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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 99981
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Have a somewhat technical question on how to conduct myself

Customer Question

Have a somewhat technical question on how to conduct myself amongst the resident owners of a coop. My position is building manager, but the contract specifically states that the resident owners can “ask” me to perform little chores, such as change a light bulb for an elderly person. Problem is, there’s a new resident owner who is quite the micro managing type. The wife just addressed me as if she is my boss. While the property management company was hired by the Board of this COOP, am I mistaken to perceive her as perhaps a “client”? She told me to do something, in a very authoritative manner, and it’s not the first time. I politely suggested that she contact Barbara, the person who handles my contract as a subcontractor for/with her.I don’t like the idea of being bossed around, mostly because research has shown that such interactions cause victims’ cortisol levels to rise, thus urging them to eat more, which no doubt leads to weight gain, and in old age, that as I understand it, means dying earlier as a result of the complications associated with weight gain.What can I get away with in this relationship. I mean can I simply tell her back to contact Barbara, or would my role be more in line with legal correctness to just quietly ignore her? I would think the latter, but I would like to know what I can get away with in future confrontations.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Attorney2020 replied 6 months ago.
You should present the issue to your superiors and ask that they advise the parameters. Otherwise, ignoring her may be the best alternative but may lead to consequences with her superiors.I hope that helped. Please ask any follow-up questions. Please rate my answer so that I may be credited for my time. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I don’t know what you mean by “her superiors.” As for my relationship, this couple, the most recent people who have moved in, actually told me (to my face) that when they say hi, you[me] say hi back, and followed that with an expression that in my opinion, would certainly constitute bullying. He said, quite loudly and right in my face with his finger pointed up close and right at my face, “Got that!”I’ve read my contract, and in no manner of speaking is it a requirement for me to say hi, in response or otherwise. this couple’s attitude is one that could easily be characterized as a yearn for that “powers that be” status where less wealthy people don’t have rights. I reported this to the main contractor, the property group manager, who tried to jester me to comply. I took the stance of free speech…. Point is, the main property(yes) manager would rather conform than to stand up for my right to freely express my words, greetings or otherwise.Well, this question for “powers that be” status seems to continue, this time (and others) being an effort to supervise me—me as in me the manager. I suggested she speak with Barbara, the main contractor/property management business. And of course, the wife responded, I’m your boss. I said, I don’t have a boss: I’m just a subcontractor. If I have a boss, it’s Barbara, not you. She then replied that she’s Barbara’s boss. Again, I continued on with your Barbara’s client.Anyway, what’s my legal stance on this issue? I’d hate to file an EEOC complaint, especially since I’m not even sure that such a complaint qualifies.
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 6 months ago.
Please ignore this post
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Hello again. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
This is very easily resolved and it is not the first time I have seen something like this. This is because there is a misunderstanding of your position as relating to the residents. They do not know to which extent you work for THEM (or rather, do not, per se).
Someone in your situation wants to go to the Board (or to the Property Management company who can then go to the Board, depending on who you report to, and ask that the Board send out a NOTICE to all residents that explains basic "do's and dont's" about building management. Kindly. One can ask that the notice explain that the building manager is not "on call" for every resident at all hours of the day, needs approval to do work from the Board, etc, etc - whatever applies.
Normally the Board will be helpful. This can help clear up future misunderstandings.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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