There are many benefits to living in an apartment. Invites to parties are easy to come by, home-delivered entertainment in the form of door-to-door religionists is frequently provided and there’s quite often an exhibition of balcony coitus on display if your evening plans fall through.
There are, however, some downsides to this assortment of varied delights being so conveniently packaged. Between yourself and the various tradespeople who take care of things related to the building sits an ogre calling themselves a Building Manager. Often this person is actually very good at what they do, but this is not always the case.
Due to constant issues with the garage door on the property, the electronics that drove the door were replaced. As well as the motor the electronics controlled. As well as the door that the motor moved. All at once.
In response to this, the following delightful communication was sent by the Building Manager (who we shall call Bob) to all residents:
On the day of replacement, Theo from SomeDoorCompany will be present in the building from 4:45pm through 5:00pm to provide replacement door remotes. Please note, if you have model X of the remote currently, you do not require a replacement.
Lucky me! I was in possession of a model X remote so I didn’t need to hinder Theo in his quest of getting to the pub by 5:15! Bob had ensured that I could spend my Thursday afternoon at work whilst also ensuring he didn’t need to bother himself with considering the convenience of the people who paid his salary via exorbitant Body Corporate fees! Thanks Bob and Theo!
Little did I know that at both Theo and Bob were professional, fully-trained idiots.
Upon my next attempt to leave my abode in my metal chariot, my model X door remote was as effectual as a Taser at a hair removal salon – the lights turned on but the results were fury and disappointment as opposed to a clear avenue for excursion being revealed.
Thankfully SomeDoorCompany’s contact details were recorded on the wall near the impassable door, so I did what any reasonable person would do and called them. Lo and behold, Theo himself answered and began the most futile conversation I had that week to date:
UA: Hi! My remote no longer works with this new door. I’ve got a model X remote that matches the photo provided by Bob and was told in writing that it would work fine.
Theo: You must be using the remote wrong.
UA: The remote has one button. I am pressing it. How exactly is that using it incorrectly?
Theo: It must work. I tested them all before I gave them out. It’s not my fault you didn’t come collect a new remote.
UA: How exactly did you test the remote I’m holding Theo? It hasn’t been out of my possession for 2 years and this door has been here for less than 2 days. Did you break into my apartment? Do I need to call the police?
At this point, Theo begrudgingly admitted that there was a problem “with something” and that he would arrange for a remote to be made available to me via Bob. At this point a queue formed behind me, with several other residents discovering their model X remotes were also impotent despite promises made to the contrary. Thankfully Theo had provided details of how to manually open the door – he’d put a placard containing the super-secret, super-secure 2 digit override code in plain view of the public.
As Friday started, I realised that I didn’t particularly feel like being home and listening to the new neighbours knock their pot plants off their third floor balcony whilst attempting to imitate whatever pornography they had last streamed so I called Bob to get my hands on a new remote. At this point I discovered that, not only was Bob a professional idiot, he was quite an aggressive one as well!
UA: Hi! Theo told me he was going to pass along details so I could get my hands on a new remote, as the model X one I have does not work.
Bob: Yep, Theo told me about you. You should have just shown up and gotten a new remote. I’ve only got spares left so you’ll need to wait a week and pay $50 for a new one.
It’s your fault for thinking my instructions were accurate
Let’s just analyse that statement shall we? Paying thousands of dollars per year in Body Corporate fees, including payments into a fund dedicated to building improvements and maintenance and management fees that pay Bob’s salary entitles me to neither a replacement remote nor remotely competent instructions? At this point Bob was not my most favourite person in the world, to the extent that I would serve him $3 wine from Aldi and say he was drinking it wrong when he remarks it tastes like paint thinner.
Of course, I could only respond kindly to that brilliantly reasoned statement from Bob:
UA: Bob, I followed your instructions, I’ve paid my Body Corporate fees and I expect the door I am one of the owners of to open when I need it to. Where is the remote that was allocated to my property?
Bob: Mate, do you want to be able to open the fuckin’ door or what?
Profanity! Diversion! Impropriety! Advantage: Arsehole!
UA: I have made my expectations with regard to the door very clear. I have also made my expectations with regard to management of the property quite clear. Answer my questions, have a remote in my hand today delivered to my office or I shall have to act on the presented information indicating your company’s inability to perform the tasks you have agreed to undertake. If yourself and/or Theo have failed to keep records of who you dispensed replacements to and how many you gave to each property, you’ll need to sort that out – I’m not paying for it.
Bob: *assorted stuttering* Yes Mr Arsehole. I’ll have a remote to you today.
UA: Good. I’ll have a spare set of keys for the common doors whilst you’re at it.
2 hours later one of Bob’s colleagues showed up at my office with a remote that was neither a model X nor inoperative. I thought this was the end of this interlude and a victory. I was only partially right.
I received two letters the following week, both from Bob’s employer. The first was addressed to “The Resident”:
Theo and SomeDoorCompany will no longer be servicing our doors. SomeOtherDoorCompany will be taking over – new contact details have been placarded around the building.
The second, however, was actually addressed to me directly:
Bob has moved on from our Property Management practice. Reginald will now be handling all inquiries and has taken over Bob’s desk and mobile numbers.
Yep – victory!