Friday, August 25, 2006

I actually hit upon an explanation for what I don't like about apartment management.

I DO enjoy showing my (unusually cool) apartments, and I enjoy the challenge of hooking someone up with an apartment that will meet their needs space- and feature-wise while helping them in some way discover and define who they are. (Ok, it sounds like a lofty concept, but I think where or what you live in is more indicative of who you are than is your vehicle).

I don't, however, enjoy the hand-holding that the 30-and-under crowd seem to need so very much of. I'm wondering if this is owing to the fact that their entire lives have been cradled in a world where safety belts were required for kids, all toys came with an age-appropriate rating system, and they always wore a helmet and pads when bicycling. They just seem so unprepared for life in the real world, and they are incredulous that every hard corner is not clad in rubber bumpers or something.

I'm a ripe old 40 years of age, and when I was a kid, we rode our banana-seat Schwinns sans helmet, and a whole shitload of us survived.

We had Clackers, a wonderful plastic ring tied in the middle of a long string with a transparent acrylic ball at either end. This was a toy. You would hold the ring and clack the balls up and down so they would smack together in an arc from top to bottom, top to bottom. Hours of fun, I tell you. Then some curmudgeon figured out that the acrylic ball fit neatly into the orbital socket of the human skull and was therefore likely to supplant the more desireable eyeball whilst in the process of swinging wildly about the head. Quicker than you can say Wham-O!, clackers were off the market. Wimps.

I've been thinking about it a lot. Most of these young men are terribly unmanly, needing lots of babying when it comes to wobbly door handles and changing light bulbs.

This very much makes me worry for the future of our country. Maybe our society is turning out people with too much specialized skill and too little general wisdom.

Maybe all college degrees should come with a complimentary copy of "Self-Sufficiency for dummies."

Note to self: author and publish "Self-Sufficiency for Dummies."


nongirlfriend said...

Our generation was the last of the ones to actually learn to take care of ourselves, I think.

phlegmfatale said...

That is looking more and more to be the case.
Speaking of cases, every year my company gives each resident a gift, and I think we need to give a small set of tools this time. We could have "Your first toolkit" embossed on the plastic case, and include a card with a little legend 'splaining the purpose of a screwdriver or pliers.

starbender said...

This is sooo true nowadays!
We have created a whole continent of them. If the Electric Grids EVER go down--We are screw'd!

Have a great week-end!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think they're just cheap.

After all, paying $1000+ a month to someone else, instead of making payments on a place that you own makes economic sense because somebody else is doing the maintainence!

How'd you feel if the polar opposite customer moved in, and decided to repair his AC system with duct tape and swizzle sticks? "Hey, it's working, I saved you guys a fortune!"

phlegmfatale said...

starbender - i wish it weren't true - it bodes ill for all of us! Then again, if the electric grids ever go down, we'll know who to eat first.

Kelly said...

Sheesh, not all of us young'uns are like that!

Some of us chicks can repair stuff ourselves. (Thanks dad, for showing me how)

Half the problem is the parents of these young people spent more time working or whatever than teaching them how to do things. The other half of the problem is they never wanted to learn.

I, on the other hand, always want to learn how to fix stuff. And I'm going to learn more than my share very very soon.

Rocky (Racquel) said...

OH I lurved those clackers!! We had some that were ruby red and we could just get them going for hours!

With our litigious society and institutionalized paranoia re: bumps and scrapes, the old concept of "natural selection" is well on its way to extinction.

I worked in apartment management once - the two highlights were the discovery of an illegally kept pet potbelly pig and the escape of a very large boa constrictor...ah working with the public. You couldn't pay me enough to do it now! :-)

Thomas J Wolfenden said...

You and I are the same age and I couldn't agree with you more... Remember the 'Slip N'Slide" or how about Lawn Darts?

I'm so damn sick of other people trying to take care of me and thinking they know what's best for me...

It's agrivating.

And I was on my own since I was 17 when I went into the army so I'm quite capable of taking care of myself now. Go figure.

FHB said...

I had some of those Clackers. What was it, about 1969 or 70ish? Those things were scary as hell. Those things could actually shatter on you. You could really fuck yourself up if you weren't careful. I had Lawn Darts too in the early 70s. Remember them? I think between the Lawn Darts, the BB guns, the razor sharp hunting broadheads on our arrows, and the fuckin' hawthorns fallin' off the trees, we played in the equivalent of a war zone, and it was a blast and a half! Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Yer flyin' down a hill on yer bike, with the sissy bar and the banana seat, and you skid out on spot of wet pavement, skin the shit out of your knees and arms. No helmets or pads. People would have called you a pussy for wearing that shit. Mom puts hydrogen peroxide on it and yer back in the game. That was life baby.

You know, today's generation has no clue when it comes to a lot of these things. Their baby boomer parents have fucked them completely up. But they've had to deal with a seemingly unending flood of pedophiles and weirdoes, not to mention school shootings and shit. Some of that makes our time sound pretty placid.

nongirlfriend said...

I hate my job. You got one there for me?

shpprgrl said...

I remember them! I was just about to ask you...wasn't that the thing that hit the people on the head and hurt them? But you answered that question! :)

FHB said...

Hey, shit happens. Nobody I know ever got hit with one, and we were tryin' to hit one another with them. You know, call it evolution. If you're not smart enough or agile enough to survive long enough to reproduce, you probably shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

Thing is, the modern parent who would never think about putting a lawn dart in the hands of their little precious will one day think nothing of putting the keys to a new rice rocket in little Heathers hands. When she goes out and wraps it around a tree the response will be to blamesomeone else, or to sue the manufacturer.

phlegmfatale said...

kelly - well, you are so obviously exceptional that I hereby grant you olderling status, 'k?

rocky - We had a few sets, and they all ended up disintegrating. Remember how they'd crack open in a zig-zag sort of pattern, jig-saw like? Great point about natural selection - Just think how many more morons make it into the breeding arena by virtue of the "unsafe toy" list that comes out every Christmas time. My residents are generally a delight. It's funny - I wrote that post late Thursday night, and Friday--while hectic--was one of the best days. Two favorite residents came in and talked to me for a while, and it was great. One of them is a friend now, I hope for life.

ranger tom - Yup, slip'n'slide. Or THINGMAKEr! LOVED that. I had the edible thingmaker. It was totally classic. The military makes a capable man out of many a directionless soul, bless them

fathairybastard - Something like '70. They were COOl! Yup, times were simpler then with potential screaming death in every toybox. Sissy bar! Banana Seat! Giant scabs! Mercurochrome. Remember that stuff? It burned, and you sucked it up and walked it off. Yup, it was a golden moment in history.

nongirlfriend - if one comes up I'll give you a holler

shpprgrl - Totally!

fathairybastard - Exactly. Perhaps some people are not meant to survive to adulthood, and we are weakening the gene pool by preventing freak accidents. Great point about the blame game - as Benny Hill would say "What a road of clap!"

Kelly said...

phlem, thank you my dear.

My first set of roller skates had wobbly metal wheels. Talk about accidents! Our playground down the street had metal trapeze bars and metal gymnastics rings and a six foot high sliding board. That was the injury playground.

Lawn darts! We had those. A metal sharp projectile. We used to throw them straight up and see how high they'd go. Amazing we didn't end up with them embedded in our skulls.

Oh, the good old days. Frickin' lawyers and sue-happy parents have ruined it all.

LJ said...

Speaking as someone who works with a lot of 20-something students...Some are remarkably self-sufficient, but uh-huh, hate to admit it, but I notice the trend too. The "trend" drove a friend of mine out of a university teaching/baby-sitting post.

I myself teach Work Ethic 101 to my student staff - (how to pretend you have a work ethic, and why you need to at least when your supervisor is around etc.)- I instruct on subjects like:
Why showing up is necessary. Why showing up on time is necessary. Why you have to do the job when you show up.

As this is something I knew at age 12, it makes me sincerely worried when I realize a lot of people really, truly don't have a clue...

Write the book, honey! There's sure as hell a market for it.

Dick said...

Not all kids are complete idiots, just a solid percentage of them.
I tried like hell to raise mine right.

Zelda said...

Oh MY GOD. I find the under 30 crowd to be unbearable in their haplessness. They have no concept of what people's time is worth, probably because their own is worth nothing. I imagine them sitting around their homes in great big shitty diapers unable to do anything for themselves. It amuses me while I try to explain security deposits.

phlegmfatale said...

kelly - wobbly metal roller skate wheels? And look how nicely you turned out, hon!

lj - You are very good and patient to give these wayward chillins a little bit of proper parenting. Maybe all the parents are too immature to properly train a child.

big dick - Yeah, they are not all morons, true. Just a lot of the ones I encounter.

zelda - *LOL* I loved on your blog how you talked about idiots whimpering when they learn no one will rent a house to them with their 4 cats and 3 dogs - I wonder why it's so hard to understand? Oh, and our security deposit is very large, but I get ice-cool when people think they are going to come in heavy on me about the deposit, saying shit like "Well so-and-so apartments have a $200 deposit special!" *whine* I muster some chilly enthusiasm and say "That sounds like the best deal you'll find. I think you should go for it." Seriously. They shut right up. bitches.