Category — Rude people

Why being a landlord sucks

As a long-time landlord I’ve had my share of great, and not-so-great, tenants.  (Current husband/wife tenants are awesome sauce.  Unfortunately, their family is about to expand and they need more space.  God speed.  They’ve earned themselves a great referral into perpetuity.)

Unfortunately for me, this means I have to start the tenant courtship/screening process all over again.  Kind of like starting a new dating relationship except that a credit check, criminal screening and a lot of cash is involved.

Then, again, I’ve been known to put prospective boyfriends through the same thing. I just feel that Google stalking is pretty much mandatory if you are going to impact my life in any fiduciary manner.

Brand new bathroom with floor to ceiling marble just completed.

Being that this is a one-bedroom apartment and located on Chicago’s lakefront, it usually attracts late-twenty-something, up-and-coming middle managers.  Typically, ones who have been educated at prestigious universities.

Unfortunately, their educational pedigree is not always a good indicator of their character.  May I share with you my first three experiences from this cycle?

Prospective tenant A.  Mom and dad live in a well-heeled Chicago north shore suburb.

Their little princess is a fairly recent graduate of the University of North Carolina.  She emailed me last Sunday to arrange for a viewing.  By Wednesday, I had not gotten a reply to my email back to her.  I sent her another one from a different address just on the outside chance it ended up in the spam folder.

Twenty-four hours later I heard back.  She was interested in setting up an appointment for either Sunday or Monday.  I emailed her back within in minutes trying to get specifics from her.  As of this writing, no reply.

Prospective tenant B.  Late 20s, Gonzaga U graduate who is relocating from the West Coast.  I called her within minutes of her email on Thursday.  She was only in town for a couple of days and wanted to secure an apartment for an April 1st move in.  She wanted to see the apartment the next day.

I call my current tenant to nail down a mutually convenient time and call “B” back within five minutes.   We confirm a 2 pm showing on Friday.  I shuffle around my business appointments to accommodate her.

The appointed time comes and goes.  I call her at 2:15 pm.  The call goes into vmail.  She is a no show.  Needless to say, she didn’t even return my call to apologize or explain.

Prospective tenant C.  She called me yesterday and set up an appointment for this afternoon for her and her fiance.  She makes it, he doesn’t.  Lovely young lady who tells me that she really likes the apartment, but that they have already been approved for a different one.  She asks to take an application and discuss with her fiance.  I receive a polite email an hour ago that her fiance has decided to go with the other apartment.

So, as a public service to 20-something young professionals looking for apartments, here are some tips.

1.  There’s this thing called the internet.  That means that prospective employers and even landlords are going to search your shit out.   We will track down your work history and connections on LinkedIn, check your vapid tweets on Twitter and reverse search your phone number.  And that’s just for starters.

2.  As landlords, we are likely to be older and better connected.  As in, we actually may know people in top management in the company for which you just accepted an entry level assignment.  It’s not a smart idea to piss us off.  (I’m speaking directly to you, Ms. Gonzaga.)

3.  If your Twitter profile professes your love of martinis and partying, you aren’t even going to get to the credit check phase with me.  The last person I want living next door to me is a drunk who may end up puking in the hallway.

4.  If you make an appointment with me and don’t show, I will check your Twitter or Facebook.  (It’s because I care so much and want to make sure you didn’t have an accident and are in the emergency room.  You get that I’m being sarcastic, right?)

If you are posting away about your adorable Tar Heels, I’m going to take that as a sign that you are still alive and you are a rude piece of crap for not keeping your appointment or calling to cancel.

5. To Applicant C.  Thank you for being classy enough to send me an email informing me of your decision.  Common courtesy will get you far in life.  Oh, and your engagement ring was gorgeous.  Just sayin’.

I will eventually rent this apartment.  Probably sooner rather than later.  I will likely get an amazing tenant (reread the part about my ability to conduct thorough background checks).  But in the meantime, I’m also likely to deal with several more spoiled private school, trust fund babies who were never taught the importance of courteous behavior.

March 4, 2012   3 Comments

Single-finger salute usually not a good idea

Picture this.  A crowded health club underground parking garage.  Three cars lined up to exit the garage.

Driver of vehicle #1.  SUV, taking a bit of time to put his card into the slot.  He couldn’t quite reach it so he opened the driver’s door to get access.  As he leaned over, his wallet fell out of the car.

Driver of vehicle #2.  Late model sedan.  Immediately starts honking to alert the driver.

Driver of vehicle #1 Misinterprets the honking as a sign of impatient annoyance.  As the gate’s arm rises, he sticks his arm out the window and gives the driver behind him the single finger salute.  He keeps it up in the air as he exits the garage.

Driver of vehicle #2, who has attempted to be a good Samaritan, has been told to fuck himself for his trouble.  He pays his parking and drives out of the garage.

Driver #3 was me.  I’ve been witness to this whole thing.  And now I am at the gate and can see a big, fat bulging wallet on the ground.

Even though Driver #1 was a complete dick wad, who among us can’t feel panic at the thought of losing a wallet.  I always go out of my way to try to get lost items back to their owner.  Apparently, I am a magnet for lost phones.  (One belonging to a Chicago socialite and author and then second belonging to someone who worked for a California municipality.)

The socialite lived in the next building to mine.  She phoned me after I returned her phone and said that she would be inviting me to a future dinner party.  She never did.

The government employee insisted on dropping off a bottle of champagne.  He didn’t either.

So, when faced with this dropped wallet and an asshat with a hair-trigger temper, what was I to do?

My parents raised me well, so I went into action.

I picked it up, put it on my dash and drove out of the garage.  My plan was to pull over right in front of the health club, try to find an I.D. and then try to see if I could call the person’s house.  I was going to leave a message that I had turned the wallet into the health club.

BTW, did I mention this thing was stuffed with credit cards and cash?!

However, I didn’t get that far.  As I was about to pull over, I see a man walking very quickly.  He was headed toward the garage ramp.  I figured this was the single-finger salutor.

“Excuse me.  Did you just lose something?

“Yes, I dropped my wallet in the garage.”

I immediately reached for it and said, “Hold on.  I picked it up.  I was going to try to call you.”

He reached for the wallet and immediately started eye-balling the cash and the credit cards.  (Seriously, dude?  If I wanted to pocket the cash, I would have driven by you and you wouldn’t have a clue who took it.)

“Oh, and by the way.  I can’t believe what a douche you were to the man who was trying to help you.”

Yes, I called a complete stranger a douche.  One, because he deserved it.  Two, because he apparently thought I may have removed some of the wallet’s contents.

But here’s the funny part.  He agreed with me.  He was embarrassed at his reaction toward the other driver.  He thought the driver had honked to show irritation at his slowness.

Uh. no.

The morale of the story?  Make sure that the person to whom you are suggesting a personal act of carnal knowledge doesn’t have the power to rack up thousands of dollars of charges on your credit cards.

December 13, 2011   3 Comments

The lost art of saying thank you

It’s just about 5 o’clock and I’m still sitting in the same place since 7 a.m.  Gazing at my monitor, typing away.  (My keyboard has gotten so much usage that about a third of the letters are no longer visible and the second third are on their way to oblivion, too.

I’m knee deep in writing a technical PowerPoint speech for one of my clients, with my eyes buggy from reviewing engineering diagrams.

Just another day in the life of a b2b public relations professional.

Unfortunately, this is the part where I unleash into my bitchfest.

Because I write for a living and am involved in social media, website consultation and other communication channels, people do not hesitate to ask me for favors.   It typically goes something like this:

a.  Would you please take a few minutes to go over my daughter’s resume?

b.  Can you please help me write a cover letter for a job application?

c.   I don’t know a thing about Facebook or Twitter.  When can I come over so you can teach me?

d.  Can you critique my website for me?

Now mind you, I really do believe in giving back.  I try to help as many people as I can.  But, it gets frustrating when I am asked for these favors as if I am sitting around all day looking for something to do.  Or when demands are placed on me, such as “you have to help me.”  You know what?  I don’t.  Last time I checked, I’m pretty sure I had free will.

But if you really want me to go into meltdown, ask me for a favor involving my professional skills or connections and then don’t take the time to thank me after I’ve delivered the goods.  (This has happened three times in the past week. Hence the meltdown.)

Hey, doofus!  This is what

Thank you

looks like.

If you are guilty of this, rest assured.  I will use these same touch-typing fingers to blast a nastygram in your direction.

For starters, do not tell me how busy you were.  (Like I didn’t have better things to do with my time than take care of your stuff?)   I don’t really care.

Do not tell me, you thought you sent me a thank you.  (Your dementia does not concern me.  Apparently, you had all your marbles in place when you asked me for the favor.)

I have not been put on this earth to be your bitch, your admin, your ghost writer or your webmaster.  If I give you an hour of my time to help you with your shit, the least you can do is drag your fingers over to your keyboard or smart phone and type out two words.

Got it?  Good.

September 22, 2011   2 Comments

Space invaders! Stop crossing your legs.

I boarded a Chicago bus a few hours ago.  It was during rush hour and the bus was packed with commuters.

What continues to defy all logic are people, primarily females, who insist on crossing their legs in tight public spaces.  With that simple, selfish act, the already miniscule amount of aisle space is eliminated.

Space invaders.

Today I stopped dead in my tracks and glared at a young woman who apparently thought she was a rock star on her own tour bus.  Is it so difficult to sit with your legs fully planted on the ground so that people don’t have to trip over your dangling foot?

Open your eyes.  There are about 40 other people on this bus right now, princess.  And no, we didn’t just pull out of the United Center parking lot where you were headlining.

You are on a public vehicle.  We’ve both paid the same amount of money to ride it.  Now get your fucking leg out of my way, unless you have a strong desire to get it amputated.

Sadly, space invaders are not limited to buses.  You find them all over the place.  Movie theaters, airplanes, even passengers in your car.

In all of this annoyance, there is a little ray of sunlight.  Odds are that these chronic leg crossers will end up with a bunch of fugly varicose veins.

In this case, other people’s suffering will give me pleasure.

August 25, 2011   3 Comments