Tuesday, August 9, 2011

10 Reasons Why Daft.ie Drives Me Up The Wall

So I'm on the move again.

Now, I don't consider myself a fussy person when it comes to accommodation. When I was wrestling, there was regular several-week periods where I would basically live on the road, maybe have the odd night in a hotel room, mainly crash on someone's floor, I've slept outside train stations because I wasn't willing to fork out the cash for a B&B at 2am when my train left at 6am, shit I even spent one night sleeping in the old Irish Whip Wrestling training gym (in the ring, with the apron serving as a harsh double duvet for me and one other guy). On the latter point, the gym wasn't that far from my house, I didn't drive but PROBABLY could have gotten a taxi, to tell the truth I'm still not exactly sure why I did that...

But the point still stands: I'm a simple man of simple means. All I ask for is a decent roof over my head in a place that I can afford with relative comfort. I've a couple of stipulations: I don't like living on my own since Freddie Mercury put me off the idea from an early age (see below YouTube video) and I'm looking to rent a room, not a whole place. I'm doing okay financially but I still don't fancy taking the risk in case the worst were to happen. Oh, and I also only want to live in Blanchardstown (that's my main problem, says you).

Simple enough, right? We hear all about how Ireland is a renter's market these days. And, with over 30 pages fitting my initial search on property site Daft.ie, it should be open and shut that this time next week I should be shacked up for the immediate future, sipping lemon juice from a straw and eating crackers with olives and other delicacies on top of them, or whatever it is normal people do when they move home.

The problem is, generally speaking, that I want to live in Ireland. And, in case you haven't realised, this great country of ours appears to be populated by a bunch of fucking idiots that insist on making what should be a simple straightforward task, into a minefield. So, without further adieu, this is why Daft.ie (or, more specifically, the people who advertise on it) are making my attempt to simply find a place to live in this country into a struggle that makes me excited about once-and-for-all leaving this country:

  • People who don't know where they live. Clonsilla does not equal Clonee. Clonee, up until the past decade or so, used to be in Meath. Here's a clue dickhead: the second line of your address doesn't describe where exactly you live. If I was to phone you and ask for directions, would you just skip past the actual address and tell me the general town or vicinity then hope for the best? I've no problem living in Clonee. But now, I don't want to live in that otherwise decent accomodation. Why? Because I do have a problem living with someone so dense they don't know where they actually live.
  • The phrase 'professional people'. I get why it's used: it basically translates into "please have a job and be able to afford this/don't be a drug dealer." However, I am extremely unlikely to contact you about renting accomodation if I cannot afford to do so. And, in the unlikely event that I was a drug dealer, I wouldn't use it as an ice-breaker when booking the viewing. If I show up in a cheap Adidas tracksuit saying "AWWW LOOK MAN, FOUR STRIPES ON ME TROUSERS IT'S TOP OF THE RANGE GEAR MAN!" then you can just politely decline my offer.
  • Non-Smoking Accomodations. I get this as well, smoking is a filthy habit and letting someone smoke indoors can provide for a stuffy, unhealthy environment. However, I swear to god, I saw one letting that advertised TWO BALCONIES and still insisted it was non-smoking. I wonder if the letters ever considered that maybe that's the reason they can't find somebody and are struggling to pay bills by themselves. By simply allowing someone to smoke on one of their balconies and not leaving them there to rot like most of our life plans during the Celtic Tiger, they automatically don't rule out a decent chunk of the population!
  • People who can't take a photo. You're in a spot of bother. Your last roommate had to up and leave on short notice and now you're stuck with an empty room with bills that you can barely afford to pay sky-rocketing. So you decide to put your room up for public display. You would think, then, that it would be at least plausible that, having gone to this effort, when taking pictures of the house to display it in a favourable light you would consider HOLDING THE CAMERA STRAIGHT!!!!!!! If I have to tilt my head at a 27-degree angle to just have a simple glimpse at your kitchen, I'm going to assume you're either trying to hide something or there was a very good reason the last person moved out.
  • Box Rooms with 'Decor'. In times of economic struggle, the plight of the 'box room' has gone under the radar. When we were all loaded, we used it as the guest room (maybe once or twice a month, if even) and the place we stored all the unwanted shite that either the last owners left or good-willing people got us when they had a brainfart about wedding gifts ("Maybe they need what every modern household needs...a rocking chair!!!") Now they've turned into money-making machines. Give it a bit of a clean, throw it up on Daft.ie, hope that some quiet, foreign guy with a job will rent it and not really bother the rest of the family. Not a bad plan. Except maybe get rid of the poxy fucking 'decor'. Now I'm looking at a tiny bedroom where the single bed takes up 75% of the space and thinking "Okay, I'll at least give it a fair consideration...but WHY IS THAT ROCKING CHAIR TAKING UP THE OTHER TINY BIT OF SPACE I HAVE??!" It's a room so small a mouse would be put out as is. If I want to sit, I've my miserably small bed right there to sit on! As much as I like to sit and ponder, the idea of rocking back-and-forth while doing so has never appealed to me. You know what does appeal to me? Having a tiny bit of space to fit some of my stuff. Idiot.
  • Not advertising pictures. Part of being a young adult, I believe, involves living in a piece-of-shit place where you have to turn the light switch on-and-off three times to actually get it to work or having to do smoke signals with the immersion to get some warm water for a shower. I accept that. There's even a romance to it: one day the stories of your struggles will entertain your grandchildren immensely (until they realise they are equally fucked). You need to pay your dues, or at least be born into wealth, to get the decent places. Looking for a place is simply a process of finding the best-sounding place crossed with the amount you can afford to spend on it. You'll put up with the rest once you get there. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to part with 40% of my paycheque per month for an over-priced 'duplex', that's supposedly a 2-minute walk from (somewhere I go every day) but in an address I've never heard of, living with three supposedly 'laid back professionals' (what do they watch 'Flavor of Love' with their feet up, while dressed in suits, nibbling Brunch ice-creams?) with NO pictorial evidence or any kind of indication that it's worth the 50% extra than I'd spend for another apartment advertising the exact same benefits!
  • Pics of tables and chairs. Okay, some of you might see this as a bit nitpicky. But if I've got to look through 30 pages of accommodations to narrow it down to maybe, maybe 2-3 potentials, I feel my time is being horribly wasted looked at pictures of just the dining room table with four chairs placed neatly at its side. Think about it, have you ever viewed two accommodations and been SO split on your decision (with important issues like price, location, length of availability, suitability of flatmates etc) that you've thought "Well that place DID have a nicer kitchen table..." I can hear people cry now, "Ohhh...no. You don't get it! It's for perspective of the house! It's important!" No, no it's not. And, even if it is, the rest of the points have left me so pissed off at this stage...I don't even care. I'm going to have a moan one way or another. And, right now, that moan is that I don't give a FUCK what the kitchen table and chairs look like!
  • Rooms that looked like they're being lived in currently. Again, I accept that this is a nature of the beast. People want to find a roommate asap and that means they'll often start advertising while the old roommate is still on his notice before leaving. But if I look at an ad and see a bed that isn't perfectly made, or a laptop on the desk with Facebook on clear display, or a sock hanging out of the drawer, immediately I start to imagine that I'm going to be expected to live in a small, dingy single-bedroom with a bald, hairy bloke called Ed. And, while Ed is quiet and probably wouldn't bother me (in fact, he's renowned in four different countries for his spooning abilities), that doesn't sit well with me. Though maybe that's just me and my over-active imagination.
  • Pink bed-sheets. Look, I'm not insecure in my sexuality in any way. Shit, I used to play a secretly gay character in pro-wrestling! But if you're clearly trying to sell me a female's room, with pink bedspread and flowery wallpaper and...tampons (well...the tampons aren't IN the ad itself, I'm just presuming they're somewhere in the room...), I'm hardly going to feel welcome even IF it's advertised for males or females.
  • Loving a house, but not your neighbours. The worst feeling in the world is seeing a place with decent rent, in a neighbourhood you're familiar with, that looks great and seems to tick all your boxes, then going to click 'Save Ad' or call the advertiser and realising, "Wait...where is that estate again? Oh...wait, fuck. Yeah (such-and-such) lives there. They're pricks. Aw, but it's perfect! Ugh, but they're cunts. Aw, but the rent is affordable and you'll probably only see them a few times! Ugh, but that means I'll have to see them a few times. Aw...well I don't have any positives that can overwrite the fact that you'll have to see and possibly speak to these arseholes again. Ugh, back to square one."
Rant over (for the time being, though feel free to check the Twitter in case I've updates/further rants on my search).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to appoint a viewing for this amazing room I just saw. Well, to tell the truth, the room isn't the best. And the location is pretty out of my way. Aaaaannnd the price is probably more than I can afford. But...BUT...it has a pool table. Win.


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