Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Need to Get This Off My Chest

My apartment does not have light switches, we have pull chains from fixtures in the ceiling, or plug-in lamps, and only 4 outlets in our entire apartment, which makes the whole thing a crazy fire danger with extension cords and adapters every which way. We are old, and thus need to have a lot of light, because otherwise we can't see.

Over three weeks ago the chain to our living room light got pulled out, accidentally, by one of Max's friends. So until the super decided to mosey on over, for the next week we had to turn the lights on and off by twisting the bulb, which I cannot reach, as the ceiling is too high and Janice's tall stepladder is too scary which I discovered the last time the bulb blew and it was up to me to fix it or sit in the dark. She had to hold my leg while I fixed it, and really, I can't ask her to do that every time I need to turn on or off the light.

When the super finally came, he took out the entire fixture and left us with NO LIGHT AT ALL for another week. Then he installed a new fixture BUT WITH NO CHAIN and ... how did we get light? By twisting the bulbs, which again, and still, I cannot reach.

Fast forward another week, and the super told us that he couldn't get the chain due to some financial problems with the management not paying a bill, or something like that. So I called the management, and they called me back (yes, it was shocking to me too) and told me the super would be by the next day with the missing chain/switch thingymajig.

And he did come by the next day, but the part didn't work. So he had to order a different fixture that would be compatible with the chain. That was a week ago. Will he come back with the part this week? Only time will tell.

And now, it is night time and dark, and my husband isn't here, and I stupidly told him not to turn on the light before he left, so I sit in the dark with only the little desk lamp to light my way.

Thank you for listening, back to our regular programming...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

For just a few dollars you can get an adapter at the hardware store that you screw into your light socket. It is basically another light socket with a pull chain. If you had only known before you called the super. You could have saved yourself lots of stress. As for the outlets, we have the same problem here. Your best bet is to get power strips so that if you overload the circuit the power strip turns off, rather than your fuse or breaker.

Jill said...

Hi
Thanks for the tip about the adaptor. I might have to check that out.

We do have power strips, extension cords to extension cords to power strips, doublers, quadruplers etc all over. It's just way too many plugs for what the electricity can handle. The overhead lights are only supposed to handle one 60 watt bulb, which is very very dim. We use 100 watt and they burn out constantly. I'm sure it's a bad thing to do.

These buildings weren't wired to handle modern electronics and nobody has ever done an upgrade. Even in the early 80's there wasn't a need for all these outlets, and there was a big fire across the hall from the overload back then. It's just a miracle nothing bad has happened since then.

Jeremiah Moss said...

yes, the adapter is great and it took me about 12 years of slumlord pull-chain hijinks before i discovered it. it will make your life better.

Dan said...

This story caught my eye after your post: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/02/10/stupid-light-switch.html

Jill said...

Hi thanks, now I have a picture of the thing, and know that it cannot be opened, which is doubly funny because as I type this my husband is trying to pry open my ipod to replace the battery, and I'm wondering if I don't actually own my ipod either :)

Anonymous said...

Watch out for extension cords and doublers and such. Some of them overheat or actually melt from the heat. I have picked up thin regular extension cords that were super hot from all the juice running through. If need be, get the heavy duty orange extension cords from a hardware store. They don't melt or catch fire as easily. I actually run power strips into power strips in the hopes that the extra breakers will help in the case of my overloading everything. I only have about 6 outlets in my place, and I have about 40 different things plugged in. And I am not exaggerating. The amount of power strips and orange extension cords here are crazy. And the cheaper stuff actually melts from the heat from time to time. That's why I invested in the expensive stuff, I try to avoid fires, they are pretty messy!

Goggla said...

I hear you...I don't have any switches either and I lost the pull-cord in the bathroom when there was a flood. I'd made a decorative bead-thing at the bottom of the cord and the super took it when he ripped the light out. He replaced it with a sad piece of string that snaps back up and hits me in the face when I pull the light on and off.

Outside the bathroom, I switched to lamps. You do have to use extension cords, but the lighting is happier.