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I happened to be installed to the unenviable position of a make-shift concierge at my building. The concierge is a fancy name for the person who goes quietly about her own business only to get yelled at by antagonistic neighbours when something stops working. The concierge also serves as a rent collector, which is obviously a highly popular function.

I’m everyone’s favourite: I’ve already got my postbox vandalised twice and people probably pee at my door. Well, as long as it pleases themβ€”and as long as they bring in the rent… I wish the building owner had manifested more common sense when selecting the concierge. As an anxious and asocial individual hardly capable of interacting with other representatives of the human species, I hardly make an adequate candidate. I totally suck at it too.

The other day I paid a visit to the upstairs family to kindly remind them of their overdue rent, or, alternately, to threaten to throw them out on the street unless they promptly pay. As soon as the tenants opened the door, I got in trouble. There was a kitten! When I see a cat, I totally lose it. So, without saying what I wanted or even asking if I could, I grabbed their kitten and proceeded to cuddle it. The errand didn’t go well. I was offered coffee, sat down with the tenants and the kitten and, by the way, do you guys know that you owe on rent? They did know.

Yesterday the scariest woman in the building, whom you wouldn’t want to meet after dark on an empty street, flew down the stairs pounding at my door and screaming that, quote, her fucking internet wasn’t fucking working and what I was going to do about it, fuck. I didn’t dare to inquire whether she tried switching her router off and on because I feared she might bite me and I’m not vaccinated against rabies. Ten minutes later, as I was in the process of screaming at the internet provider, she came back to apologise. Her husband apparently unplugged their router.

It’s the twentieth, which is rent day, so please excuse me, I’m going to wear my breastplate, grab a stick for self-defence and am off to collect rent.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

27 Comments

  1. Hmmmm – which makes me think that perhaps there should be kittens and puppies at UN meetings and other various international talks. It might improve social interaction and peace negotiations.

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    1. That is a brilliant idea. Pets certainly have a calming and therapeutic effect and they should certainly be integrated into politics! In the least, I would start watching political debates then πŸ˜€

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      1. hehehe!! It would definitely make them a bit more interesting πŸ™‚

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        1. It would! Give politics a furry facelift πŸ˜€

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  2. The kitten got your foot in the door – what’s the bet you’ll get the rent paid soon πŸ™‚ or not… good luck in your new prestigious position. Was it a democratic election?

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    1. Fortunately, the overdue rent was paid today, and even better, the tenants came down to ring at me, so my brain and heart didn’t get kidnapped by their kitten again!

      It wasn’t a democratic election, I was made a concierge because I’m the most sensible person in the building πŸ˜‰

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      1. See? Your love for their kitten opened their purse! Sounds like concierging is a bit of a back-handed compliment – you’re sensible, so here’s a shitty job πŸ™‚

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        1. Haha, that might be true πŸ˜€ Both of your statements. I accept even back-handed compliments.

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  3. Not an enviable situation your in. Why would someone damage your post box? That must be a criminal offense.

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    1. It’s not as bad as it may sound. I’m glad to help around. It didn’t occur to me that damaging postboxes might be a criminal offence! As long as the postbox still holds mail, I’m good. And vandalism is so common that I hardly think anything about it. I’m glad that people don’t come after me with a baseball bat, which happened in one of the places where I lived.

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  4. You agreed to take on that role? Seriously?

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    1. I wasn’t really asked πŸ˜€ But it’s alright, I wouldn’t be great friends with the people in the building anyway – they seem to be at completely different places in life than me and I don’t really connect with anyone here, though it’s a shame – but I don’t mind helping a bit with the management. In the least, I get some fun blogging material out of it πŸ˜€

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      1. As long as you get some benefit from it… your readers certainly do πŸ™‚

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  5. I wouldn’t that job either….goodness isn’t life complicated enough? Then again if there is income involved and a new breast plate provided each year there could be some gain in it for you….maybe a light sabre to bring out in those difficult moments with mad tenants…

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    1. I need to inquire if I am entitled to a free breast plate and sword each year. It’s alright to be the concierge actually, what bothers me more is that the cleaning service for the building was cancelled and now we all have to take turns sweeping and cleaning the staircase. It’s a bother. It’s a lot of stairs.

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      1. I trust you are paid top dollar for your cleaning? I was wondering if you are the cleaner in the lacy pink piny, hair tied back in a dotted scarf and with a cigarette dangling from your mouth or are you the gung ho cleaner with vacuum cleaner swearing and cursing at all and everyone who comes by messing up your work?

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        1. Haha, you always make me laugh πŸ˜€ We’re paid nothing for our efforts to keep the building clean, it’s common in my country that tenants in less fancy buildings keep them clean on their own (well, they usually fail to keep the place clean). I think I’m a combination of both your cleaner images!

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          1. My mind is working overtime putting both images together….

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          2. It’s connecting the unconnectable and reconciling the irreconcilable!

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          3. Only you could say that..

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          4. Ha, I’ll take that as a compliment πŸ˜€

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  6. That sounds like a horrendous position to be in. I don’t envy you at all – not even when you get to meet kittens.

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    1. I think kittens compensate any discomfort, at least for me πŸ˜€ It may sound unpleasant, to be a concierge, but I’m just poking fun at myself. There are worse things to be.

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  7. […] complained earlier of having been unanimously by one out of one vote appointed the concierge. I’m still hating it, faithful to my principle of hating everything and […]

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  8. I like how you reply to all your comments. Also: Your situation does not seem “normal” and definitely could provide fodder for blog posts, but at the same time I see it inducing a genre of insanity. In any case, … something about brestplates.. alright… What level of defense?

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    1. Aw, the genre of insanity! That’s such a wonderful phrase that I’m going to steal it as my brand. That’s what I do. Not stealing, but insanity.

      I’m doing better in my concierge duties since the tenants got rid of the poor kitten. Now they have nothing to soften my black cold heart. Ha.

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  9. […] a new instalment in my Janitor from in Hell Series, which starts with my installation in the concierge function, continues with an epic flood, and I wish I could say it ends here, but the tragic story goes […]

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