To call me a creature of habit or say that I dislike change would be an understatement.
So imagine my surprise when I get home one night and see a notice on the bulletin board that says a new “security” company has been retained by our condominium corporation, and the change is effective immediately.
This is going to take some getting used to…
I’ve always said that owning a condominium unit means having 300-some-odd partners in a business, whether you like it or not.
And although you might live alone, you still live amongst neighbours and some people that you see every single day.
In my building, that person was Fadi.
From the moment I moved into my building, Fadi worked as our “concierge.” I hate when condos refer to these people as “security guards,” because they’re not, really. Or at least that’s not how I want them to be portrayed. These people faithfully help us throughout our daily routines. They get to know us, open the door for us, greet our friends – and often even know our friends by name!
If you’ve ever been at 55 Stewart Street, you know how amazing their concierge is. This young man knows everybody by name, and seems to know their occupations, interests, and even how old their dogs are.
The last time I was showing condos in the building, I marvelled at how he greeted every person through the door and seemed to know something about each of them.
“Hey, Mark! What are you doing home so early? It’s only 9pm!” The resident, who was clearly in banking, smiled and said, “That’s because I just came home to change and I’m heading back to the office in an hour.”
“Hey Lindsay, are you bartending on Friday AND Saturday?” The girl sighs, and says, “Yay me! I love holding down two jobs and working seven days a week!”
This concierge truly puts all other desk-jockeys to shame.
I’m of the opinion that anybody who works a desk at a condominium is a concierge, and not “security.”
In my building, I have grown accustomed to seeing Fadi every day for the past five years. He’s a cute little man of just over five feet, and he’s always smiling. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen him without his trademark goatee…
Fadi knows many of my friends by name, and will often buzz them inside if I’m not answering my buzzer.
He’s helped me work around endless red tape by maybe sorta kinda putting the elevator on service for two minutes so I don’t have to fill out five pages of forms and bring a certified cheque, and he genuinely cares about my goings-on in the building.
As I said – I’m a creature of habit, and I hate change. Now that there’s a new “security company” in our building, I can only assume that Fadi will be placed in another building, and I’ll have to start getting to know the new concierge all over.
The decision to remove a security company within a condominium in not one that a Board of Directors takes lightly. Having served on a Board, I know this first-hand.
I can only assume that the Board at 230 King Street East had a good reason for doing so, although it hasn’t yet been explained to us.
Could it be about money? Perhaps. Maybe the price of the old company was just too high, or the prices out there for competing companies were just too low to pass up.
Could it be about service? I can’t imagine, but maybe a few people complained about one of the concierges. I don’t know.
I can sit here and speculate all I want, but I won’t know until I ask the appropriate parties, and until they tell me.
We have a fantastic property manager in our building; a gentleman who is on site and diligently works out of an office on the main floor of the building. He knows many if not most of the residents by name, and has his ear to the ground on EVERY issue that arises. He knows of things before they even happen.
I’ve never directly interacted with the board, so I can’t really comment on their capacity.
But I will give them the benefit of the doubt in this regard and simply *assume* that there was a bona-fide reason for the switch.
However, my early interractions with the new security guards, aka, “concierges,” have been anything but pleasant.
On Canada Day, I hosted a barbecue for a small group of about nine people, and they arrived intermittently between 6 – 7PM.
By the time 7PM rolled around, we were already out on my terrace with music playing, and I neglected to hear the phone ring for the buzzer downstairs.
In the lobby was my friend Dave, and his fiancee, who was on crutches and had just underwent major surgery. Making it out to a BBQ was a major foray for her; actually, for the both of them.
They followed somebody into the lobby, and the security guard approached. He looked at Dave , who was holding a chair and a stool for his fiancee’s leg (since it had to be raised to 90-degrees at ALL times), and asked, “May I help you?”
As Dave stood there with armloads of wares, and even a make-shift tensor bandage dangling from his shoulders, he replied, “No we’re okay; I think we can manage. But thanks though.”
The concierge then replied, “I meant can I help you – what is your purpose here?”
I suppose that technically, all visitors must use the intercom and be buzzed in by residents, then sign in at the front desk. But surely there are exceptions to the rule, no?
I mean, there are condos all across the city where concierges know our friends by name and buzz them in with a smile! They make small talk and wish our friends on their way!
So is it unreasonable to assume that the concierge, albeit new to the post, won’t interrogate my friend as he struggles to get his fiancee up to my condo so she can rest her leg and the blood won’t clot?
Did the concierge believe that Dave had planned this whole charade in attempts to gain access to the building and steal one of the stairmasters in the exercise room?
The concierge called my cell phone FIVE times in attempts to reach me. I was on my patio, enjoying myself on one of my first day’s off in a long, long time.
Dave called my cell twice as well, but the concierge wouldn’t let him upstairs!
FIVE TIMES! The concierge called my cell FIVE TIMES!
Dave waited about fifteen minutes before they were finally allowed to pass the golden threshold, but none of this should have ever happened.
I know there are rules, I understand.
But you don’t get a speeding ticket for driving at 105 KM/H in a 100 zone. Surely there are always grey areas and exceptions.
Fadi would have known my friend and might have piggy-backed his fiancee to the elevator!
But this new concierge, who was acting more like a security guard, and almost like that ass at airport security who likes to play God, was being entirely unreasonable.
I refuse to chalk this up to being “new” and instead I think that either the new security guard or the entire company are nothing more than people who are too stupid to take the police exam, and too lazy to become a mall cop. Instead, they’ll forever interrogate condominium residents and their guests to feel alive.
Maybe. But I hate change.
I can only assume that this change had a purpose, and I’ll further admit that one bad experience at the onset doesn’t mean that every day in my building will be an exercise in frustration.
But I already miss Fadi, Sebastian, Patrick, and that other dude whose name I can’t remember. He looked like a “Stephano,” or perhaps “Alberto.”
I swear – if they get rid of the little guy who vacuums the hallways each morning, I might just move…