Facility managers field all sorts of complaints, some downright frivolous.
Find your favorites below & add your own!
Sorry, Billy. It seems a rose by any other name does not
smell as sweet. At least, not if that rose is in an open office, where the
sense of smell is apparently a prickly and dainty thing.
After my earlier post about stinky occupant complaints, several
of you wrote me with your own absolutely hilarious stories. Thank you! They're
awesome and I'm posting three of them here for the group to enjoy.
"Like every facilities manager, I get a lot of odor calls and
have tenants with personal issues, and sometimes the two collide. My two
stories fall into this category. The first was a medium drama episode
that occurred one afternoon, which escalated rapidly to an employee threat
about hazardous working conditions and an anxious employer who almost evacuated
the premises and sent the whole staff home. After about a half hour of
searching for the source of the ‘noxious fumes’ that only the person making the
fuss could detect, we discovered that the life-threatening odor was emanating
from a dozen roses on the cubicle desk next to the overwhelmed co-worker.
The bouquet was banished from the building by the manager to appease the still
agitated complainant, and their company instituted an anti-fragrance policy
shortly thereafter. Air fresheners in the restrooms were also removed,
special HVAC filters were installed, and other preventive measures were
implemented. The second was similar to the first, except that it involved a
report that the building was on fire although there was no smoke and no alarm.
This one occurred around the holidays. Fortunately I immediately
determined that the source of the smell was a cinnamon scented candle warmer
located in the shared workspace. That time, everyone knew what it was before I
arrived, but they needed an outsider to come to the same conclusion
independently. In contrast to the first case, the odor won, and the
festive wax stayed."
"We were building additional floors above an existing
occupied building. An office area called repeatedly over the course of
several weeks complaining about a “mold” smell they were experiencing.
Time after time, I went to area but by the time I arrived, there was no
odor. My frustration level was high and it was climbing. I began
taking an additional “nose” with me to ensure I wasn’t “blind” to the odor in
question. Finally one day the other person with me noticed a big clue outside
the window. As we were standing there, a crane was lifting 'portapotties'
back up to the construction area. It turns out that on a weekly basis,
they were being moved off the higher floors, taken to ground level and pumped
out right in front of the air intakes for that office area. I will let
you make your own joke about the occupant’s inability to differentiate between
mold and what was actually causing the odor."
"Some years ago, in an open office area many signs were
posted stating, 'Severe Allergies, This is a NO FRAGRANCE ZONE.' The occupant
of the cubicle would complain vehemently about any odor. One afternoon while
servicing equipment in the area, our maintenance staff watched as flowers were
delivered. Immediately, the allergy sufferer went into a sneezing fit and
complained loudly that this was a no fragrance zone and everyone should know
not to bring flowers to that area and they needed to be removed. Apparently her
coworkers were tired of the constant over reactions and had the flowers
delivered to themselves. They then explained this bouquet was UNSCENTED SILK
flowers. The individual was transferred out a few days later."
Keep the stories coming! If you have a funny, memorable, or
unbelievable occupant complaint story, please post it in the comments below or
send me an email at email@example.com.
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