Practical, everyday, applied philosophy, as Nietzsche suggested

Incompetence or malicious abuse of power : the expression of repressed hostility and aggressive destructive impulses?

I moved into my flat over a year ago, inheriting the last utilities bill from the previous owner. I paid this bill, telling the landlady I would just take it from the rent. So fine.

In the next utilities bill I note that I have been charged for many more cubic liters of hot and cold water than I actually used. No-one told me that they would simply make up a number if I did not submit my water useage. So I simply leave a note in the water meter readings box explaining how much I actually did use. As they made no changes to the next bill, again charging me for water I never used, though less this time, I simply decided to let it go, and simply put in water readings of zero,  until I had used the equivalent amount of water that I had already paid for. After that I could begin putting water readings in every month.

And this is the point. Until they refund my overpayments, or I have used the amount of water I have already paid for, I cannot make any water meter readings. It is absurd to ask me to. They would misrepresent what is going on. Unless I put in negative water meter readings. But this seems to be their diabolical plan. They get me to put in readings, and they can then charge me even more. When I cant put in readings, they use this as a pretext to make up their own. And so I am really caught in a catch 22. I despise such ugliness in people. Why on earth do they need to make my life any more stressful and frustrating. I suffer enough migraines and nausea without such acts of violence.

 So again I write notes explaining, in numbers and words, how much water I had used, and how much they had already charged me for.

They then send me a note in English warning me that if I cheat on my water readings I will be charged penalties. This is such a massively agressive provocation, given that I had already explained the situation many times. They appeart to be chosing to ignore the facts, just to play with me like a poor mouse in their trap.

In fact the old lady who acts as unit administrator finds some pretext to come into my apartment to check the water readings for herself. So she knows for a fact that I have not used anything like the amount of water I have already been charged for, and paid for. And so it is absurd that she should keep charging me more and more each month, and insisting I put in water meter readings. It would be completely absurd and beside the point to do so. It is just outrageously absurd. It would be worthy of a character in the absurdist drama´Waiting for Godot´ or Kafka´s ´The trial´.

 I sit down and overcome my sense of outrage. The only productive response I can make is to send a very detailed letter explaining my water readings when I moved in, the current readings, and the great difference between what they had charged me, and what they should have charged me.

Then for the first time the accountant puts an email address on her bills. So I email her with the same detailed explanations. She emails me in perfect English, several times, but never adjusts my bills. In fact in one bill she charges me over 25% p.a interest because I paid the bill one day late. She also sends bills weeks later than she claims to on the bill itself.

And so I am outraged. They owe me over 340 since last year. If they are going to charge me 25% interest for one day, then I am going to get them to pay me interest on what they have owed me for over one year.

But the accountant then complains that she does not speak English.  It is not her job to translate my emails. Of course if she had done what is her job in the first place, I would have been saved all of this stress and frustration. By now I am angry and sick of her smug complacent abuse of her power. I am enraged when I think about it. How dare she. I hate being angry. But I am powerless. She refuses to accept the facts.  And this is the sort of violence I have experienced so many times at the hands of people. It all adds up. It accumulates. It becomes more and more traumatic over the decades. It is just sickening. People make me sick!

The situation is clear and simple. However she insists on stubbornly refusing to respond in any productive way. She then claims she just started at this job, and my complaint relates to last year. She refuses to write in English any more. I know her English is fine, as she wrote very good emails in the beginning.  Clearly she is simply refusing to use her English, simply to frustrate my attempts at seeking natural justice, and a little peace of mind.

Now I am outraged. I loathe her and her smug, complacent provocations. How dare she ignore me, and keep charging me for more and more water that I have not used. I tell her this. She then complains that I am angry. How dare someone provoke another person to anger and then complain that they are angry.

Is this some kind of unconscious hostile impulse that is expressing itself on her part?  Or is she deliberately provoking me and playing games?  Is she just an idiot? 

And so I approach the administrator of my units, and explain I will show her all the bills, so she can understand even without words.

And what do I get in return?  A note on my next bill, which contains even more overcharging on water I have never used, and a note telling me that I should arrange to have an official inspector check my water meter!

It is outrageous! And they will not give me an address where I can meet my persecutors in person, and clear up the whole matter by showing them my paid bills, my lease with the original meter readings, and my current meter readings. They do not want to clear this up. They want to keep toying with me. They are sociopaths! And they will complain when someone responds to their violence, as if they were perfectly innocent victims! Typical humans. They suck!  Yes, it is an act of violence to behave so. There are many forms of violence, and this is one of them. Perhaps the most widespread form of violence.

I know for a fact how much water I tend to use, from past experience in similar flats with similar meters. I know there is nothing wrong with my meter.

But now this whole experience has become Kantian, a-la ´The trial´.  Are they playing with me?  Are they just too stubborn to care?  Is it a game?  Can someone save me from such people. This is the same sort of smug complacency I have experienced in so many people in trivial positions of power over me. What is it about people?  Is it just that repressed hostility, that unconscious or otherwise impulse to agressive destruction that Freud noted in human nature?

And what is it about real estate agents?  Not turning up for appointments. Not having any information about their flats. Not having keys to basements. And then advertising apartments that appear to have been sold before they were listed, at below market rates. Are they ripping off some naive, vulnerable people by buying these flats themselves at well below market rates?  And then keeping the listings on the internet to waste people´s time inquiring about them? Perhaps imagining that irritating potential future clients will somehow make them want to buy or sell some other property they have listed?