Friday, August 31, 2007

Stop me if I've told this one before, but... some time ago a relatively new resident called for a maintenance repair on something in his apartment - plumbing or light switch or some such. The maintenance people who work for me have been with the company more than two decades. I don't think they are perfect, but in that industry, I think they are pretty darned close. I have known them both myself for 19 years and I believe they are trustworthy people.

Then again, we're all human. MY policy is that if I must enter someone's apartment (for example to deliver a package) I enter looking down at the floor and I keep my eyes on the floor all the way in and out. I have no interest or curiosity about looking at people's things - I think it's rude and a breach of trust. That's just me, personally.

I also try not to look at people's things when I'm showing their apartment to new prospective tenants, but it's not always easy when certain things are casually left about. One of the first apartments I showed when I got into this industry years ago was an incredible space where a grungenik was ensconced. He left a hideous glass bong on the table, and I almost lost my game at that moment, but I acted like I didn't see it. Later that day, I left him a voice mail saying that I'd be showing his space again the next day at 3pm. The next day at 3, the bong was nowhere in sight, but there was a big orange frisbee full of weed on the table in its place. Again, I circled the table, always keeping myself between the prospective clients and the weed/bong, but I that was the last time I ever tried to cover for someone. It's too exhausting, and not my responsibility.

So anyway, all those moons ago, the maintenance crew went into the apartment, and apparently one of the maintenance people went to a bookshelf of curiosities the person collected and picked something up, looking at it. The phone rang in my office with the tenant on the other end in a screaming conniption, shrieking that he was watching his apartment on webcam and we were "looking at" his things. I just didn't know how to respond to that, other than to say I was unaware of them behaving in any inappropriate matter, but that I would ask them about this.

I mean, what do you say? I tried as tactfully as I could to tell them they should consider that anyone can see anything they do -that a lot of people have webcams in their apartments these days. It's certainly a different world than it was a few minutes ago.
Crap. I must go to court Friday morning. That should be fun.


Anonymous said...

What can you say, except that, you know there could be a webcam watching you. After that they are on their own. To bad it falls back on you.

Hope court goes well.

Anonymous said...

If you're that uptight about a maintenance crew potentially czeching out your living room accessories, then either learn how to turn a screwdriver or schedule time to hang around while they fix things. When I was a renter, I did a little of both.

Screeching about it after you see it happen on your webcam shows a level of sissy that I just can't approve of.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't know what is scarier, people leave weird shit lying about their place or people with cameras all over their house.

phlegmfatale said...

lainy - Yup, I'm always the first one blamed for everything, or it feels like that. I at least have to take the brunt of it all.

pdb - my thoughts precisely. If you can wire up 40 webcams in your apartment, you can change your own damned lightbulbs, thank you very much.

barbara - Great point. People uptight about having people come in need to do as pdb said and just be there to supervise that their things are not interfered with.

Christina RN LMT said...

I just try to make sure my place is clean, clean, clean if maintenance is coming in.
I know they've probably seen much worse than my apartment, but I'm really anal about that.
I can't get uptight about my stuff, though...I have too many books my daughter calls pr0n on my bookshelves! I figure if they want to leaf through my books to find the "juicy" bits, more power to them. Just don't let me find any suspicious stains in my apartment.

FHB said...

So he's leaving his gear out for everyone to see, and then filming them looking? It'll be great when the video of his arrest goes up on youtube.

phlegmfatale said...

christina - Yeah, trust me, they've seen bachelor pads from hell - I don't think you could abide that degree of filth.

fathairybastard - Yeah, that's about the size.

Unknown said...

I have to admit that I side with the tenant on this one b/c the guy went over and touched his stuff, and I think that crosses the line. It was on a bookshelf, not something that was in the guy's way to get to what he needed to repair. If he had just stared at it, that might be one thing but they really shouldn't touch anything that's not related to the repair.