Friday, August 6, 2010



I work in real estate. Specifically, I manage and lease 16 commercial buildings throughout the twin cities. And sometimes, things go wrong. Very, very wrong.

Yesterday was just such a day. I was pulled out of a meeting and told that there was a water leak in the lower level of a retail center that I manage. Our maintenance crew was on their way, and I ran out to meet them there. All I knew was that there was a 'water leak'. Water leaks typically stem from Roofs or HVAC units, and are somewhat frequent occurrences.

I arrive, and find one our our building engineers with the most foul look on his face.  
"What's up Pete?" I ask
Oh man Kara, oh man, it's bad, Kara it's bad. He responds

We begin to walk downstairs quickly and he informs me that this is just not a regular water leak. This is sewage. Sewage pipe burst and is now leaking all over.

#1 and #2 EVERYWHERE

And the smell. Like nothing I have ever experienced. I don't know what these people were eating to make a smell like this, but it should not have been consumed. So I begin to wade through the sewage with my engineer, and start to gag. Do not throw up, do not throw up. I repeat in my head. Throwing up is not polite, do not throw up on the job. Does not bode well at review time.

Now if you are easily grossed out, I recommend you stop reading now. Or keep reading, and make funny faces as you are disgusted at what I am about to explain.

Sewage lining the hallways, and soaking up the walls. The pipe had burst in a tenant's storage space, and to be blunt, their boxes of files were covered in #2.

I called my assistant back at the office and said, "I am asking  you to do something you will not want to do, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. And I really wish you would tape record it as you do it. Please call XYZ tenant and tell them there is #1 and #2 all over their belongings. Thanks"  And so she did. But unfortunately was unable to record the interaction. Looks like I owe her after that one.

I did my property manager-ey duties, had the situation cleaned up, went home, showered and bleached my feet and threw away my shoes. Guess it's an excuse to go shoe shopping. Sorry Jeremy, I had to buy new shoes, workplace hazard.

Wednesday golfing, Thursday, wading through poo and pee. All in a days work.

1 comment:

Scorpicon said...

That's absolutely awful. Did they figure out why it started to leak (or spew forth excrement)?

How do they clean up after something like this?