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No Home For That Type Of Complaint

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2020

I work answering the phones for a commercial real estate company that leases and acts as managers for our buildings. One day, I get a call and the guy on the other end is nice enough. He introduces himself and starts talking about how he has a “problem” with his property and he hasn’t been able to get help with it. I ask him to describe the problem to me so I can get him in contact with the best person to fix it, and his honest-to-God answer is, “There are homeless people in front of my store.”

I sit there for a minute trying to think about what to say next. He correctly interprets my silence as judgement and confusion, so he gets aggressive and asks, “What is [Company] going to do about it?” I explain that there’s not really anything we can do about it, as they are allowed to be there as long as they aren’t doing anything illegal. He launches into a tirade about how his mother shops there and she has to walk by these people to get to his store, they’re driving his customers away, and he’s going to go out of business!

I explain to him that if he really is worried about his customers’ safety, he can always report them to the city or police and ask for their advice. Well, that is the wrong answer, and the true yelling begins, basically implying it’s our companies job to forcibly relocate these people. I ask him what he wants us to do about it and he stammers some non-answer like, “Something!” and goes back into ranting about how his business is going under and it’s all these homeless people’s fault.

The best part from this is his complaint that they will sometimes set up a blanket to sell things! In a shopping center! The nerve! I roll my eyes, tell him I will not be continuing the conversation, and wish him a good day.

He says, “Seriously? You’re not going to help me?!” and I say, “Yup, seriously,” followed by a satisfying click.

Felt like a queen.

Location, Location… (You Can’t Have Three)

, , , , , | Working | August 31, 2020

I am working at a company that decides to shut down our office on the west coast of the USA and move anybody who wants to go to the Boston area. My wife and I are interested, so they make arrangements to fly us out to look for housing. They also get us in touch with a relocation agent that is supposed to help us find housing. The agent sends us a form, which we fill out, that indicates that we are looking for a HOUSE — not an apartment, condo, etc. Also, we note that we need at least three rooms.

This happens when we arrive in the Boston area and the agent picks us up to go look at housing.

Agent: “I’ve looked through all the information you sent me, and I have some great places lined up to go see. Let’s go find you a place to live!”

Wife & Me: “Great, we’re really excited!”

We arrive at the first place, and it’s a college dorm that has been converted to apartments. It’s probably the furthest thing away from a house that you could describe.

Me: “This is an apartment.”

Agent: “Yes.”

Me: “We filled out that we wanted to look at houses, not apartments.”

Agent: “I know, but I know this place is really great, and I thought I would show it to you just in case.”

She walks us around the place and shows us a couple of the super-small dorm-room-type apartments. Most are single rooms; some have two rooms. After looking around a short time:

Me: “I think we are done looking here; it’s not what we are looking for. Let’s go to the next place.”

Agent: “Okay. Are you sure? This place is very trendy!”

Wife: “We’re sure; plus, none of those are three bedrooms. We need three bedrooms.”

Agent: “Okay, let’s go to the next place.”

She brought us to four other apartment complexes, every time trying to sell us on the idea that we really wanted an apartment and not a house. Most were only one or two bedrooms; only one had three-bedroom units available.  

After a wasted day, the agent dropped us back at our hotel and handed us applications from the places we’d been to. I grabbed them, not looking at them then, and said thanks, and we left to go inside. My wife and I were very frustrated at that point. I started looking at the applications in my hand and I noticed something. All the complexes were run by the same management company. Clearly, she was trying to get us to rent from this company, probably because she got a kickback of some type.

In the end, we ended up not moving to Boston, though I did express to my manager what a frustrating experience it was with the relocation agent they had sent us to, and I told him what happened.

He later got back to me and said they had talked to several other people who were trying to move out also, and all of them said the same thing. She showed everyone the same five places, no matter what they said on their forms. He tried to get me and my wife to go out again and give it another go with a completely different agent, but by that time, we had decided not to relocate.

Yeah, That Sounds Safe

, , , , | Working | August 10, 2020

This takes place about two weeks after I start a new job that involves managing various temporary properties and turning them around after each occupant. As a newbie, I’m still not quite up to speed, so I’m on the basic jobs for now.

A property becomes empty and I’m asked to go out, read the energy meters, and ring the company who supplies the property with the up-to-date readings. Easy, right?

Out I go. I walk onto the property and through the fire-resistant door into the living room/kitchen, not paying any attention to the door closing behind me.

I get the readings, go to leave, and call the company from the office and find that the very heavy, fire-resistant door that closed behind me doesn’t have a handle on the inside after the last occupant obviously removed it.

And that’s the story of how, on my second week in my job, I had to call the office and ask someone to drive twenty-odd miles to come and let me out of a property that wasn’t even locked.

They did suggest I climb out the window, but that wouldn’t have ended well.

Not In Any Hurry To Make A Deal

, , , , , | Working | April 11, 2020

(We are three students looking for a new flat. I work not very far from campus, but we decide to try and stay in our hometown. I’ve been asking around for some time and I’ve finally found something that I like. I call to set a time and a date.)

Me: “You see, I finish work at 7:00, and I need about fifty minutes to get to the place and find parking. I think we could meet at 8:00?”

Agent: “Fine, we can meet next week there at 7:45.”

Me: “But I just told you…”

Agent: “Can’t you just get out of work ten minutes earlier?”

(I don’t like this at all, but being very anxious about confrontation, I agree. I also tell her my boyfriend and flatmate will be coming, too. Fast forward to the day of the meeting: I manage to get out fifteen minutes earlier, but there is not only a small jam on the way, it’s also August on a very sunny afternoon, and the flat is within thirty meters of the beach. I reach the place at 7:30 but need twenty minutes to find a parking spot. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and flatmate have arrived at the door of the apartment building at around 7:30 and are waiting for me and the agent. When I finally park and pick up my phone, I see four missing calls from the agent, starting at exactly 7:30. I call her.)

Me: “Uh, hi, I…” 

Agent: “You forgot our appointment!”

Me: “No, I didn’t. I’m just five minutes late.”

Agent: “I’ve been waiting for you since 7:30.”

Me: “Sorry, what? I told you I was out of work at 7:00 and needed almost an hour to get there; you were the one who insisted on meeting at 7:45.”

Agent: “Well, I’ve been waiting for you for 20 minutes and now I’m not there anymore.”

Me: “Excuse me?! What do you mean, you’re not there anymore?”

Agent: “I have another appointment now.”

Me: “And what did you expect? To show me the flat in five minutes?”

Agent: “Well, don’t be like that. We can meet on some other day; you just have to actually leave work early this time.”

Me: “No. No. I don’t think we will.”

(I ended the call and refused to pick it back up when she called back. I picked my boyfriend and flatmate up to go home. They told me they had been waiting since 7:30, and that there was a woman, too, across the street, looking at them. She never approached them, despite them being in the precise place she’d told me to wait at, and she left way before 7:45. Despite this, and some other occurrences that I’ll submit at another time, we found a place. Without “help”.)

How Dare You Have Preferences?!

, , , , , | Working | April 10, 2020

(I’m a uni student and I just started working at my family’s courier. Both the campus and my job are about ten minutes apart but in a different city from where my boyfriend — also a student — and I live. We live about a one-hour commute away, driving on a road very prone to jams, accidents, and in general making people late. I’ve been searching for a flat closer for about two months when I spot one I like that allows pets, which is a must since we have a cat. I call the agency five times during their open hours, at two different numbers they provided in the ad, but they never answer. Two days later, an unknown number calls in the middle of work, at an hour the ad stated they weren’t open.)

Me: “Hello?” 

Agent: “Good morning! We had a missing call from this number.” 

Me: “Oh, you must be from [Agency]! Yes, I wanted to ask about that flat in [Street] and…”

Agent: “Well, sadly, that’s been rented off for a month already.”

(The ad was from a month ago and didn’t say such when I last checked it.)

Me: “Oh, well, that’s a shame. Do you happen to have anything in the area? I need a place that allows pets, by the way.”

Agent: “Of course! We have something lovely in [Street in the dead center of the city, as opposed to the outskirts area I was interested in] at [nearly double the price].”

Me: “Um… Sorry, but I was actually looking for something nearer the campus.” 

Agent: “What? You can’t expect to find a student housing that allows pets.” 

Me: “I… don’t? I want something for the whole year, someplace that won’t just kick us out in June to rent it at double the price for tourists.”

Agent: “Well, then, the place I just told you is just what you want.” 

Me: “No, I don’t want to drive around the middle of the city to go to class everyday.”

Agent: “Well, you can just take the bus.” 

Me: *rather incredulously* “I… Sorry, no? My boyfriend is disabled and he can’t just stand by on the bus for a whole hour and a half.”

Agent: “He could just sit!” 

Me: “At that hour in the morning? Besides, he doesn’t want to have to argue with old people about who are entitled to use the special seats.”

Agent: “Well, he can just kick them out!” 

Me: “Sorry, what?!”

(I mean, she is not wrong, but don’t just say that, dude!) 

Me: “No, sorry. No. I really want something nearer the campus.”

(We go back and forth for a while, and I force her to progressively pull things from closer to the area I want, until…)

Me: “Okay, that sounds really nice. And that closed gallery you told me about sounds perfect for our cat.”

Agent: “Cat? No! It doesn’t allow pets.” 

(In the end, I found something. Without her help.)