Ugh…’real life’ has intruded lately, making my posting a little more sporadic than usual. I’m doing a sort of ‘property manager’ thing for my landlord. In exchange for a deal on the rent, I’m keeping an eye on the building, vacuuming the common areas, showing apartments to prospective tenants, etc.

The other day a tenant told me that the lock on the front door of the building was not working. Sure enough, the deadbolt would work regardless of the entry code you entered. The tenant mentioned that he had encountered people in the basement of the building where the laundry room is who did not belong there.

The basement of the apartment building is a rats warren of storage spaces, closets, not-up-to-code living spaces, and generally a great place to hide. So…grab the 870 and a flashlight and lets go look for squatters.

As it turns out, while I did not find any squatters I did find their nest:

20150121_201942A backpack, sleeping bad, spoiled food, and some personal belongings. All of which smelled horribly of body odor. In addition to the gear, there were a couple notebooks where the parasite had written about his hitchhiking and riding the rails across the US. The food labels were dated around Christmas so this guy left his gear and never came back, apparently. I’m guessing he either got tossed in jail or did something that made him leave town in a hurry.

The fact he was chronicling his journey leads me to believe he’s more of one of these 20-something hipster-homeless guys rather than some Sterno-chugging genuine homeless wretch.

So..if you’re going to go on a grand adventure, what does the parasitical traveler take with them? Theres a decent but no-name backpack, a Slumberjack sleeping bag, some clothing, a bag of small rocks, a small metal tin full of ‘slogan’ patches you’d sew on clothing, some smoking materials, snack wrappers, and not much else. Im guessing the truly valuable things like money, ID, a knife, etc, are things this guy kept on his person.

So what to do? Well, this crap goes in the dumpster. (Although I’ll keep a couple carabiners that are clipped to the pack.)

Clearly what is going on here is that someone discovered that the basement was nice, warm, and relatively unoccupied. When the temperature got too cold, they hid out in an out-of-the-way room in the basement. Rent-free. This is why we can’t have nice things.. because there is always some idiot who thinks that their need for something trumps your ownership of it. The landlord pays taxes on the building, pays for repairs, takes the financial hits of irresponsible tenants, tries to keep the place running, and some waste of skin decides that since its a cold night, perhaps that basement should be made available for those who need it.

This is the problem with the world today. Too many people figure that because they need something they are entitled to have it, at the expense of others. The most annoying case of it I see now are people who owe money on student loans and because they can’t pay them back (usually due to spending money on a course of study with no real financial future…Gender Issues In Renaissance Art, for example) decide that those loans should be ‘forgiven’. Geez, man..I’d love to have the .gov cut me a check for $50k and then have them forget about it when I claim it was predatory lending.

I’m probably feeling bitter because tax season approaches and, as a self-employed person, I get the full treatment.

Unfortunately, people like this are going to be exceptionally pervasive during any true crisis. They’ll demand that you ‘do something’ on their behalf because you have ‘all that [food/fuel/water/medicine/clothing]’ and they don’t. Never mind that their deficiencies could have been easily remedied if they’d actually done more thinking about the future and less pot-smoking down at the park with their buddies. Worse, they convince their fellow-travelers in .gov to give some legal standing to these demands for ‘fairness’.

These squatters are just symptomatic, but extremely emblematic, of the greater issue. Sadly, it is one that I don’t think I’m going to be able to resolve on any level greater than the immediate surroundings of the building I’m maintaining.

25 thoughts on “Squatters

  1. The backpack may be washable. Might be worth it to toss it in the washer. Future trading goods, perhaps?

  2. Squatters suck. Friend who for a short time was a property manager for a couple apartment complexes had to constantly deal with them. Was there no value to washing the sleeping bag/backpack (at laundromat of course) and putting them aside as maybe a out of town cache item or donation to local Goodwill?

    • Really, even the time spent carrying at arms-length to the laundromat wold be too much time being close to it.

  3. I agree, student loan forgiveness is bullshit. Predatory loan (all loans are predatory, the lender expecting to get back more then they paid out) or not, expecting others to pay for your education does not work for me. I think the ‘entitlement’ expectations are coming full circle.

    For example, society expects the parents to pick up their kid’s education tab. Why ? In their day, they worked their way through college or received the G.I. Bill benefits through service to our nation (sometimes both). They EARNED their degrees through their own efforts.

    To hell with the forgiveness – you signed on the dotted line, you pay them back yourself.

    • the thieves aren’t the people taking out student loans its the lenders giving out student loans and having the government take the responsibility for bad loans. If student loans were forgivable in bankruptcy you would not be seeing tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to some art history major.

      Also if government didn’t back student loans you would see a lot more affordable education. The loans are to subsidize educators just as much if not more then students.

      Government made a problem a lot worse and people want to kick the wrong person, in my opinion. If you dont want people skipping out on student loans get the government out of it and dont personally lend money to someone for education and then you have no problem. Or at least no problem that is your business.

      Sorry for the harsh tone. I think students are getting scammed and it is a mass transfer of money from students to banks and colleges.

      • Why should a student loan be forgivable in bankruptcy? Wouldnt that create the same moral hazard as we currently have by the loans being guaranteed by the .gov? A student would take $100k for a degree in Bolivian Art Studies, get a job at Home Depot, and then file bankruptcy to conveniently divest themselves of the debt.

        I agree, .gov has made it appealing for schools to just shower kids with student loans since they know that if the kid skips on it they’ll still get paid by Uncle Sam.

        • because you have bankruptcy judges. No judge worth anything, is going to discharge student loan debt the day after someone finishes college. Why should some loan company get to borrow money from the govt at close to 0% interest and then turn around and loan it out at 10% and have the government guarantee the loan? It is subsidizing banks.

        • i think his point was that if it was subject to bankruptcy, it would never be allowed in the first place, as bankers don’t like losing money. the govt has used this system to reward their liberal friends in academia under the table because they know taxpayers would balk at tax increases that go directly to the learned elite. the more govt guarantees, the higher they can charge for tuition, the more they can hire elite liberals like obama to do no research, teach no classes, publish no papers. its all a scam that draws in poor in hopes of pulling themselves up, and a few idiots that try to game the system. i worked a full time job and two part time jobs to put myself thru school. screw free education. todays “kids” need to be taught life isn’t free.

          • Much education is free though. Anyone who wants can get more then the equivalent of a 2 year college degree for free online. MIT, Harvard, Yale and countless other really good schools offer free online courses. Society needs to start respecting the knowledge and not the paper degree. Obama’s latest idea on free community college is just more subsidies for colleges.

            The reason college is so expensive is that demand is high. Demand is high because of subsidies from govt. If banks had to vet who they lent money for education more people would take courses that led to a job. People who were slacking and barely passing would not be getting any more loans. The free market would work much better then what we have now.

            All just my opinion for what it is worth.

  4. Maybe a sign in the neighborhood (or building door) saying “Socialism not allowed” or something to that effect.

    But I doubt some of today’s yoots (What’s a yoot?) would actually know anything about political science other than “Capitalism is bad! Free stuff for me is good!” I’d love to get them all together and let them sit all the way through “Dr Zhivago” then lecture me on the “benefits” of free stuff for all.

    As one who has one of the mentioned “student loans” trying to pay it back is a bitch but I agreed to the debt and it is slowly coming off. Never finished the school, I guess the left leaning “Ethics” class (telling me how I should still feel bad for African-Americans because I’m a European-American) and the fact that the core material was almost straight off the internet (and therefore oh so trustworthy) just turned me off to it. I won’t mention the name of the university but it is named after a town in Arizona.

    Sorry to jump on the soapbox but I can’t stand the socialist/Occupy movement.

  5. Down south we get a double helping of squatters. Illegals are everywhere, without money, trying to get “someplace”. Still, most of those don’t stink like some of the nasty hippy types I have seen in Austin. Those were absolutely disgusting. But they usually stay in the big city. The illegals are all spread out.

  6. I feel sorry for your landlord. I had two rental houses and got stiffed time after time. People sign contracts promising to pay, but it means nothing to them. One day paying becomes hard, and they expect to stay in the place because it’s -20F outside. It’s hard to evict them, and while you’re trying they can wreck the place. Finally moved into one (after 4 months repairing damage) and sold the other at a loss – but it’s OK since I learned a good lesson and will never rent a place again.

  7. Next time, double glove and wear a hazmat suit, don’t forget the respirator. Better still, go armed and with some one to watch your back.

  8. Searching a place like that sounds like a good time for a bayonet on the shotgun, especially since it doesn’t sound like you brought back-up (Nuke would definitely count).

  9. Hey zero, a bit off topic if I may.Am meeting g a fellow to morrow w/ a low (claims 40 RDS) round count colt LE 6920 magpul. I’ve offered a unfired glock 26 gen 4 , 4 mags 3 finger ext, and a blackhawk serpa holster, plus 300 cash. As I receiveded LE pricing on the glock my out of pocket is 850. What do you think? Thanks

    • Honestly, I pass on Colts unless its a silly stupid good deal. (Im a snob, and Colt AR’s, while nice, have the 1:7 twist I don’t care for and [usually] have non-spec pin diameters.) You could make the deal and when he bleeds to death from shooting himself in his femoral artery with the Serpa holster you could buy the whole package back from his widow 🙂

      Ah, but seriously…….If you want a Colt thats an okay deal. Not as good as the Glock package and $200, but still not a *bad* deal. I’d try not to get in it past $800, but Im a notorious tightwad.

      • The Serpa issues has to do more with people using the wrong holster. Example carry a G22 in a G26/27 holster. When drawing the front sight can catch the bottom of the holster causing the shooter to re-grip the gun and allowing the index finger to fall onto the trigger upon completing the draw. Otherwise the index finger would be positioned on the slide/lower frame upon drawing. This re-gripping is where the problem begins. With all that said that Serpa does have problems if go to the ground because dirt and gravel can jam the locking mechanism.

        • Should say:
          With all that said the Serpa does have problems if your going to the ground because dirt and gravel can jam the locking mechanism.

  10. Got me laughing out loud, I’m leaning toward the deal. I have been exhibiting some colt wood. If I’m only fifty o er the most you would Go I must be ballpark in the good value zone. As I have a serpa for my block 30, you have me fearing for my femoral. Thanks for the info

  11. one small point….we are all only a breath away from being squatters at any given time. just food for thought gentlemen.

    • Some of us, the more prepared amongst us, are actually SEVERAL breaths away from being squatters.

      Squatters are the peacetime equivalent of refugees and no one wants to be a refugee.

      If something bad happens could we wind up in a position like this fellow? Yup. But before it gets to that, the Bad Thing has to wipe out Primary, Secondary and Tertiary reserves/caches/domiciles. Then it has to wipe out the P, S & T reserve/caches/domiciles of my newtowk of Like Minded Individuals.

      Remember the CZ mantra: NEVER BE A REFUGEE!!

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