Retrofitting for Fire Safety – The Saga Continues

In my last post I said that my boss agreed that none of us would return to that high-rise apartment building because we did what we were supposed to and the building engineer was being unreasonable.

Turns out, my boss just got some more contracts with that high-rise building and so we’d have to return there (for other things), and so the building’s manager said that we all needed to sit down and talk. Yesterday, my boss, me, the building manager, and the building engineer who has an anger issue met at the building.  The building manager and engineer tried blaming us and our installation practices.  They kept questioning us about locks and installation.  But I set them straight.  I didn’t stutter or yell or back down.

The nemesis of every tenant trying to get to the trash chute... the passage set!

I said that the tenants are not happy that they put the passage sets on the doors.  People used to be able to swing open the doors to the trash chutes and the stairwells, but now everything requires a handle to push down—they want the swing doors!  When the building engineer said that I’d been back to the building 6 times and the same lock is still broken, I went up to the 14th floor where it was and actually brought the passage set down.  I showed them how it works and how it gets stuck.  I said that it’s not a good passage set, it’s not good quality; it’s not us that’s doing the job wrong, it’s the poor quality of the lock.  I said that this was explained to them when they purchased the locks.

The building manager finally understood and said that they needed industrial-grade locks. I told him that he does because people are using these handles 40-50 times a day and they’re being rough on them because they don’t like them.  The building engineer started to get loud and was upset.  He starts spitting when he gets upset.  This was the best part, the building manager told him to sit down and be quiet.  And he did!  The engineer got quiet and just listened.

My boss actually had my back the whole time, which was great.  My boss told them that we’re not buying new passage sets for them (that’s what they wanted), but that we would install the  new ones they buy for free—since we had other business in that building.

The building manager actually wanted to get walked around and see these locks on the doors and how it all works.  I showed him and showed him how the spring cage inside the passage set lock gets lazy and makes the handle sag a little bit.  He asked if I could just tighten some screws or something, and I told him that there’s nothing you can do.  I was happy that someone from this high-rise was actually listening to me so I told him that I have a lot of experience at doing these locks and an assortment of locks.  I’ve probably done over 1000 locks in this city.

The building manager was satisfied, my boss was happy, I was happy that it worked out, and the angry building engineer, well, who knows, he’s probably off angrily yelling and spitting somewhere.


Retrofitting for Fire Safety – The Saga Continues — 2 Comments

  1. TB…while your not getting a raise, at least your boss seems to support you. That is good. It is also good that he has you at these meetings to point out what the difficulties are and why they exist. It sux when a bunch of talking heads get together and never put their decisions past the person who has to implement them. It must be nice being treated like the professional that you are.

  2. Way to go man. You showed them exactly why there was a problem and didn’t let emotions play into it at all. Great job. Your boss really should give you a BIG raise. You are the kind of employee bosses need to keep happy.

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