Saturday, June 04, 2011

This is Annie and I'm Listening

I've been MIA from blogging. I'm too busy and too frazzled, but it's all in a good way.

Working in property management is interesting and seldom dull. The best part is not being micromanaged about every flippin' detail every single day. It's refreshing and I'm allowed to be creative and bring my own ideas to the table. Plus, I have a marketing budget. Do you know how much fun it is to create and execute events (mindful of the budget) while spending other people’s money?  Dude, it is super cool!

And they PAY me a very nice salary to do this. It's amazing. 

Of course, there is a down side too. Because our residents are 55+ they have different ideas about the way things should be done and they are not afraid to tell you or me, as the case may be. Sometimes they'll simply phone me and share what's on their mind. Other times they'll just pull up a chair in my office and begin telling me their tale. This is all especially fun because I'm new and they feel the need to share the story...from the beginning...of time...

For instance, yesterday I got to hear all about the dead bushes outside one sweet, little old lady's window. She told me how the big snowstorm had killed them, how the previous foreman had promised to remove them, and how the current foreman was a lazy good-for-nothing. Her tone dripped sweetness as she wheedled her words across my desk in an attempt to get me to fix her problem.

Sadly, that isn't my department and I cannot do a thing about it, other than to ask the foreman what the deal is and ask if we could just remove them. Honestly, I don't know why they haven't been removed or why we haven't jerked them out of the ground. I feel a little bit like marching down there with a shovel and just digging them out. It would probably take me about half an hour. 

Instead, I smiled and I listened and I apologized during the twenty-minute conversation.

She welcomed me to the property and tottered away leaving me a little battle weary and just as I sat down at my desk, Problem Number Two entered my office. In the beginning, about a month ago, I liked Problem Number Two. She's funny. She's well traveled. She makes me laugh. I didn't realize that it was all a ruse and that she was simply trying to gain some footing for her real agenda: gossip.

Problem Number Two is the first one to come into the office when the police/ambulance/fire truck has been on site. She's the first one to casually mention who is "dating" whom, and she always knows how late her neighbors get in.

Yesterday, she told me the entire history of the poker playing, drug making, cancer faking, blind, con artist who moved away but is now back - taking advantage of one of our male residents, making more drugs, and conning the entire complex.... again.

The forty-five minute conversation ended with a complaint about someone's car being parked in the "loading zone" in front of her building. 

Only, we don't have a loading zone...I made her happy by walking down, looking at the vehicle, and writing it on my notepad. Not that anything will happen because no one is breaking any rules.

Then, of course, there was the frizzy blonde who came in to accuse us of breaking into her apartment and replacing her THREE-unit phone with a TWO-unit phone. She accused our landscapers of following her from her previous apartment to her current residence. She snarled that our foreman was in on it because, "They stick together.... that kind..." The landscapers are Hispanic and our foreman is Native American...

By the end of the day I was ready to lock up shop and flee to the safety of my forty minute drive home, which wouldn' t be a forty minute drive if people would JUST DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT!

I love my new job, I do, but I'm starting to feel like a shrink whose only solution is to write a prescription to mask the problem, not cure it.


T. Paine said...

Perhaps putting large doses of Benadryl in the common area coffee pot will make them all consider taking naps instead of griping. Just a suggestion.... ;)

Anonymous said...

Here in the south we say, "well bless her heart" - ROFL I was told this was a nice way to tell someone off . . .