Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I guess I better get in shape

Finally, our building is getting a new elevator. Which is a bit sad in a way, because I've grown kinda fond of the old one with all its quirks and curiosities. They are going all out on the new one - new everything, from the cables, the elevator, all the doors, everything. It should be nice, although I'll be loathe to be one of the first people to try it out. What if they don't screw everything in correctly?

The 13k euros is being divided by all the owners of the apartments in the building, scaled in the same way they do monthly maintenance (ie. for elevator expenses, you pay more the higher your floor). Being on the 6th floor ours is a sizeable chunk, but it will be worth it. The money is due on Sept. 1st, and the new elevator construction will begin sometime after that. The building manager said it would take 20 days to get the new elevator installed, and she didn't know if that meant 20 days without a working elevator or it would take them 20 days to build all the parts and come and install them.

At any rate, I know there will be at the very least a few days without any elevator. This will be especially fun with groceries or heavy packages. I'm strongly contemplating not leaving the apartment for the duration, but I'd go stir crazy. How hard is going up six flights of stairs anyway?* I've got six weeks to get ready for it. I'll let you know.

*For the record, I've only gone up the stairs once, and it wasn't easy. Yea, I'm not in good shape, but I could do worse. At least I made it, my husband thought I'd call the elevator by the second floor. Still, seeing how my 40-year-old friend was able to leap up the stairs in a single bound several times while he was here, I'd better get cracking.


St. Caffeine said...

As an economist I find this method of paying for the elevator very interesting. I think I'll use it in my lecture on "benefits received" taxation.

One question, though, do the folks on lower floors really ride the elevator less than you do? That is, do the 3rd floor folks usually take the stairs rather than the elevator? If not, then I find this "tax scheme" truly fascinating because it truly is an attempt to expropriate your "additional benefit" rather than an attempt to make you pay your "fair share" of the cost.

melusina said...

Well, I have seen a few people on the lower floors take the stairs, although usually not the third floor. Hell, I'd call anyone who climbed three flights of stairs for the hell of it on a regular basis a crazy person.

When I first moved here, I thought the whole system for elevator maintenance was a bit lopsided, of course, I lived on the 2nd floor then and didn't pay so much. But I guess, generally speaking, the people on the higher floors *do* put more "wear and tear" on the elevator, because it runs longer and goes higher, and these aren't fancy pants elevators like they have in America - these are the kind that the higher they go, the more they squeal.

For maintenance costs the difference is minimal - the costs are so low to start with. For the new elevator it is kind of a large chunk. Of course, people on the first and second floors were saying they wouldn't pay, because they NEVER use the elevator. Yea, well, that is bullshit. Hell, one of them left the elevator door open on the first floor once, and when you do that noone can call the damn elevator, so I know they use it. Still, what they are paying for the new elevator is much, much less than what we are paying, so they need to, in short, stfu.