Last night, all residents in my building received the following via e-mail from management:
To: All Residents
Re: Concierge SHUT-DOWN
Date: December 10, 2014
This evening one of our security guards at the concierge desk was physically threatened and verbally abused by a resident. As a result of this incident the Concierge office will be closed for the remainder of this evening effective immediately.
The Board and Management implemented extended concierge hours as an extended courtesy to all residents. The incident that occurred this evening will NOT be tolerated. The Board and Management will be working together to further evaluate this evenings incident and how residents deal with the staff.
The Board and Management apologize sincerely for any inconvenience this may have caused to other residents who were anticipating a package pickup.
Please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
…and then it hit the forum:
Kelcey: A resident “physically threatened and verbally abused ” the security guard on duty at the desk so they closed early. I understand people being a little frustrated by the back up of logging in packages, but sounds like someone crossed a line.
Tara T.: what’s the point of paying security if they can’t handle an irate resident? You know what I won’t tolerate? People who forget where their paychecks come from.
aa: I have to say the people manning the concierge since Jason left are not very nice, I’m not surprised to hear that there was an issue.
GB: I never weigh in on this group, but I feel the need to add one point.
Even in the face of bad service from the desk, the answer is to pursue things with management, not to reciprocate by being rude or agressive or hostile to the people who service the building.
I don’t know what happened tonight, but we pay people to manage packages for us, not to deal with abuse. We might be unhappy with how the packages have been handled, but I’m also extremely unhappy to hear that a fellow resident took out their anger and agression on one of the people who works for this person directly. We can’t possibly hope for people to have a positive attitude at work if they’re not treated with respect.
Kiri S: I prefer to stay out of the debates on this message board, but I have to say, I’m a little disturbed by the tone of some of these emails.
Maybe the new concierge staff person (Norina?) is not the friendliest or most professional person who has ever manned the desk. However, that is a separate discussion.
Whoever is at that desk never deserves to be threatened by a resident, and violence is never an acceptable response to rudeness. Nobody should be placing blame on her or insinuating that she provoked it by her behavior.
Also, the people who made the decision to close the concierge are the only ones who know what happened and how severe the incident was. I’m sure we can muster a little compassion for someone who was made to feel unsafe in a place where she had an expectation of safety and not worry about getting our money’s worth in spite of unusual circumstances.
It’s the holiday season. Let’s have a little good will towards all.
Adam D: What exactly was the threat of violence? Until we know who said what this is all speculation.
Calling someone an asshole is different then threatening to kick their ass.
me: Long-time reader, first-time writer on account of this forum is often terrifying and crazy.
I just wanted to let people know that I also tried to pick up a package last night, right around the time the e-mail was sent out. There appeared to be a staff meeting taking place, which in retrospect makes sense: an impromptu meeting was probably called by management to discuss with staff how to handle the situation at hand and in future [assuming there will be more similar incidents occurring], and required closing the office to do so. This was around 7pm, and the office usually closes around then for the rest of the year. The office opened again roughly 12 hours later at 7.30 this morning. Did anyone have extremely time-sensitive miracle cures delivered to the office that they desperately needed last night? No? Great. I just breathed a huge sigh of relief that all residents are safe and sound.
I’m having a really hard time imagining what an employee could have to done to provoke a justified reaction from a resident. I understand that after being forced to spend hours with family around the holidays, you really just want to tell everyone “GFY” but let’s try not to take it out on near strangers who are probably as overwhelmed as we are. Holiday hours were extended to us as a courtesy and maybe we don’t deserve it if we’re behaving like spoiled brats.
In summary: the office was closed for an emergency impromptu staff meeting. Let’s all try to wait until we hear from management how they have decided to proceed.
StevenG: I wouldn’t make the assumption that the concierge closing early didn’t greatly effect some residents. If i was all out of diapers or formula for my daughter and I couldn’t get my package I would be furious. Or how about the resident who paid for sporting tickets and didn’t get their package until after the event.
I don’t understand the point of paying for a security staff that can’t even protect themselves. Sounds like a waste of $350k a year.
The new concierge is extremely rude and it sounds like she is more interested in having personal conversations then doing her job. On more the 1 occasion I had asked to look through the packages to find mine. If it were time sensitive and I received the attitude that I normally receive from her I might lose it too.
There is no level of verbal abuse that calls for closing the concierge. I don’t condone any sort of verbal abuse but that is part of working In customer service. Sounds like this lady needs to find a new job.
me: It’s a really good thing we all live a 5-10 minutes’ walk away from numerous delis/bodegas, 2 grocery stores and a Duane Reade for sundry emergency items, and that the office has a phone for DMDevilsFan30 to call to calmly explain his predicament and procure his tickets. Hypothetical problems solved.
Why should verbal abuse be a part of customer service, or any job for that matter? Why can’t we try, um, not verbally abusing our fellow human beings? I just had a wretched experience on a flight, and rather than rail at the passenger who snaked my seat, or the hapless flight attendant who was no doubt put in an awkward position because of it [though could possibly have prevented it or at least apologized to me and/or thanked me for my cooperation], I communicated directly with the airline upon my return. Bonus: my blood pressure is super low.
Jessica: The fact that someone can go buy diapers or formula at a bodega after they paid for the type they like to use and they are sitting in the concierge office but the concierge is too inefficient to find them is just about the most ridiculous thing I have heard yet. We pay a significant premium to have the concierge make our lives easier, if they don’t, the answer is not that we can then spend extra time calling customer service to get replacement tickets. I agree that threatening physical assault is never appropriate, but those suggestions are equally as absurd, I’m sorry.
StevenG: Clearly you don’t have children. Imagine taking your 2 year old to Duane Reade in the snow/rain at 8pm to get diapers while her last diaper is soiled (and she is screaming the whole way b/c soiled diapers feel so good) all because concierge closed early. Sounds like fun, from the service we get you would think they were doing the job for free and not collecting $800 a month in CAM fees from me. Also sounds like your hypothetical solution for the sports ticket didn’t work out so well for that resident. You may be fine paying a ton of money for awful service but I am not. Like I said I don’t condone abusive behavior but I also don’t know anyone who has worked a few years in customer service and did not encounter an irate customer.
I was wondering how long it would take for my ovaries to enter into this as they are my most salient feature.
p.s. My co-workers say “hi!” and thank the forum for today’s entertainment [slow trading day]. Good night!
To: All Residents
From: Board of Directors
Date: December 13, 2014
Subject: Concierge Update
As you know, there was a dispute Wednesday evening between the Concierge and a resident. Although the situation appears to have resulted from a very unfortunate misunderstanding, the decision was made to close the Concierge office.
The Police Department was subsequently on site to speak with the Concierge about the matter. We are not providing additional details about the situation to respect the privacy of the people involved, and we do not expect to close the Concierge unexpectedly again in the future.
At the suggestion of the Police Department and security services, the Concierge and Security will call the local authorities if situations like the one that happened Wednesday reoccur. We fully support this protocol. While that dispute seems to have escalated well beyond mere frustration, it is but one of many times that residents have treated the Concierge abusively.
Thanksgiving weekend, a board member volunteered to help the Concierge for several hours, logging packages and organizing them in the storage closet. She overheard several instances of abusive and unacceptable behavior toward the Concierge when residents did not realize she was there. It was because of this board member’s experience that we added extended pick-up hours to accommodate the significantly higher volume of packages we are now receiving.
Management is now working with security services, which employs the Concierge, to improve the level of service we receive. However, neither the Board nor Management will tolerate rude, abusive or excessively persistent behavior from residents towards the Concierge or any other staff member. Frustrated residents are expected to contain their emotions, treat the staff respectfully and notify management of poor service.
This is imperative because the Concierge post is not viewed by the staff and prospective employees as a desirable position. Under the best of circumstances, the Concierge role apparently is more difficult than it may seem.
We kindly ask all residents to follow the golden rule and treat our staff and neighbors as they would like to be treated. If that same courtesy is not given by the staff in return, we ask residents to notify management immediately (through BuildingLink or calling the after-hours hotline) and we will address the matter. In the meantime, we are working to correct the package-processing situation as quickly as possible.
We wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season and thank you in advance for complying with this request.
For more entitlement in the news, here is Slate Money’s Felix Salmon on the Korean Air executive who ordered a flight returned to the gate at JFK to eject a flight attendant who served her snacks in a manner to which she was unaccustomed:
I think that what it shows is that what we’re really talking about here is the sense of entitlement, that once you become, once you reach a certain level of privilege you feel entitled to a certain level of customer service, and it feels good to just shout and scream and bash your feet on the ground and have a little tantrum against someone, even if that someone is well below you in the pecking order because you were inconvenienced, goddamit!
Starts at 17:27: