Posted by Wesley On Thursday, September 9, 2010 2 comments
Oh. Ehm. Eff. Gee. Today was awful at work readers! I've never had so many fires to put out at once. It was mostly upset residents... most of them with legit reasons to be pissed off. But every now and then, I get that one person who thinks the world is out to ruin their lives:
"Good afternoon, thank you for holding. This is Wes..."
"Wes, this is Miranda from apartment so and so"
"Hey, how's it goi..."
"Wes, you know how you have the landscapers here doing to the grass and blowing the leaves?"
"Well there's dust. Dust all over my car now from them blowing the leaves."
"OK, well Miranda. I can't do anything about that. Those leaf blowers are going to kick up dust when th..."
"I know that Wes, but you need to control the landscapers. They can't just walk around the property with those things all willy nilly. My car is covered in dust. I mean... COVERED in it."
"Miranda, I'm not sure what you want me to do."
"Talk to the damn landscapers! God, isn't that obvious? They're your landscapers! Not mine!"
"And tell them what? That they need to dust off cars after blowing the leaves? That they can't blow dust into the air with their 100MPH leaf blowers?"
"I don't appreciate the sarcasm, Wes."
"Then tell me what you would like me to tell them, Miranda. Because I really am at a loss of wha..."
"You tell them to blow the dust AWAY from the cars."
"Miranda, the landscapers do blow the dust away from cars. But it's impossible to keep the dust that's in the air from blowing around and hitting vehicles. I don't control the wind currents."
"Well, what about rakes? They sell those at Wal-Mart. Go get these people some rakes!"
"Miranda, you try and rake leaves, twigs, pine cones, and pine needles off a 9 acre property and tell me how long it takes you. Give me a break here."
"Well, who's going to come wash my car then!?"
"Nobody from here..."
Yes readers. This is my life. Add to the above a resident who was pissed because the cabinets in his apartment didn't match the ones in the model (and actually thought a $200 discount every month was a reasonable request for the mix up), another resident who just assumed he was going to get a carport with his new apartment (even though it was blatantly obvious on his paperwork that that was not the case whatsoever), another resident who was pissed about the lease violation notice he received in regards to the frat-style kegger he had on a TUESDAY night, complete with weed, a live DJ, a puke-a-palooza off his balcony, over 40 people crammed into his two-bedroom apartment, and enough drunk, underage girls to cement a felony charge on his permanent record for life, and finally, one resident who was so effing stupid, that it took me thirty... THIRTY minutes to explain exactly how to call the utility company and change the gas and electric into his name so that we aren't billing him back for it. And on top of all that, dealing with seven new move-ins, a resident who has yet to turn her keys in so we can have enough time to turn her apartment for the new resident arriving on the 15th of this month, a resident who "isn't really sure" when she'll be able to pay rent (but manages to keep her cable on, cruise around the property on her iPhone4, keep her husband's XBox games stocked to the kilt, and take cruises to Ireland), a maintenance supervisor on vacation, a boss who's distraught about her son leaving home to live in AZ, a leasing consultant who's managed to lease one single apartment to three different people, and a corporate office crawling up my ass about reports, reports, reports.
All this... before lunch.
And people wonder why I drink and smoke. Hey-Zeus Christie!
So, today on my lunch break (my twenty-minute lunch break, thank you very much), I ate some pickles and mustard rolled up in some oven-roasted turkey breast, green beans in a little marinara sauce, a diet soda, a few slices of mozzarella, and finished it all off with a brownie... which was the size of my face.
Yeah... I wish I was joking. The size of... muh face.
Comment away readers. I know you're disappointed in my ugly brownie face.
I hate that I succumb to stress-eating. Hate it. I hate stress. I hate eating. I hate brownies. Well, I hate brownies the size of my face. Anyway... this is me falling off the wagon, yet again. B
Tomorrow's another day though, right!? Tomorrow's going to be fabulous! Tomorrow is Friday! I am going to make tomorrow a better day from the start! Like I said before, it's a mind over matter thing. And I don't know why I forgot that today over my lunch break. I think my mind was so clouded with bullshit, that I just threw everything out the window. If I would have just calmed down and not stressed so hard about everything that was going on, I doubt this would have ever happened. Well, actually... had I just thrown the damn brownies out like I wanted to, this definitely wouldn't have happened. But whatever. It happened. I feel crappy for it. It's time to move on.
Like I said, comment the hell out of me. I deserve it.
But, on a more fun note, I'd like to give all my apartment-dwelling readers a 15-point insight into a very big business:
1. When your apartment complex hands out a rent increase at lease-renewal time, it's for three reasons: (i) your community manager is trying to keep her boss and all the other corporate cheese-heads happy by showing them an increase in revenue, (ii) it is the company taking their slice of the market, and (iii) it's because occupancy is good and they can afford to lose you if they're able to re-lease the apartment at a much higher rate. So yes, it's all about the money. People do not own and operate apartment complexes out of the goodness in their heart. They're in this to make money.
2. Contrary to popular belief, a rent increase is NOTHING PERSONAL. Yes... you may pay your rent on time, not cause problems, keep your music down, and follow the rules. But, when it comes down to it, you're doing exactly what you agreed to do when you signed your lease.
3. A rent increase of 20 or 30 dollars is reasonable. If you're happy where you live, take it and move on. It'll cost you a lot more to move. If you can't afford that, you're living beyond your means, and you need to move. A rent increase of 60 or 70 more dollars a month is reasonable, as well... but should be negotiable. Call your leasing office. Anything over 80 dollars means one of two things (or both): your management company is insane or (ii) the community is doing incredibly well with occupancy and rate. They can afford to lose you because they're confident they can re-lease the apartment at the rate they offered you, or higher. Don't take it personal. It's not that they don't like you or think you're a bad resident. They're protecting their investment... and you can't blame anyone for doing that. But, in most cases, it will still cost you more to move.
4. Fill out your move-in report (you know, that piece of paper that asks you to document any existing damage in the apartment on move-in day) and deliver it back to your leasing office with pictures. Ask them to place both in your file. This will save your ass on move-out day if they try to charge for damage that was there when you moved in.
5. Put your damn dog on a leash and PICK UP AFTER IT.
6. So you think you're the shit, huh? Well, calling up to the leasing office screaming, yelling, and barking demands at the management staff will get you one thing: a dial tone. If you're frustrated... a calm, reserved request to have your concerns addressed will get things done much faster and will keep your name from popping up when the management team is bitching to their hubbies about work.
7. Pay your rent... on time. Bookkeepers have heard every story in the book. "My mom is in the hospital...", "I had a family emergency...", "I was on vacation and forgot...", "I didn't realize it had to be in by the 3rd day of the month...", "I was in a car accident...", "My account was hacked into!", "I put the check in the drop box, I don't know why you didn't get it...", "I didn't get my paycheck...", "I'm waiting on a commission check...", "I had a machete go through my foot and was in the emergency room...", "My left nut fell off and rolled into a street drain... I've been chasing it for like... three days...". Now, obviously, there are legit reasons for not being able to get your rent in on time. But don't feed the bookkeeper at your community a load of crap. They'll see right through it. If you're paying late because of your own fault, buck up and pay the late fee. It'll teach you to get it in on time. And if you have a payment arrangement, make good on your promise or your "word" will mean nothing the next time you need some help. P.S.: Any management company that does not waive your first-time late fees as a "one time courtesy" is mean and awful, and you should consider not renewing your lease. Everybody effs up or needs a little help every now and then, am I right?
8. Be reasonable with your requests to the management office. Excessive wind chimes on your neighbor's patio, dust on your car from leaf blowers, and requiring the pool be at 87.6 degrees at all times are not reasonable requests. Think before you ask... and remember, you're living in a community, not a single family home.
9. Things break and go down. Especially things like treadmills, complementary wifi, tanning beds, pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, and projectors in the theater room. Please be understanding. And don't ask for a credit on your next month's rent for these things. They're called amenities for a reason... they're available to you free of charge. Look it up, pumpkins.
10. If you're going to get upset about it taking almost two days to get a light bulb replaced in your apartment, drop the three dollars and go get a four-pack yourself. The maintenance team on your property is trying address higher priority issues... like clogged toilets, leaking pipes, non-working appliances, and no heat or no A/C calls.
11. Because your management team provides treats, it does not mean you can send your children to the leasing office for dinner. Granola bars, soda, and cookies hardly provide them a well-balanced meal.
12. No, your management office is not required to call you when there is a package waiting for your face to come pick it up. That's the job of UPS, FedEx, and USPS. =)
13. There are a few things your management company will not do, because of liability reasons: (1) jump-start your car, (2) hang your flat panel TV, (3) move things around or out of your apartment, (4) provide you with a ladder or any power tool, (5) let you "joy ride" on the golf cart, and (6) allow you to use the clubhouse after hours.
14. We cannot make exceptions for you, but not for anyone else, when it comes to anything. And I mean ANYTHING. There's this little thing we operate under... and that's the Federal Fair Housing Law. That's right... the government controls what we do (but what else is new?).
15. Visit your management office frequently. Say wassup. Believe it or not, 90% of the folks who work in this industry do it because they love the interaction they get with so many different people. I'm serious. Just visit the office to say hi. Talk with the guy or gal who leased you your apartment. If they don't remember you, don't take it personal. Remind them who you are... and they'll either remember you or pretend to. HA! Either way, when you do this, you turn yourself into a friend and a resident... not just the person in 4B.
It may be hard-hitting for some of you reading this. But it's the blatant, honest truth. It's how things work. It's the nature of the beast. And I'm sorry for skewing into this giant tangent of apartment-living hell, but I figured some, most, or all of this could help my readers understand how the industry really works. I know it's where many of you may live, but reality speaks... and just like any industry, it involves balance sheets, accounting, budgeting, and every other aspect of any business. And a little bit more. And why, sometimes, it makes me eat brownies the size of my face.
I wrrrruuuvvvv all of you! And thanks for reading =)
Still feeling that brownie,