I live in an adorable apartment, in an neighborhood worthy of a Nora Ephron movie. The rent on said apartment is $300 below market value. Why? Because the management is … spotty. At best.
For much of the winter, the back entrance to my apartment building and our parking lot have been caked with ice and packed snow. The path to my car was literally three inches of so-shiny-you-can-see-yourself-in-it ice for months.
This is, of course, Not Acceptable.
I tried to be sweet and subtle.
(Hey, Chris! I’m sure you hadn’t noticed because you don’t park back there, but the parking lot is pretty icy. I bet everyone would love it if you could toss some salt down.)
I tried to be direct.
(Hey, since it snowed I’m really having trouble getting in and out of the parking lot. Could you put some sand and salt down?)
I tried being legal-y.
(The parking lot is super slippery, Chris. It’s incredibly dangerous for all the tenants to be walking around on all that glare ice. If anyone falls the owners of the building are liable for all their medical bills. So.)
And do you know what happened? N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
Or rather, I was told that (by some miracle of physics) the salt he was buying simply wasn’t effective at melting that ice! Go figure!
So I did a little math.
Time spent walking gingerly and slowly because I’m afraid of the ice: a lot
Time spent trying to politely, diplomatically get someone to do something: a lot
Time spent complaining about parking lot to other tenants: at least 20 minutes
And do you know how much a bag of salt costs? $5.
And do you know how much I charge per hour? More than $5. So I bought some salt, threw it around the parking lot, stopped slipping all over and stopped thinking mean thoughts about my building manager.
And the thing is? I’m totally, 100% right. My building manager is legally required to remove the ice and snow from the property and provide us with a safe place to park our cars. I could have spent so much time being right. I could have emailed the owner of the building, emailed tenancy advocates, rallied the other tenants to complain.
But it was way easier and faster to just buy some ever-loving salt.
I would never, ever suggest that you accept injustices or slights as a matter of course. Or that you should roll over and accept abuses and allow people to take advantage of you.
But next time you get your proverbial undies in a bunch (which, if you’re me, happens like three times a day) it might be time to ask yourselfDo you want to be happy or do you want to be right? You can't always be both. Click To Tweet
If you dig a bit deeper, there might be a $5, I’ll-let-this-one-go solution that will lead you back to friendly neighbors and sure footing.