see me down to the edge of the wild (faecat) wrote in bad_service,
see me down to the edge of the wild

18 May 2005

Dear [manager]:
I am writing to register a complaint against Barry, an employee working in the management office of [complexname] apartment complex. He has acted in an unprofessionally rude and offensive manner toward me.

On Monday, May 16th, I stopped into the management office to see if we could get an extra key for our apartment, as we are going on vacation and wanted to leave one with the friend who was keeping an eye on the cats. Barry said that they didn't have any for our apartment, and I asked if it was possible to get one made, as the maintenance staff have done in the past. He started complaining at us about “didn't we trust our friends to leave our own keys with them while we were on vacation”, and went on for a couple of minutes, but finally wrote in a work order. I was kind of perplexed as to why it was any of his business why I wanted a key made or who I trusted with what.

Apparently, Barry spoke to my boyfriend Dan on Tuesday the 17th to let him know that we would be charged for extra keys but could have them made on our own at a key shop, and Dan told him in that case not to bother, but forgot to let me know about this. So on Wednesday, May 18th, I stopped in to see if the key was done, and Barry told me that Dan told him not to bother, so no, there were no keys.

I said "Oh, okay, I didn't know that, no problem." He then informed me that Dan and I must have “a horrible line of communication.” I was rather taken aback at the personal and attacking nature of this comment, and told him, "Well, it probably slipped his mind because he left early this morning to fly out of town for his grandmother's funeral."

And Barry's response was "Well, that's not my problem."

I said "....excuse me?"

He started yelling about how it wasn’t his problem that Dan and I didn’t communicate, and I said, "Excuse me, can you please stop yelling at me? I just didn't know, it’s not a problem, Dan didn't tell me you'd talked to him..." and he stood up and, while leaning over the desk toward me, yelled that he wasn't yelling and that I had offended him personally by mentioning recently that the office distributed a memo with typos (referenced below), and that if I had a problem with him I could take it up with Debbie, the manager.

I asked to speak with her, and was told that she leaves every day at 4pm. He continued to yell at me, so I left the office without any further exchange, because I found his behavior both intimidating and unbelievably rude.


A couple of weeks ago, a memo was posted on the doors of several buildings about some upcoming parking lot repairs, requiring that cars be moved. The memo contained several grammatical and spelling errors, some of which made it slightly hard to follow. I mentioned this in the office to Barry, and suggested that if a spell-check was used on these memos, they would be easier for the residents to read and follow, particularly the large population of residents who don’t speak English as a primary language and therefore might not have the contextual familiarity to figure out the intended meaning. At the time, the man agreed with me that the errors were unprofessional, but informed me that it was Debbie, the manager, who was responsible for creating and distributing those memos. This startled me somewhat, as Debbie has managed the complex for at least several years, to my knowledge, and the errors only started appearing within the last month or two. He insisted that he had mentioned them to her, and that she refused to use a spell-check or have a second person review them for these kinds of errors. (Two weeks later, we have received three more memos with grammatically incorrect phrases like “Cars need moved” or “Package need picked up” and spelling errors such as the phrase “patience with our repairs” being delivered as “patients with are repairs”.) But since he insisted that the errors were Debbie’s responsibility, I’m not sure why this would have been considered personally offensive to him.


In short, I have found this man’s behavior to be rude, belligerent, and confrontational, for no evident reason. Comments of such a personal nature regarding communication between myself and my boyfriend are totally inappropriate, and telling me that it was “not his problem” that my boyfriend was distracted by a family member’s funeral is even more unacceptable. After the exchanges I’ve had with him, I am frankly not comfortable with the knowledge that he has access to my personal information and keys to my apartment.

I have a hard time believing that this is what [complexname] considers an appropriate way for the staff to behave, but if it is, I will have to seriously rethink whether or not I am comfortable continuing to live here.

Thank you for your time.
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