Today the following memo was slid under our door:

To: Residents of [our address]

From: Building manager

Date: 3/6/2007



Earlier today a stranger gained unauthorized entry into the building and began knocking on unit doors in an attempt to gain access from whoever would open the door. Fortunately the staff were able to detain the suspect in the lobby until the Chicago Police Department arrived to arrest him.

As you are well aware, [our address] is a safe building. To continue to safeguard our building, management needs your assistance and would like to remind you of the following:

1. please make sure to close the building and garage doors behind you. If you see a door open, CLOSE IT.

2. When possible, do not allow vehicles to follow you into the garage. Allow them the opportunity to use their key fob to enter the garage.

3. When possible, do not allow unfamiliar people to follow behind you once you have opened an entry door. Allow them to [sic] opportunity to use their key fob to open the door.

4. Be aware of your surroundings. Take note of the people around you as you enter the building, especially the garage.

5. Always make sure to lock your unit door even if you are at home. Do not open your door if you are not familiar with the person on the other side of it.

6. Be mindful of suspicious activities, which may appear to be out of the ordinary. This might include suspicious vehicles, visitors, or noise. Please immediately report any suspicious activity to the management officer or the front desk.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in helping make [our address] a wonderful and safe place to live!


My thoughts when I read this ran something like this (in rough chronological order.)

1. Oh good grief. This building is all about the drama. This is just like that time they sent a flyer around saying “call your alderman and let her know that you do NOT support the construction of a soup kitchen three blocks from here! It will lower our property values!”

2. Well, actually, this is not quite like that. It’s kind of nice that they let us know that this incident happened, instead of letting it travel through the building rumor mill. Is there even a building rumor mill? I’m certainly not privy to it.

3. What is up with the whole stranger-danger tone of this letter? “Be aware of your surroundings?” “Be mindful of suspicious activities?” Isn’t that just part of living in the city?

4. It would be easier to use our key fobs and close all the doors behind us if THEY EVER WORKED. Stupid key fob thingies never freaking working properly.

5. How exactly am I supposed to prevent someone from following me into the garage? The fob, when it works, opens the door for like 45 seconds. I can’t make it close any faster.

6. Man, I am looking forward to moving into our new condo.

(Did you see how I just snuck that in there? “Our new condo”? YAY!)