15 June 2015

It's Been a Long Day (Updated)

Yes, I know it's just past 1 p.m. But I start work at 6 a.m., so there.

The large commercial property I manage* has had a long-term contract with a local landscaping/lawn maintenance/snow removal company since 2004. The summer care usually starts in late April, and the grass, bushes, hedges, and trees get trimmed weekly or as needed all summer long. All this without any input from me, which is a good thing. One less thing to have to manage, you see.

Until it doesn't work.

Said company has apparently gone the way of the dodo, and they don't return e-mails, voicemails, website inquiries, etc.

So I've been scrambling to find a replacement company. In June, with summer-time plant growth well underway, that can be difficult-to-impossible.

But sometimes, it really is who you know. I called the company that does our janitorial, and they recommended their guy to me - and then called him, to recommend us to them.

Met the owner of the new company this morning, and it looks like they can provide the same service we were getting before. Which is a good thing, when you're dealing with professionals as tenants. Let's just say they sometimes require a bit of ... well, fluffing. :)

In the meantime, there's this: the building HVAC is automated; there is a server which "talks" to all the controllers, nodes, thermostats, motors, fans, variable drives, boilers, air handlers, chillers, et cetera. I connect to that server remotely from the PC on my desk.

Until last Friday, when I started getting "unable to connect" messages. To access the server means running up two flights of stairs (the elevator doesn't go all the way up - make of that what you will!), through a locked door, and donning sound-deadening earmuffs to prevent being deafened by some Very. Large. Motors. in the mechanical room. That, just to sit down at the keyboard there, to access the system.

If I only had to get into the software once per day, it wouldn't be such a big deal. BUT (you knew there was a "but" coming, didn't you?) each time someone is unhappy with the temp(s) in their suite, I have to go in and change the settings.

Have I mentioned that we're having a heat wave this week? It was 83° at 1:30 this afternoon. If you know anything about Anchorage, you'll know that's quite unusual. 65° is a normal June temp, and over 70 is considered pretty warm.

So I started getting complaints about temps too warm in this room or that, early this day, and had already been up to the penthouse (i.e., 4th floor mechanical room) four times before 10 a.m.

The I.T. guy didn't show up until 1:30 this afternoon. Sigh ...

Anyway, the grass should be cut by mid-week, and then all will be well, right?


Oh, never mind. I'm sure there'll be another issue by then. But one day at a time, and all that.

* I'm property manager, building manager, and facilities manager. Sometimes, I pick up some trash or sweep the sidewalk, too.


drjim said...

I've had "those" days, too.

Rev. Paul said...

I hear you, Jim. It's not exclusively mine, of course. Just a stressful day here, today. Tomorrow will be better. :)

Chickenmom said...

Any chance each office can control the heat and A/C with individual thermostats??

threecollie said...

We rarely know what goes on behind the scenes, do we? I am sure we have all been inside buildings of that sort and never given a thought to who keeps the grass trimmed and the temperature comfy. Hope it all smooths out just fine.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

You're just a jack of all trades :-)
There's always something going on when working in such a large building. I can imagine you never get bored. Hopefully, things will calm down, and you'll have some of your controls available again on your computer.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer!


Rev. Paul said...

Chickenmom - each zone has its own thermostat. But so many people think they should be able to jack it up & down, that the temps get set all over the place. We finally wound up overriding them electronically; but this "smart building" sometimes does a little too much thinking on its own, and screws things up royally.

threecollie, it'll be fine. Everything takes time, though. Thanks.

Sandy, thanks for the good thoughts. No, boredom is never an issue.

Guffaw, you left out shepherd, counselor, advisor, consultant, and security guard ... none of which are official; merely assumed. :)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Heh, yet one more example of why it always pays to stay on the good side of janitorial. Glad they were able and willing to help!

As for the other, *sigh* may IT find the bug without hotswapping your computer, and at least you're burning off the calories of a well-deserved beer (or cookies) at the end of the day?

Rev. Paul said...

Wing, I have a pretty good little team here. :) Re: the IT problem, a switch had turned itself off, and the DNS server decided to go on strike. Everything is back on, this morning.

Now if I can just get the danged grass cut ...

Old NFO said...

LOL, so a day where you actually 'earned' your pay... Not that you don't every day... And better you than me. I don't DO fluffing, which is why I don't work in the commercial sector... :-)

Rev. Paul said...

NFO, there are a lot of days where I wish I didn't have to fluff anyone. :/