Monday, July 13, 2009

Lead Update. Again.

As you, my faithful readers know, the hold up in my licensing is due to the fact that my apartment failed its initial lead inspection. And it isn't so much that my apartment failed that is the hold up (my landlord very graciously and very timely made the needed repairs once given the go-ahead) but the crazy mixed-up communication that I have gotten--or not--from the agency. Today, I share with you a chronology of the past few weeks:

  • June 1-5 (if I'm remembering correctly!)--landlord made repairs to my apartment
  • June 24--landlord received report from contractor and forwarded it to me by email
  • June 24--I forwarded contractor's report to Licensing Worker (is that what I've been calling her?)
  • June 25--Licensing Worker reported forwarding report to Lead Person. LW expressed the possibility that Lead Person might need the original
  • June 30--emailed another document to Licensing Worker and asked if she had heard from Lead Person regarding whether the lead report had been approved. Did not receive response.
  • July 6--called Licensing Worker because email on June 30 had also proposed July 8 as a date for her second visit. (I had to be home all day for the phone company, and it made sense to me to minimize my time off from work. It's all about efficiency. However, LW had "an appointment" on the 8th so couldn't come then. Instead she is coming on July 22.) During our conversation, LW told me that she had not heard back yet from Lead Person. When I then asked if she thought that it might be effective if I contacted LP, LW basically said sure, then added "don't tell her that I told you to call her."
  • July 6--emailed Lead Person:
    [Lead Person],
    I am eager to have my licensing complete; could you confirm
    that you have received the lead report for my apartment ([address]), that the
    report is sufficient as received, that my apartment is approved, and that this
    has all been communicated to the licensing worker ([Licensing Worker])?
    Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
  • July 10--called Lead Person and left a message, since I hadn't heard back from her.
  • July 13, 12pm--called Lead Person. First she claimed not to know what I was talking about when I asked her about the report forwarded to her by Licensing Worker. She never acknowledged the email I sent last week. We had an interesting conversation that went something like this:
Me: Hi, [Lead Person]. This is [Foster Ima], calling about the report [Licensing Worker] forwarded to you about my apartment.

LP: I don't know what you're talking about. [Licensing Worker] didn't forward me any reports.

Me: Oh, well, [Licensing Worker] indicated that she had forwarded it to you and mentioned the possibility that the PDF might not be sufficient, and that you might need an original.

LP: [Snottily.] That isn't the process. The contractor who did the inspection needs to clear the property.

Me: What do I need to do to have that happen?

LP: You don't have to do anything. [Eye roll. Annoying foster parents.] The social worker has to fill out the paperwork and call me to send an inspector out. It is not the responsibility of the foster parent. I'll call [Licensing Worker] and have her call you back.

Me: Thank you.

I think that I might have also made some comment along the lines of "well, obviously I didn't know all of this, so was I supposed to just sit here and wait for nothing to happen?"

  • July 13, 12:15pm--Lead Person called me back. This in itself was a miracle, but even more miraculously, she had found the report the Licensing Worker had forwarded to her. Licensing Worker is out of the office today, so Lead Person forwarded report to [Highly Paid With Taxpayer Dollars Inspector] and that he would call me to schedule a time to come out to my apartment. I clarified the next steps in the process with her: Inspector will send clearance report to Lead Person. Lead Person will provide clearance report to Licensing Worker. Licensing Worker can license property. I sigh, thank her, and silently hope that I can get Inspector to come at the same time as Licensing Worker (see above re: efficiency). I hang up and consider calling Inspector myself.
  • July 13, 12:35pm--Lead Person again calls. Guess what? In a complete 180, they have decided that the report from my landlord's contractor is sufficient! Lead Person sent notification to Licensing Worker and all I need to do is call LW tomorrow to make sure she does what she needs to do. Is this possibly too good to be true?

Of course, this doesn't really address the problem that apparently my Licensing Worker doesn't know what the licensing process is, at least for properties that initially fail the lead inspection. (I live in a Big City. I imagine that most of our old homes fail initially.)

But I'm no longer ready to go complaining to the Agency director's chief of staff (I think that I get to skip a few levels since I occassionally still get phone calls for her on my work cell phone; she had the number before she transferred to the Agency), so that's a positive outcome. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be licensed before school starts. A year, that's totally reasonable, right?

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog, and read about your lead paint craziness. I must say, as annoying as it may be, I'm really glad your county is looking out for that. Our own bio kids got lead poisoning at our current home when we moved in. We remediated it right away, and then a few years later, when we went to license, I told them about it and offered to get a letter from the Health Dept., but they basically shrugged their shoulders. "Eh, who cares?" Wow. And here, where our own Big City has one of the nation's worst lead poisoning rate in children.
    Did you get your own blood lead level tested?