Bot: Here for It, #325

Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?

I am convinced that my rental management company has replaced their property maintenance person with AI. I don't know nothin' 'bout nothin' but I don't think ChatGPT is exactly helpful in the realm of maintaining property in the physical world.

An actual mug found in the cabinet of beach house we're renting for the weekend.

David and I have a closet in our house that has been falling off of the wall since last August. Even though it just started falling on its own, I felt bad about this at first, as if I was doing pull-ups on the closet bar or something. Babycakes, I haven't done a pull-up in my life. I won't even pull-up to the curb in my car when I'm picking you up; I will text "arriving now" as I coast by and throw open the passenger door. Get a running start!

What's even wilder is that the closet only has our t-shirts hanging on it. It had never occurred to me to hang t-shirts until we moved into this place and used a team of home organizers to help us get set up because we had a time crunch. They hung all the t-shirts up and I was like "Wait, you mean I don't have to walk around with fold lines in my shirts all the time? This is what it's like to live the life of your dreams."

But apparently my dreams are too heavy for this closet. (If I was writing some kind of inspirational gospel play, My Dreams Are Too Heavy for this Closet is exactly what the play would be called and it would tour the country and it would last roughly 4 hours and we'd sell t-shirts in the lobby and in some cities, but not all, Vivica A. Fox would appear in the role of "Sheilah" and my whole career would change. Wait, why am I not writing that gospel play? What am I doing with my career?! Vivica A. Fox is on line 1!)

I put in a maintenance request to the rental company in August of last year, heard nothing for months; the t-shirts sank lower and lower. Finally in December I was like "What would Vivica A. Fox as 'Sheilah' do in this situation?" And, you know the answer: obviously Vivica A. Fox as "Sheilah" would stand up for herself! So, I emailed the property maintenance director and they said they'd get to it.

They, uh, did not. So I emailed twice more, once in February and once in April. I do hate to be a nudge. It is, frankly, a nightmare to "just check in". This isn't the Ritz Carlton front desk. I don't want to check in on anything. I just want everything to function on its own as was previously agreed on and for me to not feel like I'm being annoying to someone at their job.

Me, when I have write the weakest, mildest email in history

I emailed again last week and the guy was like "I have a new job title now. Email this other person." Which, first of all, I don't really need to know about what's going on with your org chart. Secondly, why didn't he just cc this new person?

I forwarded the almost year-long email chain to this new person and I got this response:

This was received.
I am sorry this wasn't addressed. I appreciate all and any communication. Sometimes there is just so much that I am in a place to accidentally look over, so if there is anything that lingers please just send me an email to get an update.
Thank You

At first I was like, "Why is this email giving me bad vibes?"

But then I talked to Sheilah and we think a robot wrote this. I'm all about automating efficiency processes and reducing redundancy (or whatever it is y'all do at work) but I'm certain that beeps and boops are going to come in here with a hammer and a level and and the other Bob the Builder accoutrements needed to puts closets back together.

I wish I could figure out how to use a bot to do my job, but writing emails with bad vibes is my favorite part of working. Like, what would the bot do all day? Iron my t-shirts? No thanks, computer!

Introducing... Asking Eric

A new, nationally syndicated advice column

I can FINALLY tell you why I’ve been cagily soliciting advice questions for the past month, appearing out of the darkness in alleys whispering “psst… got any problems, man?” Starting July 1st I’ll be writing a nationally syndicated advice column called Asking Eric. Legendary columnist Amy Dickinson of Ask Amy is retiring but office troubles, marriage quandaries, pet etiquette imbroglios, and phase of life questions continue. People are always going to get married and make deranged demands of their guests and when they do, a Bat signal appears over the skies of Philly and I race to my laptop. You’ll soon find Asking Eric in your local paper and online, but feel free to email your paper’s editor to make sure they’re carrying the column.

And, of course, if you’ve got a question, a situationship, a bit of drama, large or small, you can email or send an actual postal letter P.O. Box 22474, Philadelphia, PA 19110

News about the column was in all kinds of papers yesterday, including the Chicago Tribune and on the front page of the Baltimore Sun!

Meet R. Eric Thomas, the new columnist offering advice in Asking Eric
In all my work, empathy is the foundational element. Why? Because the stories of our lives are empathy engines.
Goodbye, Amy! Hello, Eric! Baltimore native R. Eric Thomas to write new advice column
R. Eric Thomas, a 43-year-old author and playwright who grew up in West Baltimore, will debut his new column, “Asking Eric,” on July 1.
‘Ask Amy’ says goodbye, making way for new advice columnist, R. Eric Thomas
Longtime advice columnist Amy Dickinson is leaving “Ask Amy,” the writing gig that she’s had for 21 years, on her own terms and with her own “steam.”

"What would Vivica A. Fox as 'Sheilah' do in this situation?" ,