703…704…705…717…707..huh? Wait a second something isn’t right, “since when did 717 fit in there sequentialy?” I ask myself as I walk down the hallway to my office. The number on the door next to mine has been changed, which seems to be a current and frustrating trend in my world. I asked the women across the hall if she knows anything about the renumbering system. She said that the people in office 706 decided to rent a bigger office space down the hall, but didn’t want to go through all the hassle of re-registering their business to a new address, so the simple switched the number on the door.
Switching numbers…has brought a lot of headache to my life of late. The building I live in has three stairwells. Each stairwell has a number. This is the case for most apartments in this country. For instance in our apartment complex I live in building number 3, doorway/stairwell number 1, apartment 303, at least that is what the contract with the landlord says. I have use this information to register with the police, have the bottled water company deliver drinking water to my door and receive my international mail. Up until a few weeks ago it was a good system. Sure the number above our stairwell had worn off, but since two and three were still clearly labeled, everyone could use their advanced powers of deduction to realize that we must be number 1. A few weeks ago the apartment complex paid to have new numbers printed and hung above each door. Shortly after that the hassle started. The water guys called to say he was at our door but no one seemed to be home. I went to the door, but there was no water guy in sight. My friend got an invitation to a mutual friend’s wedding, but mine never got delivered. Friends started to call from outside to clarify where we lived.
One day as I was heading through the door, I happened to look up and notice a big bold number 3 gracing the top of our door frame. No wonder no one could find our apartment anymore, they had mounted the numbers in the wrong order. I grabbed a photo copy of our landlord’s deed to the property and headed to the apartment complex managers office. I explained the problem as patiently as I could in two languages and all I got for a response was “huh, that’s funny”.
‘Funny’ is hardly the word I would use for it. We are registered with the police at our address, we sometime get mail that is coming from overseas. So if any of you have been sending me care packages full of vanilla coffee or microwave popcorn (hint, hint) and you wonder why I have written a letter of thanks… it might be because you sent it to the wrong… or is it really the right… address. This mix up isn’t funny.
We waited until late one night and then snuck down stairs with flashlights and tools, only to realize they don’t come off as easily as we were hoping. We have talked about an elaborate art project involving super glue and number cut outs, but since we have been the only ones to complain, we are sure the intentional “vandalism” to the new signs could be traced back to us. But we do need it back to normal, before the police decide to fine us for having incorrect paperwork. Real Funny, huh?