Friday, February 21, 2014

It's The Salt

I live in northwest Pennsylvania.  To save us all some time, “It snows.” 

A mild day in Pennsylvania.
It snows a lot.  We Pennsylvanians chip, salt, scrape and shovel Jack Frost's leavings at least 5 months out of the year.  Lately, it's been rainy and melty during the day but freezing at night.  Do you know what that means?  It means there is a shit-ton of ice everywhere, every morning.  The sidewalks are death traps.  If you don't want to fall on your ass, you salt.  

 You’d think that our apartment manager* would understand how winter works.

The manager of our apartment complex is married to the maintenance guy.  This was not a meet-cute.  She was hired when the place underwent renovations as part of President Obama's rural development campaign a few years ago.  It took the crumbling shacks we lived in and transformed them into clean, insulated townhouse apartments.  We got central air and working appliances.  We got landscaping and a conference room.  We got padded carpet and landscaping.  

We also got HER.  After she was hired, she accused our maintenance guy of being drunk at work because his hands trembled.  He was a diabetic with a brain tumor, but she didn't believe that the medications he was on would cause tremors.  He took it in stride because he needed the job.  She refused to approve his supply orders or tool requisitions, so he brought his own tools in and she accused him of stealing company property.  He tried to let it slide.  The final straw was when she told him he had to bring in his own toilet paper if he wanted to use the restrooms in the conference room.  His wife demanded that he quit right on the spot!

The next thing you know, our apartment manager's husband had the job, and he’s given overtime hours and a snow blower and lawncare equipment.  I think she’s crooked, to say the least.

But, anyway, back to the SALT. 

We have been shoveling and salting the sidewalk that stretches from our door to our parking space for a month now.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but after a month, those 16 concrete spaces add up.  We are not the only ones who use this walkway, either... but our neighbors haven't shoveled in 3 years.
The maintenance guy usually waits until 10 or 11 am to pull out his glorious snow blower and sand/salt dispenser, but when you have doctor’s appointments, welfare appointments, and elementary schools to get to by 8am, you can’t wait that long.  Personally, I don’t mind shoveling.  It's a little irritating that no one else ever takes a turn, but I'll live.  That is not the problem.  It’s the salt.  We're on bag 2.

Two scoops left.  Six weeks of winter left.

I understand that salt is only $6 or $7 per bag… but when you’re poor-like-us, $6 makes or breaks your month.   Is it wrong that I kind of want to ask the complex manager to reimburse me if I buy another???

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