My first 1/2 hour of work today sucked ass, you guys.
There was a lady that came into the office morning who didn’t pay her rent in full. Rent is due on the first of the month – we give a grace period until the 5th. On the 6th, we create our “3-day Pay or Vacate” notices that get posted to the door of the non-payer, face out for the world to see – which is proper service as dictated by the RCW’s in Washington State.
She got really pissy because she was late with her rent and said we should have called her instead of posting the 3-day notice to her door (like we do for EVERYONE that doesn’t pay their rent on time).
Okay – FIRST OF ALL, apartment managers are not obligated to call ANYONE when their rent is late. That’s what you agree to when you sign a fucking lease – that you’ll pay your rent on time and in full EVERY GODDAMNED MONTH. If you don’t, you’ll get a notice posted on your door giving you three days to pay or move out. If you still don’t pay or move out, we can – and will – submit your paperwork to our attorney to proceed with an eviction.
Basically – don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time. Ya feel me?!
My response to her complaint was simply:
We served you properly, to avoid getting a 3-day notice, just pay your rent on time. Problem solved.
She then proceeded to tell me that she went to park her car when she got home the other day and the transition slope (which is a little hump) from the street to the carport parking spaces, hit her car and broke her radiator and she felt that we should pay for the repairs. Now, since that transition slope is an inanimate object, I can only assume that she, herself, was the reason that this happened.
A bit dumbfounded, I listened. She stopped talking, as if waiting for me to ask her who I should make the check out to and instead of saying thaaaaaaaat, I responded with the following in a very calm and pleasant low tone:
We cannot be held responsible for your driving habits.
To which she responded with a puzzled look and her eyeballs almost jumped out of her face. She went on to explain that she can prove that’s what caused it and she didn’t think that was fair that she had to pay to get her car fixed.
My response again, in a very calm and pleasant low tone:
We are not going to pay for your car repairs.
She has lived here just about a year. It’s not like one day, we went to her area of the complex and poured cement in the dark of night and surprise!!!!! I’ve never had someone walk into my office claiming the curb transition has ever damaged a vehicle. It’s a bit of a bump, I admit it…but that’s why when you approach it, you go slowly. I mean it’s just common sense. I can’t imagine how fast a person must be going to cause radiator damage from a small bump when approaching your assigned parking space. Why hasn’t it happened to anyone else in the almost 3 years I’ve been working at this property? Because no one goes fast enough to damage their vehicle when they pull into their parking space, that’s why.
The conversation ended with her letting me know that I’d be hearing from her attorney. Bring. That. Shit. On.
Some of you may or may not be familiar with Jennifer Lawson (The Bloggess) – if you are, you know that she is one amazing lady with two New York Times Best-Belling books to her credit (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy) and an amazingly hilarious blog that shares a lot of her struggles with […]
Many of you know how much music means to me. I’ve shared my experiences here in this blog several times. I thought I’d share with you a video of a lady that has one of the sweetest voices. This is Beth Whitney. Words are hard to come by when I try to explain what Beth’s voice does for me. She just touches my soul. She brings me comfort and is so pure and lovely in every way.
Fever – Covered by Beth Whitney
I have many, many people in my life that are musicians. Some I love as much as I love my own family. Being a musician is surely something only few can be prosperous at. And there are different levels of success. Some are completely happy to do it on the side while pursuing a regular job/career. Some dive in full force into it and hope that their hard work pays off. I’ve found people who work tirelessly at their craft and are completely content giving their music away and performing two or three times a year and others that put tours together that travel 20 states in 50 days doing 45 shows. What I’m getting at here is “success” means something different to all of these folks.
A few months ago, on Facebook, one of my friends that I met through music (he’s a very amazing pianist, himself, and an all around excellent human) shared a video of a gentleman that was clearly busking on the street. His voice was wavering, but he clearly knew his way around a guitar fretboard. He played with passion and in the video, he was unkept and appeared to be homeless. None of this bothers me at all – because hey, I don’t know his story and at least he’s out there doing what he can to get tips and he’s sharing his heart through music. I get it. I sooooo fucking get it. After seeing this video, something in my head clicked, but I didn’t know that it had clicked until about a month and a half later when we went to a pizza/beer joint with our kids and got up to leave.
As we were leaving the table and getting our coats on, my husband said, “Hey! There’s a guy out there busking!” This isn’t something you see every day in our town, so when it happens, you notice. I squinted my eyes and tried to focus through the misty, fogged up windows and, sure enough, it was Stan. To which I exclaimed, “Hey! That’s Stan!!!!!!!!!!!!” My husband was a little taken aback that I knew who this guy was, so I explained about the video that was shared. I immediately scrounged through my purse and found my only $5 and my husband looked through his wallet and found only a few ones. Our kids got in the car because it was raining pretty hard and breezy out and my husband and I walked across the street under a rooftop of a closed, vacant business where Stan was playing. He was in mid-song, but I totally (and probably rudely) blurted out, “HI! Are you Stan?! I have seen video’s of you on Facebook!” I told him my name, we introduced with hugs and we listened to him sing a song of his choosing to us that fit the situation we were experiencing. I hadn’t heard it before and just wanted to appreciate his gift in the rain on a cold November night. We told him thank you and that we enjoyed his playing and gave him our contributions and hoped that it would give him gas money or a warm meal.
It’s been a few months since that meeting with Stan. One three occasions we have been able to contribute to Stan, who we learned has lost most of everyone in his family. His Father’s last wish was that Stan pursue music. Stan took that to mean that he needs to do that and nothing else and he is suffering for his art. My friend that posted the video and I have chatted on a few occasions regarding Stan. Before getting too involved, I wanted to know how much he knew about him, which wasn’t much, other than he is living in his van and plays music on the street – I was told he seemed like a very intelligent guy and he was not into drugs or boozing his way through life, which made me feel pretty comfortable about trying to help him more than that one encounter on the street after the pizza.
I’ve had several conversations with Stan and have seen him a few times over these last few months. We stumbled into him while meeting someone at a coffee shop one time – we exchanged hugs, we made sure he had a large hot coffee to keep him warm. Chatting with my friend that originally shared the video he told us that his most requested need, the thing that helps him get through really rough nights are hand warmers. The ones that fit inside of gloves or socks? Anyway, we bought him a whole case of those, wrapped them up for Christmas and drove around town trying to find him to give them to him along with a pair of fingerless gloves. Another time, someone had gifted him a portable propane heater and he asked on Facebook if anyone had any propane cylinders. We hadn’t been camping in FOREVER so I rummaged through our camping equipment and found 3 of them and met him at a coffee shop so that he could have them – the weather was bitter then, around 20 degrees and living in a van that you barely had money to pay for gas with all of his busking money – my daughter and I bought him a gigantic cup of coffee to get his insides warm and we sat and chatted for awhile. He’s very present and intelligent. Not out of it in any way. He seems genuine and caring and – yes, if you’ve been on the street for awhile, I’d guess that you figure out pretty quickly what people respond positively to, but I didn’t get the feeling that what he was showing us was an act. I think he sees beauty in the world, has fallen on rough times with losing his family and relocated to Washington State from New York to escape the frigid winters there. He told us about the farm he lived on where the snow drifts would get 8 feet tall and the old farm house they lived in. How he worked side-by-side with his grandpa. Sometimes, it’s nice to not pass these people by and to actually invest a little time.
He’s chosen a path that not many would choose. Stan told me that he is a very talented vehicle technician. He’s worked on import cars. Yet, he chooses to suffer for his art and not seek work outside of playing on the streets .
His latest rant on Facebook had something to do with me. I posted “Those that say money can’t buy happiness, clearly haven’t purchased a plane ticket to Hawaii.” We are planning our 25th anniversary trip to Maui this summer. So, naturally, I’m looking at airfares almost daily. ANYWAY – he saw this post on Facebook and he clicked the “like” button. His response was his own status message shortly afterwards:
Those that say money cant buy happiness are assholes who have NEVER had to choose between eating and fuel. With as much kindness as i can manage i say: go screw yourself.
To which I apologized (after he liked my status message) if I pissed him off in any way with my post. I have tons of Facebook friends and he took offense, which was not my intent. Sometimes we forget when we are making snide, cheeky comments that others aren’t as fortunate as we are. Does that mean I’m not going to share my life with those on Facebook? Fuck no. I’ll still share vacation pictures and all the other things that I get to experience because of my hard work and determination to make a good life for myself and my family. Unfortunately, Stan has made his choice to suffer for his art. Or maybe it’s not unfortunate at all. Maybe he wants to live life having a pity party – which seems harsh to say, but after seeing more comments that he posted , it’s exactly what he’s asking for.
He complains about working 18 hours a day, playing his music until his fingers bleed. Cinching his belt tighter and tighter. Making $1.75/day. To me, that is insanity. He’s clearly able to live better. He truly is. Yet, he chooses to suffer for his art. He doesn’t have gas money to keep his van on the road. I’ve invited him to house shows, so that he can get out of the cold, get some food – because GOD KNOWS – we have so much, it’s embarrassing. But, I cannot be the one that supports him fully. I just can’t. Sure, we go out to dinner a lot. We go on vacations. We have insurance and jobs and own our home and have two cars and can get gas whenever we need it, but I cannot adjust my life and the way I share things on social media because Stan can’t handle other peoples happiness or good fortune. But…
HE CAN HAVE THAT TOO.
And it upsets me deeply that I can’t do more. It really does. You have no idea how many times I have kept myself awake at night thinking of ways to talk to him and try to get him placed at a job. Or even if I could somehow get his van in the back yard so he can be safe, instead of who knows where he goes at night. But, I need to take a step back and realize that maybe he just needs to live like this. I have enough respect for how other people live their lives to not butt in and try to solve all their problems outwardly – no matter how much I want to and dream of doing it internally.
My husband described it as “victim mentality”. But I’m not so sure about that. I may never know. He may never make it out of here finding the success that makes him happy. Or maybe he will. And that is how I’m going to have to look at it. Maybe he will.
I suspect I’m not the only person that he will affect in his life by his story.
I have co-workers that seem to be getting away with a whole helluva lot of stuff lately and the culmination of their gettingawaywithit’s (shut-up spellcheck…) is just really starting to make me super bitter and pissy. It probably doesn’t help that my BFF is somewhat of a manager figure in their lives and uses me as a sounding board – but to be honest, I may have to ask her to stop, but my fear of her not telling ME these things, is that she will tell someone else that will not be as discreet as I am/have been – so I’d rather be the one that she comes to, but it’s wearing me out because at this point, I feel like I couldn’t do ANYTHING to get my ass fired that would be as bad as the bullshit I’m hearing about…not only that, but I’d never even test that theory because I’m awesome like that and I get paid a decent wage to do my job and don’t feel the need to test any of the powers-that-be.
There are other things too – like my relationship feels strained on my end with my BFF because of the way I see how she is or isn’t managing these people. I’m feeling really judgey – not in a catty way or in a way that I don’t want to see her succeed – it’s more of a disappointment, I guess, that she is allowing to be taken advantage of and allowing certain staff members to get away with certain behaviors that, in the real world, would get their asses pink-slipped.
I attempt to give her solid professional advice which I feel falls on deaf ears, which makes me just want to shut my fucking mouth and not say a word, but I want her to succeed and my feeling is that if she continues to be taken advantage of, at some point, someone who matters will catch wind of it and then it will reflect poorly on HER that she didn’t take a stand when these behaviors started showing their ugly heads.
I’m in a pickle here. I’m a very honest person. If I feel that I need to have a hard conversation with her about how she is being perceived, I have no issue with having that conversation. I can be very diplomatic and lady-like,
if forced when I need to be. And how she is being perceived is not really up for debate – if these people saw her as an authority figure, they would not be testing the waters like this. Testing the waters is something one does when they want to see how far they can push a person. If these people had any respect for her position as their immediate supervisor, they would be courteous and do things like call her when they take a sick day, or not take a sick day every Monday or Friday, or do something as simple as listen to their voicemails so that when they call in sick and she has to cover their office while they are out, she doesn’t have 40-50 voicemails that need to be listened to and/or responded to.
Here’s a GREAT example:
Yesterday, one of the units in an apartment complex that my BFF supervises, caught on fire. A very sad and heartbreaking thing to happen – a woman lost her life and a little 5 year old boy was in critical condition with burns all over his body. No one else was hurt. Apparently, the manager of that complex, one of these co-workers I’m bitching about, had stayed home sick yesterday. So, my BFF got a call that there was a fire from one of the maintenance staff, so she dropped what she was doing and took off for the complex to do whatever she could at the property, since the manager was gone, apparently – because she hadn’t gotten that call in the morning to let her know that she was home sick. (See? I mean…) After things had settled down a bit she took a moment to text the manager to let her know what happened.
Like, if something like that had happened to the property I manage, my ass would have 1.) Called to let my boss know I was sick and couldn’t make it in – IN THE DAMN FIRST PLACE. 2.) Had I gotten notified that an emergency of this magnitude had occurred, I would have jumped out of bed, gotten dressed and went down there!!!!!!!!! I just would. And I bet if you thought about that for even 2 seconds, that would be your reaction as well.
So, more time passed throughout the day and my BFF texted again to let her know that someone had passed from the fire and a boy was burned badly and after awhile she got this message back:
Is the fire out?
FOUR WORDS. She never showed up to see if she could help…
In defense of this person, she is a very caring individual. I think some things are happening in her personal life that are causing her to not make some very good decisions. BUT IF NO ONE CALLS HER ON IT, SHE WILL CONTINUE DOING THIS BULLSHIT.
Anyway, I’m feeling burdened by all of this. It’s hard for me to take her seriously at all. Like…at. all. SEE?!?!?!?! I’m getting PISSY NOW! Gah! There’s more, but I need to keep that to myself and just end this rant here because it’s already too long and I’m sure I’ve bored you with this subject enough.
Thanks for listening, y’all.
Did you get your tickets yet? Do you live somewhere that doesn’t HAVE Powerball? Sucks to be you, eh? I mean…It’s $1.5 BBBBBBBBillion Dollaires. That’s BILLION. WITH A “B”!
I just had this conversation with my husband via The Facebook Messenger: