Complex Complex Tales ~ Late Morning Thoughts

This has been a very difficult week. One of the managers from a sister property “disappeared” on Saturday afternoon and no one had officially seen or heard from her since. I say officially, because there was some information that indicated she was at least alright and had not been in the hospital or such.

Monday morning I and another manager had to take over the office. This involved drilling out the locks as she had taken the keys to everything with her. As you have learned from previous posts drilling and changing locks is not exactly my specialty. I discovered that it was even less of a specialty for the other manager. When we were finished the front of the office looked like a tool shop with metal shavings everywhere.

When going into a situation such as this, the first concern is ~ of course ~ the money. We are a business that does not accept cash or checks ~ only money orders. This eliminates some very serious potential headaches. However, there are places that will cash money orders without even looking to see who they are made out to or what kind of endorsement they carry. This, at first glance, did not appear to be an issue. There are also several programs in place that prevent something such as that happening. It doesn’t completely stop it, but it makes finding out if that happens almost immediate.

Now, of course, we have two managers that are not at their properties ~ trying to make sense of someone else’s.

–more to come

Complex Tales ~ Early Morning Thoughts

To paraphrase the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz ~ “What a week! What a week! I”m melting!” Well ~ not really melting, but certainly glad that the week is over.

Two weeks ago, I landed a job after being out of work for “some” time. (that post here)

Anyone of a “certain” age, knows the difficulty of finding work. As I’ve said before, it’s not something that is even mentioned ~ but being “older” certainly figures in the minds of people doing the interviewing. I was sure the job was out there ~ I just hadn’t found it yet. Of course, the fact that my knees don’t work as they should was part of the problem as well. (As a side-note: anyone who has or is contemplating Wal-Mart, should definitely read —>Behind The Counter<— blog! Along with being very…um…amusing ~ it's a great eye opener!)

On June 11th I in essence, walked in and took over an apartment complex ~ as their new manager. One of a string of new managers, I was to find out. Those of you that live or have lived in apartments know the drill. Once a month, on the first (usually) of the month your rent is due. Failure to pay on the due date results in late fees and play THAT game too long and you’ll be evicted. On the property I’m managing, the tenants pay by the week. So, the work that I usually did over the month is compressed into a 7 day period instead of 30. At the end of the seven day period, I get to start it all over again. Of course, there are certain legal steps that apartments have to take when tenants decide not to pay – for whatever reason. These steps are also compressed into a one week period.

Fortunately, most of the tenants have gotten the picture and the idea. The day of the week they moved into the apartment is the day of the week their rent is due. (Not a really hard concept, but … there are a few who just seem to have trouble with that idea.) So, notices that we are going to file, cut off electricity (we pay the electric and they pay a small portion of what would be a LARGE bill to us) and lock them out…occurs quite quickly.

Under the previous ownership, the apartments suffered from all sort of problems, which we are currently trying to sort out. Some of the problems were/are physical and some were/are residential. Fortunately, with a little strong arm help from the corporate office (You have to love it when someone loves to play Rambo!) and some very friendly and helpful police officers ~ I have reason to believe that the last of the two-legged cockroaches have been somewhat forcibly removed decided to move elsewhere.

The complex itself has such a delightful variety of people that there’s never really a dull moment. I’ve got all kinds of ages, orientations, beliefs, outlooks and ideas. I have one fellow who two months ago was literally living on the street and through the efforts of someone ~ now has a job and is holding his own on rent, utilities and survival. I’ve got a 48 year old skateboarder who really should have been a hippie artist with a flower painted VW van. I have one gentleman in his late 30’s who is heavy into the whole “goth” culture. These are just some of the characters I will be introducing to you over the next several days. Oh and trust me, “corporate” will also be coming under the microscope. There are a LOT of interesting stories there.

And, of course, this was the week that my health decided to become less than perfect. The first week I was in/on the job, I had to spend 5 days (in hot and muggy Houston weather) in a very small office (I think they gutted a broom closet to make it ~ it seems smaller than a small cubicle) with no air conditioning. That was what did me in and tried to bring me down. I’ve held it together, and this afternoon I relaxed and dozed. Tomorrow is definitely a day of “do not disturb – or else!”

Right now, it takes me just over an hour (if the buses and such run as they should) to get to work, and a bit longer to get home at night. I will be moving onto/into the complex the end of the month … so there certainly will be tales of that as well.

–much more to follow

–wicked witch from Mego Museum