Ask any community association manager about the unusual requests, problems and interactions with residents, and you will quickly learn that working in common interest communities is never dull! Allow me to share a few of my true, memorable experiences:
Bird on the Roof – I received a distress call from a woman who wanted to report a bird on the roof. Incredulous, I asked the owner to repeat the complaint. “There is a bird on the roof, and it has been in the same spot for… like… an hour”, she repeated. “Ummm… okay… and…”, I asked. “How long is it going to be there?” she asked; now clearly irritated. “Send someone over to make it move”, she demanded. “No, ma’am, we’re not sending someone to move a bird from your roof. It will move on when it’s ready,” I responded. She angrily replied, “You work for me, I pay your salary. I am giving you an order! Oh! Wait, it’s leaving. Nevermind.” Click.
Grass Cutting – My assistant came into the office to ask if I had time to discuss a landscaping complaint. As I try to have an “open-door policy”, I take impromptu meetings whenever possible. The Owner entered the office clutching an envelope. This should be interesting, I thought. “Do you know what is in here?” he asked, pointing to envelope. “No, sir”, I said. “It’s grass! And it is cut straight; not a forty-five degree angle like it is supposed be cut! What are you going to do about it”? He exclaimed. I sat staring at him for a moment. I was silently reconsidering my “open-door policy”. I replied, “I am nominating you to be added to the Landscape Committee. Your expertise will be enormously useful to the committee. They could use your help in the weekly meetings, frequent community inspections, and field trips to nurseries and other communities! I’ll have the committee chair contact you by the end of the day”. Thank you for your service to your community.” I said, dripping with sincerity. “We’ll, I uh… just wanted to bring this to your attention; I don’t have time to get involved with any committee. I’m sure you’ll do what’s right”, he said as he was preparing to leave the office. He stood and placed the envelope on the desk. “I’ll be seeing you around campus” he said, as he left the room.
Indecent Proposal – On my way to the monthly Finance Committee Meeting, an overweight, elderly resident approached me, visibly shaking and sweating. “Can I meet with you?” I have something very important to ask you.” He gasped. “I am on my way to a meeting, can this wait?” I responded. “No, no, it can’t wait. It has to be now!” Alright, let’s step over there”, I said, pointing to an alcove of the hallway. He replied, “Okay, okay, I didn’t plan it like this but, just hear me out, please. I want to ask if you would consider allowing me to see you without your clothes…. and possibly meeting me at a hotel, you know, out of town. I’ll arrange and pay for everything, of course. I don’t expect you to touch me back; I know I’m disgusting and I’ve put on a lot of weight, so don’t worry about that. I served overseas, and I have learned some tricks, you know… things I know how to do.”
I just walked away, as he called out “okay then, I just wait to hear from you… okay?” I reported him to the board president. Needless to say, he did not hear from me.
Endeavoring to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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