How to Provide 30 Days Notice (and Prepare to Stab Your Landlord with a Ski Pole in a Perceived Need for Self-Defense)

Send an email to your landlord on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, explaining that you would like to terminate your month-to-month lease effective June 30, as you intend to move to Reno.

Imagine yourself making friends with people who have tattoos in Reno’s equivalent of a hipster neighborhood.

Feel content that you are making changes in your life.


The next day at work (Wednesday), tell the other financial analyst of your intentions, and ask for advice on neighborhoods.  Explain that your brother, his wife, and their new child will be moving to an apartment just south of Reno.  Tell him you are concerned about the amount of fires just south of Reno.

Wait patiently as the other financial analyst explains how the financial crisis created a glut of nice homes in that area.

Occasionally check off unread items on Google Reader as he explains that there may never be a better time to buy a home just south of Reno.

Nod your head as he talks about unprecedentedly low interest rates.

Think: I’m not going to commit myself as a debt-slave to a $250,000 home in Reno.

Smirk as the other financial analyst explains that Reno is becoming a “really cool” city and says his only other recommendation is to move out where he lives.

Feel excited when he says that Midtown (where he lives) is within walking distance to a lot of new bars, frequented by “a bunch of tattoo artists and stuff.”

Later, copy and paste links to Craigslist postings for five different apartments in Midtown and save them in a Gmail composition window.

Send an email to the girl you’ve been communicating with on

Write that you are thinking of moving to Reno by July, and have been told by your coworker that Midtown is a good hipster neighborhood, but that you would not trust your coworker to write a review of the new Daft Punk album.


Thursday morning, wake up and open a browser to your Gmail inbox, hoping for a reply from your landlord, and absentmindedly watch the screen for the next five minutes while you hand grind Bullet Proof Executive coffee beans.

Receive an email from the girl on

Feel satisfied when you notice she used an exclamation point that — yes! — Midtown was exactly the right neighborhood.

Refresh your browser, knowing it’s unnecessary for Gmail, knowing that you simply wish your landlord would send a quick reply acknowledging there would be no problem for you to move out by July.

Review your lease to reassure yourself there were no specific stipulations on how the lease must be terminated.


At work, use Gibiru to search: “month to month lease terminate nevada notice.”

Feel comforted that at least two websites indicate that, legally, only 30 days notice is required to terminate a month-to-month lease.

Tell Jack via Gchat that your landlord still hasn’t replied from the two day old email.

Feel nervous when Jack replies, “that could be worrisome.  is he usually responsive?  you can always call him or something right?”

Try to remember all communications you’ve had with your landlord since signing your lease.

Remember the first time your electricity was shut off due to non-payment; the landlord complained to you on the phone that NV Energy’s act of shutting off your electricity with such little warning reflected poor customer service and a generally inconsiderate attitude (payment of all utilities is the responsibility of your landlord).

Remember speaking on the phone with your landlord the second time your electricity was shut off, when he said, “I told them it’s a very mean thing to do to someone, to just turn off their electricity in the winter.”

Recall that, after a bit of silence, he said, “Jacob, I know it may not seem like it, but I try to stay on top of things.  I do.”

Remember feeling proud of yourself for saying, “It happens to everyone.”

Remember thinking: I’m becoming a better person.

After a few seconds, think: does my landlord have financial problems?

Type your landlord’s name into a Google search bar.

Visit his LinkedIn page without first logging out of your own account, so that he will, perhaps, know that you are watching.

Notice your landlord’s picture in a subsequent Google image search.

Smirk when you see that the image was a still frame from a video in which your landlord was interviewed as the CEO of a company that, according to his LinkedIn page, he no longer works for (now he is a manager of vocational sales somewhere; not a CEO at all).

Visit the Wikipedia page of the company for which your landlord formerly served as CEO.

Feel vaguely surprised it was an electric car company.

Note the words “bankruptcy” and “March 2012.”  Try to remember if, late in the 2011 to 2012 winter season, your electricity had been shut off.

Think of your old job.

Think: does my landlord have financial problems?

Type your landlord’s name into a Twitter search bar.

Feel puzzled that his last name appears to be South American or Spanish or something.

Find an account with a picture of a baseball field as the profile, linked to someone with your landlord’s name in San Francisco.

Decide this must be your landlord and scan for tweets about financial difficulties.

Feel upset that he has seven times as many followers as you while mostly just retweeting promotions from corporate accounts.

Send Jack a link to your landlord’s Twitter account via Gchat.

Type “haha for real” in response to “how does he have so many followers with that shit?”

Receive an email from your brother asking where Midtown was and if your landlord has responded to your notice yet.

Tell him Midtown seems to be just east of Old Southwest and that, no, you have not heard from your landlord.

Feel nervous when your brother asks how much rent runs in those areas, but does not comment on the incommunicativeness of your landlord.

Type a short letter to your landlord in Microsoft Word, explaining that you already sent an email notifying your landlord that you intend to move out, that you haven’t heard back, that you want to ensure he receives plenty of notice.

Print the letter.

Fold the letter in thirds, enclosing a check for your final month’s rent within the folds of the letter, enclosing the letter-wrapped-check in envelope with a stamp and the applicable addresses, and put the envelope in a box at the post office about a half mile from where you work.


When you return home from work, turn on your personal laptop and carry it into the bathroom.

Open an instance of Google Chrome in incognito mode and type “” into the browser field.

Search “student sex party” and click the video with the blonde girl.

Hit refresh.

Hit refresh.

Think: “you have got to be fucking kidding me” as redirects to a service page of AT&T.

Hit “continue” on the service page of AT&T.

Note the words, “your account requires immediate attention,” as well as, “log in now to myAT&T to restore service as soon as possible.”

Use your iPad to open an instance of Safari.

Say “motherfucker” when your homepage in Safari is redirected to the same page of AT&T.

Use the fuse box to turn off and on power to the upper unit, which your landlord does not rent out and keeps for occasional weekend getaways; where, more importantly, he keeps the wireless router.

When your electronic devices have reestablished an internet connection, attempt to visit Google again on your iPad.

Softly toss the iPad down as you’re redirected to AT&T.

Use a stainless steel skillet and two tablespoons of grass-fed butter to cook cauliflower florets.

Divide a pound of grass-fed ground beef into four sections as you heat a cast-iron skillet.

Later, as you are eating your meal, imagine your landlord opening a bank account in Costa Rica, wearing a pink Lacoste polo and sunglasses with gold colored frames.

Feel comforted by feeling uncertain whether a plane ticket to Costa Rica would be more or less expensive than the amount of your deposit (the relatively low amount of your deposit, you reason, giving less motive to steal it).

Feel good as you spread barbecue sauce over the final beef patty.

Feel certain you will do some very deep writing while your internet connection is out.

Open Bullet Proof 2013.xlsx and switch to the [Writing] tab.

Enter the date, starting word count, starting word count again as the end count, and “drag down” the formula to calculate whether the difference exceeds at least 100 words.

After writing approximately 180 words, close both files and make grunting noises.

Tell yourself you are “so fucking stupid” and that you will have to work in finance the rest of your life.

Lower yourself to the floor, lie on your stomach, and watch for ants.

At 7:38 PM, send a text message to your landlord, saying, “Hey Greg, our internet is out, with a message saying to log into myAT&T to restore service.  I also wanted to be sure you got my email and plenty of notice.  I’ve never been on a month to month lease before, and want to make sure everythings fine.”

At 8: 19 PM, send a text message to Jack, saying, “My landlord is dead, out of the country, or plotting to kill me.  Our internet is out, I think because he didnt pay the bill.  he’s unresponsive to text message.”

When Jack does not respond, forward the text to your brother.

Receive three text messages from your brother in reply: 1) “You have electricity though right?” 2) “Like you don’t need to stay at our place right?”‘ and 3) “Do you have a security deposit with him?”

Respond with: “Right.  Just no internet.” and “Yeah.”

Start to read Roughing It by Mark Twain.

Scold yourself as you intermittently check to see if your internet connection has been reestablished.

Scold yourself for scolding yourself.

Think: I’ll be able to meditate tonight.

As you attempt to read, debate whether the various noises you hear are: a neighboring apartment, miscellaneous creaks due to machinery, miscellaneous creaks due to shifts in air pressure, or your landlord coming back.

Lie on the floor.

Hold your breath for 30 seconds as you listen intently.

Hear nothing.

Think about a story you heard of a female serial killer that rented her shed and took the lives of tenants when they ran out of money.

Think of the time when your landlord seemed to be having marital problems.  When, on a Saturday night, through a text message, he asked you to let him know if anyone went to the upstairs apartment and if it was one or two people, when you told him just one person went upstairs, when you sent another text message an hour later saying that another person entered the apartment, when he immediately thanked you in a reply, when you later heard a female voice yell, “And you just fucking left while I was in the shower.”

Think of your old job and of Costa Rica.


After deciding to go to bed, check that your sliding back patio door is indeed locked.

Recheck that your sliding back patio door is indeed locked.

Pick up your 45 pound kettlebell.

As you close the door separating your main room/kitchen from your hallway, set the kettlebell behind the door, about a foot away, so that someone opening the door in the dark could accidently knock the door against the kettlebell, making a noise, maybe loud enough to wake you up.

Lock your front door.

Scatter every pair of shoes you own behind the door, hoping they will make a startlingly loud scraping noise if the front door were to be opened.

Grab a ski pole and carry it with you to your bed, believing that if your landlord attempts to sneak into your apartment late at night, you’ll at least be able to stab him in the thigh before he shoots you, perhaps puncturing the skin, causing him to bleed.


As soon as you wake up, pick up your ski pole, in case your landlord or a hired assassin is waiting in another room of your apartment.

Feel a little foolish when you enter your hallway, seeing no one.

Feel particularly foolish as you kick all your shoes aside from behind your front door, as you bend down and pick up your 45 pound kettlebell so you can enter your kitchen.

Check the internet connection using your iPad and note the same page of AT&T.

Eat three eggs fried with a jalapeno and drink Bullet Proof Coffee as you watch SportsCenter on ESPN, in lieu of access to Google Reader.


Within 15 minutes of sitting down at your cubicle, send the following email:

“Hey Greg,

I’d appreciate an update when you get a chance.  It would be useful to have internet access over the long Memorial Day weekend.  I’m also a bit paranoid that the internet seems to have been shut off due to presumably a lack of bill payment the same week I sent notice.  A quick response that you’re aware of the situation would be greatly appreciated.




After 2 hours, receive the following email:

“Jacob, Rest assured I didn’t shut off the internet service due to your notice or lack of payment. I spoke to AT&T a few minutes ago they said service was working.. Can you confirm? If not we may have a router issue, if that is what is causing the outage I wont be back in town until next week.”


Feel embarrassed.

Think: what the fuck is wrong with me?

Compulsively say “I am such a fucking weirdo” out loud while at your cubicle.

After a few minutes, think: why would an AT&T rep not be able to explain why, and that they had, suspended the account?


Send an email reiterating the problem, repeatedly mentioning that you were directed to an AT&T service page, feeling it would be self-evident that the problem was not a “router issue.”

At the end of the email, add, in reference (to your reference) to an intentional lapse in the account,”I apologize for the insinuation.  I used to work for a financial regulator, and I think I have become permanently paranoid in all forms of business arrangements.”


After 15 minutes, receive:

“Ok thanks Jacob let me know when you can..”


After work, before letting your landlord know that the internet connection has been restored, exchange the following Gchat with your brother:

Jacob: yeah.  i swear my landlord just didn’t pay the bill and then lied about it.

Gabriel: most likely

Jacob: this pacers v heat series is very good to a nostalgic pacers fan

Posted in Humor Essays, Matt, Really Serious Literature

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