Facility managers field all sorts of complaints, some downright frivolous.
Find your favorites below & add your own!
I don't want to say these facility occupants are
lying. Clearly, there is a concern they are upset about. But the nature of the
concern makes it appear imaginary, let's say. Or only occurring in the
occupant's mind with no anomaly in the perceivable world to make anyone else
think anything is wrong. At any rate, not much any facility manager could do
about it, except perhaps lend a sympathetic ear and rack up good karma points.
"Last year we opened a new building on campus
which necessitated moving an entire department from one building to the newly
opened building. Most of the staff and faculty were generally happy with
their new building, with the exception of one faculty member known to complain
He called the facilities office and regaled us
with a 45-minute tale about the paper toilet seat covers being used in the new
building. Our janitorial staff, who stock all the bathrooms on our campus, had
switched paper products for the new building — this according to the
complainant. This faculty member insisted that the paper toilet
seat covers were extraordinarily rough and had some type of irritant in them so
much so that he was forced to return to his old building, were the covers were
softer, each time he needed to use the facilities. He would ‘high-tail’—
pun intended, across campus to use the bathroom because 'the seat covers in the
new building were entirely too rough.'
I attempted to explain that the paper products
used by the janitorial staff which services our campus did not change from one
building to the next. In short, the same covers were placed in every
bathroom on campus. The same covers he was using in the new building were the
same brand and type being used in the building he fled to each time he need to
use the bathroom. However, nothing I said could convince him that there was no
difference in the paper products save the new facility in which they were being
"Shortly after opening a new 640,00 sq./ft.
facility, we received our first complaint. The very vocal and obviously upset
employee stated that she had gotten wet paint on her new scrubs and expected
them to be replaced. She also stated that there were no 'wet paint' signs to
warn anyone to its presence. When I investigated the complaint, not only
was she incorrect as to where my staff was painting in the new building but she
had been working in another building on campus that day anyway. I referred her
complaint to the appropriate manager. (By the way, there were wet paint
signs posted in my building.)"
"A few years ago had a just-retired
real estate broker move into the first apartment she had ever lived in.
Our building was on a hill overlooking the city of Portland to include the
football/soccer stadium three blocks below. She called the front desk and
demanded I immediately come investigate her complaint. She called
me over to the large living room picture windows and pointed down towards the
stadium. 'See, that’s what I am talking about!' I didn’t see what
was her target of interest was so I inquired further. Exasperated
she again pointed out the window, 'See, down there at the stadium, those bright
field lights.' O.K., I see the field lights mounted high up on
poles. What seems to be the problem? Now really exasperated with me not
understanding, she exclaimed, 'They are turning them on every night when there
is an event in the stadium and I don’t like it that bright.' O.K., now I
understood the problem and I assured her I would point this out to the mayor
the next time we had lunch together! 'Fine, I appreciate your coming up
to look at the problem and be sure the Mayor understands this is my first time
to live in the city!'
No problem, I assured her and then went
on to real problems in this 257 unit residential high rise. Sometimes
just letting people vent a bit can solve the problem and besides, I just pushed
the monkey onto the mayor’s back! As per usual, the mayor was slow to respond
but hey, that’s life in the big city!"
Really, some coursework in psychology might not be such a
bad idea for someone considering entering facility management! What do you
think? If you have occupant complaint stories you want to share, feel free to
start your own thread in this forum or send me an email at
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