Delegate: to entrust to
another [delegate authority], to appoint as one's representative, to assign
responsibility or authority.
years ago a parking lot on a neighborhood corner was home to one of those
establishments where customers paid fourteen seventy four an hour to park
their cars. Today, on the site of that former parking lot, owners are
settling into their condos, choosing window treatments and having babies
while contractors are making noise and dust in adjacent apartments.
given weekday itís a bewildering beehive of activity. There were no
sidewalks until more than 6 months after the first move-in. HVAC technicians
are working to get all systems properly operational. There are roofing and
faÁade crews attempting to keep rainwater on the outside. I have to
persuade, threaten and cajole crews to follow the condoís contractor rules.
There is a full concierge and porter staff to tend to, garbage to dispose
of, a building to purge daily of contractor-produced dirt and dust, a
full-time punch-list crew to direct, toilets to snake and drains to clean
and a shiny brand new lobby to keep shining and brand new. Itís an
extraordinary orchestra to conduct.
to say Iíve been busy is a stark understatement; Iíve done very little
outside of working in this building for the past 15 months. Many times I
collapsed on my bed at the end of a very long day, too tired to shower OR
eat, and still with a full plate (not one piled high with food). Iíve had to
temporarily postpone classes, and my teenager wonders why he never sees me
all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed anymore. Weekends are for recuperating Ė
plain and simple.
face it all and keep your dignity, grace, poise and efficiency intact? A
good thing thatís come out of all this is Iím learning to delegate work.
sort of person who likes to do it all myself. Thereís nothing I cannot do if
I try, and I like to try. Because itís all a challenge, and a good challenge
keeps life interesting. And an interesting existence is, well... how many
synonyms are there for ďstimulatingĒ?
demands are made to the breadth and depth that Iíve experienced in the past
year, Iíve often become discouraged, especially when Iíve gotten overly
tired. Itís neither the sheer volume of demands nor is it the velocity with
which they come in that frustrates or discourages. Itís not the decibel
level of complaints, or from whom. Mostly the frustration, when it emerges,
comes from facing the fact that I cannot accomplish all that is asked of me
in a dayís time.
work to others becomes a necessity, not a luxury. Meeting the needs of your
residents is part of being a super in a luxury condominium; delegating work,
even delegating authority, becomes less a choice and more an unqualified
necessity. Your work becomes a series of choices you must make between what
is very important and what is MORE important. At its worst itís like triage
in a hospital emergency room, with the key difference being that, although
many of the demands made are designed to sound like life-or-death,
thankfully they are not. You canít make everyone happy, but you must make
choices on the fly and under pressure.
of a superintendent or resident manager is quite complex and requires
numerous hands trained in wide-ranging disciplines, and demands come so
thick and fast that one person cannot do it all. You must have help. To let
go and let others fill in is an easy choice for some people. For others,
itís not a first choice and requires a learned response.
itís an assistant superintendent, a porter, handyman or an outside
contractor, you must find trusted deputies, those you can rely on to help
you fill in the gap between what needs to be done and what can be
accomplished on any given day.
Delegating work is a good skill to learn in any profession, and one that is
vital for the super to seize and to make a part of how he or she performs
proper workaholic, I sometimes find myself reverting to my previous ways:
getting into that skeptical mindset predicting that if I donít do it, it
wonít get done correctly, on time, or at all. I have to figuratively grab
that ďíholicĒ by the shoulders, shake him and say, Donít be brainless,
brother - you cannot do it all. You will need assistance, today and every
So select. Assign responsibility. Designate. Delegate some of
todayís essential labors, those that are beyond your reach.
is another day, when again you will need help, and again you will expect and
get positive efforts from your trusted colleagues. So you will accomplish
much. And so it goes.