Thursday, January 27, 2011

#5 Womanizers Flood

My work phone is this simple piece of shit:
This is actually much better than the phone I had prior to this "upgrade," which was this relic. (Nextel.  Remember them?  Push to talk, y'all.)

Instead of a phone, I call it a baby monitor.
"Wah. My fridge doesn't work!"
"Boo Hoo. I locked myself out."
"Someone's parking in my spot. Harumph!"
"WAH.  I'm hot! Teach me how to use the A/C."

The baby call I hate most is "My place is flooded."
This has happened on more than one occasion.  The most memorable was one at 2:30 am on a Saturday night.  I was passed out from a night of drinking.
*Ring Ring*
Me: ugh...hello...
Tenant: Hey, Mapple, it's raining in our place.
Me: Let me put some pants on, and I'll be up there.

I go up to the 11th floor, and their place, is indeed raining.  The floors are concrete, and concrete is porous.  If the unit above has a lot of water on the floor, then it will leak straight into the unit below.  I go to the penthouse unit directly above them to see what was going on.
After knocking on the door, and no answer, I bust in with my master key.  I am allowed to do this, as it is considered an emergency.
Upon entering, I am standing in a shallow pool of water covering the entire floor.  I then hear
"Who's there? *splash splash* Oh shit, there's water everywhere.

Turns out, this tenant's toilet is flooding, and has been for however long it takes to flood an 880 sqft space.  The dumb bitch was just sleeping through it.  She's all distraught because her laptop is ruined, as it was laying on the floor. She tells me she's a singer-songwriter, all of her music was on it, and she's never backed up her hard-drive.

Now, when I hear singer-songwriter, I think of a girl singing about ex-boyfriends to tourists with her guitar case open for tips.  What singer-songwriter can afford a penthouse? Apparently, the one that wrote this song.

She calls her husband and explains to him that the toilet was "just silently flooding." BULLSHIT.  You know that noise that toilets make when they're running. It is most definitely not silent.
In my drunken stupor, I just start soaking up water with towels.  I call maintenance, and he comes over 20 minutes later to mop it up.  I'm drunk, tired, wet from the knees down, and very angry, as that bitch just sits on her spiral staircase complaining about her computer and taking shots of Patron.  Not helping, not offering.

The culprit of the toilet flood was a maxi pad lodged in the pipe.  Every woman over the age of 13 knows you are not supposed to flush that shit.  

After that gets cleaned up, I then have to deal with the guys in the unit below, and the water that has leaked into their place.  Insurance matters ensue, and it's a huge bitch.

There went 2.5 hours of precious, drunken sleep-time.
This job sucks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

#4 Elevator Signs

When people pay late, you have to knock on their door and tape up a 3-Day Notice, which means they have to pay in three days or they will be sent to eviction.  It's a shitty legal aspect to my job that I can go to court for if I don't do it correctly.  It's also super time consuming, and generally irritating. 

In my first month, I had to knock on a lot of people's doors asking them why they haven't paid rent and to give them their notice.  The majority of what they had to say was "I forgot."  That excuse is stupid because everyone knows that rent is due on the first everywhere, during your entire life as a renter. 

The second month here, when rent was due, I decided to post a notice as a reminder to pay their goddamn rent.  We have three elevators, and I put one sign in each elevator.  I didn't want to sound like I'm nagging them or make it seem too corporate, so I decided to make a sign that was more of a friendly reminder.  See, I'm not a total asshole. Yet, I still do this for my benefit, so I don't have to go knocking on a bunch of doors.

This was my first one:

People seemed to get a kick out of it, and it sort of worked.  I had less people to give notices to.  The head office bitched about the beer reference, as they didn't want to promote a 'frat house' vibe to the building.  Understandable.  The next month, I changed it to this:

People are assholes.  They will just rip down my signs.  There's the occasional penis drawn on there, which I find amusing, but I know it's inappropriate. I'll take those down and replace it with a fresh one.  It's when people just fucking rip the shit down is what annoys the fuck out of me.  I take my time to make these clever-ass signs, and you just reject it by ripping it down.  I print extras because I know this will happen.

The next month, I figured that the last two template of sign was too wordy for the average ride up the elevator.  I shortened it to this:
I get pretty good feedback from these signs.  I've even been told people look forward to them.  One of my tenants posts the signs on his facebook page, and tells me there are many adoring comments.  The irony is, this dude pays late all the time.  The whole point of this shit is to remind you to pay your rent, so I don't have to take the extra step and knock on your door.  It's not to just amuse you assholes.  It's to benefit me, so I can do less work.

Monday, January 17, 2011

#3 Security: Jerry

In the overnight shift is Jerry.  Jerry is actually a good guard.  Too good.  He's this super tall, muscular man, but dumb as bricks.  I don't think he understands that I'm not the 'night manager,' I'm just THE resident manager.  He will call me at all hours of the night for no fucking reason.  He cares a little too much.
I see a call from Security in the middle of the night, I think it's some kind of emergency.  Not with Jerry.

*ring, ring*
Me: Hello.
Jerry:  Hey, Mapple, it's Jerry from Security
Me: What do you want.
Jerry: There is a loud beeping that's going on every few minutes from a unit down here, should I go in and check it out?
Me: No, it's just a fire alarm that needs a new battery.  Is that it?
Jerry: yes

another time

*ring ring*
Me: Yes, what.
Jerry: Hey Mapple, it's Jerry from Security
Me: Yeah, I know
Jerry: There is a leak in the garage
Me: Is it a big leak, is water everywhere?
Jerry: No, it's just a drip.  I thought I'd let you know...

Please keep in mind, I don't do maintenance.  Does he think I'm going to jump out of bed with a wrench to fix a leak in the basement where no one lives at 3am?

When UPS and FedEx come to the building, and the people aren't home, they leave it in this room behind security so people can pick it up later.

*ring ring*
Me: uh-huh
Jerry: Hey Mapple, it's Jerry from Security
Me: right, what?
Jerry: There are a lot of packages in the back room
Me: it's very late, Jerry, did one of them explode or something?
Jerry: No, there is just a lot more than usual.
Me: It's the holidays, everyone is gone.  Is that it?
Jerry: yes

 I fucking hate Jerry.

#2 Security: Poop

At the front desk of my building sits a security guard.  They usually deal with checking guests in, noise complaints, receiving packages.  Generally useless.

I love the two main guards during normal business hours , but on the weekends the security company sends in the oldest,  non-English speaking guards.  They suck so hard.  If there were an actual occurrence where there was a real security issue, I would not trust these geriatrics to save me or anyone.

I got woken up on Sunday (10am) with a call from a tenant saying there is shit right outside the side door entrance.  Maintenance and housekeeping does not working Sunday, so guess who had to get a shovel?  I assure you, it was not dog poop, but homeless zombie feces. Good thing the dumpster is right next to the door so it was a quick shovel job, but it was still nightmarish.

*it just sucks, on one hand, I sit in a chair and get my hair and makeup done, and people stick a camera in my face and I smile, in the other hand is a shovel with human feces on it. Suck.*

After I do this, TWO HOURS LATER, a useless weekend security guard calls me to tell me people have been complaining about poop outside the door, and I should do something about it.  I told him that that I handled it already.
What the fuck is he doing that he doesn't call me for another two hours, and doesn't even check to see if it's still there?  These dudes are literally sitting there at the desk staring at a security monitor.
I don't know what else he could be doing.  Not speaking English, that's for fucking sure.
minus the gun, you get it
Please continue to my next security guard story.
It's like a choose your own adventure, but you only have once choice, and it's to read about how horrible this job is.

P.S. I have been told this entry is mildly racist.  It's not. It's more elderly-ist.

#1 Pigeon

I have this tenant.  She goes by the name of a black bird, named after a famous Poe poem and an NFL team that Poe is from, but for anonymity's sake, let's name her "Pigeon."

Pigeon is the most ghetto tenant in my whole building.  I believe she chose to live in an expensive building because she wants to move up in the world, and leave the hood behind.  Start fresh, and live a new life for her and her child.  The building is mostly occupied by young professionals, well-paid artists and fashion design students.  She doesn't understand that not everyone is from the hood, as she has never NOT lived in the hood.  She treats everyone as if she still lives in  Hawthorne Heights.
  • One time she threatened these two young lesbians on her floor that she will "pop a cap in they knees".  
  • She calls me complaining about how the maintenance took her dimmer lights because they broke, and replaced them with regular lights.  She wants her dimmers back, because she has a boyfriend and likes to "keep it sexy".  That is not an unreasonable complaint, I understand.  We all like to keep it sexy every once in awhile.  It was the voicemail she left me,
"Mapple, the maintenance guy came in and took my dimmer lights.  Yo, I need my lights back, I'm not feelin' this.  I be chillin with them low lights.  How you gon' come up in here and take my lights, for real.  I want them back, so I can move the lights up and down  like when I first moved up in here.  I'm not feelin' this. This is Pigeon. Call me back."
  • She calls me at 3am the other night.  I didn't answer.  She does not leave a voicemail.  She calls me back during normal hours. 
"Mapple, this is Pigeon.  I got ghosts!  I woke up in the middle of the night with someone bangin' on my door.  Yo, I ain't got no beef with anyone down here, and when I check the door, ain't nobody there.  I got ghosts up in there.  But I ain't scared of them because they can't come in my house.  I got a priest up in here so they don't come in.  Now they stuck in the hall, bangin' on my door."

What the fuck am I to do with that?  I'm sorry, your lease doesn't cover paranormal activity.

Being a Building Manager is Awful: Intro

I've decided to document the shit that happens to me managing a building in Downtown Los Angeles.

Here are the facts:
  • 214 units
  • 12 Floors
  • I live here, and my loft is awesome
  • Hundreds of assholes/babies also live here
  • work phone is a cell phone, so it's always with me, on call, at all times except for Wednesdays (my day off)
  • the building pretty much looks like this:
I am doing this because it's a great way for me to be able to be an actor.  I can still go on my auditions, and if I book things, I can work them.  I don't get paid much as an actor, and when I do, it's few and far between.  Now the various acting and print gigs I do get, I can use that money instead of it all going towards outrageous Los Angeles rent.
They basically let me live in an awesome loft for free.  The downside is I actually have to do this job, which is terrible.  Absolutely terrible.
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