Although I’m no stranger to sustaining injuries in embarrassingly stupid ways (having received stitches in my face after being attacked by a cocker spaniel, sprained my wrist in a go-kart accident, ripped apart my upper lip by running into a stucco wall, etc.) I may very well have outdone myself when I fractured my toe last week by dropping a closet door on my foot. In my defense, those doors are a lot heavier than they look and I tried to fix them myself, although that largely consisted of me staring at the door rather blankly with a screwdriver in my hand and periodically swearing at my own uselessness in matters of home repair.
My closet door, which has been broken since I moved into Phelan Hall, slipped out of the door frame when I was putting away some clothes and landed squarely on my foot. Although it was hard not to yell obscenities when the door fell, the pain subsided after a while but the doctor said I was incredibly lucky that I wasn’t going to lose a nail and that the break could have been far more serious. I’m starting to hobble less, but it is still tough to get around without my toes securely taped together; I’m supposed to be taking it easy for a while but my classes on Lone Mountain and fondness for walking disagree with the doctor’s advice.
However, all of this happened after I had requested to have the closet fixed, not once but twice, getting the same response both times, ‘Okay, it’ll get repaired as soon as possible’. Yet, when I tweeted about my fractured toe and included a blurry iPhone picture of my toes taped together, asking @usfca when I could have my closet door fixed, I suddenly had multiple emails regarding the incident, most of which consisted of rather sincere apologies and cheerful how-can-we-help-you’s. While I’m rather grateful that my closet is supposedly being repaired soon and I, presumably, don’t have to worry about breaking any more bones here at USF, I find it interesting that fixing my closet door is suddenly a priority now that I’ve been injured and talked about it in a relatively public forum.
While my Twitter audience is fairly limited, it’s appalling that the only way I can eliminate a serious safety risk from my place of residence is by making it public knowledge versus going through the bureaucractic Office of Residence Life.While I understand and respect the fact that service orders take some time to come through, I was recently informed by officials that my request didn’t seem to be on record and it strikes me as a little odd that a safety risk like a broken closet door would be overlooked by those who manage the facility. The Office of Residence Life exists, in part, to make dorm life safe and more comfortable for students living on campus. However, their rapid response to my online complaint makes it seem like they care a lot more about looking ineffective in the eyes of my 50 something twitter followers than making sure people aren’t injured by rogue pieces of furniture.