Monday, February 22, 2010

Struggle Takes Five

Part of maintaining one's Real Estate license in the fine state of Strugglevania is the abominable and painful task of continuing education, which occurs once every two years and requires 14 hours of mindless, boring and totally redundant classes which make you want to stab your eyes out with a fork. Not that I'd had that thought or anything. And while I personally will be doing my continuing education classes online, preferably with old episodes of 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation playing in the background. But some of us, and by some, I mean my entire office, seemed to feel the need to sit through actual classes for 7 hours, so this past Wednesday and Thursday I was alone in the office, fielding whatever problem came my way.

Now, let me tell you something about real estate. The selling and buying part? That has it's issues, but in general, in comparison with the property management part, it's a WALK IN THE PARK. Because managing properties, that is, dealing with apartments and the people who use them, well, I have to assume that that is some kind of punishment for something my family and I did in a past life. Were we murderers? Cossacks? God help me, rodeo clowns? Well, whatever it was, I'm really sorry, universe, but I think you've had your just desserts, because you've saddled us with a set of task that has us dealing with people at their absolute worst.

Look, I have nothing but sympathy for people who arrive home at their apartments at 7pm and find themselves confronting real, actual, unlivable problems, like, for example, their pipes have frozen and burst, or their ceiling has collapsed, or their closet opens into a snowy kingdom that's a metaphor for Christianity. These are all real problems, though that last one might be fun if you dress warm and stay away from the Turkish Delight, and we would be happy to help you with them as soon as is humanly possible. But really, and you can trust me on this, true emergencies only take up about 30% of my time, and that other 70%? It's chock full of crazy.

Here's one for you. While I wandered around the halls of our darkened office, the printers and copiers silent, the computer monitors turned off, only the quiet sound of the footsteps of little mice to keep me company, I received a phone call so strugglesome, so insane, so stupid, that I continue fume about it even now. The caller, who shall remain anonymous just so that no one becomes as enraged as I am, hunts them down, and hits them in the face until they look like they just won the big fight with Apollo Creed, was extremely upset because, apparently, a post man was daily entering the building in which they rent a commercial unit and using the (public) bathroom. And this was NOT their regular postman, but some strange postman. And he takes up a spot in the PARKING lot. And he brings a NEWSPAPER in the bathroom with him, so you know he's going to be taking his time. And this is a DEEPLY upseting and serious problem, and just WHAT do we plan to do about it, the caller would like to know? Oh, the postman is black. Does that help?

When I asked this person why they themselves didn't, I don't know, call their local post office or confront this wiley postman before or after he did his daily business, they were shocked and affronted. WE couldn't possibly do anything, we have to protect our anonymity! Postmen TALK!  (I suppose that's true, I mean, I've never met a mute one.) We must get our MAIL!

Now, in the face of all of this ludicrous insane strugglesomeness, did I scream? Did I laugh? Did I imply that this may be one of the ten thousand reasons to look into this whole "email" thing so popular with the young folks these days? Did I even hint at the fact that this at the end of the day was one of the most worthless complaints I've ever heard? No, I did not. I took the nice crazy person's information and promised to do all I could do about the defecating public servent who is, apparently, ruining this caller's life. Because I am a professional. I am a grown up. And I am getting paid for this.

Whatever we were in a past life, I can't wait until we've made our karmic restitution. Because if hell is other people, then greetings from the 7th circle, and Dante has nothing on us. Clearly, the man knew nothing about Real Estate.

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