The Unauthorized Entry

Drama of a work order

The work order for Unit 812 was one of seven Jason had to knock out before going home. All of them except Unit 812 had “Urgent” written at the top. He knew what that meant. Someone had called the others in yesterday and they needed to be done today. They weren’t catastrophic – because then they’d be labeled Emergency and would have been done within the hour. Unit 812’s order was called in less than a week ago.

“So, why isn’t this one urgent?” Jason asked himself as he pushed his maintenance cart down the long corridor. The closet door was coming off its hinges.

Jason knocked three times hard and stepped back.

No one answered. He knocked again, this time louder.


He pulled out his pass key, the key that could unlock all the bottom locks to all the doors in the 323-unit condo building and inserted it into the slot, opened the door slightly and yelled, “Maintenance!” It was standard operating procedure when entering a unit without the tenant inside.

“What, what? Get out right now,” the tenant in Unit 812 said. “You are not authorized to come into my apartment! Get out before I call the police. You will be reported to management for this.”

In nine years Jason had been doing this job, this only happened to him once before.

He closed the door, backed away, and tossed his tools back on his cart. No arguing. No trying to reason with a frantic tenant in fear of her privacy being invaded. The incident shook him up for a second, but this kind of thing was merely an occupational hazard.

Instead, he looked at the work order and considered what he should write, realizing that occasionally the tenants may actually read the work order when the crew comes to fix things in their unit.

He considered telling management that they specifically requested one of the other maintenance staff for this job, but the tenant might not see the humor of his practical joke if they saw the work order. His own management might not see the humor in it either.

He grabbed the pen from his shirt pocket and wrote on the work order: “Tenant refused entry. Said she didn’t order service. Please reschedule.”

 Jason looked at his phone for the time.

“Six more to go today,” he said out loud in the hallway. “Hopefully, they’ll be smooth sailing.”

He got to the elevator with his cart, and for some reason, he was totally wiped out. Jason pushed B for Basement when he stepped on the service elevator. He was going home. The other six work orders would have to wait until tomorrow when he could be in a better frame of mind. The boss and management would understand.


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