Why? I ask myself that single word question over and over, every day. Why? Why would someone do that? The world just never ceases to amaze me.
In the field of Property Management no single object inspires the question of why more than the humble toilet bowl.
The first time I cleaned an empty mobile home it was because my husband was doing the renovation work and the company no longer had a cleaner. And I needed a distraction from writing one of my horror novels that still isn’t selling enough copies to support me in the manner to which I would like to be accustomed. My first thought was that maybe my beloved had dumped old brown/green paint into the toilet because it was full of something and I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the horror of what my eyes were actually seeing. Now, that one wasn’t particularly mysterious – that one was intentional. It was a message to the management company about how the previous tenant felt upon being evicted for not paying their rent for a few months. The mystery developed later.
Th company owns about 400 mobile homes in 16 different communities in 2 counties. That’s a lot of homes. I think we were at 98% occupancy at one point but that was when Covid first reared its ugly head and I think people were afraid to move. Normally we have a dozen, even two dozen vacancies at any time. When someone moves out we go in and assess the place, clean it out, repair any damages (sometimes we have to rehab the whole home) and turn it around. During the whole process the places are advertised on various websites and people can come take a walk through at any point to see if they want it when it’s done. The communities are pretty spread out so most of the homes get unlocked in the morning and locked back up in the evening, which means we don’t have to drop and run to let people in every time they want to look.
It also means the homes are open to any…. serial sh*tters that may be lurking about. The first sighting was at lot 17, a two bed/two bath home we were working on. The toilets were dirty but empty when the tenant vacated. They didn’t stay empty long. The surprise was found by maintenance workers as they went in to clean and paint. Not just one bathroom, either – both had been bombed. Seeing that the water had been shut off to the home they had to get buckets of water to fill the tanks. Several days later…. surprise! The serial shi*tter had struck again! More buckets were needed. By then the maintenance folks were getting a little irritated. They started wrapping the toilets with Saran Wrap.
The serial shi*tter was undeterred. He struck next at lot 9. More Saran Wrap was deployed in not only those homes but others that were vacant as well. In another park just down the road he struck at lot 29, but was apparently caught of guard by the Saran Wrap and probably left the scene with skidmarks after using the wrapped commode, then poking a hole in the wrap to loose the bomb to the bowl below.
Who were these Serial Sh*tters? Surely this could not be the work of one person! Is this what people do when they look at homes they potentially want to live in? Oh, this place is so nice I think I want to take a dump here! Toilets are not for test drives! We actually considered having to pull the toilets out of the vacant homes all together. But there would still be tubs.
WHY? Can you not wait until you get home? Or go at home before you leave your house for the day? There’s never any toilet paper in these bowls, so are people walking around with skids in their drawers for the day? There are no photographs to accompany this episode. I’ll post pictures of the maggots in the fridge and the roaches running wild and free but even I draw the line somewhere.
We all started looking sideways at each other for a while. Was it possible it was one of us? Was it the plumber? Was there a common thread between these homes that were being hit? There was a generator outside of one of the occupied homes which would indicate the tenant hadn’t paid their power bill. Had they not paid their water bill? Was their whole family taking field trips together for morning constitutionals?
Clearly we were going to have to start asking for samples to find the offensive offender, through Process of Elimination… so to speak…
Stay Tuned…. and remember, if you buy some books I can escape this world…