Condominium or Rental – Which One to Choose

So you are gaining as much information as you can find relating to starting life as a caretaker and you are trying to decide which job will be better, Condominium or rental.

As you can see in my previous article, Condominium or Rental – What’s The Difference?, I explained how they do differ. It is quite easy to see that the jobs are much different, but why do you choose?

Our First Job as Caretakers

When Irma and I started out, we took the first job we were offered. It was a trainee job with a company that owned 17 high-rise rental towers. We were on the job for only a couple of weeks and then we were given our own rental  tower. We had two druggies who moved out and left a real mess with perhaps a pickup truck of junk spread all over the apartment. We had 7 or 8 moves each month as students who attended the ESL classes nearby came and went. We had a building with all appliances at least 25 years old. Eventually, we decided to move. We had heard a little information about condominiums and were offered a job as caretakers in a new complex that was under construction.

Over the next 15 years we were caretakers in 3 condominium buildings and 3 rental buildings. Each had their own advantages and disadvantages.

Condominium or Rental

Condominiums are run by Strata Councils. Generally about 6 residents will be elected to serve on the council changing every couple of years. Most will do a great job and are a pleasure to work with. Some residents will have an idea they want to change everything and cannot understand that things are done in a certain way and cannot be changed. Some who get on council by simply showing up and being available are elected without anyone knowing what they are all about.

We were hired as caretakers in a condo complex. A resident who was bordering on insanity somehow was elected to serve. He would arrive for a meeting and refused to sit with the rest of the council at the table. He would sit on a couch with a garbage bag full of hats. Every few minutes he would change hats, approximately 20 hats over an hour. At the end of the meeting he would begin to rant and rave about anything that came to mind. Finally, after this went on for a few meetings, he had to be banned from the council.

Who’s The Boss?

Strata councils are not to interfere in the operation of the complex. Some people simply cannot help themselves and will be a pain. They have no authority but they will try. The caretaker is managed by the property manager only.

Then there are real troublemakers. We were recruited by a property manager who hired us as caretakers in a twin-tower complex. Not long afterwards, a group of residents decided they would elect a new council by gathering up a whole bunch of proxies prior to the annual general meeting. Once they took over, they would fire the property management company and bring in another of their own choice. They did this and soon had to eat crow as the new property manager didn’t even have a proper office. Before too long $30,000 from the strata account went missing and was never found. So what about the condominium or rental question?

What of The Rentals?

We were hired as caretakers to manage 1 of the 5 towers in a rental complex. An elderly gentleman owned 8,000 rental units and was excellent to work for. He had been an owner for many years and everything was set up properly. We had a maintenance department who not only handled all of the in-suite problems which arose from time to time but they did suite makeovers on a regular basis. They had a cabinet shop as well. They had a team who repainted the suites, shampooed the carpets, replaced the drapes and painted the entire suite when required. We caretakers were free to simply maintain our jobs and collect the rent.

But, as with the good news, there comes the bad.

The office for the 5 buildings was located in one of the towers. It was managed by a lady who was very smart but over the many years she had been there, she had developed a terrible disposition. She really was unlikable. Prospective tenants would arrive and ask to view a suite. She reminded me of a disgruntled pit bull. Without a word she would call one of the caretakers who would show them around. We almost expected her to growl! We would take them to show a suite and no sooner that we would be out of sight or earshot they would ask why the company would keep such a person. She had an assistant who was very pleasant and a great worker but was treated like dirt by the manager.

Our apartment was very small and we had to put up with a huge desk in our living room. I got along well with the manager but we decided to check out the caretaker market as we didn’t expect things to get better. We had been there for less than a year.

We take a New Job

We checked out the classified pages in the local newspaper and saw an ad for a caretaker couple in a condominium. We were hired after a telephone interview and a quick visit to a very nice tower in a perfect area of the city.

The property management couple were very experienced and managed the three-tower complex from an on-site office. Each tower had a caretaker.

So, What is it to be, Condominium or Rental?

Every job has plusses and minuses, the good and the bad. It will be up to you to decide. I was never the type of person who could stand by and watch people be mean to each other such as in the above rental situation. I would rather move to another job than that. But putting things like that aside I would settle for a caretaker job than the rental. The deciding factor would be the infighting and politics of the condominium strata council.

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

 

Caretaking – What a Wonderful Life

I would guess there are very few people in this world that would say they have the perfect job. This statement may be a little off the wall but given that a building caretaker job calls for mature (seniors and retirees welcome) people, Irma and I can testify that this career is outstanding!

We Loved The Career

Caretaking – what a wonderful life my wife Irma and I have enjoyed. We went from being jobless and too old for an employer to consider, to being comfortably set up in a nice apartment, good salaries, benefits and working from home. We didn’t need to commute to work. We had free parking, phones, cable TV, internet, holidays and vacations.

Working Together.

In a way, we looked after the house. We did what most couples do; we cleaned and repaired things as they became dirty or worn out. The only difference for us was that our house was big. One of our last caretaker jobs consisted of 126 rooms. Since it was a condominium we didn’t need to do anything inside those rooms because we worked together. This is why we can say caretaking is such a wonderful life.

Irma was an expert detailer; she was happiest cleaning around the laundry or the elevators and lobby. Men simply don’t have a penchant for this kind of work. We don’t see where a child might have placed his or her hand on a glass entry door. I could busy myself mopping the lobby floor, cleaning the garbage room, changing the compactor or running the backup generator. We worked as a team. She knew me so well and we are now counting down to our 60th wedding anniversary.

Financially, We Were Now Sound.

We had our government pensions coming in as well as our salaries. Things had greatly improved for us since we found our first caretaking job.

We would start our day with a nice 45-minute walk in a park across the street. By 8:00 AM we would be checking out the building and getting busy cleaning the lobby, laundry room and elevators. I would do a walkabout on each floor and the roof. From the roof I could eyeball the surrounding grounds and I would check the garbage rooms. At 10:00 AM we would stop for coffee and by that time, we would have an idea of what was urgent and needed to be deal with right away. I would meet with the property manager for a few minutes around 11:30 and then Irma and I would clean the recreation centre and pool. By noon, we were off to have lunch.

Our Regular Work Day

We would vacuum the hallways once weekly and our dumpsters needed changing as required. I was responsible for maintaining the cleaning supplies for two similar towers so I sometimes needed to go to the wholesalers for more goods. I was paid extra for this as well as for maintaining the locks in those other buildings as well. Once a week I ran the backup generator and the other two caretakers and I would test the fire alarms. Once that was done, we three couples would get together for coffee and sweets at which time we would discuss any urgent problems. As need be we would check the grounds outside, and perhaps rake up leaves around the tennis court. We had a snowblower to keep the snow cleared away from the driveway and walkways.

Generally by 3:00 or 3:30 our day’s work would be finished and we would be back in our apartment. After 4:00 PM we were free. Our answering machine would record any calls if we were away.

The Benefits Were Excellent

We worked a five-day week, earned $46,000 per year and paid $475 per month in rent. The apartment we had was very nice with a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath. Similar apartments rented for $1,100 in the area. Now this was the reason why I often stated that caretaking was such a wonderful life.

Is Every Caretaking Job Like This?

I would say this was average. Rental buildings were a little more work but if I had to ever do it over again caretaking would be my top job on the list.

The great advantage we had over younger folks was that because we were older we were in high demand by property managers. They want older, more mature couples. What other job is there where being a senior, retiree, or mature worker is an asset?

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

Winners and Losers

As we live our lives we meet all kinds of people.

Some always stand out from the crowd and they become leaders who do not hesitate. When the situation calls for someone to take charge, they do not hesitate to step forward. Then there are losers who, for one reason or other, sink to the bottom of the barrell and don’t fit in with the rest of humanity. They spend their lives trying to get there but they cannot succeed.

Most of Our Residents Were Excellent

We managed a pair of towers with 278 condominium apartments and many fantastic residents. These people were hard-working folks who went about their jobs diligently. As usual, there were winners and losers as we find in every walk of life.

Sub-rentals were permitted in these towers; an owner could rent out his apartment to a prospective tenant if he so wished. One of these renters fit into the losers category to a tee.

Wayne was a loser! He had been in prison a couple of times for minor infractions. He was trying to fit in with the low life but was even too stupid to stay out of jail. He owned a shop in the sleazy part of the city and had been raided many times for selling pot. His live-in girlfriend had been arrested repeatedly for prostitution. When it came to winners this guy was the total opposite; a born loser and you could call him a social reject.

Our building was managed by a very reputable property management company that occupied an office on the 13th floor of a bank building next door to ours. Our property manager informed me that our loser couple were from time to time having sex in the middle of the day with the drapes wide open. Of course this was highly visible from a few floors in the office building and it was causing quite a disruption among the staff. The property manager had been trying to get rid of this loser and finally he found a loophole in the tenancy agreement that allowed him to be evicted.

Now, when it comes to winners and losers, this guy took the cake. He had an extra key made for the building entry door and gave it to one of his loser friends who was known to hang out with, ‘Wayne the loser’.

A week after Wayne was evicted his loser friend was seen entering the building after midnight. He took the elevator to the 11th floor where he kicked the elevator panel so hard it had to be replaced. He then entered the stairwell and opened the valve for the water supply for the fire hose. This was a four-inch pipe that was connected to the powerful water pumps in the bottom floor of the tower. The water blasted out, pounding the drywall off the wall in the stairwell and quickly flooded every one of the lower 10 floors soaking carpets and contents in every suite. It was a huge mess! He was then seen trying to gain entry to the second tower by way of the underground parking garage but he couldn’t get in. He was seen tossing a fire extinguisher through the back window of a nice pickup truck before exiting the building.

What a mess we had on our hands!

The power had to be shut off because of the water. Irma and I lived on the 20th floor and had to walk up and down for the day as well as all of the residents. A restoration company had to use an emergency generator to power the 50 heavy-duty fans to dry out the place. The carpets from the hallways and 64 suites had to be replaced. It took over a month to get things back to normal.

Costly Vandalism

When the insurance adjuster checked things out he discovered a joint on the water supply pipe that had been involved had come apart from the pressure of the pumps had been improperly secured when the system was installed. Two set screws were not secured to hold the joint together thus causing the joint to come apart. The onus was now on the plumbing company to cover the $150,000 insurance claim.

Yes, there are winners and losers in this world and caretakers may meet up with them from time to time!

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

 

Struck by Lightning

Lightning is always dangerous as we never know where it will hit next. Weather conditions build up and create a huge bundle of energy and when it releases, it does so with a huge bang and flash and it will probably damage something.

This is the story about what happened when our building was hit.

Irma and I had been caretakers for about three years and were managing a beautiful three-building condominium complex containing 246 apartments on four floors. We had never been struck by lightning. In the center court a driveway encircled a very nice water fountain that was surrounded by fancy brickwork. The parking was underground. The electrical power was supplied by way of a power line that came from the street and was fed underground to the electrical room in the underground parking area.

We Were Struck

One afternoon while an electrical storm was underway we were struck by lightning. The strike hit a pole and traveled down the wire, through an electrical box under the ground, followed the wire underground under the floor of the parkade and into the electrical room where it blew a huge fuse effectively shutting down the power to the entire complex.

Immediately I checked a couple of houses nearby and they still had power. I rushed to the electrical room where I was met by a resident who had been involved in the mining industry. A second resident came on the scene and told us he had been in business for 40 years as an electrical contractor. He had a quick look and advised me that the fuse was blown. With a flashlight he noted the fuse number and I called the property manager and asked him to order a new fuse. Unfortunately, none were available in the city. I had to purchase 50 flashlights and place them on top of our emergency lighting boxes in the hallways.

A Lighting System Arrives

The next morning a huge, self-contained generator system arrived and got us up and running.

Late that afternoon the courier arrived with our new fuses. I called the retired electrical contractor and he took the old one out and replaced it. Instantly, there was a loud bang. I really thought that one or both of the elderly gents would have a heart attack as the noise was that loud!

Fortunately, neither of them did. Now we had more trouble than we had bargained for. The property manager finally called in an electrical contractor who outlined the mistakes that were made. First, there was a spare fuse box next to the machine on the wall with two fuses. Second, the retired contractor had no idea how to get the job done. Third, the big electrical transformers, or whatever they were, had to be taken out to a shop where they would be repaired. We would be out of electrical power for two to three weeks!

If Only We Had Known

Finally, he explained that turning the power back on was not as simple as it seemed as each section of the complex had to be powered up slowly so as to avoid power surges to the system. Being struck by lightning and having the wrong advisors around proved to be a costly mistake. The final cost was over $100,000; fortunately, it was insured.

Shortly after the strike occurred I went out to the fountain in the courtyard and saw that the brickwork was covered with what looked like worms. We learned that on the west coast moss grows quickly so the lightning strike caused the moss to be ejected from between the bricks!

Two months later we were again struck by lightning. Fortunately, other than a couple of holes in the vinyl siding and all of the telephones being damaged in one area of the building, we got off lucky.

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

 

Condominium or Rental – The Difference is Clear

When Irma and I set out to become caretakers, we had no idea what a condominium was as we had grown up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. There were no condominiums there and we had never seen an apartment building with more than 8 suites! After we were hired to be caretakers we were given our first rental building to manage.

It wasn’t long before we began to hear the word, condominium. So the question for us was, should we work in a condominium or rental?

Our first rental was about 25 or more years old. It was 11 stories high with small bachelor suites and was easy to manage. An English as a Second Language school was located just across the street that attracted many Asians who had never had the training to keep their rooms clean and tidy. This caused a good many turnovers as their classes ran only 3 months at a time. As the kitchen appliances were as old as the building, the refrigerators were not self-deicing and the door seals were worn out. When the residents vacated, they left 3 or 4 inches of ice in the freezer section.

We had a Caucasian lady up on the 10th floor who had purchased a long couch from a couple of renters on the first floor. These people were into drugs and the odors traveled up to her apartment. They moved out and she was not happy with the odours coming off the couch. She wanted to get rid of it but as hard as we tried it would not fit into the elevator. When we had first met her she was so polished and demure, but that was before the couch. Now, she was cursing and screaming like a banshee and we could hear her all over the building. Finally, she hired a fellow who had to take a hammer and saw to take it apart. We didn’t want to deal with all the drama in this building so after a couple of months, we decided we would search for another caretaking job.

We had heard the terms strata, strata-titled and condominium mentioned from another caretaker and found that condominiums were better to manage than rentals. We found this to be true sometimes, but not always. We met up with our training manager and we talked about the situation and he informed us that there was a job opening in a nice location in the city. He had been offered the job and he had decided not to take it. He put forward our names to the property manager.  The next day, our training manager changed his mind and decided to take the job. We then had a call from the property manager who explained they had an opening for caretakers in a new condominium that was under construction. We decided to take it after a quick visit to the site.

Condominium or Rental: The Differences

A developer will form a corporation under the Strata Act with the purpose being to construct a building or complex. The individual apartments will be sold to separate owners. The strata corporation will own the common areas such as the roof, exterior walls, parking area, grounds, pools and recreation areas; in other words, everything but the individual suites. The suite owners will own the inside walls of the suites. The developer will hire a property management company who will oversee the project.

The owners will pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the building as well as insurance, taxes, heating and management. They will be assessed based upon the square footage of their individual suites. These are called strata fees. Once the building is completed, a general meeting will be held and the corporation operation will be turned over to a group of the new owners who will be called the strata council. They will work with and be guided by a property manager.

A rental building will be constructed by an owner or corporation with the purpose of renting the suites to individuals or families for a profit. The landlord will be governed by the Residential Tenancy Act or some other governmental bureau depending upon the city or country of location. As a general rule, the landlord may employ a property manager who will direct the caretakers on a day-to-day basis.

So Again – Condominium or Rental – The Differences

First, the condominium. The owner who owns the suite is responsible for their unit and everything in it. If the sink plugs they must call a plumber or fix it themselves. If the walls need painting they must paint or call a painter. In other words, the caretaker of the building is not required to enter the suite except in the case of an emergency and then to stop damage to the building.

For instance, an owner is away from the suite after starting the dishwasher prior to leaving. A hose slips off the connection and water begins to pour down into the suite below. The caretaker would locate the water supply shutoff in the hallway first. He should call the property manager who would accompany you to the suite below to determine that the water has stopped leaking.

The caretaker’s only responsibility is the maintenance of the strata property.

The caretaker of the rental property is responsible for the entire building including the suites. In the above example, the caretaker will have a key in a secure key box and will enter the suite to determine the cause of the problem and take steps to stop further water damage to the suite and the suite below. He will have the property manager accompany him to survey the situation and schedule repairs to the suite and whatever damage there was to other suites in the building.

A renter may have a kitchen cabinet door come loose, a drip from the tap in the bathroom, a water stain in a window drape, or a circuit breaker trip in the suite — they will have the caretaker attend to these tasks.

There is a huge difference in duties for the caretaker when trying to choose between caretaking in the condominium or rental building but I will explain that in my next article, “Condominium or Rental – Why Choose The Condominium?”

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

 

Furnace Draft Control – How it Works

Caretakers in apartment and condominium buildings generally are not experts in the operation of these buildings. A retired electrician may be hired as a caretaker but that doesn’t make him a plumber. An accountant caretaker is not necessarily a pipe fitter. The job of the caretaker is to know who to call to do the job at hand.

A Problem for Many Years

Our first job as caretakers was in an 11-storey, 80-unit, 25-year-old apartment building. We were brand new to the business and had just completed a 2-week training program. A problem with the furnace draft control had been an issue possibly since the building was built.

We had taken a tour of the building by the previous caretaker prior to our taking over the job. One strange problem was a water leak in the garbage chutes. There were no pipes in the chutes, no water source, but if you put your hand inside the chute you could feel a very fine mist, almost a fine fog or heavy dampness.

The dampness would come out of the chute door in the wall and seep down to the floor and wet the carpet. The problem had been going on so long that it seemed to crystalize the carpet and ruin it.

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

This company had been noted as a very cheap one to deal with. Our head office wanted to suck out every penny from the building and therefore their maintenance department didn’t have a qualified person on board. The job should have had a person with a degree in civil engineering as they owned 17 high rise towers to keep a person busy. Of course they saved money by not needing to pay him a high wage or union dues, etc. He had been in the job for many years. Over that time, and because of the leaking, he and the general manager had assumed that the water was coming from a leak in the roof, so they spent a lot of money on a re-roofing job but the problem persisted. Of course a trained heating specialist would have traced the problem to the furnace draft control quickly.

The problem, as I could see it, was the general manager. He had zero personality, had been running the company for many years and thought he knew everything. He was a so-called expert in every field.

I was born in a small town back in the middle of the Depression. It was a coal-mining town and everyone burned coal for cooking and heating. At a young age, one of the chores I had to take care of was the semiannual cleaning of the stove pipes in the kitchen range. My mom showed me how to take the pipes down, take them outside to the backyard and clean out the soot. The pipe had a draft control and she showed me how to set the control for its most efficient setting. There was a furnace draft control as well. I didn’t have any idea as to what the draft control worked but apparently it did so.

The Furnace in Our Highrise Was Oil-Fired.

It was a large furnace and was set up in a huge room where it shared space with the garbage compactor. I was always a curious person. One day, not long after we took over the building, I was looking around in this huge room trying to become familiar with how everything worked. I noticed a round, metal thing that was up on the wall. It looked like a cap on the end of a pipe which was approximately 12 inches in diameter. There was no pipe to be seen — just the cap. I thought it was odd but I moved along to other duties.

The next day I heard some heavy pounding coming from high up in the building. I rode up the elevator and found the maintenance man from head office along with the general manager in the elevator room just below the roof. They were pounding a hole in the concrete wall and they told me they wanted to see where the leak was coming from. I backed off and left them to the job as they were convinced that there was a water pipe hidden away somewhere that was causing the problem.

A couple of days later I was making my rounds as usual in the furnace room and again I was drawn to that metal thing on the wall. I took a stepladder and pried off the cover and a draft was so strong that I turned the metal cover around and when I placed the cover over the end of the pipe it held it in place on the end of the pipe without anything to hold it there. I lowered the cover so that it exposed about ⅓ of the pipe opening. Now I had no idea what this pipe was for but it surely was part of the heating system. The furnace was still working so I didn’t think it would hurt anything if I left the cover like that for a bit.

The Garbage Chute Was Dry

While making my rounds the next morning I happened to check one of the garbage chutes and it was dry. Figuring that the head office guys had found the leak I went to the room they were pounding in the day before. Looking where they had been, I saw the hole in the wall but there was nothing there. I walked down checking each chute but every one of them was dry.

An hour later I had a visitor who had been sent over by head office. He was a mechanical engineer sent to look at the garbage chute problem. He wanted to see one of the chutes and of course it was dry. I took him to the furnace room and explained what I did the day before. I asked if this may have been something to do with the furnace draft control. He said possibly and checked all around the area and finally came to the conclusion that somehow there was no draft control installed. He had me replace the cover over the end of the pipe and report the problem to head office and suggest a proper draft control be installed.

Finally, after an unknown number of years, a furnace technician arrived, installed a new draft control and the problem was solved! I remember afterwards silently thanking my mom for showing me what to do with the old stove pipe in our home so many years ago.

Caretakers need to be nosy while wandering around their buildings. Learn how things work as it may come in handy some day.

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

6.99

 

Compulsive Liar

Why do people lie?

I suppose there are as many reasons as there are people. Most of us tell little lies without even knowing it. We may bend the truth in any one of a thousand ways. Perhaps once in awhile we may find the need to tell a bigger lie. But why be a compulsive liar?

I suppose there are as many reasons as there are people. Most of us tell little lies without even knowing it. We may bend the truth in any one of a thousand ways. Perhaps once in awhile we may find the need to tell a bigger lie. But why be a compulsive one? A compulsive liar is one who simply cannot stop himself.

When we were in training, during the first two weeks as caretakers in a high-rise rental tower, our manager told us we were going to take over as caretakers in an 11-storey rental building in Vancouver. We were to go to meet the present caretaker and his wife and look over the building the next day. We met George and his wife at our appointed time but instantly we began to wonder about him as he was in the process of dyeing his hair when we arrived. His hair was tightly curled and he had a shower cap over it. My first thought was, why would he not be ready to meet us as we were on time? Was he a compulsive liar?

He had a chart on the wall with all of the suite numbers on it and a list of improvements to be done on the individual suites such as painting, replacing appliances, new drapes, etc.

Once his hair dried he took us on a tour of the building. While doing so he explained to us the reason he was doing the job as a caretaker was so that he could learn all about operating rental buildings. Recently he purchased two penthouse suites in two other buildings and had rented them out to famous actors for $5,000 per month while they were in the city making movies. He was very sincere about it. He further stated he was looking into purchasing a high-rise tower as he had made quite a lot of money acting in the movie, “Cocoon.”

Now this, to us, sounded as if he was off the wall. However, we very seldom saw movies so what did we know? He seemed so sincere. As we toured the building we could not help but notice that the garbage chutes on each floor were leaking some sort of liquid that seeped from the chute door and ran down onto the carpet. He opened one chute door and he pointed out that the management had been trying to fix the leaking for years but it was to no avail. They had the roof redone but that didn’t solve the problem.

In the little room where the lawnmower and shovels were kept he told us he purchased a new snowblower for the building and it would soon be delivered. He had some boxes of tulip bulbs that he was planting around the grounds. He must have had 200 or more which seemed a lot for such a small area. I asked him how he paid for these things and he said it was no problem and once everything was on hand he would get paid.

The guy was so self-assured that we began to take him at his word. Was he for real or was he a compulsive liar?

Back at the office he showed us his suite action plan. He pointed out that the building was 25 years old and all of the appliances were worn out, so a carload of new ones were on their way and should arrive shortly. His wife was in the office with us and he was so sincere we felt assured that he was telling the truth, even though we could feel that this guy was lying. But he was being promoted to being the new caretaker of a much larger complex so we wondered what was going on. We were the new kids on the block. We had never been caretakers of our own building before. Perhaps he was telling us the truth!

When we arrived back to our training building our manager asked us what we thought of George and we shook our heads as we didn’t know if this was a test of some sort or not. He seemed to know something that we were not in on as yet. We suspected that someone was a compulsive liar.

A couple of days later we moved to our new job.

George welcomed us to the new building and told us he was not only the caretaker of his new building but he has been promoted to property manager and would be in charge of this building as well as our building. He told us that the new appliances are well on their way from the distributor and we should be prepared to install them when they arrive.

George and his wife moved out and we moved in. A week later we went to visit them in their new building. He was busy but he pointed out a $500 tree standing in the lobby that he had purchased that day. Now that was a lot of money at the time. We had never heard a word from anyone about spending this kind of money. We left him and on our way back home we wondered about this. Was he for real or a compulsive liar?

A couple of days later I called George to get an expected delivery date for the appliances delivery. He assured me they were in the city and would be sent over to us soon.

The next day our previous manager called to inform me that the police had come to arrest George but he had locked himself in his suite in his building and would not come out.

About noon the following day the company general manager and George arrived unannounced at our office to tell me George had an offer he could not resist and would be leaving the job immediately. It seemed that George was a complete nut and had been making all of those purchases without any authority. Apparently the police had to use forced entry into the suite and had arrested him.

Of course we were shocked but not surprised. The compulsive liar was gone!

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.

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