I KNOW WHAT
IT IS TO BE A SUPER. One of the hardest jobs we have is walking that fine
line, trying to please management, staff and tenants.
owners and co-op boards do not quite see us as management. Neither does the
property agent. Yet staff and tenants do see us as management. Where are we,
easy to answer. When tenants have issues with management, we find ourselves in
the middle, or when the owner or board is not happy, or when the staff has
issues, we are again in the middle. Whenever there are cutbacks, money has to
be saved, or an apartment has to be turned over faster, for less, we are in
large, management thinks of us as supervisors at their beck and call, waiting
by the phone to solve any problem that comes up. Most tenants, on the other
hand, see us an uneducated, glorified porters and handymen who stay awake all
night and weekends – 24/7.
the other day asked the doorman, “What day is garbage pickup?” as he needed to
throw out some furniture. He was most insistent and demanded an answer. So the
doorman called me at my apartment at 1:30 am, as the tenant would not leave
the lobby until he received an answer. Lucky my building is a rental, because
I gave that tenant an answer all right! Tenants think we are at the ready to
service them whenever they want. To a degree, most supers are – in an
we have the greatest job on earth: free rent, garage in some cases, etc. But I
would rather get paid more money than to have the free rent and live
elsewhere. There is so much hidden pressure and stress on our jobs.
with people’s homes is never an easy task. If dry cleaning is missing it’s our
fault and we have to hunt it down. If a package was not delivered in a timely
manner, it’s our fault. No it’s not easy being a super.
call you, not to say “Hi!” but “Where is the payment?” for items they shipped
to you – because management was slow in paying again. Then there’s the
contractor who promises you and the tenant a certain date and never shows up.
That’s our fault too. Oh, and if your building is union, then you have the
pleasant experience of dealing with the union.
finger pointing when something goes wrong! We are the captains of our ships;
we are responsible for everything.
brothers and sisters, at times we wonder why we got into this career. I did
because I love it. Why did you? Let us know. And if you have a story to tell,
send it to us. Don’t worry about the spelling. Our editor is good at that!