onion siren, 2. Four short earsplitting beeps, 3. Beethoven's Fifth as played by jackhammers (short short short loooooooong), 4. A series of beeps so fast it almost sounds like one continuous sound. Each one must go off once before it notices you're holding down the button again, whereupon it moves to the next pattern. Only after it has worked through all four types does it shut off.

Yes, I have had considerable experience within which to learn its ways.

I am now tired. So tired. I have also used up all my swearing and thrown everything except the smoke alarms themselves at my cats. At this point I don't even want to deal with them. I don't care.

The stepladder still stands in the living room. I don't care about that either.

I called the apartment management company and left an angry, incoherent, profanity-laced message for them telling them to come out and deal with this shit.

Of course, it was 10 pm and they won't even get that message until the office opens the next morning. That means I'd have to wait through an entire night of this, after staying up very late to work on my chapter and then not getting much sleep anyway.

To counteract the echoing high ceiling problem, I put the smoke alarms in the closet. It too has a high ceiling, but at least it is technically in another room, with a door muffling the sound a bit. I'm too damn tired to think of any better way to deal with it.

So. FUCKING. Tired.


kermitthefrog said...

I hope you had some unused scarves in your closet to dampen the noise. Or blankets. And that the mgmt co gets its ass over to your apartment.
After my carbon monoxide alarm started chirping like that, I bought new batteries only to learn that it only takes a particular brand. Right now, my CO alarm is sitting batteryless on top of the refrigerator, where it's been for the last 4 months or so.

medieval woman said...

Oh, Sis - that sounds horrible. I would have thrown the hammers...I hope it gets fixed today!!


Anonymous said...

omg, that sounds horrible. i hope you were able to sleep!

heu mihi said...

Ugh! I hope you have a relaxing weekend to compensate, my dear!

Belle said...


I'm like Kermit; my CO detector ended in the trash can when I discovered the new battery would be nearly as much hassle as getting a whole new alarm.

There are times when these things just *suck.*

I'd have put the silly thing outside. Dead.

Maude said...

ugh, there are few things more annoying than that. i'm so sorry.


here's hoping the mgmt co. gets there in a timely fashion. once they're fixed, salvage what you can of your weekend and relax.