There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day of work and taking a load off, right?
But how about when you come home and find a complaint from the property manager in your building?
And what if that complaint is the most ridiculous three lines of verbiage you have ever seen?
www.dictionary.com defines “Micromanaging” as:
“To manage, direct, or control to an unnecessary level of detail or precision.”
I think we can all agree that micromanaging is not a good thing, right?
I recognize that the job of a condominium property manager doesn’t provide for the most glorious eight hours per day, and I’m sure like any other job where you deal with people on a regular basis, you have to smile and eat some crow from time to time.
But I also think that it’s an incredibly important job with a lot at stake.
You’re looking after the homes of hundreds of people, and a collective asset value of over $100,000,000.
As such, there are “little issues” and there are “big issues” that will arise each and every day.
Then, there are what I like to call “non issues,” and having served on a Condo Board before, I know how many “non issues” arise every day.
I’d like to think that a property manager is able to identify “non-issues” and deal with them accordingly, ie. put them in here:
I received the following from my property manager today:
“Residents have expressed concern over the potential fire safety issue of the brown cedars along the back of your terrace. They are concerned that if the torches in the planters are lit, the plants will ignite. When we meet, I would like to discuss this issue.”
Was this the most important part of your day?
What is he talking about?
I have a very large outdoor terrace and I have an elaborate collection of plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees.
In April of this year, I bought nine new Emerald Cedars and planted them at the back of my terrace.
All nine of them died!
I’ve never worked as much as I did during this past spring market, so maybe I didn’t give them enough attention…..or water. Oh yeah, right….plants like water…
Or, maybe it’s no coincidence that the three trees left over from last year are still alive and well, and the nine new trees are all dead. Maybe I got a “bad batch” from the Depot we call “home.”
Okay maybe this photo proves my point even more:
Yes, I have a lot of dead trees on my terrace.
But for the love of God, is it really necessary for my property manager to contact me about the “fire hazard?”
Let’s be honest about what really happened here…
An old lady, who had nothing to do between 8:05AM when she finishes reading all four major newspapers and 11:00AM when “The Price is Right” comes on, has sent the property manager a ridiculous “complaint” that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
“There’s a guy on the fifth floor that doesn’t recycle!”
“This lady in 7B leaves her lights on when she goes to work every morning!”
“My neighbour’s dog won’t laugh at my jokes!”
These are the kind of complaints I draw equal to the one that was voiced about my “Mexican Orange Trees,” as I described them when I wrote back to my property manager.
I’m told that “residents” with an “s” have complained, meaning there are quite possibly two old people with no lives who keep track of the cumulative growth of my hostas and flowering of my hydrangeas.
But to bring this complaint to my attention is a waste of time and effort, and it honestly isn’t the property manager’s job.
I’m not storing firearms on my terrace, nor am I cutting up dead bodies.
Why does a resident who lives 17 floors above me care if I have dead trees on my terrace – even if, in the remotest of remote chances, one of them were to spontaneously combust?
A property manager should placate this complaining resident by simply saying, “I’ll look into it,” but he should never actually look into it!
The bigger problem here is that now that this has been brought to my attention, I feel somewhat violated.
Honestly, I do.
My terrace is open for about 100 residents to see, and now I know that somebody is watching me.
Maybe it’s as I sit on my terrace, right now, drinking Powerade, listening to Metric, and typing this very blog post.
Or maybe it’s during my Sunday Sexy Sunbathing…
I’m looking all around as I write this, but I don’t see anybody watching me….or my trees.
I do see a girl on the sub-penthouse level of East Lofts who is having a cigarette out her Juliette balcony, but I don’t think she can see me. After all, I’m the one using binoculars…
But I honestly feel a little violated and a little vulnerable – to think that one, or several, of my neighbours are monitoring my barbequing habits, my gardening or lack thereof, or anything else that I do in my 440 square feet of private space.
I don’t think these residents have any right to tell me how to use my space, and the idea of a “fire hazard” is a joke. We’re not in the dry California forest here. I just have a few trees that will be disposed of when I have time, and when I bloody-well feel like it.
I’m not telling Agnes in Unit 1748 that I don’t like her old-lady wallpaper or her collection of Tom Selleck photos with extra chest-hair.
I told my property manager quite simply, “I don’t have time for this.”
But I should have added, “Thanks for giving me an awesome story for my blog”…