Posted in Career, Life, property management, tips, Uncategorized

Maintaining Composure During Heated Situations

Staying calm at work

Curse words spewed out of my mouth and into the tenant’s face. This wasn’t the first time that I had been pushed to my breaking point by being screamed at, cussed out, and sometimes pushed around. As a landlord, aka property manager, I have many houses to manage all over every part of my city. I have learned how to deal specifically with each section of the public.

There are the elitist tenants who call me every second about everything. They, for the most part, cannot do any home repair items themselves. This includes changing air filters, smoke detector batteries, and resetting tripped breakers. They hide their ignorance by flaunting their money. They have been brainwashed into thinking money is the same as intelligence. They hide their loneliness by talking, whining, and complaining to everyone they meet.

There are the poor tenants who struggle to survive who blame me personally when they can’t pay their rent. They will drive to my office and threaten me if eviction is looming. They never call about maintenance issues unless it is dire because they just want to be left alone and don’t want anyone seeing the messy state of their frantic lives.

There are the young tenants who are living alone for the first time and need help with everything from how to pay rent, use of an online app to submitting a maintenance request.

Then there are the old tenants who live alone or with a spouse listening to the echoes of their children in the halls from years past. They look forward to any contact and will happily chit chat with someone who calls, from telemarketer to me or my staff, for hours.

At any given moment, I can go from being physically pushed and verbally abused to spending half an hour talking with the sweetest little old lady I’ve ever met. It took me a good year to learn how to maintain my composure during these swift emotional transitions. I had to create boundaries and try to stick with them, becoming never too mad, too attached, or too invested in any one person’s circumstance.

Of course, this doesn’t always work and sometimes I lose my footing. I have dropped my professionalism down the tubes and hit back, yelled back, babysat, bought food, bought clothes, and loaned rent money. I have regretted doing this most of the time. I usually end up getting taken advantage of once anyone sees that I have heartstrings to pull. I have people that have turned on me as soon as I helped them.

I would like to think I have learned my lesson, but someone will come along and test my boundaries and find them lacking. Setting boundaries is essential in this line of work, as in many others that deal with the public.

You have to work hard not to become jaded because people lie about anything if it benefits them somehow. My sense of humor and not taking things personally have really been the two biggest things to keep me successful in this career and not burned out and jaded.

I continue to always look for the little acts of human kindness that are shown periodically. That brings fresh air to every one of us. Sometimes those little acts are enough to keep going for.

By setting boundaries, keeping my sense of humor, and searching for human acts of kindness every day, I am able to survive this work and hope that I have made a difference to someone, somewhere along the way.

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Posted in Uncategorized

That Ain’t True – Misconceptions About The South

The North and South of the United States have always been portrayed as having many differences. Both sides are portrayed somewhat inaccurately and exaggerated immensely in the movies which exacerbates the public’s view of either side. I am going to go out on a limb and say the north and the south don’t have as many differences as you would be led to believe. As a Georgia girl (or old lady), I’d like to clear up some of these misconceptions. At least in my case they are misconceptions. I do realize that within the South or the North there are sub-cultures and behaviors that can differ by community and state. So my insight is from my experiences and my viewpoint. And usually I’m wrong on both according to my husband. But still, here goes.

Myth: We are racist.

Unfortunately,  racism is a real issue everywhere in the world but 99.9% of the people I know in the south do not classify as such in my eyes. Being obnoxious – now that’s a different story.

Myth: We say “Bless Your Heart”  in lieu of “F you”:

I’m sure this happens but the people I know aren’t passive aggressive. They are straight shooters who will say f*&k you when needed. If they say, “bless your heart”, they mean it.

Myth: We are all morbidly obese

Hellooo. McDonald’s has fattened up the whole country, not just us. We actually are at an advantage because April through September, it is a sauna outside down here.

Myth: We are dumb hicks

Now this one really gets my goat. I’m southern and a woman so I have several stigmas to overcome. No worries though, I will beat them and I know I am smart. And, unless hick means awesome, I’m not a hick either.

Myth: We hate the NFL

This one is true. College all the way! Go Dawgs!!

Myth: It never gets cold

Cold is as cold does. If nipples pass the universal litmus test, who are we to argue?

Myth: We eat roadkill

This is just ridiculous. Unless Kroger is selling roadkill disguised as prime grain-fed beef, then the answer is NO. I personally love venison but only if killed humanely by a human. It’s debatable on whether I would try roadkill or cream of wheat first.

Myth: We all have guns

Well, not every single one of us but guns are very important to us. But not as important as the right to have them. The second amendment is taken very, very seriously down here.

Myth: We worship the Confederate flag

No, but this is a touchy subject to many down here just like politics and religion. Many are ashamed of the actions held behind the flag’s history but many also claim that, bad or not, it is a part of history and to forget is to allow it to happen again in a different form.

Myth: We only love country music

Although, Luke Bryan does look damn good in his tight jeans, he is no DMB or John Prine. We all have very diverse tastes down here. My mother actually doesn’t like ANY music which is so confusing to me.

The point is, just like our Northern brothers and sisters, we are all individuals here and have our own individual tastes. Some of which have been influenced by our southern culture along with everyone and everything that has touched our lives. Personally, I believe I am the sum of my experiences. I am always evolving.