From sunny days spent pregaming Gopher football games to the drunken binges of Frank and Andreas pizza, Dinkytown is the ultimate social sanctuary for U of M students. Despite the abundant social opportunities and pristine food options, the darker side of Dinkytown often shines through in the form of the slum lords that own the houses themselves. Here at The Black Sheep, we have taken it upon ourselves to uncover what’s really going on behind the scenes by recording a 10-hour shift of Todd Krueger, a maintenance specialist in Dinkytown.
Sift through 400 maintenance requests that your manager, Scott, claims were all submitted over the weekend even though you’ve seen them collecting dust in his file cabinet for months.
The heat has gone out in a house over on 6th street. Since the boiler is over 100 years old and they haven’t created replacement parts since 1972, you have no idea how to fix it. You give it a few hopeful kicks and pretend that it fires up again.
Fix some peeling up flooring with a combination of Elmer’s glue and duct tape. That should keep it intact for another few weeks.
There’s a flooding toilet over on 11th Ave that needs attention ASAP. You cut off the water, mop up the mess, and decide to leave the plumbing work up to the tenants. It’s a life skill they should really teach themselves anyway.
You get a call from Scott about an emergency maintenance situation. Catherine on 10th Ave is upset that her roommates have been stealing her Kombucha tea and has locked herself in the bathroom. After spending 20 minutes de-escalating the situation, you get her to unlock the door and make amends, so everyone can finally pee again.
The city inspectors are coming through a few units tomorrow. You slap some paint over the various black mold infested walls and pray that they don’t notice.
Do your Monday rounds on the front yards of the drunk houses around the neighborhood. There’s a few half-full Keystone Lights sitting out. What a shame to let that go to waste.
Rip a few carbon monoxide detectors off the walls because management won’t let you spend precious company money on nine-volt batteries.
Run over to Home Depot and buy your weekly supply of 150 mouse traps.
Use some zip ties to hold up the crumbling foundations in the basement of an older house. Hopefully it doesn’t collapse while you’re down there.
Locked and loaded with Febreze and clip-on fans, you spend an hour deodorizing the stoner house before Scott comes through with a few tour groups of unsuspecting freshmen and their parents.
An angry tenant approaches you and proceeds to yell at you about a drippy faucet for 20 minutes straight. You smile and nod and let him know that you’ll get to it in the next few days knowing you probably won’t look at it until they move out.
A squirrel has broken into a house through a window and is wreaking havoc. Having worked this job for 10 years, you know these little shits don’t fuck around. You channel your squirrel whisperer and politely lure it outside with a bag of peanuts.
The day is finally over, and you’ve managed to take care of three total requests. With approximately 20 new requests coming in per day on top of the 387 you have pending, you’re on track to finish the year with 2,202 unattended maintenance requests. If Scott can manage to “accidentally” misplace about 1,200 of those, you’re way ahead of schedule.
It is very clear to us now that Dinkytown landlords are passionate about creating an awesome living experience for all their student tenants. Next time you want to complain to your landlord or submit that maintenance request, instead consider thanking them for a stronger asbestos tolerance and an understanding of how to coexist with rodents peacefully.