Thursday, June 14, 2007

murphys law

I've been in charge of building maintenance for a year at Second Helpings. It is a job that comes pretty naturally to me after years of restaurant management and farm life. It helps that I'm not afraid to climb up on a ladder and ask questions. I know the HVAC guy was pretty surprised last week when I crawled up on top of the cooler -in a dress- to see which compressor he was talking about. I'm also a big believer in PMS (preventive maintenance service) contracts.

My biggest fear?
That I'll call for a repair, the serviceman will come out, pat me on the head and say "you just have to plug in in, honey."
Trust me, I check plug-ins, reset buttons and breakers before I ever make a service call.

With my new position "the buck stops here" in regard to expenses and major maintenance decisions -- and most other things.

We had an anonymous donor that pledged $225,000 to pay off our mortgage if we could raise the same amount in a year. We did and I had the pleasure of signing the check last week that made the building ours.

Two years ago we received a very generous donation from The Glick Foundation to help pay the mortgage and to use toward building maintenance.

Our annual visit from the Glick Foundation was today and our donor reception/burn the mortgage event is next week. I've been really worried about both events, wanting things to look as good as possible.
I've been harping on the staff to have clean and shiny offices and working on the outside to make sure it looks good also. Remember how your mom used to freak out before a party? Or how I imagine Ralph's family is doing for the DOR wedding preparations.

I cannot do anything about the brown grass, but I did ask our lawn guy to cut out some unsightly bushes. The were overgrown, blocked the view of the driveway and caught a lot of trash. I had the staff food-rescue guys power spray the back dock and around the dumpster. When I left yesterday the lawn guy going to town with his chain saw and everything looked great.

When I pulled in this morning, I almost fainted.
There were three homeless people stretched out on our lawn.
The middle two bushes were partly chopped down, but the end ones were still there.
The trash company had not done their nightly pickup of the trash and cardboard. Someone had 'dumpster dived' and thrown trash across the parking lot.

I was furious when I walked in the building.
I was thinking of all of the choice things I was going to say to the lawn guy and the trash company. I had a phone message from the lawn guy -- his chainsaw had broken and he'd be back to finish the job this weekend. Akk!
The students usually walk around and 'police' the parking lot, picking up trash and cigarette butts. This morning they had me on their butts, prodding them along with shovels and the power washer. These are the same students that were responsible for the great cup tragedy of 2007 -- I was showing them no mercy!
The people sleeping on the lawn disappeared during frenzy, so they avoided a loud WAKE UP! call.

I was tired before the day started, and I think everyone was tired of me.
We pulled it off, the Glick visit went well. I was able to show them the PMS contracts and the approved budget for some repairs. They said that everything looked nice. Phew!

I can't wait to get home and take a hammock nap.


Cliff Morrow said...

You just might have scared some homeless into getting a job Nora. Somewhere in Indy there's a guy on a street corner warning others about you.

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Sounds like things went well. I have to hold a lot of those type of events (show other people what we did with their money, etc) and for some reason they always make me a nervous wreck.
Enjoy your nap.