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Barking Up The Wrong Pipes

, , , , | Right | August 10, 2021

I work as a property management assistant. I show properties and do inspections, but I also handle other work as necessary whenever someone is out of the office, meaning I know how to do mostly everything. This means that I can tag in whenever someone needs help. In person, I’m a pushover, all sweetness and light, but over the phone that changes, and that’s where I get tagged in most frequently.

I get tapped by the maintenance coordinator. A tenant has been charged for an after-hours maintenance call, the most expensive kind there is. The tenant has called in an emergency, and now he is getting charged for it, and he is not happy. There’s only one way the tenant gets charged for that, though, and that’s if it’s their fault. I get the quick rundown: he called the emergency phone on Sunday night to say that there was a break to a water line. Instead of turning the water off at the main and waiting for someone to come over first thing in the morning, he wanted them there right away. He was warned that if it was his fault, he’d be charged, but he didn’t care, so the technician went out, turned off the water main, and said they’d be back to fix it in the morning.

Then, we got a report from the contractor: the break was caused by the tenant’s dog. There’s no info on how, so I call the contractor to find out what evidence he has. After talking with him, I hop back on the phone with the tenant.

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid that I can’t reverse the charge. I just spoke to the contractor, and he says it was definitely your dog that broke the water pipe.”

Tenant: “That’s ridiculous! How dare you take his word over mine?! I’ve been a tenant here for six years!”

Me: “We’ve been contracting out to them for nine years, sir, and they have no reason to lie to us; they get paid either way.”

Tenant: “I don’t see what that has to do with it! And how could he even know what broke the pipe? How would my dog even do that?!”

Me: “Sir, he found your dog’s leash tied to the pipe.”

There’s a moment of silence.

Tenant: “Well, that’s just stupid! Who would tie their dog to a water pipe?!”

Me: “Apparently you, sir.”

He hung up.