Sunday, May 01, 2011


It's been almost three years since Jim and I were attacked, and Jim stabbed multiple times, while at work. Even after this amount of time passing, I still find it rather difficult to talk at length about this event. Just thinking about what happened that day still feels so surreal to me, almost as if I am watching it happen to somebody else and not myself. I have pretty much avoided even mentioning that day if at all possible in any of my entries. The few times that I did bother to reference the attack, I pretty much made sure that this is done in passing and as casually as possible. Immediately following the attack, I was still so much in shock that it was relatively easy avoiding this topic. Even today, I find it difficult to wrap my head around what ended up happening to us that Monday afternoon, and how, almost three years later, we are still suffering from the events of May 12, 2008. Now, though, I feel I am ready to share all of the details and specifics of this attack and stabbing that has been so absolutely life altering to me and my family - kind of mind boggling what can end up happening in what was probably no more than two minutes in length!

At the time of the attack, Jim and I were Building Managers for one of the larger high rises in the city. The building we were responsible for looking after had always been a pretty quiet and peaceful one. In the half year that we had been there, there had been no unusual or significant events that stood out as particularly unusual. Pretty much a gravy job all in all. Jim and I shared a single position so to speak, and we divided our duties accordingly. For the most part, I did all of the administrative work related to this position such as rent collection, maintaining building's rental ledger and ensuring all vacant units were in "rentable condition" et al , while Jim looked after all of the physical aspects i.e. cleaning and maintaining all common areas of the building, garbage and snow removal and any unit repairs as required.

Obviously, being a Building Manager of a reasonably large apartment building - 96 units over eight stories - you can absolutely be assured that there will certainly be some very special moments, not to mention a stereotypically odd assortment of characters residing within these eight floors. Some days were definitely easier than others, as were some tenants, but all in all, we knew we had it pretty easy. The majority of the tenants were easy to get along with and undemanding at best. Everyone seemed to respect each other's space so intervening in tenant disputes of any kind were practically non-existent. For the most part, I rarely found any of our tenants irritating or annoying, but like everything else in life, there will always be an exception to the rule!

The exception of our building just happened to be one of our sixth floor tenants who had lived in the building with his wife and two young sons about five years at the time of our attack. Where all of the other tenants were a joy to interact with, he was the complete opposite and then some. You could count on hearing from him on a daily basis, even on weekends and after hours which were normally supposed to be free of any work related issues, not to mention your time off and away from work! John, as he will be referred to from now on, would literally be waiting on the main floor for one of us to unlock our office bright and early every morning without fail. There was always some important nugget of information that he felt compelled to share with us without delay. It took every bit of self control not to over react and lose it on him. I don't think I've counted to ten as often as I had during those six months. Jim and I eventually learned how to effectively deal with him so that we were able to minimize any interaction with him while leaving the impression that we were taking everything he said seriously and then acting appropriately. It took a bit of time and finesse but in the end we became extremely adept at handling this particularly loathsome tenant!

Now, to compound issues somewhat, the Regional Office of the company that we worked for just happened to be located in one of the empty units on the first floor of the building that Jim and I both lived in and were responsible for maintaining. As well as annoying us on a daily basis, he also paid a visit to the girls working in the Regional Office every day. You have no idea what an utter treat this one tenant could be, never mind how much crap we were expected to suffer because of him, but suffer we did. At the end of the day, he was nothing more than a bit player in the bigger, more important picture - or so I thought. Work is work is work, and most of the time, it didn't come home with me - so to speak. Obviously, when you work where you live and live where you work, it tends to be a little bit more difficult to keep the two separate, but this is certainly not impossible. I always ensured that there were very specific boundaries created with the tenants, and then, made sure that they were all very much aware of what these boundaries were. John would prove a bit challenging to these boundaries, and ultimately, because of him, Jim and I would find ourselves in a most untenable work situation!


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