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A True Story about Mental Illness

Many years ago I went to work as a Leasing Agent.property_management_job_description

After being promoted to manager of the company I worked for a year later, I was given 76 units in 3 different parts of town. The owner gave me an end apartment in a group of townhouses that were off the beaten path. They were nice, not new but well-kept and safe.

A married couple lived next door to me. He traveled most of the time and she stayed home. No children, no pets.

Having lived there before I moved in, their application was simple; no relatives or connections. He had a very good job making very good money which was apparent by the expense given to their home.

When he was home and not traveling, they would invite me over for a delicious dinner or meal. She was an immaculate housekeeper and great cook. These 2 were quiet, never caused any problems and always paid their rent on time.

He would be gone sometimes 3-4 weeks at a time. After a while I wondered why she didn’t work, but he made plenty of money so she really didn’t need to.

About a year later I noticed something different about her. He was gone and she began acting rather strange. Instead of the silent, timid and shy person she usually was she seemed to be louder, aggressive and playing music all day long.

After a few days the music became disruptive. A few complaining tenants forced me to say something to her.

Ringing her doorbell I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when she opened the door.

Her townhouse was a wreck. Food was everywhere. Trash was scattered and dirty clothes all over the furniture. Up until now I had never seen her smoke and I knew she didn’t drink alcohol at all.65681_403926559714557_1656579308_n

Liquor and half empty beer bottles were spread around the room. Partially smoked cigarettes sat in ash trays filled with old ashes.

The place smelled like a tobacco factory with a liquor store in it.

But the biggest shock was her. Hardly dressed, with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other she laughed and asked if I wanted a drink.

I told her no, I was working. I then explained to her the noise ordinance and she gladly told me it was no problem; she would turn the music down.

Leaving to go back to my office, I decided it wasn’t any of my business and to let it go.

The loud music never stopped.

After numerous attempts to get her to turn it down I noticed she became almost hostile.  Every time I knocked on her door, the townhouse appeared in worse shape. It was filthy and began to stink.

When she did nothing to change any of this, I called her husband. Cell phones had not been born yet; all I had was an 800 number to his company. They told me they would tell him I called and to call me back.

If anyone had told me what was about to happen over the next few weeks I would never have believed it.

TO BE CONTIINUED…..215680269624148109g2oHOl77c


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God will let you get away with it until suddenly . . . (quote by Grantly Morris)

I have rarely if at all have spoken about my years as a Property Manager. There are stories I could tell; some you would not believe. I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t  been there myself. One that stands out in my memory is an event that I thought I would never witness. Before I go any further let me just say “DON’T DO THIS!”

Years ago I managed a number of different complexes in different areas of the town I lived in.  One group was a cluster of 76 townhouses not far from where mine was.

My answering service was very good at keeping me posted with phone calls and inquiries.  Sometimes I wish they hadn’t been but this one night proved to be the phone call they couldn’t believe that had to make.  Waking me up around midnight I heard the operator say,

“Wake up and get over to the Williamsburg Townhouses as fast as you can.”
After being so rudely awakened I asked “Why?”
“A woman is driving her car around the parking lot threatening to run it through one of the units.”
I said “What did you say?”
“Get dressed and get over there now. I am calling the police.”
After throwing some clothes on I jumped in my car.  Driving over there I thought “This can’t be for real. People don’t drive their cars through brick buildings.” In my mind I remember thinking “Sane people don’t drive their cars through brick buildings.”

How wrong I was. By the time I arrived other tenants were outside, police officers, and a fire truck had also shown up. Sure enough a drunken housewife had driven her very large vehicle through a townhouse where her husband was, well, visiting his girlfriend.  She was quite angry and very intoxicated. Resisting arrest she fought to strangle her husband and his mistress.

Old Car, Young Girls

Image by born1945 via Flickr

The police hauled them off while everyone stood in amazement viewing the car in the townhouse. Somehow she had managed to run it through the front of the townhouse after continually ramming the car back and forth in the parking lot. Once she knocked the basic framework down the front door  ended up in  the den area pushing the couch up to the back wall that had a beautiful china cabinet full of expensive dinnerware and silver. Or at least it was full until she broke it all.

The upstairs was barely in place structurally. We wondered how long it would be before it fell into the kitchen and on top of the car.  Bricks and broken glass were everywhere. The front door was somewhere between the car and the couch while other items on the sides were untouched. As I said, I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

The story was the husband was the CEO of a large company and quite well known. The mistress of course had to move and our company had to remove the car and rebuild the unit.  After all was said and done the wife and her husband reconciled and stayed together.

If I wanted to get someone’s attention there are better ways to do it. It worked for her but with a lot of damage in more ways than one.

Of course this scandal made the news and is etched in my memory as one I will never forget.

The moral to this story is if you want to drive your car through a building for any reason, I would recommend one that is not made of brick.