Sep 19

“What do you mean, you blew up your toilet?” and Other Adventures in Property Management

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Returning to work after the weekend is always a quagmire of suck when you work in property management with a lot of campus area housing. Today seemed to be pretty calm – No girls were flipping out over a bat in the building. None of the frat boys embedded his roommate’s head in the drywall fighting over who got the last Natty Ice. Nobody got their keg tap lodged in a window.  Not this weekend! Nope! Everything was free and clear. Just when I was beginning to think that the little sweethearts were actually immersed in their academic pursuits, I get the second strangest phone call I’ve ever dealt with in property management.


“Thanks for calling Management! How can I help you today?”

“I think we accidentally blew up our toilet.”

“I’m sorry, what do you mean you blew up your toilet?”

“Well, my roommate dropped his cigarette in there after, um, dropping the kids at the pool, and we noticed a crack in the bowl when we went to use it later. We filled the crack with some superglue and taped it up with some duct tape and it looked okay. Then my other roommate’s, girlfriend – she’s kind of, um, heavy – she used the bathroom this morning and it exploded. There’s broken glass and water spraying.”

“Why didn’t you call the emergency maintenance line?”

“Well, there’s a huge charge for after hours calls, so we just lined up a bucket to catch the spray, and cleaned up the other water. We figured it would be okay until 8:00. But now we need someone here like, right away. There’s a bubble in the kitchen ceiling and it’s starting to drip.”


“But I need to go to class! How am I supposed to shower?”

“You have a serious plumbing problem right now, and if you attempt to use that bathroom before repairs have been made, I can assure you that the stench of cheap beer, sweat, and bad decisions will be the least of your problems!”


I don’t believe a goddamn word of their story, but whatever happened, the final score rests at one toilet, one entire sheet of drywall, mold abatement measures, new sub-floor and tile in the bathroom, and multiple shop-vac loads of water in the kitchen. But on the bright side, it’s already 3:30!


Give me another 2-3 years of this and I will be able to write that damn book.


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