Welcome to The 6: a high-end, trash filled, luxury community.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad, the bathrooms are tiled in $31,000 Italian tile. Very fancy.

I started managing this almost 300 unit apartment community in early April.  I was lured in with promises of an easy ride, no drama, no stress.  All lies.  Not once was it mentioned the community offered rock bottom prices during the lease-up period to secure a stable occupancy within the twelve month mark.  The residents are almost all entitled, deserving, condescending, and the biggest complainers I have ever met. I am in my tenth year of property management. I will never claim to say I’ve seen it all, to know it all but I will tell all in this colorful description of our fair community.  Some days are fun, some days are hell but everyday there is a story to tell…

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Welcome to The 6

Powder Room Pinky Swears

Drinking with your employees is always a tough situation. I prefer not to just because if you get too drunk you may say something that gets spread around to the other employees and your stance of being the “Boss” suddenly loses weight.

One of my employees, Kelly, has some emotional problems.  She is on several different medications which, according to the rumor mill, are from several different doctors.  Kelly takes sleeping pills, anti-depressant pills, mood stabilizing pills and who knows what else, those are only the ones she has told us about.  It sort of sucks too, having an employee share all their personal medical issues with you because it gives them that protection from being terminated because it could come back to the company as discrimination, at least that’s what my boss told me.

Kelly is a really fun gal outside of work but I have to say, she’s one of the worst employees I’ve had to deal with in my 10 years in the business.  She shows up late, dressed looking like she pulled her work clothes out of the bottom of a laundry basket with wrinkles and faded colors because she doesn’t understand the importance of separating the darks from the lights.  Kelly is also notorious for showing up with absolutely no make-up on; which, in some industries doesn’t matter, but in property management, it is a must.  She tans but her face doesn’t evenly tan and is very blotchy.  I don’t want to be catty but it’s one of those situations that you know if she put herself together with some thought, she might actually close some deals.

When I started at this property back in April, Kelly had been there about 2 weeks and her transfer was the result of a demotion from another property so her attitude was really bad.  She complained to us all about the demotion and said she felt like our company had done her wrong since she had put in so much time with the company and she was owed something more.  The fact of the matter is, she doesn’t follow through and can’t complete a task if her life (or job) depended on it. It’s frustrating as a supervisor to have a team member that tells you they will complete a task with such conviction only to find out they never did it, and to beat, you find out on their day off so you can’t even get mad or talk to them about it when you’re dealing with their fuck up.

On more than one occasion, Kelly has showed up more than 2-hours late because she took too many sleeping pills the night before and when it happens I have to write her up. She doesn’t get written up for not completing tasks, or for doing the complete worst thing, moving someone in with no money, no lease and no renters insurance; which happened three weeks ago but showing up that late warrants a write up.  Of course, she blamed the resident for “rushing” her and I just had to roll my eyes because it’s not the resident job to know the steps of a move-in, but the employee’s job. She is notoriously the Victim.

The property Kelly was at before The 6 was down the street and her roommate was promoted into her position when Kelly was demoted.  It was a tough blow for Kelly.  She said her relationship with her roommate suffered and she told us there was tension after the demotion between them.  I never met the roommate but I did notice she called Kelly as soon as the clock hit 6 o’clock and we were supposed to close the office.  They would have a conversation about what to make for dinner and it sounded like they were very close; it seemed very co-dependent.  I just thought they had become close because Kelly had moved in with her roommate after finding out her boyfriend was cheating on her with her childhood friend, who later we found out was a meth-head. Sounds like you got the better side of that deal, Kelly.

A few times, Kelly mentioned the relationship she just got out of but never went into to much detail of who it was.  When I would try to clarify if it was the guy who ditched her for a meth head or someone else she said it was someone else. I tried to ask more questions, which is something I’m not very good at because, 1) I don’t care and 2) don’t like to pry.  I’m an open book, I’ll tell you whether you ask or not and if someone doesn’t want to tell me their life story I’m not going to pry and get them to break down. The one time I did try to “pry” and find out who Kelly’s last relationship was with she was acting odd about the person and it gave me the feeling the person may be female rather than male. I asked who she was with and she said it didn’t matter so I asked if it was a boy or a girl and she got all shifty. She told me to use my imagination and she wasn’t going to say one way or another. Ok got it, you have an ex-girlfriend. No need to get squeamish, it’s ok to be gay. I guess in this area it’s not as widely accepted as it is in other places but I’ve never had any issues with people who are attracted to those of the same gender, not my business.

Despite the assumptions that Kelly had about me hating her, I don’t. I actually really enjoy her when she’s not losing her shit or dropping balls all over the office at the property. A few weeks ago my husband and I were hosting a group of people to our house to watch Game of Thrones and she over heard. I didn’t want to not invite her, so I extended an invitation for her to join us. Well, as luck has it, no one BUT HER showed up. It was pretty awkward. My husband and I had made empanadas with yuca and we were in love with them.  We had each had two and were waiting for Kelly to arrive at our house.  She showed up almost 45 minutes after the tv show had started. I guess I should have expected it because she was late to work regularly.  We told her we would wait for her but she was incredibly late so we were a little annoyed when she finally did show up. I offered her an empanada and she helped herself to four.  It was like she hadn’t eaten in days.  I felt sort of bad for her because it sounded like she had a tough day at the leasing office but I made it very clear I was not interested in hearing about it because it was my day off.  She told me everything anyway. Awkward and annoying.

This last week the same thing happened.  I was talking about our dinner plans and Kelly over heard.  I felt like I had to invite her.  She said she was going to stay at work because her roommate and her were not getting along.  Supposedly, the roommate had reserved a one-bedroom unit and was forcing Kelly to move out and get her own place. It caused a lot of distress for her and she showed her feelings at work regularly.  She requested to be allowed to move to the property we work at for a discount but the owner did not approved it so she was stuck without a place to live and time was running out.  She complained about it all the time, telling us she needed to look for another job because this one didn’t pay enough and would be looking for jobs on the work computer during the day. Mind you, I sit behind her and can see everything she is doing so this just wasn’t bright. I called her out once but she obviously didn’t care because last week she was doing it again.

The most recent time I found her looking for jobs on the computer I called her out and then told her to “not be poopy”. Since we’ve been a little closer I just tell her things like that. When she deliberately disobeys me I tell her I am going to spank her.  We have a good laugh and it helps me get over myself faster so we can all just get along. Sounds a little sexual, hopefully she won’t sue me for sexual harassment. I’m hoping that this is the way to get her to follow instruction but there is really no way to tell since she’s so off and on with her medication.

Yesterday I had planned to have cocktails with my old assistant who had been promoted to a manager job at another property and I wanted to treat her so we met up.  I made the mistake of mentioning in front of Kelly and she asked if she could join.  Luckily, my old assistant was gone by the time Kelly arrived.  My sweet husband came at the same time and I was two drinks plus one tequila shot down.  I was having a great time; the bar was full and everyone was having fun. In the few minutes I was waiting for Kelly and my husband to arrive, I was treated to a free drink by a man standing next to me ordering for his family. It was great. I wish I could spend more time at the bar and my life not fall apart because it’s always a good time.

Kelly and I were talking about how similar we are, which we aren’t, but we were talking about it.  I guess you could say our emotional issues are similar but not me now, me 10 years ago.  Kelly is two years my senior so it’s a little sad she’s still melting down and popping pills but whatever.  She told me how her roommate and her had talked  a few nights before and it was a real heart to heart.  The roommate had told her she feels bad for what happened with them and that she missed Kelly.  It sounds like they haven’t been hanging out much since the roommate had dropped the news that she was moving to a one bedroom alone.

Toward the end of the night we decided to go to the bathroom.  This bar had only one toilet in a room as opposed to a row of stalls to use so we went in together.  She sat down on the toilet and told me she needed to tell me something.  She said I had to promise not to tell anyone and made me pinky swear.  I laughed and told her I would tell my husband which she agreed was perfectly fine but no one else. Ok, I promise. We locked pinkies and I swore not to tell anyone.

“For the last year and a half, my roommate and I were girlfriends.”

 

I KNEW IT! That’s basically how it went. I didn’t tell anyone. I just made a blog post about it. No big deal, Kelly. No one will know it’s you.

 

You’re coming on a little strong, Coach Ben…

I have a second job that I work on the weekends at a locally owned coffee shop near my property.  I took it on because my sweet husband is a business owner and his company wasn’t really performing as well as we had thought and I panicked and picked up a side gig.  I probably could scrape by without it; since we simultaneously got a roommate that pays 1/3 of the household bills and helps out but I really like working at the coffee shop. Working at the coffee shop gives me an opportunity to be “not in charge” when I feel like I’m in charge all the time in all other areas of my life. The people who work there are always barrels of laughs and I can genuinely say I really enjoy every person I work with.  The owner is very hard-working and you can tell she cares about her customers and the employees as well.  It’s a great place to be and I’m glad to be a part of that team.

One of gals I work with is in her late 20’s and has worked at the shop for about a year.  She knows the customers and they love her.  She is a hard worker and has a kind heart; even if she does tell me she hates me sometimes, I think it’s out of love. To be completely honest, I’m a bit of a goofball at work and I think she is unsure how to react so she just tells me she hates me. But I know the truth.

A few weeks ago, I was telling this girl at the coffee shop about a resident of mine that makes regular morning visits to the leasing office; his name, as it is usually marked on the back of his shirts, is Coach Ben. We call him Coach, for short.  Coach is a retired YMCA youth coach.  He moved into the community at the beginning of the year because he had suffered from a stroke and needed to move in with a family member while he rehabilitated.

Coach stops into the office every morning with his plastic travel coffee cup wearing athletic clothes and a smile.  He loves the office girls.  When I first started here, he would be in my assistant’s office all the time telling her his personal problems he was having with the woman he lives with and basically venting his whole life to her.  After a few months of this though, my assistant quit paying attention to him and he started coming to see me instead. We have a good time; I’m a goofball with him as well.  He has a ring tone that reminds me of the beginning of a news hour so when his phone rings and he’s in my office I start dancing and then start broadcasting the news, “TODAY ON COACH BEN…” He acts like he hates it but I think he has a good time. I’m having a good time so even if he’s not, it doesn’t really matter because he needs to lighten up a bit.

Coach wears these plastic bracelets that you might make while attending a YMCA camp.  They are plastic beads on an elastic band and they have letters that spell out things like, “COACH” or “BEN” and one day I mentioned to him that I wanted one, mostly as a joke, but he took me seriously and asked me what colors I liked and then ran off to work on it.  The next day I had a bracelet that said my name in big block letters.  A few days later he came in with another one that had the property  name on it. The day after that, he came in with one that said, “THE BOSS” which, I have to say is my favorite. I now have five bracelets. Coach made bracelets for all the leasing girls.  He was really into it and it was pretty funny to get one.

I told the gal at the coffee shop about these bracelets and Coach and she thought he sounded sweet and said she wanted to meet him.  I can’t say I set it up, because I didn’t, but Coach did end up visiting me at the coffee shop one weekend when I was working with this girl.  They met and she mentioned the bracelets and how she wanted one. And just like before, the next day at the property Coach came in with a bracelet for this girl with her name in big block letters. I sent her a text with a picture of it and said I would bring it in to work when I picked up my paycheck. He asked me to tell him when she was working but I said I could not and that I would deliver the bracelet. He argued a bit but I held my ground and said I could not share her work schedule with him for two reasons: One, it’s against the rules and Two, it’s super creepy.

The following day, the gal I work with sent me a text with a picture of a handwritten message for her to call Coach with his cell phone number.  He had called the coffee shop looking for her.  The day after that, Coach showed up to the coffee shop and gave this gal another bracelet that said “PRINCESS”. She sent me a text about that too. I started to worry that Coach was coming on too strong for this gal. He is twice her age and showing a lot of interest in someone he met one time.

The next time I saw Coach, which was of course, the next day, I teased him about calling her and showing up at her job. He deflected and changed the subject so I didn’t pry but when I saw this girl the next time I was at work at the coffee shop she mentioned he had called her at work twice and showed up to give her that “Princess” bracelet.  She also said she wasn’t sure why he was calling her.  We had a good laugh about it but when it really got down to it, he was creeping her out and I had to get him to stop.

Coach came to the coffee shop that Sunday and the first thing he said to my co-worker was, “Why haven’t you called me back?!”  She didn’t know what to say and it got really awkward.  I started talking to him to relieve her but other customers were coming in and I had to help them.  Coach sat next to the espresso machine and watched me make drinks while my co-worker took a break with a friend of hers that had stopped in for a few minutes.  He asked what was wrong with her and I made something up that she was mad at me so she went outside. I didn’t want to tell him he was creeping her out because I didn’t want to have some sort of confrontation in the coffee shop; there were several people around and I didn’t want to embarrass him or have him confront her.

When my co-worker finished her break she went into the back of the shop and worked on some dishes while she chatted with the owner of the shop.  Coach sat patiently while I made some drinks but finally got up and asked me to ask my coworker what security company she had worked for in the past as she had mentioned it might be a good fit for him since he’s retired. I asked her and she said they were out of business and when I told Coach he rolled his eyes and said he had to go. After he left, my co-worker told me he was creeping her out and I had to do something about it. I said I would, but we still had a good laugh about it.

So now it’s up to me to get this old man to leave this girl alone. I knew I had to shoot him straight because that is how he would want it and the next day when I came into the office, before I could even put my bag down, Coach was standing in the door to my office.  He asked again what was wrong with my co-worker and I just plainly said, “You’re creeping her out. You’re coming on too strong and you’re creeping her out. You called her job twice and then showed up after meeting her one time.”  His mouth dropped open.  He was caught completely off guard by this accusation. He argued that I “had it all wrong” and that he wasn’t trying to pursue her but rather talk to her about the security job.  I really wasn’t in the mood to discuss it any further and I just told him to leave her alone. If he wants to talk to her, he needs to go through me.  He said “liaison” and I nodded my head.

I feel bad for the guy. I think his stroke has changed his mind a little and sometimes these sort of situations aren’t as obvious to him as they are to me but I don’t treat him any different. I guess that’s why he likes me so much. I just give him the honest truth with no sugar-coating; I don’t have time to sugar coat, and I’m not good at it anyway.

The whole conversation took maybe 10 minutes and I told him I had to get to work. You could see he was a little sad when he left but he thanked me for being honest with him.

We haven’t seen Coach today…yesterday he came in mumbling something about maybe this is “so long, maybe not” and I’m guessing it’s something to do with the woman he’s living with upstairs.  He’s shared a lot of his life with us but I think there is more than what he even lets on; hopefully it’s not the last time we see Coach Ben.

He’s not even my brother…

A few months ago, a current resident requested to transfer to a larger unit.  She said her brother and his son would be moving in with her and the brother would be added to the lease.

I never paid much attention to the transfer like a good manager should, and these three people moved in to the apartment with an income that could suffice a $2000/month apartment.  The catch was the brother was never screened or added to the lease.  I don’t know about you other managers, but where I come from, if you’re over 18, you need to be screened and added to the lease.

This brother has been paying the rent for the past few months.  Last month, he approached me in the resident lounge where I was enjoying a 4:00 pm lunch break with my sweet husband who thoughtfully brought me food on a day I was alone with one of my other leasing agents. He walked up to us munching on our fries and asked me if he could pay his rent with cash.  I said it was not allowed because of obvious reasons, someone could steal his rent money. He obliged and purchased a money order.

Today, the brother came to me and said his sister and him were having a discussion and she wanted to get another place by herself.  He asked if he could be the “main lease holder” and she can downsize to another apartment. I said, “You’re both on the lease, right?” And he froze.  I pulled up their account and as it comes out, she is the only lease holder. Awesome. According to the brother, my leasing consultant told him he did not need to be added; however, she still gave him keys to the apartment and a key fob for the property as she would for a lease holder.

While we were speaking, the phone was ringing off the hook. The sister.  My leasing consultant answered and said sister wished to speak with me. I then asked the brother what was going on, and if there was some drama because I was not interested in being a part of it. The brother said there was not.  I finished with him and gave him the instructions for what I like to call a “Switch-er-Roo” which is a roommate add/roommate removal that alleviates the main lease holder of responsibility because someone is willing to take their place. Once he was approved, she could apply for a smaller unit alone.

I picked up the phone and this girl was bawling. She demanded to know what I was told by her brother. I gave her the plan and she continued to bawl. She said he is not who we think he is, he is manipulative and is in trouble. Then she cried some more. Finally, she said, “He’s not even my brother…”

HUH?!

I came out of my office and told the “brother” to fill out the application and we’ll get everything handled.

Shortly there after, a man cam in for a tour. I showed him our model and all the amenities. When we returned to the office the “brother” and skimpily dressed sister were waiting for me. I finished with my client and greeted the pair.  The sister again demanded to know what the “brother” had told me. She argued he came upstairs and told her he was going to leave and apply for his own apartment. I’m thinking to myself, “Whatever man. I don’t care what he told you…I just want the rent to get paid and for this guy to get screened because he’s living with you as an unauthorized occupant.” I finally told them I didn’t care who said what, I just need him to be screened because he is unauthorized and cannot continue to live in the apartment as an adult without being screened.

Then they left. I went to another late lunch and when I came back I decided to sit in the lounge again to avoid any sort of confrontation but oh no, this fool comes up to me and asks me how long it will take to get approved. I asked him to let me eat my lunch and I would help him when I finished. He asked about the drama that had occurred and I said I had not since I was at lunch.  Apparently, the sister had called lock change request to the office.

When I came back, the “brother” was pacing. He asked if she could change the locks on him and we replied, “Of course, she is the lease holder. Had you applied when you moved in here you would have rights but since you’re not on the lease, she can make that decision alone.” He asked if we would go up there and supervise while he retrieved his belongings. I’m thinking, “No way Jose. Not getting involved in this drama with your baby mama.”

We called our ever ready courtesy officer, a Deputy, to help out. When the Deputy arrived on scene he was fully dressed to enforce some shit. Gun, vest, taser, we got  it all.  And on a side note, there appears to be some small amounts of googly eyes between him and one of my leasing consultants. It’s innocent and pretty cute. Can’t wait to see where it goes…

The deputy escorted the “brother” up to the apartment. He was up there a while before texting me saying this wasn’t a “few items” it was a full blown move out.  The “brother” had started pulling all of his belongings out into the hallway.  We had some residents complain and asked what was going on and we simply said it was a break up and they stopped asking questions.

By the time the office closed it appeared to have concluded.  Today the sister called and said she no longer wants her locks changed. Guess brother and sister kissed and made up, those sick fucks. Thanks for bringing your family drama to my day, real  sweet of ya.

 

…and here we have another day in the life at The6, apartment management.

-Mgr