To close out Atlanta's edition of Renters Week 2015, we'll leave you with a Renter Horror Story that was submitted roughly a week after the deadline but still details — with true narrative passion — a situation so unnerving, we have to share it. Or maybe it wasn't such a huge deal after all? (Was the biohazard team really necessary?) In any case, we salute the author — let's just call him Obnoxiously Distraught — for taking the time to detail a troubling situation that other Atlanta renters could benefit from knowing about. He even provided a title: "One Sh*tty Situation."
Obnoxiously Distraught: "After a long week of travel, there's nothing better than coming back home and sinking into the comfort of your own bed. I walked through the door, threw my keys on the table and collapsed. And then I realized my face wasn't the only thing on my pillow."
I reach for the lights. A mere millimeter from where my cheek had been was a slimy, crusty nightmare. And it's not just on the pillow. It's everywhere. The 12-year-old part of me wanted to crouch in a corner and yell for mommy. The rational part of me pushed past the cold chills and followed the trail to my living room with brand new hardwood floors that were covered with these mysterious white splatters.
Did someone sneak in and paint while I was away? Doubtful. Then all at once, a million feelings of dread came to me. It's not paint. It's bird poop.
Cue an emergency call to the parental units. As usual, they were divided on what I should do. One of them told me to get the hell out of there, and the other told me to find the source of the problem. So I compromised. Sleepover at the boyfriend's then get my Nancy Drew on in the morning.
The next day, I spent the morning talking to my leasing office and they took no responsibility. My next move was to blow up the phone of every pest control office in Atlanta. Most wouldn't come without a formal request from the leasing office, and the leasing office wouldn't issue a request because a bird isn't a cockroach.
Finally, one pest control specialist agreed to come to my apartment. A 35-minute search of my apartment revealed nothing. Hope was gone. I had a bill for their time and an apartment filled with bird feces.
One night at the boyfriend's place turned into two. I. Just. Couldn't. Face. It. As I was packing my shag bag, some instinct made me look into the closet. The very back of the closet. And then I found it. Next to all the stuff that doesn't fit anymore and all the good deals you just couldn't pass up. There it was. Jammed into a crevice of my plastic drawer stack. Death and destruction covered in feathers.
You think a dead bird in your closet is your worst nightmare? Just wait until you try to get your apartment complex to try and help you remove it. That's where the real horror began.
Inspiration struck. This is a maintenance problem! So I called the emergency maintenance line at my apartment. They told me that a dead bird wasn't an emergency. I can't even print my response here. Suffice it to say that after talking to Maintenance, I decided that if I was going to put on gloves, get this nasty bird out of my apartment, and leave it on the leasing office's front door. Luckily, just as I snapped on the first glove, the maintenance guy had a change of heart and called me back. Help was on the way.
Ok, so now the bird is gone. But my place is still a contaminated poop zone. I called the housekeeping company that I use regularly and the owner told me that unfortunately they are not licensed to handle animal feces. It was time to escalate the problem. My apartment literally was a biohazard. Normally those companies clean up crime scenes, and escaped viruses. On this day, they cleaned up bird poop.
Finally, once the biohazard team was gone, I began some forced closet organization. Two trash bags and dozens of wash loads later, I was ready to settle back into my apartment. After living my own personal Hitchcockian nightmare, I decided that my next apartment would have a faux hawk to scare all the birds away.
· All Renters Week 2015 coverage [Curbed Atlanta]