Last night after 9 pm, my phone started singing to announce that I had work emails coming through. I opened them to verify that I didn't have any emergencies happening. I was out with a girlfriend and just wishing my boss would go to sleep.
Nope, Boss #2 was still awake and searching for errors and problems. He can't find a lease I had the tenants sign on Monday. It isn't on the server. It isn't on the web based program we use. That is because it was sitting on my desk. I needed to have the owner sign it, but the week happened as it always does and several new problems popped up. I had three basements flood and a ton of smaller issues that sprang forward onto the dance floor.
The email last night from Boss #2 stated that I was to get the lease signed and uploaded into the appropriate places FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
I hadn't even set my keys down this morning when I was told that Boss #1 was looking for me. I went back and was walked through this error again, and was told to fix it right now.
I went and fixed it.
Then an hour later Boss #1 walked in to our main office area and told me how very disappointed he was that I hadn't pulled up the carpet in a house I had gone to after the tenant moved out. He is so very disappointed that I am not able to put the clues together. "Maybe when I get older than 29, I will attain the brains to be a real property manager."
My last instruction was that if I smelled animal pee in a house to pull back the corners of the carpet to look for stains. This is how we document that the tenants animals ruined the carpet. I did not smell animal at all in this house. I smelled the hell out of it in the detached garage, but nothing in the house.
Yesterday, Boss #1 went behind me like he has on each of the six properties I have cleared so far. Boss #2 just showed me how to pull back the carpet three weeks ago. You could smell dog pee in that house. He said if you can smell it, pull back corners until you find it. It only cost $20 for the carpet guy to reattach it if I am wrong. I have worked for two other companies and never have pulled back carpet. I actually think this is brilliant, but I saw carpet that could be cleaned and did not smell animal.
Now I got the lecture from Boss #2 yesterday (they love to tag team me) on this and how it was such a waste that Boss #1 had to go behind me and find that I hadn't done my job. Even while listening to Boss # 2, I know that Boss #1 will have to have his time expressing his unhappiness too. Public reprimands are horrid to sit through. You can't not listen and be aware of what is going on. I am grateful that my office mates keep busy or give the illusion of working and not listening.
I made it through the not in any way professional "constructive criticism" without crying or making excuses other than I hadn't smelled pet. He advised me to always pull up the carpet when there has been a pet, smell or not. Understood.
Then I went out to look at a tenant's fridge that has a freezer that is not at freezing even after having sent out the appliance repair vendor to replace parts. I took the photos and got the model & serial number of the fridge so we could determine if it is worth putting more money into the fridge. When I returned back I was summoned to Boss #1's office. Very little good happens back there. The private discussions are so much harder than the public discussions.
He started by stating that he is very unhappy with my performance. Very, unhappy. Very unhappy with me. He wanted to make sure that I am aware that this is the last time we will have this conversation. It seems I am not learning from my mistakes. Some of his examples are not correct and I walk him through what has happened. It doesn't matter. I have made mistakes. They actively search night and day for them. Correcting your boss doesn't win you victory, just another nail in your coffin.
Boss #2 is so frustrated with me that he can't stop telling Boss #1 how much additional work I am causing him. Boss #1 is so worried about Boss #2 being so overwhelmed having to manage me and my complete inability to do my job. I am taking as deep of breaths as I can while listening.
Yesterday they sat and explained to me that I use too many words. They would like me to be just like them. I need to stop being me. I need to do what they would do. My heart hurt being told they do not want me to do the job, they want me to do the job like they would.
I have struggled for weeks knowing they do not want a property manager but only an assistant. They want someone to tell do this, this certain way, by this time and write up a full report.
I did this job effectively and with grace for over 3 years for 81 owners or Boss's. I had less than 5 that required weekly attention. I could never have imagined these two men being harder than managing & juggling 81 different owners. I thought I understood Boss #1's old school meanness, but I really had no clue. What I saw as gruff and matter of fact was due to the fact that I did not work for him.
The private office chat was really hard. He doesn't mince words. He is so unhappy that this will be his final, final warning. The next mistake will cost me my job and he will fire me. He likes to try and be jovial while telling you that you aren't smart enough to do the job, that you have no pride in your work, that you can't seem to learn from your mistakes. I don't think he would be very comfortable if I taped what he was saying and played it back for him. I think he would be very shocked at how personal and mean he gets. He wanted me to fight with him. After taking what was probably an audible breath, he told that I should yell at him, go ahead and get mad, maybe even cry. I told him I was okay. Getting out those words without letting the tears stream down my cheeks was very tough, but I spoke them. Then I took another deep loud exhale.
I am still a big fool for listening. I want to hear what I have done wrong. I want to defend the items that are defendable. I want to own and learn, but I also want to throw the bullshit card. But I don't. I just breathe and listen and try to stay present. I did this for over 17 years with my ex. I am well schooled at choking down my feelings and words. I know my face is showing my discomfort, but I just keep eye contact as best I can, acknowledge what is being said to me and I breathe. Small, shallow breaths, but I keep breathing.
It feels like nightmare hellish boot camp to me and I am trying not to be broken. There is no reason to break me.
I state that I understand how much he and Boss #2 are disappointed. He then tells me that Boss #2 is so overwhelmed with his work load and having to hold my hand and review and correct all of my work. Boss #2 is under so much stress because of me that Boss #1 is now worried for Boss #2's (his stepson) wife and children. This is all because I am such a failure at my job.
Then he tells me that the only thing I do that they like and that brings value to the company is that I can write a good letter. Mind you they are too lengthy but the spelling and punctuation are correct. He congratulates me for having a good grasp of the English language.
I got defensive and really had to focus because my mind started wandering to all of the things I have done that were great and correct and just passed by unnoticed.
He can only think of the one thing. Are you kidding me? One fucking thing? This is terribly irritating and aggravating.
My breathing went to my upper chest. My chest felt tight. My face flushed. Tears were filling my eyes.
Then he closed the conversation. Did I understand where we stood?
Yes, yes I understand. As I walked into our shared office, I avoided eye contact with the accountant and just handed her some papers Boss #1 asked me to take to her. I am a very emotional person. I am a big feeler. I am a crier. Except around men, abusive men. I would rather cut my skin, push my finger nails into my arms or bite through my tongue than shed a tear of defeat.
I sat down at my desk and listened to my voicemails and finished out my day. This was my short day.
I walked to my car and sat down and locked the door and let it all be felt.
I have never had a bad review. Always new goals and things to tweak, but I have never been in trouble. I have never not wowed my employers. I almost always have met my numbers and goals. I have never not received raises or promotions or awards or bonus's. Never, not since I started working at 15.
I am trying to hear the universe. Stop accepting abuse. Once you recognize it, stop allowing it to happen. Stop trying to fix it. Stop thinking you can fix people. Stop selling your sanity and soul to make money. If I didn't need the money I would never have taken the job to begin with and I most certainly would have quit the first time I was spoken to disrespectfully.
I will send my resume out to my friends for review again since I didn't get calls for interviews to the positions I applied for and truly wanted. I will get my new resume out there to see if I can find a place to call home where my skills can be of benefit.
Tonight I am licking my wounds and saying thank you to the universe. I hear you. You can stop beating me over the head. You have my attention.
I need to break this cycle of abuse. Life shouldn't be this hard. The people you spend 75 percent of your day with, shouldn't be this mean. Time to find a new career path. One with people who I can support and who can support me.