Hocus Pocus: FM Complaints

Sometimes occupant complaints are not quite what they seem. It might be nothing too serious, though — just a little case of mistaken identity. As the stories below show, it sometimes takes a clear-eyed FM to sort it all out. Enjoy!


"I once had a tenant call, convinced that there was a cat stuck in the duct above their heads. The meow, it seemed, was very sporadic. I visited the tenant, listened for a while, got a ladder and looked into the duct. The tenant was very concerned that this poor cat would not survive the weekend. I then went to the grocery store and purchased a can of tuna and a can opener. I returned to the tenant space, borrowed a small bowl and placed the tuna in the ductwork, assuring them that if there was a cat in there, it would surely find the tuna and make it through the weekend. When I returned on Monday, the tuna had clearly not been touched. As I was removing the bowl, I heard the slightest squeak from a fan-powered box. 'There it is!' they shouted. I had our HVAC contractor service the box and the tenant was greatly relieved."

Springtime Fresh

"There was a complaint of a pungent odor in an office shared by three employees.  When we entered the office we did notice the odor.  Upon further investigation we found that they had purchased a deodorizer with an ionizer setting.  The device was in the ionizer position and was producing the odor they were experiencing.  We asked them to remove the ionizer and thus got rid of the smell."

Ew! Don't Touch It!

"I had a customer who was constantly complaining about the restrooms not being clean enough during the day even though we have a porter who cleaned them four times a day. She was especially upset about splash-back water from the toilets running down the wall. 

I checked the restrooms several times and found no splash back. I asked her to come show me what she was seeing so I could resolve the issue. She stomped down to the restroom in a huff, directly to one of the stalls to point out the offending area. 

I stepped into the stall and got a very close look at the tiled walled. I saw two 4-by-4-inch tiles that had drip marks on them and I touched them to discover they were completely dry. The drips were from the glaze inside the tiles. I explained it to her and tried to show her they were dry. She just looked at me in horror and stomped off." 

These posts are 100 percent audience-generated. I just do a quick edit to remove any incriminating details. Smile So, if you like these stories, keep them coming! Send me an email to naomi.millan@tradepress.com, or start your own thread on the forum.

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