Topic: Help! I Can't Do This Anymore. Demand Change.

ChangeMultiFamilyNow's Avatar Topic Author
  • Karma:
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Happy Thanksgiving Multifamily Friends! I am a long-time veteran of this challenging industry and am beyond physically, mentally, and emotionally damaged by how policies and large corporations treat employees including myself even at a somewhat higher level.  An example of my mental and physical state would be where I start losing my eyesight and can't remember more than say 1 or 2 numbers at a time due to years of stress from this industry. I am not mentally correct right now, and I apologize for my grammar here.  To protect myself I won't give you much information about myself other than I am in charge of multiple properties. Today's example of this industry, and the state of America is so minimal compared to what I know many of you deal with on a daily basis. That is my point. This issue is tiny compared to real issues; however, this type of stuff can no longer be overlooked. To be clear here, the company I work for pays for a subscription to this site and is overall a very good company compared to others.

For perspective I am a "top performer"; what some companies call a rockstar (A term used to make you feel better about not getting paid). I don't do things that would create issues above my pay grade. Before kids I went years without calling off.
As many of you know the day before a holiday can be a challenge for families alike. Many companies and industries will dock you for calling off a day before a holiday. If you have worked long enough you know this well. Some employee's abuse this, however, the abuse is on the "good" employees and their families. 

For the last 3 weeks my family has been extremely sick with multiple illnesses. My wife has a new job and is unable to call off meaning I must call off when our two kids are sick. I'm lucky that I have a wonderful family who can step up in the moment as day cares and schools WILL NOT allow a child back for 48 hours after a fever. We've dealt with sickness for over three weeks now, well beyond normal but only taken a few days off. As of now all of my parents are sick and unable to watch our children who presumably got them sick in the first place. 

At this time both my wife and I have RSV with fevers. Both kids have RSV and our youngest has RSV with a double ear infection. ATTACHED is a photo of my daughters' shirt. THIS IS ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL.  Due to policy, I was forced to lie to daycare to get her into school today. I had a spare shirt in the car to change her before entering the building. She still went to school while I have over 4 weeks of saved up vacation. Our daughter is now home safe as she couldn't hang "tough".

So yes, I sent my super sick daughter to school which certainly infected other children, teachers, and their families during a time of "rest".  Why did our girls get sick? Most likely from parents in the same situation. I went to work today also infecting the staff I have left. Note that at least one maintenance tech has left over the years due to this and other similar policies as we treat the "good" employees terribly. What I did was wrong. Very wrong.

YES, I could absolutely push the subject in my position and get the time off without "penalty". For you asking why in the world I went to work, I will explain:
- It's a policy and I won't get paid even though I have the time and myself and my kids are legit sick. I know, I could twist peoples arms, I know. 
- I'd be a hypocrite to my staff which directly affects their wellbeing and productivity. Employees including maintenance have left for other communities due to these types of policies. 
- I'm doing the work of many for less than I've made in lower positions. I can't afford to not be there as many of you can relate.
- There are executive changes meaning that I no longer have the same credibility as I did with others. Calling off is still frowned upon in America even after Covid. Doing so risks my ability to fight for more IMPORTANT matters. (I could write a book on this alone)

Here are the downsides of this one simple policy:
- Production goes down due to sick employees.
- Production drops further from sick employees getting other employees sick.
- Production drops in other industries from Multifamily getting everyone else sick.
- Residents get sick and might not be as lucky. That means they can't pay the rent. 
- Moral drops creating many issues. 
- For me personally, I lose a lot of respect.
- Policies like these destroy good employees 
- When employees like maintenance leave we all lose out. I can't hire new maintenance staff at the much higher rates without taking money out of my own pockets in the way of bonus'.That being said, we wouldn't lack maintenance if we had paid the good ones to stay. 

Here are the upsides:
- ... You keep control of the bad employees I guess? That's a management problem and not a policy problem.

Here's a solution:
- Let managers manage. Empower. Bad employees will weed themselves out in many other ways. 

Here is what my plans are:
- I will be going to the ER for my recurring fever after work. I'll pay out of pocket. 
- I'll be leaving as soon as I have obtained a few additional rentals / STR's to reach the scale needed to support my family. I'm close. 
- I am working to help change this industry and this country's policies going forward. I'm working on a project with influencers who's goal will be to push for better treatment of employees in this industry as well as call out how "investors" and price fixing are destroying young america's ability to thrive like past generations. Realpage and ApartmentIQ anyone?
- I am working on a project to educate young folks through big time influencers to reject renting apartments and save for housing. No more lies about how apartments "can" save you money. 
- Not everyone can live in a van. I get it. I am working on education of youth on the downsides of apartment rentals. Most will need to rent at some point, however, arming them with the right questions to ask is imperative to change.
- I want to continue to push this industry for everyone. My days are numbered, however if I don't do anything I am just as bad as the policy makers.  

If this all sounds crazy, move on. If you are interested in doing more, here are a few tiny steps you can do to help make positive changes for everyone:
- Be transparent at your job. Do discuss salaries, what special privileges you might have.  You will be surprised to see who makes more than the top performers.
- Speak Up! If you see something that doesn't seem right, make it known. Known to everyone. 
- Encourage personal growth. This can be a small step in the direction of a great career where your dedication and smart work are appreciated. Don't be afraid to move on.
- Explore additional resources. 
- Reach out for help. I've needed help for a long time. I've lost years off my life. I don't want the same for my kids. Take one more look at the attached picture. I failed them for some investor. 

Lastly, DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE LIKE ME. I am handling all on-call issues for all my properties this Thanksgiving weekend as I fear they are just as done as I am. The truth is that I care about them because others don't, and that is sad. (I've never been in maintenance, but know my way around well).

Thank you
Posted 2 months 6 days ago
Joelis Barandica's Avatar
Joelis Barandica
I could so relate with every single word on this article. My husband suffers from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and I feel completely overwhelmed when he has an episode. We don’t have family near us to help carry the load while I juggle the hospital, 3 kids and work. I often feel defeated and often feel like I am not doing enough to be present for him, kids and work. I stand with the author.
Posted 2 months 5 days ago
Lilah Poltz's Avatar
  • Karma:
  • Posts: 20
Reading this was heartbreaking and I'm so sorry. I truly hope you can be the change but more than that, I hope you and your family can get well.
Posted 2 months 1 day ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Thank you for the honesty. I’m battling very similar circumstances especially with the push and pull between my wife and I when family emergencies come up and we have to figure who will take time off from work and put in a position of feeling as if your job is at risk. We are both hard working, responsible and family orientated professionals however the last couple of years have been challenging to receive the necessary flexibility and understanding from our employers that would allow for us not to feel like we are at risk of loosing our jobs the minute we call out to attend to family emergencies or to circumstances beyond our control. I feel so bad for my wife; she was making every effort to meet company expectations and was even given an award. She wholeheartedly believed that she would be given the opportunity to work a hybrid schedule that would allow for her to pickup our son from school and then she would be willing to work remotely for the remainder of her shift. Sadly she was denied even after her being transparent about her intentions and circumstances. I couldn’t believe it; not to mention her pay rate is not commensurate of her work and efforts. We are constantly under unhealthy employer related stress and uncertainty because of policies that at times disregard human circumstances. All we can do is pray as we make every effort to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table for our family.
Posted 1 month 4 weeks ago