Facility managers field all sorts of complaints, some downright frivolous.
Find your favorites below & add your own!
A little riddle: What is necessary for life yet can make
life miserable for an FM? Water. Where it should be, water is great. Where it
shouldn't be, water is insidious, destructive and a nightmare to remediate.
Just ask these Building Operating Management readers who submitted stories of
facility occupants complaining of water in the wrong place.
"Tenant called and complained there was brown water dripping
from the ceiling above him. Referred call to maintenance who informed
tenant it was impossible. There were no pipes between floors that could
cause this. Tenant called again to complain it was getting worse. Maintenance
went to take a look and sure enough there was brown water dripping from the
ceiling. Confused, the maintenance guy had no explanation. He thought of
going to the suite upstairs to take a look to see if he could figure out the
problem. What he found was a total surprise. Tenant above had put soil
down on the floor and was growing pot! He was watering the plants every
day causing the "brown water" to drip to the floor below."
"Work order was called in by a student whose apartment
was flooded. She said she saw water coming out of the cabinet but had to go to
class so didn’t call it in."
"A few years ago, I was the FM responsible for the
property holdings of a financial group’s asset management division. One of our leaseholders,
an international accounting firm, occupied a prestigious four-story building. At
the period of this event the local water-supplier company was carrying out an
exercise to replace their underground twelve-inch mains along the street
fronting three of our buildings, resulting in frequent interruptions of supply
and empty reserve tanks.
As this was a planned exercise, we were mostly able to
arrange for truck borne augmentation of our supplies. This I organized without
incident over a period of two weeks for our first two buildings so much so that
as the repair crews approached the third location the process was becoming
A dawn call by an early-arriving tenant staffer alerted me
(while still at home) that 'Mr. FM, there is NO water in the building, shall we
have the day off?!'
'No,' I replied, 'I shall arrange it,' and having already
prepped the trucking company, they were on site within the hour. At that early
hour none of my facility staff were as yet at work, but I alerted security to
expect the first delivery of two trucks, totaling 1,800 gallons of water. No
problem; and please let me know when the trucks arrive.
'HELP! There is water coming from the ceiling!' was the next
call I received while still preparing to leave home. A lot of water? But how
could that be? There was no water in the building.
This building’s access to the underground tank went along
the back yard through a fire door. Unfortunately a few feet before the tank’s
hose coupling was the red painted fireman’s hose coupling... These bumbling
incompetents connected to the fire coupling and pumped over 1,000 gallons
before they were alerted to the error. Tragically, the fire equipment
maintenance contractors had removed the valve from the third floor pipe riser,
for some defect, to be replaced. All of the water spouted onto the deserted (at
this early hour) executive level third floor; soaked through to the second
floor, first, and eventually to the ground. You can imagine my next
twenty-four sleepless hours, hectically coordinating recovery and
continuity operations to achieve resumption of business in the next day."
Usually, these stories make me giggle. But that last one
just makes me stare in horror. What are your water gone wrong stories? Share in
the comments below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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