Multifamily Florida - Summer 2011 - (Page 16)

FEATURE Is It Just Me, Or Does Everyone Seem Angry These Days? available and unified when he came back to confront their team leader. This is what our team knew: the resident was late on his rent payments and eviction procedures were under way. This is what the team didn’t know: the resident was deep in credit card debt, mostly due to a gambling problem. Additionally, his marriage was falling apart and there were numerous creditors on his trail. He certainly wasn’t going to take responsibility for any of his actions and placed the blame for his state of affairs on our manager and company. I will spare you most of the details, except that when he returned to the office later that afternoon he had a gun hidden under his jogging suit. He headed straight for the manager’s office and, at that moment, there were no words that would defuse his anger. He had reached what we refer to as “Crisis Phase” and his adrenaline level was off the chart. Our manager became a victim of his irrational thinking. The positive news is that our team had communicated with each other prior and agreed to be there as support when the resident returned. If they had not correctly read the silent alarm his body language was sending, then our manager would not be alive and well today. Even before the first shot sounded, they were already in motion. The Maintenance Supervisor truly ended up being a hero as he rushed in, pushed the gun and resident aside, and carried his fellow team member out. The rest of the team had already called 911 and helped them get out of the clubhouse and to safety. Our leadership then had a big decision to make. Should they try to contain this alarming news to that region to avoid a possible panic, or openly communicate the incident to the entire company. They chose not only to talk about it, but determine what valuable lessons we could learn and pass on to everyone. Not long after the incident, I attended a workshop and became certified to train Aggression Management. The workshop became required learning for everyone within our company. We’ve been very fortunate that this has been the only violent incident that we’ve experienced at Concord. I believe that openly discussing this very real but disturbing topic provides our team members with a life skill that will help them in their professional and personal lives. Our workshop is based on some very simple techniques, that when used appropriately, can have a huge impact on the end result. One technique is breathing. But…it needs to be “cycle breathing,” which is not the same “count to ten” breathing our by Karen Brandell Concord Management I know what you’re thinking – all this aggression is a result of the economy and the extra fi nancial stress that so many people have to endure. Well, fi nancial struggles are certainly a contributor, but the visible displays of anger have been increasing for well over the past decade. Those of us in the service industries are not only witnessing anger on a frequent basis, but we’ve had to learn some new tactics to keep our personal safety and sanity in check. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years ago when our company experienced our first violent crime from a resident. During a typical day at one of our apartment communities, a resident entered the clubhouse office. His steelcold eyes and the rigidness of his body provided outward clues that he was a walking time bomb. After demanding to see the manager, and learning she was out that morning, he said he would return later that afternoon. Something in the way he spoke and looked was chilling to the rest of the team—enough so that they agreed they needed to be 16 l MultifamilyFLORIDA l SUMMER 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Summer 2011

President Message
Legislative Update
Market Report
In the News
HUD’s Office of Healthcare Programs Making Progress in Delivering Senior Housing and Healthcare Loans More Efficiently
Is It Just Me, Or Does Everyone Seem Angry These Days?
Smart Marketing by Partnering With Corporate Housing Companies
Injuries on Your Property
Product/Service Council Directory

Multifamily Florida - Summer 2011