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OPINION: Give your apartments, maintenance staff some love

If you ever need a good laugh, just look at the query requests on the Facilities Management iService desk. Overflowing toilets. Wasp nests. Projectile vomiting garbage disposals. Dryers shooting out lint. Sparking stoves. Mold. Leaking ceilings.

Hillside residents have seen it all.

This year, I was fortunate enough to get a two-bedroom apartment in Hillside. I thought I had it made until one day an unexpected guest arrived.

Now, I was the one with the problem.

First, a shadow. Then, a flash of gray in the mirror. I dismissed my apartment as haunted and refused to believe I had seen anything. Finally, a mouse dashed across the floor in plain sight. Eeek.

Initially, I was appalled. At $4,675 per semester, a two-bedroom in Hillside does not come cheap. How could this happen?

It was almost 11 p.m., but I eventually got a sympathetic maintenance workman to bring me some mouse traps. After a three sleepless nights of the mouse running around, it was captured.

The situation was frustrating, but I learned a lot from it.

Outside of the Belmont bubble, there is not the luxury of an on-site maintenance staff from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days per week. I’m used to immediate assistance, but out in the post-college world, people work through these problems on their own.

We need to be better caretakers of our residences. We are all guilty of putting school and friends first, and not tidying up as much as we should.

Empty your garbage, sweep the crumbs off the floor, clean your dishes and seal your food. Your future self will thank you.

It is OK when you need a little help, but show appreciation when you do. Be gracious to maintenance in online requests and in person. They do a lot for us.

And let’s be honest, Belmont housing is pretty spectacular as college housing goes. Enjoy it while you can and count your blessings, even if you have to count a mouse or two along the way.

This article was written by Erin Sanislo.

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