You're Joking, Right? FM Complaints

Gobsmacked. Flabbergasted. Either with fury or with mirth, I'll leave it to you to decide, but it's clear that the situations in this batch of occupant complaint stories submitted by Building Operating Management readers would boggle the mind of any FM. The gall of the second one — I just can't imagine. Enjoy!

Fresh Air

"Many years ago I worked at an outdoor music venue.  The music shed had a roof and we had a large, sloped lawn for patrons behind the shed.  In other words, it’s open air.  The distance from the music shed to the front entry gates is about 200 yards.  As expected, it’s an outdoor walkway. We had a 'no readmission' policy, as is standard practice.  We all had our stories of strange customer complaints and requests.  One of the funniest was a woman who insisted she had to be let out into the parking lot for a while because she just had to get some fresh air."

Mirror, Mirror

"While conversing with the CEO of a tenant, he stood in his corner office, with his back to me, looking out the window of our high rise to the one across the street. He asked, 'What does that man pay in rent across from me?' I said, 'I am not sure but can find out for you. Why would you like to know?'  He said, very straight-faced and seriously, 'Whatever it is, it is not enough.' I asked, 'Why would that be?'  He concluded, 'Because when he looks out his window, he see me.'"    

Clearing the Air

"Several years ago I managed a 12-story building, built in 1960. We had this one tenant who always complained about the air quality in her office. She would say she was a chronic asthmatic and couldn't be around dust and that she was always feeling like she was about to have a major asthma attack every time she sat her desk  (but never did).  

In an effort to keep her happy, we would change filters in the fan coil units in side her office weekly, others were changed bi-weekly, and we added filters to the ceiling diffusers, but she would still feel as though she was about to have a major attack. Because this was a government entity leasing the entire building,  they had an internal facilities manager who called me and said [the tenant] had gone to the his boss, who decided to have an air quality test done by another government  agency. I was ok with that since we knew we stayed on top our maintenance. Now at this time word spread, and all of sudden all others started to complain about the air quality. Finally, the test was done. Several weeks passed and the report was sent out. The air quality was very good; the report even said, "Air quality was better than some newer buildings." But she still felt like she was about to have a major asthma attack.

Not knowing else to do, frustration was setting in. I left for lunch and noticed this woman and what she was doing nearly floored me, so I return and grabbed the other internal facility manager and showed him what I saw. This place has armed security who watch who comes and goes, and he asked them, 'How many times a day does she go out to SMOKE?'  They said six to seven times a day. Yes, she was chain smoker!

Needless to say, they contacted her supervisor and informed them of her complaints and her habit. Not sure what happens afterward but the complaints stopped and then I never saw her again."

Now, I know you've got some doozies up your sleeves! Post your own stories in the comments below, start your own thread on the forum, or send me an email at

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