Maintenance man intimidated my mother. She spoke to the manager about it who said and did nothing.

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My mother lives out of state from me. She is healthy and does fine. However she recently let me know that the maintenance man who came to her apt. was very hostile and acting like a bully. Scared and alone, she did not know what to do. She went to speak to the apartment manager who sat there and listened, but said nothing. The only thing the manager said was "I don't think he wa bullying you". To which my mother replied "Were you there?". She then left the office. My mother feels hurt by both the maintenance man and the reaction of the manager. The maintenance man came into her apartment and was looking at carpeting that needs to be changed. It is being changed because my mother used a solution on it which stained the carpet. However it has not been changed in a very long time so truly, no harm done. It is due for changing. When he came into the apt. which is my mother's home, he began to declare quite loudly and in an accusing way "That's bleach on the rug!". My mother was not expecting this at all since the Asst. Manager had already seen it and was very nice about it, my mother began to feel intimidated by the maintenance man. After he yelled about it being "bleach", my mother asked him if the carpet being put in would match the carpet in the bedroom. He said "no" and then proceeded to say that it was her fault the carpeting looked the way it did and not theirs. My mother said she understood however she pays to live there and since it was going to be changed, she would like the rug in the living room to match the rug in the bedroom. He described the new carpeting as being "dark gray". My mother said she did not understand this as she saw new carpeting someone had gotten and it was not gray. It was beige. He denied this and said it was gray and got mean about it. My mother later saw a piece of the carpeting that is used, and it is indeed beige. She wonders why he said "gray" except maybe to get her to change her mind about having her carpeting changed. Feeling the employee conducted himself in an intimidating way, she went to the manager. The manager listened but did not say anything when my mother voiced concern about the maintenance employee's anger and hostility. My mother said goodbye and then left. What recourse do we have? My mother should not have to be yelled at and bullied in her home. She was frightened by the man and the manager doesn't find this compelling.Any advice? Thank you.

17 Comments

I think you need to pay mom a visit and see how she is in person. Is she starting to misinterpret things? Have you been to a doctor appointment with her recently?
Babalou is right. Time to visit mom and quietly observe how she functions. It may be time for her to be in Assisted Living. Get to know the maintenance man in a friendly way and see what he sees, know what he knows, hear what he hears.
Take her for a good eye exam that includes color perception and field of vision testing. You may be in for a surprise.
Or maybe,, they guy is a jerk, who does not want to have the bother of changing the carpet.. or the owners don;t want to pay for the new carpet? This is pretty common.. My daughter owns a condo, and the one above her has leaked into her bathroom twice.. ruining her popcorn cielings. Was a bit of a bother to get that fixed... but finally they did. So do go visit Mom,, but maybe she is correct... Just saying?
Mom, don't allow anyone into your home unless you have a friend or neighbor as a witness from now on.!!
There is little or nothing that can be done unless others are also experiencing this intimidation and they join together to go to the owner and report elder abuse to APS. The management team could be fired.
At a time when she should feel safe, she is 1) being intimidated, 2) having to prove it is true, 3) the quiet enjoyment of her home is disturbed.

Do visit, speak to the manager, as if what your mother believes is true.
Tell the manager to never to let anyone mess with Mom, or they will have you to deal with!

Or, write a very brief letter, don't mess with my mom, don't make me come down there! A letter from an attorney would also work nicely.

Tell Mom to have someone present when the carpet is installed.

Or, cancel the carpet installation for awhile until this is sorted out and you can be there.

Another idea: Push back by telling mgr. you are having the carpet done, would she like the bill, or should WE just deduct it from the rent.

Anything else? Yes, get a restraining order on the maintenance man, change the locks. Xx the master key he has.

P.S. My strong reaction is because the mgr. and maintenance ended up fired and accused with criminal charges in an apartment I left. Not because of what they did to me (delivering a package into my apartment when I was not home!) & (not refunding my security deposit as the apt. was left in move-in clean condition),
but because they were criminals and the conduct you described is a red flag.

Ok then, was that over-the-top? TMI? You can tone it down, but don't fail to take some action to make Mom more secure.
Sorry to anyone who is doubting Mom, because everybody knows men are colorblind. The carpet is beige folks, or at the very least taupe which can be either beige or gray. Why did she have to put up with that?
Everyone also knows the customer is always right!!!!
Note to self: This question is filed under elder abuse.
For a reason.
Look, maybe mom is right, maybe not. But this whole situation is a red flag.
1. Maybe mom is misinterpreting things
2. Maybe building manager and handyman are harassing mom to get her out
The only way you are going to get clarity is by visiting. Show up and play Nancy Drew with your mom's living situation and her health. And please let us know what happens!
I'm with SendMe. I've lived in 2 complexes in which the maintenance men were low class, rude, and obnoxious. Regardless of whether Love's Mom was interpreting the situation realistically, nasty maintenance men and management do exist. And they can be hostile to single women.

In the last apartment in which I lived, one of the "neighbors" was a nasty piece of work who used to sit in his apartment and twirl the chamber of a revolver - I could hear it from my apartment. Complaining to the management did no good - they were afraid of him too.

I would NEVER live in an apartment again...ever.
Beige
Gray
Mom needs a swatch of the carpet to be installed.
Men totally different when it comes to colors, BUT HE DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO GET NASTY OR SASSY WITH MOM. GGGGGGRRRRRR!!!
Can mom use her cellular phone to make a recording of any further encounters with maintenance man and or management?
Can mom, instead of going to speak with manager, just hand him a letter?
Can mom have someone she trusts, preferably A MAN, present when the carpet comes in?
Have mom take pictures of the old carpet WITH THE STAIN.
keep good records of interchanges, conversations, complaints, odd stuff, in case she needs PROOF that she's been bullied.
How far do you live ?
Thanks,
M88
I live in my new apartment and yep the maintenance guys seem to be a law unto themselves. As I said to one only 2 weeks ago. Look we have two options as I see it the nice way or the unpleasant way. The nice way is I say those two bulbs you broke will leave this corridor unlit for the most part..... could you make sure they are fixed before you go - seeing as it was you who broke them carrying your ladder through, you say no problem and I say thank you and I make you a cuppa tea and offer you a biscuit while you change the two light bulbs.

The unpleasant way is that, since dim or absent lighting is a safety hazard, you should deal with it especially as it is a problem you caused, I report you to your boss for not dealing with it and my management company for employing a company that don't or won't address H&S issues promptly and let policy and procedure take its course.

I understand that everyone has bad days and terrible days. Let's just put this down to you having a terrible day huh?

He told me to f%^$ off.

He is now unemployed

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