Bryan Grossman was quick to greet the couple that had walked into the leasing office for their scheduled appointment. “Paul and Cady McFadden, it’s so nice to meet the two of you,” he said with his hand extended toward them.
“Nice to meet you too,” Cady said as she shook his hand, with her beaming husband doing likewise.
“I love this building already!” Paul exclaimed. “That lobby is so beautiful, what with the crystal chandelier and the black marble and everything. And that fountain right outside the main door! Classy!”
“Well we do pride ourselves on making this building as gorgeous on the outside as it is on the inside,” Bryan smiled. “So, welcome to the Morningdale! I know we spoke on the phone when we scheduled your appointment, but do you have any questions for me right now?”
The McFaddens looked at each other briefly, then Paul turned to the leasing office agent. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Well, let me just grab the keys, and I can show you a model of what our one-bedrooms look like.”
“Actually, we were hoping to get a two-bedroom,” Cady interjected, “You see, Paul and I think a second bedroom would be good to use for work.”
“Ah, that’s right, then a two-bedroom we will show.” Bryan grabbed the keys from a room in the back of the office suite. “Let’s go check out Apartment 304. That one’s not available to rent at the moment; it’s just for exhibition right now, but it’s identical in layout to other two-bedrooms that we have available coming up soon.”
“Perfect,” Paul said as he and his wife followed Bryan to the elevator bank situated on the other side of the lobby. Bryan held his fob to the pad and an elevator soon arrived to take them to the third floor.
“So what brings the two of you to be apartment hunting?” Bryan asked as they embarked on the third floor. “Relocating? Changing jobs?”
“No, we already live in the area,” Paul explained. “We’re just looking to find a different place that’s a little more agreeable to us. Our old place, well, the management is just a little too nosy, you know what I mean?”
“I do,” Bryan responded. “Well, we at the Morningdale will not disappoint you there. We strive for the most responsive upkeep and maintenance, but otherwise we will not interject ourselves into your personal lives.”
“That’s great to hear,” Cady said as the three of them walked down the hall up to Apartment 304 and Bryan took out his keys to unlock the door.
“So what do the two of you do?” Bryan asked them casually.
“We’re both cooks,” Paul proudly stated as he placed his hand on Cady’s shoulder.
“Cooks? Nice. What kind of cooks, restaurant, catering?”
“Well, neither. We kind of do our own thing.” Cady watched as Bryan unlocked the door and they all walked inside. The apartment was empty and pristine; the air was filled with the smells of fresh paint and carpeting, and the walls were the purest and cleanest off-white color imaginable. The apartment seekers followed their guide down the entrance hall and gazed at the large kitchen with the gray-tiled floor and green Formica countertops, before setting their sights on the expansive living room with floor-to ceiling windows all around its perimeter.
“This is amazing!” Cady exclaimed as she entered the living room and looked at the windows. “Look, we can see all around the neighborhood! We’re gonna want lots of curtains for our privacy, haha!”
“Oh definitely,” Paul answered her, “But Cady look, the two bedrooms aren’t adjacent to each other. We can easily sleep in one room and work in the other without either one disturbing the other!”
“And the kitchen is so nice, and so big!” Cady gazed over the counter. “It will be a dream come true for us!”
“It’s got everything you need to make all the delicious meals you want,” Bryan beamed.
“Yes, meals, definitely,” Cady walked around on the tiled kitchen floor, then joined her husband in looking at one of the bedrooms. “Now Bryan, do you know how well this place is ventilated? Like, will the air system be able to filter out any strong smells?”
Bryan was not prepared for that question. “Uh, yeah it works fine. None of our other tenants have had a problem with air circulation.”
“Well, air circulation is nice, yes. But I mean, would it be able to carry away strong smells coming from chemicals? Or would they just loft in the building and we’d have to open the windows?”
“Uh… honestly I’m not really sure about that, but if you’re talking about chemicals from cleaning products, opening the windows should take care of that.”
Cady furrowed her brow. “Well, that wasn’t really what I was thinking of, but okay.” She looked at the bathroom that was in the middle of the hallway. “What about drainage? Has drainage ever been an issue on these premises?”
“No, the plumbing in this building is completely up to code. You shouldn’t have any problems with drainage.”
Paul entered the bathroom with his wife and looked at the bathtub. “Well, the tub looks a little small, but I guess we can work with this.”
“Work with what?” Bryan was starting to become uneasy. “What kind of work do you expect to do in this bathtub?”
“Uh, nothing, we both just really like our soaks.” Paul escorted Cady out of the bathroom and led her to the master bedroom. “Wow. Cady, look at the size of this closet!”
“Sweet!” Cady stepped inside the spacious walk-in that lined almost an entire wall of the bedroom. “This will be enough for both of us! I might even let you have more than a quarter of this space, haha!”
“Now Bryan, let me ask you something.” Paul motioned for the leasing agent to enter the bedroom. “Just between you and us, are the other tenants really fussy about noise? Like, do they make a lot of complaints about it?”
Bryan shook his head. “No, not really. It’s an apartment building, so there’s always an issue with noise, but nothing too bad in here – the units are pretty well insulated from each other.”
“Good, because we probably will have people over from time to time, to help us with our cooking.” Cady shot him a glare, and he immediately clarified his remark. “Uh, yeah, because we often need help with, cooking our delicious recipes. In the kitchen, of course.”
“Do the cops pay a lot of visits to this building?” Cady asked a twitching Bryan. “I mean, we want to make sure we’re in a safe area and that there’s not a lot of crime. If the police are always coming by, that makes us nervous.”
Bryan simply shook his head, gazing long fully at the front door which he hoped the McFaddens would want to exit through soon.
Paul looked up at the nozzle near the ceiling. “Say, how well do the sprinklers work? Have they been inspected lately?”
“Yes, they have,” Bryan said blankly without moving a muscle. “The sprinklers are fine. How about I show the two of you our rooftop?”
“Okay now bear with me on this,” Paul continued, “Say there were to be some… explosions in this apartment. Would the sprinklers be able to put out the fires quickly?”
“Why would there be explosions in your apartment?” Bryan asked with a strident tone. “What would the two of you be doing that could possibly lead to that happening?”
“We’re just asking questions, calm down.” Cady looked at her husband nervously. “Paul is just thinking about what ifs. He’s kind of a hypochondriac. He worries about everything.”
“I really do.” He suddenly sniffed his nose loudly. “I also seem to have some allergies right now. Would you happen to have any Sudafed?” He asked Bryan.
“You know what, let’s go up to the rooftop now. I think the two of you would really like to see it – it is very luxurious.” Bryan ushered the couple to the front door and once they stepped out, he quickly locked it, dreading the next twenty minutes of his life and praying for them to pass quickly.
After showing the McFaddens the rooftop, gym, business center and lounge, Bryan escorted the apartment hunters back to the lobby. “Well, thank you for coming to visit the Morningdale. It was a pleasure to show you around the building.”
“Well wait, can we fill out an application?” Cady asked as she held Paul’s hand. “I think we’re pretty sold on this place.”
Bryan sighed heavily. “Yeah, sure. Follow me and we’ll get you an application to fill out.” He led them from the lobby to the leasing office and motioned for them to take their seats in front of his desk. Once his computer monitor was turned back on, he opened up a leasing application and hit the print button.
“Here you go,” Bryan handed Paul and Cady the application and a pen to write with, then entered the employee database to put in a request for paid time off.
After a few minutes of the McFaddens looking over the application, Paul looked up at the leasing agent. “Hey uh, this application is asking for paystubs to prove our income. But we don’t really have those, because our jobs – see, we don’t have employers, we work on a contract basis.”
“Oh that’s no problem, we would just need to see your latest 1099 form if you’re an independent contractor.”
“Well, we don’t really have one of those either.” Cady took out a piece of paper and handed it to Bryan. “We do have a guarantor for the lease however. Here is his information. He probably will have to sign some form you guys give him.”
“Oh okay, if you have a guarantor we would much like to see that.” Bryan took possession of the paper and looked at it. His eyes widened and he gasped in a laughing manner, then held his hand to his forehead. “Oh my God, oh my God…”
“What, is there a problem?” Cady held her husband’s hand again.
Bryan cleared his throat, trying hard to sound serious and matter-of-fact. “Yes, there is. You have here listed as your guarantor, Walter White of Albuquerque, New Mexico.”
“Yeah,” Paul asked, “So what’s the problem with that?”
“Three things,” Bryan stood up from his chair. “One, Walter White is a fictional character. Two, Walter White is a dead fictional character. And three, on the TV series Breaking Bad, Walter White was a meth kingpin who murdered people!”
Paul and Cady looked at each other and gasped. Cady turned back to Bryan. “That’s impossible! We would never have anything to do with someone who manufactured crystal meth!”
“Do you seriously expect me to believe that, after everything you told me upstairs?” Bryan’s face now showed his true feelings toward the couple. “I think it would be best if the two of you went on your way.”
“What is your deal?” Paul stood up and belligerently motioned to Bryan. “We’re just renting an apartment! We’re not engaging in human sacrifice or anything like that!”
“Manufacturing methamphetamine is a crime,” Bryan sternly told them, “And we would be unable to rent you an apartment if we knew that was what you planned to do on the premises. So I’m sorry, we will not be able to lease you anything. Good luck with your apartment search.”
Cady protested, “We’re not gonna be making drugs! What would make you think such a terrible thing?!” She leaned over toward Bryan and whispered to him. “If you give us this apartment, we can get you ten thousand in cash within four weeks of our moving in. And some of our product, if you’re interested. I promise you, it’s good stuff. You’ll feel like a hummingbird, even when you’re sitting behind this desk.”
Bryan pointed toward the exit. “There’s the door. You have thirty seconds to use it before I call the police.” He stormed away from the desk and toward the back of the office suite.
“Well fine!” Paul yelled after him. “You can take this apartment and shove it! Hatin’ on good wholesome cooks! Hope you like seeing your fancy apartments get torn – A-PART – at the seams!” He snickered at his comeback, and he and Cady walked briskly out of the leasing office and out the lobby door.
After taking a cup of water from the dispenser, Bryan returned to the front of the suite and approached the leasing office manager. “Gina, I just put in a PTO request. Can you look at that for me as soon as possible? I’d like it to be for this week, please.”