One of the first things you realize upon leaving school is that you suddenly need a place to live. Oh sure, you can live at home. But wouldn't that be, as they say in pre-teen movies, like, total and complete "social suicide?" [/uptalk]
And that's only if you're lucky enough to live in New York. Some people really do need a place to live if they don't want to go back home to a different state.
But pre-college, most people have never had to deal with living anywhere on their own. Sure, sometimes people get apartments for college. But for a lot of people, they either live at home during college or they dorm.
Dorming, I should tell you (though you don't need to be told), is nothing like having your own place. You don't have to pay rent (hopefully your parents pay the dorm fee before school starts). You don't have to pay for utilities. You usually have some sort of meal plan so that you don't have to really pay for food (because it is prepaid. And usually also precooked. And pre-drowned in oil). Basically, you don't really have to worry about your living situation once school starts.
That's why, when I was suddenly faced with the responsibility of calling landlords to look for an apartment for my friends and myself, I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing.
After attempting to figure it out on my own and seeking advice from a few friends, I prepared myself for the first call, which went as such:
Lady: Hi, [Name of place I called]
Me: [Hesitating, unsure how to begin] Hi, two of my friends and I are looking for an apartment starting in the middle of July.
[awkward pause in which I am waiting for her to say something and she seems to be waiting for me to say something]
Me: So, um, could I find out about that?
Lady: [Somewhat patronizingly, as though speaking to a child] Do you have a specific apartment in mind?
Me: Er, no?
Lady: Oh! You just want to find out about apartments. Well, I have one 2-bedroom apartment for this price and one 3-bedroom for the same price. If you want to see them, call Charlie.
[She proceeds to give me Charlie's phone number. The price, by the way, was way out of our price range]
Me: Okay. [Quickly, before she can hang up] Um, do you have any junior fours?
Lady: [Coolly, clearly done talking to me] No. Okay?
And that, as they say in children's books, was that.
Better luck next time?