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Monday, April 26, 2010

Another Test Passed

It's been a little while since I gave myself any major challenges to my social anxiety, and I'd started to feel I was stagnating/regressing. But I had occasion to change that today.

I should back up and explain that on 10 March I received a notice from my landlord congratulating me on having my lease renewed as of May on new terms (higher rent) of which I'd previously been notified. Problem is, I hadn't received said prior notification. This made me very anxious as it activated the "bait and switch" trigger tracing back to my adolescent experience with a cult.

Within a few days I met with someone at Community Legal Services. He could give me limited advice at that point since I had brought the lease renewal currently in effect, but not the lease itself from two years ago. I sent him a copy of that a day or two later.

I then procrastinated a while. It took me a few more weeks to get around to actually reading the lease and start advertising that I was looking for a new place (since at that point I didn't think I had an alternative). Finally I talked to the guy at CLS again, who'd reviewed my lease and said that since I hadn't received the stipulated sixty days notice of a change in terms, it was renewed on the old terms. Of course the landlord could claim that I had received timely notice, but in any case, I was told, their position would be that a change in terms constitutes a new lease which has to be agreed to affirmatively and not just passively. It was advised that I meet with the landlord's representative to state this view of things.

For a change, circumstances actually beyond my control delayed my doing so for another week. My employer was short-handed because a coworker's heart trouble was turning out to be worse than first realized. (I felt a little guilt since I'd encouraged his interest in switching from another employer; on the other hand, since his previous job was pretty similar, there's no particular reason to think I hastened this development, which now has had him out for a week.)

But I already had this week scheduled as personal vacation (more on which below), so today I visited the management office and showed one of them the pertinent documents, and she said she'd research the issue. It was no big deal in the event, but that's just the point with exposures: you intellectually understand there's not much to be afraid of, but you have to go through the experience to prove that to yourself on an emotional level.

The reason for the vacation is another bright spot in the picture: starting tomorrow, I'll be getting training to be a Street Enumerator for the Census. This will provide a quite considerable, if temporary, boost to my income that will be particularly handy if I find I have to move without receiving a refund of my deposit.

Eric Hamell

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