When I speak to new community association managers, I let them know this is industry is a calling! You will have your mettle tested every day. You will either get strong, or you will break. You will be yelled at, accused, condescended to, berated, and avoided (read: collections) sometimes all in the same day. You cannot take it personally.
People everywhere are stressed, confused, divided and afraid. Often they take it out on the person whom they think they have some authority over. Their reactions to a minor issue may be grossly disproportionate to the actual issue. For example, I recently contacted an owner to comply with a rule regarding construction in the “quiet season”. You see, there is a no construction allowed rule in this community between November and April. She appeared in the office bawling (yes, bawling) shortly after ending the call! She began screaming about how stupid the rule is, and asked why she couldn’t just do it, if her neighbors didn’t care. “That is not how it works”, I tried to explain. She responded that I work for her, and I have do what she wants me to do (I hear this at least once per day). “This is stupid, I am going to report you to the board”, she threatened. “By all means, proceed”. I encouraged. Storming out, she emitted a few choice words, and I just let it roll off my back. It’s not personal. It’s not my rule. It’s theirs. They voted for it.
Buck up, buttercup! It takes a special breed of manager’s to adapt and succeed in this ever-changing industry. If you have a fragile ego, this is not the career for you. Next…
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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