Time To Rent Him A New One

| Washington, DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

(I own a couple of rental properties in DC. One of them is available for rent and I set up showings for it. Valuing my time, I often set up several appointments around the same time, if possible, so that I don’t have to make numerous trips to the property to show it to just one person. On this (weekend) day, I have scheduled 8 back-to-back showings, and my last appointment of the day is late, without calling/texting/emailing to say he’s running behind. After waiting 30 minutes past his appointment time, I go to leave. Walking out of the building and finding a young man sitting on the front stairs, surfing the Internet on his phone.)

Me: “Hi! Do you live in the building? I don’t think we’ve met yet.”

Young Man: “No, I’m waiting for this b**** of a landlord to come out and meet me. I’ve been sitting here for five minutes!”

Me: “Oh, well, only a couple of the units are rentals, and I have most everyone’s phone number. Maybe she’s not picking up your call because she got distracted. If you tell me who it is, I’ll try her, or can go in and knock on the door.”

Young Man: “I didn’t CALL her; she should know I’m waiting for her! She should have been sitting out here to greet me! She must not want to rent her property that badly!”

Me: “Well, it’s a little cool and it’s been raining off and on today, so she’s probably inside waiting. Maybe you should try calling her, or tell me who she is and I’ll call her.”

Young Man: “Ugh, fine, it’s [My Name] in [my unit number]. Tell her to get down here fast or I’m leaving.”

Me: “Well, hello, [Young Man], I’m [My Name], owner of [My Unit]. I’ve been sitting upstairs waiting for the last half hour for you to call, text, or email me that you’re here for your appointment, as I instructed you to do when you got to the front door. Seeing as you admitted you’ve been waiting for only five minutes, it’s lucky I caught you before I left. Would you still like to see the unit?”

Young Man: “I suppose, but you should have come down and checked to see if I was here. My phone could have died or something.”

Me: “I did, twice. Since you only showed up five minutes ago, you weren’t here when I did check. Right this way to the unit.”

(I show him in and he makes a big show of sniffing every time he walks into a room or looks at an appliance/fixture. After looking around for about ten minutes, he comes back into the living room where I’m waiting to “talk business.”)

Young Man: “Well, I guess this will do as a temporary space. It’s extremely run down and I figure everything will break in six months from what I’ve seen. Because of that, I want to negotiate the rent, starting at [$400/month less than my asking price] and get the utilities included due to the inefficient appliances. I also won’t sign a lease longer than six months.”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. All of the appliances in this unit are energy star and less than five years old, and the basics like the furnace, air conditioner, and water heater are all less than ten years old and were fully serviced in the last six months and given a clean bill of health, with a few minor repairs which I gladly paid to have completed. If you had bothered to ask before assuming, I would have told you that. Since you feel my terms are unreasonable, I guess this isn’t the apartment for you. Thank you for your time looking at it. I’ll show you out.”

Young Man: “WAIT! Don’t you want to rent this place? No one would pay what you want for this s***! I’m the only chance you have of getting a tenant. You should negotiate with me so that you don’t lose money!”

(I take the five completed applications from the other prospects who have viewed the apartment that day, with application fee checks clipped to them, out of my bag and plop them on the table.)

Me: “I don’t need to negotiate with you. I have five people who have applied for this apartment TODAY, plus nearly the same number from yesterday. For the record, I’ve been renting this place to a friend, at the same rent I’m asking now, for the last three years and he’s ONLY moving out because he’s finally buying his own place… He LOVES this apartment. I don’t know where you came from, but this is what you get for the rent I’m asking here, and, honestly, you usually get a little less because I take good care of this place, including being fully, legally licensed to rent.” *gestures to the rental license mounted on the wall* “Most rentals at this price point are illegal death traps. So, again, I’m sorry that you feel I’m trying to rip you off, but I’ll show you out now and I wish you good luck in your home search.”

Young Man: “Oh, crap… Um… sorry. I thought I could play hardball and get a better deal. Will you still take my application? I mean, I still think utilities should be included, but I can pay the rent you want – or, at least close to it. Please?”

Me: “You showed up almost a half hour late to your appointment, complained because you didn’t follow my instructions to get in while giving me a sorry excuse for why you ‘might’ not have been able to do so, and then insulted me and my property. I really don’t think this will work out. Sorry, but let me show you out.”

(He started screaming to the point that the downstairs neighbors — two big dudes I am friends with because I also live in the neighborhood and see them around — came running upstairs to see what is wrong. I gratefully threw the door open when they started pounding on it and saying “this is Neighbors #1 and #2; is everything okay?”. I told them what was going on, and they physically tossed the dude out of the building. Unfortunate as it was, I now make sure that someone else is with me while conducting tours/open houses at my properties, and only give ten minutes grace for late appointments unless they contact me to tell me they’ll be later than that.)

Losing The Niceties Of Self-Importance

| USA | Bizarre

(My job is to sit at the front desk, a kind of helpful concierge, transferring calls, accepting packages. I am there to let people know that the company cares about their problems, and that there’s a human manning the lobby for security.)

Me: “Hello, welcome back.”

Young Man: *flings up his arm* “Don’t talk to me! I’m important!”

Me: “Not a problem, sir. I won’t do that again.”

An Emerging Emergency

| Oceanside, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(A tenant was upset that she had called the maintenance emergency number at midnight on a Saturday night, and they did not respond immediately. She came into my office the following Monday morning to explain her ’emergency.’)

Tenant: “I had a leak from my bathtub faucet. I put a bucket in the bathtub to catch the leak. It got worse and the bucket overflowed. Don’t you consider that an emergency?”

Me: “Did the overflow go down the bathtub drain?”

Tenant: “Yes.”

Me: “Did any water leak outside of the bathtub?”

Tenant: “No.”

Me: “No, we do not consider a leak contained in the bathtub as an emergency.”

The Purple Flower Eater

| USA | Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Pets & Animals

Manager: *answering phone* “[Complex Manager]’s office. This is [Manager].”

Resident: “Someone dug up my flowers! The purple ones! It’s because purple is the gay color. They think I’m gay, and they hate me, so they dug up my flowers!”

Manager: “Slow down, [Resident]. Who dug up your flowers?”

Resident: “People who hate me because they think I’m gay!”

Manager: “O… kay. When did you plant these flowers?”

Resident: “Yesterday. I had that row of white flowers, and I planted the purple ones in between. It went white, purple, white, purple. But they only dug up the purple ones!”

Manager: “Did you do anything special when you planted the purple ones?”

Resident: “Well, yes. I put some fish pieces in the soil because I heard that it was supposed to help the plants grow.”

Manager: “… [Resident], I think that raccoons dug up your flowers to get at the fish.”

Resident: “What? No, that can’t be. Raccoons are very respectful of nature. They wouldn’t do that.”

Mail Order Disorder

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I live in an apartment complex that mainly serves as a home for elderly and handicapped residents. One afternoon, I am expecting a check to come in the mail, and I need to cash it before the bank down the street closes at 4 pm. The mail lady doesn’t arrive until 3:45. There is a crowd of people waiting for their mail, and we are all watching her load the 50-or-so mailboxes in anticipation. As soon as she put my mail into my mailbox, I approached it to grab the check, since it was almost 3:50.)

Mail Lady: “I’m so sorry, but for policy reasons at this complex, you’re going to have to wait until I finish with all of the mail. I’m not allowed to let people grab their mail until it’s all in.”

Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I had to wait for everyone’s mail to be put into their individual mailboxes. I just really need to get my check, but I’ll wait.”

Mail Lady: *very friendly and understanding* “No worries. It’s all right. Most people at this complex make that mistake at least once, and try to get their mail before I’m finished. I’ll try to finish up as quick as I can so you can get your check.”

Me: “Okay. Thanks!”

(I walked back to the group of waiting people. Suddenly, one of the old ladies behind me tapped me hard on the shoulder. Very hard. I turned around to look at her.)

Old Lady: *angry tone* “Hey! She said you can’t have your mail yet!”

Me: “Oh, I understand. I didn’t realize I had to wait until it was all in. That’s why I came back to the group here to wait.”

Old Lady: *becoming even more angry* “Don’t you talk back to me! You need to wait your turn!”

Me: “But… I AM waiting. I’m standing right here with everyone else, waiting.”

Old Lady: *almost screaming at me* “A brat is what you are! You NEED to WAIT YOUR TURN!”

Me: “Oh, for the love of god, I AM WAITING! I just made a small mistake. But I’m waiting now. Leave me alone.”

(At this point, I turned and looked away from her, figuring I’d ignore her.)

Old Lady: *almost going into a panic* “You shouldn’t get your mail because you won’t wait your turn! JUST WAIT WITH THE REST OF US!”

(She continues ranting about how I ‘don’t deserve’ my mail, how ‘rude’ and ‘thoughtless’ I am, etc. Finally, the mail-lady turned and looked at her.)

Mail Lady: “Ma’am. Shut your d*** mouth and leave the poor guy alone! He didn’t do anything wrong, and he’s already CLEARLY waiting! If you don’t stop, I won’t give you your mail! You’re just a rude old bat, aren’t you?!”

(The lady finally took the hint and left me alone. Thanks for dealing with her for me, mail lady!)

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