Managing a Community of Senior Adults

I wanted the community manager position in Los Angeles. In fact, I had hoped that the opportunity would come for me to manage a highrise building of senior adults and it did! I had heard about the stress being less, because management didn't have to parent children and their parents as much like in a multi-family complex. There would be less traffic coming to and fro too since most senior adults aren't into the party scene as much. So this would be a cinch, right? Wrong!

Headaches were coming and fast! I wasn't on the site a week before word spread that there was a new manager in town and "she was going to fix things up!" To make things more interesting most of the residents didn't speak English. They had an interpreter who was available the day they signed their leases, but that person was long gone and now a friend of a friend would occasionally come by to see how things were going. This guy was a god-sent! He didn't work with our company, he just volunteered his service to translate letters periodically and communicate a message or two to residents.

I jotted down what the needs of the people were. I spoke with the owner's assistants out of town over the phone. I tried to get everything these people asked for from visitor parking to upgrades on the building and sometimes all I heard was,"No money in the budget for that." How frustrating!!

After repeated phone calls, emails and visits from a few from the corporate office, I felt a strange sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, "You won't be here long." I had struggled to find the answer to why things had changed in less than a year of being there--it seemed initially everyone was working with me, but towards the end. It was me against "they."

Didn't the big bosses understand that the people were uncomfortable at times in their small apartments fit for no one but themselves? Was it too much to ask for an assistant who spoke their language? Could someone please stay awhile to help me get these people's files straight? Was anyone interested in helping me clean up the last manager's messes that I had uncovered while surfing through resident files?

As much as I liked the work at home feel I had living on site and the fact that I wasn't dealing with a very large community of people at a challenged property, I would have to say goodbye. No cooperation from management and well what's a girl got to do, huh?

N. McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media