Monday, February 04, 2008

I Shoulda Stayed In Bed

February 4 th is a notoriously bad day for me. It has been for the last 18 years. I normally (try) to stay in bed and I don't leave the house. Ok, well, I seldom leave the house anway, BUT February 4 th, I stay hidden. It's just easier that way.

Today was no exception. I had to deal with The Church People, aka, The Landlords. Shawn had a 7 week layoff over the holidays. There was also that bit of nastiness when Jessie was in the hospital. We survived on food bank fare and donations from a church. There wasn't even bus fare to go around. It was bad, but we made it.

The result of the lay off was that we fell behind on our bills, rent included. We fell behind to the tune of $1200 (this is on our $300 a week agreement). Last week, I paid off that $1200, which was no small feat, believe me. We were not able to pay THAT weeks $300, however. We did pay THIS week, which means that we are, still, one week behind.

Now here's where it gets tricky. We have SEVERAL landlords here. Our place is owned by a church, and everyone has their fingers in the pot. On more than one occasion, we have had several different members of the church come to our door to collect rent that had already been paid. When we fell behind, we were told by one person to "catch up as soon as you can." This is the guy that we were told to deal with. We'll call him 'John.'

John told us to call when we had the money.

I tried to call him all week to make arrangements to pay the money.

I got no answer even after I left a message. Or two. Or Three.....

The following Sunday I am given papers by the treasurer of the church, giving me a new Tribunal date. I have only met this person ONE other time, and I have never dealt with her on this level. She tells me that I should have called. I tell her that I DID, more than once. She tells me that I should have called HER, because John is in Africa.

Hmmm....Ok. So I tell her that I can borrow the money, if she writes me a letter that saying that I owe X amount, as proof that I do, indeeed owe the money. She tells that is MY problem, and I should solve it on my own.

(This is where I remind you that I am dealing with a church)

I promised her that I could have it by the end of the week, with a little co operation.

Anyway, I DID get the money, and by the middle of the week. I had to call THREE different numbers to get the money picked up.

A DIFFERENT person came to get the cheque.

So, the next person that I am dealing with, the guy that picks the money up, tells me that they have no intention of kicking us out. They just want the money. He PROMISES me that if we pay, everything will be fine. We'll call him 'Stinky' - cuz he is.

So, I get my reciept and I am told that I have to wait for John to get back from Africa before they can withdraw the Tribunal papers, because he is the one in charge.


Ok, I DO owe the money. I have worked my tail off getting them the $1200 that they asked for. Although we do have arrears that we are clearing off, all that we are behind on our agreement is the $300..We have paid $1500 in 2 weeks. I think that shows good faith.

I told Stinky that this $1200 is all of the money that I have, and PLEASE don't screw us over. If they DO go ahead with the Tribunal date, then we WILL be evicted and we might only have ONE week to move. There is NO way possible for us to this since we have just given them all of our money.

I am assured, by this Church Guy, that they would never do that...

Keep in mind that Shawn has not yet had a full week back at work. If he misses one day, not only could he be fired, but we won't have enough money at the end of the week to pay rent and buy groceries. Our budget is THAT tight.

Flash forward.....

John is back from Africa. Now, he is all powerful man that can stop this process. That is what we have been told.

I just got off of the phone with John.

They are going ahead with the Tribunal.

If we don't go, the Adjudicator will make an automatic judgement in the favour of the church. Typically, you are given 7-10 days to leave.

If we DO go, they may find against us, because we are in fact, ONE week behind on our agreement. Shawn WILL lose a day pay, and he COULD be fired.

I explained all of this to John, and asked if we could just arrange a move out date, because I don't want to be homeless in a week with my kids.

His response?

"That's up to the judge."

I said that we would happily move, if that is what they want.

He says that no, they just want the rent.


I owe one week. They just got a pile of cash outta me.

So, I guess that we are moving. There really is no way for us to go to the Tribunal. We can't afford to risk Shawn's job. We just can't.

I know that we owe this money. I know that we have been behind before. I also know that we have moved Hell and high water to make things right. It feels like the church is screwing us over. It really does. I wonder how people that claim to be Christian can do this? They know that we have no money, they know that you can't find a place/pack/and move in a week, especially when you have ZERO money.

I just feel defeated. I feel like I tried to do the right thing, by paying off the back rent, even though I knew that it meant we would not be able to move. I feel like the church took that money, knowing all of this, and had every intention of kicking our asses out.

This is the first place that has really felt like home. The kids have played here.

We grew the most beautiful Morning Glory's ever.
We buried our Pork Chop in the back yard.

We have also done countless small repairs, at our cost. We had to put in taps the first week that we moved in, because the ones in the kitchen were TAPED on. We cleaned for TWO weeks before we moved in, cleaning up after the shlubbs that lived her before us. We even replaced the carpet this past summer.

We rehung the gate, planted shrubs where the old ones had died, and replace all of the locks, also at our expense, because Stinky and the FIRST landlord lost all of the keys. We even mowed the lawn when the previous occupants were still living here, because the church asked us to.

We have never asked to be reimbursed for any of this. We just did it because we love our little home. We had to deal with church members walking into our home, on more than one occasion, without being invited (this past week, infact), and having people call us names (in German, but hey, both Shawn and I are part German..we understand more than they know)....

I think that I am DONE. I have no idea HOW we will do this, but we are outta here. My stress level is CRAZY bad, and I can't do this anymore.

If anyone knows of a place for rent, gimme a call. I'm looking.


Phoenix5 said...

Ummm.. those dates can't be accurate... I live in Guelph, and I KNOW it wasn't THAT warm then! LOL! Care to let me in on the joke? ;-)

Biddie said...

Pheonix - The dates ARE wrong. This is me, the girl that JUST learned how to turn off her ipod! LOL. Blogger posted just the title before I had written my rant. All better now :) Just ignore the dates.

Heidi the Hick said...

They're playing you.

First of all, they should not be putting that many people in charge of collecting. It should be one person's job, and if "John" is not able to do it, then he needs to put one person temporarily in charge until he gets back.

This back and forth is ridiculous.

Second of all, Like, I know they have to collect....HOWEVER...they could also LISTEN and take you seriously!!!!!!!!

I mean, to pay off that huge amount in such a short time? I think this shows some initiative. And that you're not out to stiff them.

I think you should take a deep breath and track down the person who is really in charge, and have a nice little conversation.

You really didn't need this right now.

Biddie said...

Heidi - That would be John. He is the president of the church, and he is the one that I spoke with.
See, I know that we screwed up, but it's not like we have been partying the money away. We simply did not have it.
I also think that paying off that huge amount shows that we are out to f*$k them up.
There are too many cooks in the kitchen. Honestly. We have been told so many things by so many people...
Honestly? The past weeks have been beyond awful. I can not tell you. I can't handle a move right now. I just can't. I am so close to my breaking point...

Phoenix5 said...

Go public... call the TV station and ask to speak to a reporter, tell them your story. I hate to say this, but I'm sure the media would just LOVE to get a chance to smear a church! Any self-respecting "Christian" church will bend over backwards and screw themselves silly to avoid that kind of public exposure, believe me! I am ashamed that a so-called "Christian" church could be so callous and cruel. They need to be dragged through the mud on this. On behalf of all TRUE Christians out there, I offer you my most sincerest apologies. I wish I could do more to help you.

Phoenix5 said...

Oh, by the way, when I first saw the post, there was just pics, and no text. Sorry for jumping the gun with my first comment!

Biddie said...

phoenix5 - LOL. That's ok. Like I said, somehow I got published before I was done posting.
You know, we really are trying to pay this off.
Part of me wants to go public..I just don't know if I have it in me to fight this. Things are SO bad right now. I haven't blogged about it, b/c it is just so depressing and I am sick of whining, but I have not been doing well. (I will talk about it privately, to anyone that wants to talk, but I am not putting ot out there in blogland quite yet)
You are right, though....This would be BAD for a church. I was raised Catholic/Lutheran. I have not been to church in a long time, but I try to be a good person, and treat others well. I do. I am apalled too. Honestly. (This house is mortgage free, so really, there isn't much to worry about other than taxes)
I am done.
Thanks for listening.

deb said...

Oh Biddie I am so depressed along with you. No, you don't need this. Many lousy things are done by people claiming to be "christians". I don't want you to have to move. Fuck those asholes. And yep, I too call myself a christian. Even a christian can recognize an asshole when they see one.

Biddie said...

Deb - I really don't want to move, either. At least not yet. Aside from everything, I really do love my little house. Jessie is so upset. She wants to stay here so badly...
I just don't know what is going to happen. I am hoping for yet another miracle, but I know, deep down, that it isn't coming.

Jay Cam said...

we had to do that same things with our home!

but after that it really felt like home.

this reminds me of the movie "are we done yet". lol

Heather said...

I really wish I could be there B..I would have a talk with tact but truth to what I think of their so called Godly ways.

think of you every day girl!

Heather said...

I'll leave my msn on day and look for you if you need another ear to vent to.

katy said...

Biddie I just can't beleive this is happening they are ASS HATS for bloody sure, please, please think about what phoenix5 says about going public, they just cant f@@k with you like this.
i know you feel this is the last straw but you will get through this you are our BIDDIE ok and we are sending you so many positive thoughts x

Burfica said...

I am sooooo sorry. I know you would like to go public but I understand not being able to. If you have no fight you have none.

I shoulda sued a surgeon once, but I had no fight in me, and nobody, not family, nobody would help me. So..yeah he got away with it.

All my good vibes and prayers are out to you, that someone can help you with going public or things just fall into place the way they are supposed to.

Big hugggggssss

Gabriel said...

What can I sad, Biddie... We're all thinking of you and the family.

Hang in there. Let us know if there's anything we can do.

Biddie said...

jay cam - I have never seen that movie..This place DOES feel like home. It would be eeasier if it didn't.

Biddie said...

Heather - I wish that I was there, with you. That is just what I need. Some Heather time.
I think of you everyday, too. Miss you like crazy :)

Katy - I know that I WILL get through this. I HAVE to. I just don't know HOW. Sigh. I am so tired of all of the drama in my life. I just want some nice, boring days...Thanks for the positive thoughts :)

Burfica - Thanks for the prayers and good vibes. I can use 'em.
We should talk. I should have sued a dr. once, too....Long story, but I think that I know where you are coming from.

Gabriel - LOL. You are just like City TV today...Everywhere I am!
Just keep your fingers crossed for me. And keep posting photos of you and the kids. That made my day :)

Kahless said...

Just popping through from Katy's. I am sorry you are having to go through this. Take care.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

What a fine bunch of Christians. /sarcasm

Biddie I am so sorry you have to go through this. (((HUGS))) You'll be in my thoughts.

Tod said...

Those landlords are arseholes. Why should your family be stressed because they can't get their frikkin act together?

CindyDianne said...

Oh Biddie,

I just don't know what to say...

I am so sorry.

Anything I can do but send my thoughts your way?

Phoenix5 said...

The whole idea of going public is to get the TV station to do your fighting for you. CTV used to have that Goldhawk character who helped people out against unethical companies, but he went off the air a while ago. Toronto's CityTV has "Silverman Helps" but I'm not sure if he works outside of Toronto. What I'm suggesting is you tell the CKCO reporter the same stuff you have told us, and then let CKCO contact the church to "follow up". You shouldn't have to fight at all. If I were a gambling man, I'd bet that CKCO would jump all over the church hoping to have a story where they help the "little guy" by forcing the church to back off.

You're in my prayers, my friend!

Canadian flake said...

I think going to global news or the papers might be a great idea...

Take whatever voice will listen and run with it...

Love you honey...I am praying hard for you all...and keeping all my fingers crossed...


If I lived down the road you could A) live here and B) I'd kick the crap out of the bastards.

Not necessarily in that order.

Got me fingers crossed babe x