Comedy of Errors


We live in a seven-unit condominium building. My wife is by default one of the officers of the building, which means she has to deal with any of the little mishaps or complaints that occur. No one else was willing to do it. A few days ago one of the newer tenants told her that someone had thrown an old toilet into our dumpster and it cracked the bottom of the dumpster causing it to leak. My wife had to call the city to report it, and to order a new dumpster. One of the units in the building next door is completely gutted and being remodeled. My wife went over there and told the crew in no uncertain terms, that they were not permitted to use our dumpster, and that their building has it’s own dumpsters in the subterranean parking structure. Furthermore, she told them, that old used toilets did not belong in the dumpsters at all, they should be left in the alley behind the building, and that they had damaged our dumpster in the process. Later that day she told me the story and said how annoyed she was at them for using our dumpster and then just giving her a blank stare when she told them about the toilet situation.

The very next day, the city brought a brand new dumpster and left it right next to our existing dumpster. My wife was impressed that they responded so quickly, but was disturbed that they did not remove the old dumpster. She called them back and asked them to come back and remove the old dumpster. Sure enough they came back, and they asked her which one was damaged. For the first time, she looked into the dumpster and could not see anything wrong. Just then the new tenant pulled in. At the same time, the crew from next door gathered around to see what was the matter. My wife asked the new tenant to show her where the dumpster was damaged. The lady said, “I’ll show you,” and proceeded to walk in the opposite direction to the building on the other side of ours. She had been using their dumpster all along, thinking it was ours. So, there stood my wife red-faced, having to apologize to the city sanitation workers, and the neighbor’s construction crew at the same time. They ended up replacing the neighbors dumpster, and the construction workers had a good laugh. I don’t know how this happened, but by the end I found out that the entire mix-up was somehow my fault. I’m not going to argue though. Life is too short!

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