Mar 09

WTF Friday: Adventures in Landlording

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As I’ve pointed out before, my job is a walking, talking mental disorder. Of any job I’ve ever had, property management has provided more WTF fodder than I could ever have prepared for. At the insistence of more people than I can count at this point, I’ve decided to start posting regular snippets of my daily interactions with tenants, parents, vendors, and the like. And at the rate these people are getting dumber, I can pretty much guarantee at least 3 follow up posts.


All signs point to you being an idiot.
I went out to install a new leasing sign. Two of my residents walked out of the building as I was finishing up.
Resident, gesturing to the sign and speaking to his roommate in a hushed voice: That would fit perfect in my bedroom window to block out light when I’m sleeping.
Me: Or, hear me out here, you could go buy blackout curtains like a proper grown up and stop pretending that I can’t hear you and don’t know exactly which apartment you live in.

Actual Student Housing Decor

 At the same building 6 weeks later:
Tenant: I rented a parking space from you yesterday and I’m calling to cancel it now. I’ve been blocked into my spot for 2 hours and I cannot deal with this constantly.
Me: Well, your parking agreement is a legal and binding contract. If you won’t be needing the space anymore, you’ll have to sublease. Besides, why didn’t you call the office so we could have the vehicle removed?
Tenant: I don’t know the office number.
Me: You’re talking to the office number.
Tenant: I’ll be canceling my check. *click*
I don’t know what kind of drugs they do on the east side, but I’d like to try them.
Last spring, a woman of rather small stature had complained about the neighbor smoking in his apartment and aggravating her asthma. Unfortunately for her, we hadn’t yet converted to non-smoking buildings and he didn’t smoke. She adamantly refused to believe that and pounded on his door at all hours to tell him to stop smoking. At one point, he got tired of it and slammed the door in her face which caused her to fly into a blind rage. Somehow, all 4’8″ of her kicked his door in and physically bent the bolt part of his deadbolt. But it doesn’t end there. Somehow, her psychotic rage was our fault.
Me: Okay, so you verbally harassed your neighbor. When he slammed his door in your face you damaged the premises by kicking down his door to continue the verbal assault. He renewed his lease, so you won’t renew yours, but you’re going to sue us because I’m trying to lease the apartment you don’t want?
Psycho: Yes.
Me: Alrighty! See you in court!
A stunning display of Mid-Winter Belligerence
Following a particularly brutal snow storm, I had to endure a 15 minute phone call with some sorostitute’s lawyer daddy regarding a $35 citation from the city for not shoveling their sidewalk and steps in accordance with city ordinance. He tried everything he could think of down to brute intimidation to get me to take the charge off their ledger and pay it for them, and finally I got tired of listening to various permutations of “This is an illegal, money grubbing shakedown; how do you sleep at night?” so I cut him off mid-sentence.
Me: Did you ever imagine that after enduring law school and the bar exam, you’d be engaged in an argument over a $35 bill with no leg to stand on?”
Him: *click*
I hereby issue a formal edict (and a bic razor)
Over the course of this leasing year, it has become necessary for me to knock on any closed door and ask the tenant if they’re decent, or as I like to say “Are you wearing pants?” Because while I give these people 24 hours notice of any appointments, they still wander out of the bathroom/bedroom/coat closet bare-ass naked when I have the visitors in the apartment. Not cool, people. Don’t make me or prospective tenants look at your microween or power muff.

And yes, they’re usually this casual about it.

I’ve heard a lot of excuses, but this was a new one.
Apparently, “some random person” let themself into a tenant’s apartment, vomited on the floor just inside her front door, and left. Of course, this is all based on her powers of deductive reasoning alone. She saw and heard nothing because she in her bedroom with the door closed, “listening to my iPod.” She can’t get the vomit out of the carpet and could I possibly come clean it for her? Do I look like a Molly Maid? Get a carpet cleaner and start locking your door, kid.

This is about how I pictured her description of events in my head.


It’s Electric! (Boogie-woogie-woogie!)
A parent called with a complaint shortly before the end of winter break.

Parent: We pay for may daughter to park in one of your lots and we just had to pay two thousand dollars because rodents ate the electrical in her car. If you could send someone out to take care of the rodents, I don’t want to have to pay this again.

Me: We do have a pest control company that makes routine service calls to the properties on the first Monday of every month, but it’s for the dwelling only. I have no control over the lots since they’re out in the open.

Parent: Well this just isn’t acceptable to me. I mean, she hardly ever drives the car, but when she does, it should work. Can’t you spread some kind of repellent to keep them away from the parking lot?

Me: I can investigate those options, but the current weather is not going to make them very effective. I’d recommend that you have your daughter start her car once a day or so, since they don’t tend to view occupied vehicles as a hospitable nest.

Parent: Well that’s just silly. What a waste of gas! I’m not condoning that you exterminate them since they’re only doing what comes naturally, but can’t you trap them and release them somewhere else?

Me: That’s something that the Department of Natural Resources would have to approve, but that would be a very good topic to bring up with them.

Parent: Well, yes I think it is. You should do that. *click*

Me, to myself: Yeah, I’m dialing right now. *yelling across the office to coworker* YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS ONE!

Oh yes. Only doing what’s natural. Sure, catch and release is a great plan. Because, you know, squirrels and mice can’t walk over from the next block or anything.

I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but I’m not getting involved with a squirrel that devours cars from the inside out.

It’s important to be prepared!
Back when I was stationed at the front desk for a University apartment building, I watched a resident walking through the lobby with a dozen frozen pizzas and a box of Franzia as she was saying to someone on the phone, “Yeah, I’m just stocking up in preparation for this storm!”


With preparations like this, I think I’d rather starve in a snow bank.


Hunka-hunka Burning Man
On one particularly miserable snowy day, a man walked into my office in a coffee stained pair of overalls, splotchy red face, and burn mark in the crotch of his pants. He looked positively downtrodden.

I’ve been there, dude.

Me: Hi there!
Him: Uh, hi. I’m your snow removal guy. This is going to be a really dumb question, but I skid on some ice on the way over here, dumped my coffee all over myself and dropped my cigarette in my lap. I also, uhm, slipped on some ice and split my pants. I don’t suppose you have a needle and thread or some safety pins?

I invited him to refill his coffee while I went and retrieved my portable sewing kit and sent him on his way with my best wishes.  Then I laughed until my side hurt.


And people wonder why I always have a perpetual headache and a need to drink, yet I still claim that I’m not an alcoholic.

Be honest, people – Do I possess some kind of karmic magnet that just attracts all the crazy shit, or is it really just a side effect of my job/this city?


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  1. Jana

    Hoollleee Shit, That is some wickedly funny crap coming out of those peoples mouths. I don’t know how you deal with it, I might have to go Jackie Chan all over their asses.

    I would say that booze is the perfect way to deal with all of their fucktard behavior.

    Keep it coming….you are AWESOME
    Jana recently posted..Vagina…..table for two, and why yes my t-shirt does say pussyMy Profile

    1. admin

      I think this is the only job I’ve ever had where my boss has responded favorably to hints of a flask in my desk drawer. So he at least understands, even if he is partly to blame…

  2. Misty

    Power muff? Oh, god. That’s brilliant. Fucking hilarious.

    I think it’s just dealing with the general unwashed (read: stupid) public. And you get it even more because of the sheer volume of frat boys/sorostitutes, which typically is not your brightest nor most respectful group. The stories, though. Oh, the stories. Yes, indeed, keep them coming.
    Misty recently posted..Weekly Whacked: Livin’ on a PrayerMy Profile

    1. admin

      I wish I could take credit for power muff, but I’m pretty sure I heard that on Maxim Radio back in the day. Microween, on the other hand, is all me. What can I say? I’m a wordsmith.

  3. CW

    Yowzers! :) I too have a job that provides tons of awesome stories about dealing with the morons of the world. I’m a social worker, so I have the joyous job of “working” with parents who abuse/neglect their kids. It’s amazing how everything is always my fault. I “stole” their kids, “made” them do drugs, and turned their kids against them. Right….it’s not the fact that a hit of meth is more important to you than your child or the fact that you like use little Jimmy as a punching bag. Ugh.

    1. admin

      You’re a much better person than I am in that regard. Stupid is easy (and fun!) to troll. Dealing with irresponsible or abusive parents would drive me straight into violent ass whoopings for said parents.

  4. Marina

    Before I was thrust into the working world, I had hope for the human race. I believed that everyone was intelligent in their own way, and they only seemed stupid in certain situations.
    Then I got hired at AMC, where I was usually in charge of answering the phone and selling tickets. And things like this always happened.
    Me: AMC Theatres, this is Marina. How can I help you?
    Woman: Yes, I’d like to order some wings, please.
    Me: …I’m sorry?
    Woman: Some wings? Please. The 24-count barbecue ones. Bone-in, please.
    Me: Ma’am, this is a movie theatre.
    Woman: ……..oh.

    Me: AMC Theatres, this is Marina. How can I help you?
    Kid: Hi, is the midnight premiere of Planet of the Apes tonight?
    Me: Yes, it is.
    Kid: At what time?

    Me: AMC Theatres, this is Marina. How can I help you?
    Woman: Hello. When does Transformers come out?
    Me: We have a midnight premiere on Thursday, ma’am.
    Woman: What time would that be?
    Me: Midnight.
    Woman: When?
    Me: On Thursday.
    Woman: But if it’s midnight on Thursday, wouldn’t that be Friday morning, technically? Or do you mean the night of Wednesday-turning-over-to-Thursday?
    Me: It’s on Thursday night at midnight.
    Woman: So, Friday at midnight, then.
    Me: I suppose, yeah. But it’s not on Friday night.
    Woman: So it’s on Wednesday night?
    Me: No, it’s on Thursday night.
    Woman: Which is technically Friday.
    Me: Yes.
    Woman: Okay. I’d like tickets for that please.

    And now I’m a misanthrope!
    Marina recently posted..McChildrenMy Profile

  5. admin

    I’ve been known to bang my own head against my desk when I’m on the phone with an idiot. Face to face with some of these people? I’d probably come across my desk with hands in choke position.

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