A few of my future residents were in my office to finish up some paperwork for their apartment next year. As they were finishing up, one of them looked at me and said, “It must suck to see all these awesome apartments on campus all the time and not be able to live in them.” Not wanting to engage him, I tried the Miss Manners approach and said, “That’s an interesting assumption.” He didn’t seem to get the hint. In his surliest rendition of a stereotypically indignant New Yorker he said, “Oh yeah? What the hell’s so great about where you live?”
At this point, I’ve spent three months trying to herd these little shit sacks to get signed leases and deposits. I’ve spent many painful hours on the phone with their mothers trying to explain floor plans, estimating room dimensions, and dodging any attempts to engage me in decorating conversations. I’ve spent more time trying to accommodate this group of 17 boys than I have on any of our other 75 properties. I’ve had enough.
I stood up, looked him straight in the eye and replied, “My apartment is in a quiet, safe neighborhood, the rent is a bargain, and at the age of 30, I’m well past sharing housing with teenage twenty-somethings who still let their mommy decorate their bedroom.”
I heard my boss spit water all over his desk and then laugh. Screw Miss Manners, my way was so much more cathartic.