You know how everyone has his or her “line in the sand?” It’s that imaginary boundary we all have that tells us when a line has been crossed, when a boundary has been breached, or when we’ve simply had all we can take and we just can’t take anymore. Well, I finally found my line in the sand yesterday. It was just a crap day, but there was really nothing that was substantially different than the petty, entitled, belligerence that I encounter on a daily basis. I really couldn’t pinpoint the line itself, but a persistent gloom resonated in me once it had been crossed and I just knew that I was done.
At one point, a parent basically implied that her daughter’s dissatisfaction with her “residential experience” is completely my fault. The problem with this assertion would be the fact that I hadn’t talked to her daughter since they signed the lease last November. She went on to explain in great detail, seemingly never pausing to breathe, about her daughter having various issues with heat not being maintained in December and a maintenance request that went incomplete until June, and how accounting misapplied her rent every month… All valid concerns, obviously, except for the fact that her daughter JUST moved in this past month.
As it turns out, she meant to call her daughter’s FORMER landlord, not me. But where a normal person would offer a halfhearted apology like, “My mistake, then, but you can understand my concern as a parent…” what I was told instead was, “Well, if my daughter has the same problems with you, I’ll be holding you responsible because you’ve been warned.”
A group of tenants has been having some buyer’s remorse over their apartment and have started making some pretty wild accusations and filing claims with anyone who will listen that their unit is uninhabitable. The whole group plus one mother who was desperately in need of a lesson in age-appropriate dress decided to drop in and berate me for not doing more to address their concerns and threatening legal action. Because clearly, the tired looking lady at the front desk with a mountain of audit paperwork in front of her is the appropriate person on which to pile your rage.
When I stared here, I felt well compensated for my efforts, I felt like I was being challenged appropriately, and I was led to believe that my job was a natural segue into bigger, better things. But here we are nearly 2 years later and I’ve never had a review, I’m working a ton of overtime for which I’m not compensated, and I’m still sitting on the 40 hours of vacation I earned in January because there’s just never a good time for me to take a break. My job responsibilities have increased a great deal, but all I’ve worked up to is a lot of stress and daily dread at the prospect of going back to work, knowing that no one will ever be satisfied with my efforts. That’s just no way to go through life.
It can be tempting to look at these tales of administrative woe and assume that I get as good as I give. But the truth is, I go out of my way to be nice and do everything I can to assist 100% of the people I deal with every day. It’s the unfortunate 10% that are unapologetic miscreants that escalate everything until it’s the snippets of awful you read here. But rather than turning into a progressively more bitter, angry troll who hides under a bridge and eats college-age children and other customers, I’m just going to admit that it’s time to move on. It’s hard to say when the end will finally come, but I yield. Uncle! I am tapping out.
Which isn’t to say that I won’t still have things to rage about wherever I go. Let’s face it – when the human race makes a point of coming together, it is generally ill-timed, badly organized, and otherwise sordid and stupid. It will inevitably cause me to slip into a Lewis Black style of inconsolable apoplexy that I will rant about in great detail. But the hope is that it goes back to being blunt, socially inappropriate and funny. Because now I just feel drained and unhappy, and that’s just not funny.