Friday, May 20, 2011

I am going to harm his dog.

I manage a 103-unit apartment complex.  It's what I do.  It's just me and my manager against roughly 250+ residents, on a good day.  I know my residents fairly well: Angry Guy, Military Guy Who Never Uses The Door, Mom & Little Girl Who Always Gives Me A Hug, CoWorker's Girlfriend Who Always Looks Like She Just Rolled Out Of Bed, etc.  You get the picture.  On a daily basis I field around a dozen maintenance requests to our one maintenance tech, answer ten or so calls about our current availability, open and organize around five incoming bills, and at the beginning of the month accept and process everyone's rental payments.  Usually I have one or two apartment showings, on occasion a move-in or a move-out, and in general just try to pass the hours until I can lock up and head home to my honey and my dogs.

I didn't work for a little over a year; I finally left the worst job I've ever held in September of 2009, right about a week before we blew our savings and moved from a tiny apartment into our two bedroom, two point five bath townhouse far from the local tourist areas, and spent the better part of a year doing the housewife thing: cleaning, laundry, cooking, you get the picture.  That lasted until November 2010, when I finally admitted that I was going insane at home and needed to get out of the house again.  And I've been here ever since.

I love my job for the most part.  I have Lupus, so the pace isn't so stressful and the workload isn't so heavy that I'm dragging at the end of the day, which I seriously was after the job from hell (hereafter known as The JFH).  We work out of our model, so I leave a fully furnished home in the morning and spend eight hours in a fully furnished apartment: if I'm sleepy, I can nap in the bedroom; if I'm hungry, I can cook in the kitchen; if I'm bored, I can veg out on the couch and watch television on our 64in flat screen.  It's a pretty sweet place to work, and I job I fell ass backward into after finding that no one, anywhere, was hiring last year.

I work with three other people: a crotchedly old cleaning lady who walks like she's carrying 300lbs on her back and has nothing nice to say, ever; a middle-aged maintenance tech whose much younger wife just gave birth to their second child (the first is six); and a 42yr old apartment manager who formerly worked at another location owned by our corporate unit, who is currently pregnant by a coworker from the former location. who has since left his wife and moved into her apartment.  In fact, today they are moving to a three bedroom apartment in the complex they used to work.  So I'm all alone in the office today, tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday morning.

Our residents are funny.  Their complaints are ludicrous.  The following conversation actually took place today, at roughly 11am.  I'm paraphrasing, but the words are pointless - the jist of the thing is the important part.

"Hello, _______________ Apartments.  This is Prickly Chick, how can I help you?"

"Hello, this is Mr. _______________ in apartment ___________.  I have a complaint to make to the office."  (Imagine this all being said by a tiny, angry, elderly Asian man.)

"Sure thing Mr. ________________.  What's going on?"

"My neighbor in apartment ______________, he has a dog.  The dog barked at me when I was on my patio planting flowers.  All the people said was, 'Sorry.'  That is it.  'Sorry!'  They put it down and it runs around without a leash while they take pictures.  What you do?"


"He barked at me!  He was going to bite me-----"

"Wait.  Did the dog bite you?"


"How close was the dog to you?  Was the dog on your patio or was it out in the grass?"

"No.  He was on his patio.  He cannot get to my patio.  I have a fence around it.  Four feet.  He cannot get in."


"And he barked at my wife when she was watering her vegetables!  He barked and all the people say is, 'Sorry!'  I tried to ask them about the dog and all they say is, 'Sorry' and go back into their apartment!  What you do?"

(At this point, I have looked up the residents in question, and they own a little puff-ball of a dog.  They have to, as we only permit dogs up to 25lbs.)  "Mr. ________________, I'm a little confused.  What would you like me to do?  If the dog is being monitored by it's owners while it is outside, I cannot remove the dog simply because it barked at you.  Dogs have a tendency to bark at people they aren't familiar with."

"I want them to keep the dog inside if it is going to bark at me!"

"Is the dog getting close to you?  Is it on your porch?  Is it actually leaving their porch and coming over to you?"

"It can't.  I have a fence.  They have a fence around their porch too."

"Okay, let me get this straight.  They have a fence enclosing the dog.  You have an additional fence to keep the dog off your property.  It has never growled, snapped, or snarled at you, it's only been barking.  And when the dog is out on the grass the owners are outside too monitoring it?"

"Yes, but it barked at me!  If you do not make them stop and it keeps doing this, I am going to harm his dog."

"Excuse me?"

"I am going to do something myself then.  I will harm his dog."

"Sir, that's considered animal cruelty, no matter the personal property damage and emotional distress you will cause the owners.  They are permitted and expected to call the authorities on you for that."

"What the police do?  It's only a dog!"

"And sir, it's only barking.  In this state, animal cruelty statutes are steep and the police in this area take them seriously.  You will be arrested and fined for anything you do to the dog, not to mention that any property damage of another resident will void your lease and you will be immediately evicted."

"Then you will talk to them?"

"I will speak with them about the dog."

"And you call me back and tell me what they say?"

"No sir, as of this moment the report now belongs to the office.  I do not have to call you back regarding anything they say.  The matter will be between them and the office."

"So you will not call me back?"

"No sir.  And if the barking at you continues to bother you, I suggest you stay inside.  Have a great day."

.... Some people.  And if you're wondering about my extensive knowledge about animal cruelty laws and statutes, as well as why I know how the police in my area respond to them, just chalk it all up to the JFH, which I'll talk about someday.  Believe me when I say that I'm scarred for life from working for them, and it was my whole life, my whole (as in 20+hrs a day) life, for a period of time much longer than it rightfully should have been.