What’s Up With That? #77: Teaching a pig to sing

Here’s an example of why the word “landlord” is synonymous in the minds of most people with “used car salesman” and “politician.”

We’ve lived as renters in the same house for the past 15 years. We love the place — obviously, since we’ve never felt compelled to move — but the management company that oversees the property doesn’t have a clue. Whenever we’ve needed something repaired around the property, it frequently takes repeated contact before we get any action, and when the management company finally does decide to send someone out, they’ve usually hired the least expensive (and thus, least competent) help.

A few weeks ago, the property managers hired a company to conduct a termite inspection. When the pest report was filed, the inspector identified about $10,000 in repairs — including several items we’ve reported to the management outfit previously, without response. So the management company sent three people — two of their own staffers, plus a general contractor — to assess the items in the report.

The guy who runs the management company still wasn’t satisfied after his people did their review. (Translated: They told him he actually needed to spend money.) He decided to come take a look for himself. He called to let me know that he would drop around at noon one day last week.

The noon hour came and went. So did the next couple of hours. Finally, the guy shows up at 3:30 — three and a half hours after his scheduled appointment. No call to let me know that he was running late, or to reschedule, or to verify that he was even still planning to show up.

For me, that’s a problem. I work from a home office, I’m here most of the time. However, due to the creative nature of my work, especially when I’m writing marketing copy or recording audio projects, interruptions are a challenge. If I’m expecting someone, I don’t get deeply into a project. For this reason, I lost three and a half hours of production time waiting for this guy to appear.

But, as I’ve indicated, this kind of ineptitude is par for the course with this outfit, so I let it go.

As the property manager was leaving, he told me that he would be bringing the owner of the house around to take a look on Tuesday of this week. He agreed to call and confirm a time, and on Monday, he phoned to say that they’d arrive sometime between 11:30 and 1:30.

On Tuesday, the specified time window came and went. As did the three hours following, right up until the moment that I needed to depart for chorus rehearsal. Again, no call from the property manager. Since he had come three and a half hours late the time before, I had every reason to expect that he would show up eventually.

But he didn’t.

This time, I didn’t let it go.

After a couple of exchanged messages over the next two days, I finally got the guy on the phone to express my displeasure. Not only did he not apologize for wasting my time, but he accused me of being “too sensitive” about the issue. As he put it, what difference did it make if he didn’t show up — late or simply not at all — if I was at home anyway? “You weren’t inconvenienced,” he said.

Never mind the fact that I put work on hold for two entire afternoons due to his lack of consideration. Never mind the fact that I might have had other things to do rather than hang out waiting for his incompetent self.

As the old saying goes: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.

We’ll see how the pig feels on the first of the month, when my rent check is attached to an invoice for the eight and a half hours of my time he wasted over the past week.

Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, My Home Town, SwanStuff, Taking Umbrage, What's Up With That?

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