While I was brainstorming, trying to think of something I could write for today’s assignment. That something was to include mining a nugget in your old posts, your tweets, your Facebook site and on and on.
Well, I just had a sparkling thought after seeing this picture of myself several years ago as I was standing outside of the apartment complex by the beach. I was Assistant Manager at the complex and it was only myself or the manager in the office at any given time.
It was a one person office if you will. We, along with a maintenance man, had to handle everything that happened for the day. Could be people coming in to look for an apartment, a complaint by a tenant, or tenants coming in to pay rent or writing a lease agreement.
Of course many other things happened during the day, a flood in an apartment from a toilet overflowing to a sink in the kitchen blocked to someone screaming at you because you had their car towed for being in the wrong parking place.
One day as I was speaking to someone who had come into the office to look at an apartment, the phone rang. Now, at that time I was new to the office, having just started working a few months before. I did not know a lot of the tenants as there was thirty-four apartments and most units had at least two people or more. We had one and two bedroom apartments. There was quite a few people to get to know and they were coming and going on a fairly regular basis.
I picked up the phone and the woman identified herself as a tenant. She went on to tell me about her problem, which I was only half listening to because I had a person in front of me who was anxious to look at an apartment. The conversation on the phone went something like this:
“Hello,” the caller said.
After identifying myself, I said, “How can I help you?”
“Where’s Marlene?” caller.
“She is off today, can I help you with anything?”
The caller went on and on about some perceived problem, which I knew I was not going to be able to do anything about.
The person in front of me was getting antsy and I held my finger up in the ‘wait a moment’ signal.
The caller was still going on when I finally said, “Do you want to bottom line it for me.”
Now unbeknownst to me the caller was a long time resident at the apartments. She was ninety-five years old, and her name was Mary. The manager had always treated Mary with the utmost respect, even driving her to the bank, and the grocery store on occasion.
“The bottom line is,” the caller went on without losing a beat. She told me her problem in a few short words and I told her what I could do to help.
I also took care of the person in front of me and all was well.
After that day though, whenever Mary, who I’d told to “bottom line” it, would, when she came into the office, say to me, “You are not Marlene!”
Whereupon, I would retort, “Very perceptive of you Mary.” She always got a laugh out of that.
She had a good sense of humor and we went on to become, if not friends, then friendly.
Both she and her husband, who lived to be over a hundred years old, lived in the beachfront apartments until the end of both of their lives. It had been their dream, they said to live at the beachfront until the end.