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TVG Marketing Blog

The Package

November 14, 2023

A day in the life . . .

Years ago, I worked as an assistant manager at an upscale apartment

community near downtown Dallas. Most of our residents were young

professionals and I loved the high-energy vibe and excitement of

working in the beautifully appointed leasing office.

One afternoon as I worked alone, a clean-cut man in a sharp business suit came in. He

started off friendly enough, informing me that he needed a one-bedroom apartment.

“I’m a very private person,” he explained. “I’ll require something near

the back of the property, and I also need to move in immediately.”

“Well, this must be your lucky day,” I told him. “Our community is

normally one hundred percent occupied but right now we have a one bedroom

that’s ready for immediate occupancy. We can go take a look.”

As I rambled on about the numerous amenities we offered, I pulled out

a guest card for him to fill out. To my surprise, he shook his head no and

refused to complete it.

The Very Insistent Man

“No, I don’t have time for paperwork,” he said agitatedly looking at his

watch with a frown. I’m in a hurry and I don’t have time to see the

apartment either. I’m sure whatever you have will be fine.”

I watched as he pulled out his wallet and asked, “How much do you

need for me to move-in today?”

I smiled politely, knowing I needed to take control over the situation.

“I’m sorry, but we can’t just move you in,” I explained. “You’ll have to

complete an application which will need to be processed. If everything

checks out, we can move you into the apartment this weekend.”

Disregarding what I’d said, he smoothly showed me a sizeable wad of

hundred-dollar bills. “What if I take care of everything right now in

cash? This should cover the security deposit and one year of rent,


Shooting me what I’m sure he thought was a winsome smile, he placed

the money on my desk and pushed it in my direction. I could tell he was

someone who didn’t like to play by the rules—and definitely a man

used to getting his own way.

You Have to Follow the Rules

I remained patient but refused to touch the money. “I’m sorry but I

could lose my job if I don’t follow our management company’s policies.

You’ll have to complete an application like everyone else,” I told him.

“I’ll do my best to expedite the application, but no one moves in here

until we go through the appropriate process.”

I could see this did little to lessen his frustration, but continued, “Also,

we do not accept cash here. You’ll have to pay by check or money

order.” I pointed to the sign situated on the corner of my desk which

clearly stated this policy.

He sat glowering at me for a couple of beats and I was relieved when

our community manager, Alice returned from her lunch break. By this

time, the guy was begrudgingly completing the rental application and

there was major friction in the air.

Alice caught my eye as she passed by my office and I waved her inside,

sharing a private look of concern before introducing her to the prospect

as the onsite manager.

As the man stood to leave, he completely ignored me, walked over to

Alice, and handed her his application along with a one-hundred-dollar

bill. “I can see you’re the one in charge here,” he said. “Here’s a ltitle

incentive to expedite my application.” With a nod of his head toward

me, he added, “I’ve already told this one I need to move in


A Cool Reception

A seasoned property manager, Alice looked him in the eye and said,

“We’ll see what we can do,” she told him coolly. “But the application fee

is only fifteen dollars.” She handed back the large bill. “And, by the way,

it’s payable with a check or money order. We are not allowed to accept


Alice and I knew the prospect was extremely unhappy when he left and

neither of us would have been disappointed if he never returned with

the application fee. Unfortunately, thirty minutes later, he was back

with the money order which he promptly tossed on my desk.

“That’s for the application,” he growled. “Now please process it so we

can get this thing done!”

I appreciated that Alice had seen him return and was standing beside

me when he left the office for the second time that day. “That guy

seems like trouble,” she commented.

I agreed. I had a bad feeling about him as well.

We received confirmation that the prospect was approved, and the guy

moved in that weekend. He’d paid his security deposit along with a full

year’s rent in the form of a money order. Secretly, I was grateful

because hopefully it meant he wouldn’t be coming into the office to pay

his rent every month!

The Red Sports Car Arrives

About two weeks later, I was dismayed to see our new resident pulling

his expensive red sports car into one of the spaces marked Future

Resident in front of the leasing office. I forced a smile as he strolled into

my office carrying a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied

with string.

He gave me a big grin as he placed the package on my desk. “I need

your help with something,” he explained. “You see, I’ve been waiting for

a buddy of mine to come by and pick up this package. He’s running late

and I can’t wait for him any longer. So, I told him he could come to the

office, and you would give it to him.”

I started to interrupt, but he held up his hand to stop me, checked his

watch, then continued, “His name is Ray, and he should be here in

about 30 minutes. You’ve got all that?”

I was taken a bit off-guard. It wasn’t that we didn’t help our residents

with things like this but given this guy’s unfriendly history with us thus

far, I was surprised he was asking for any favors.

“Okay,” I agreed finally. “I should be here. What does this Ray-guy look


The resident just stared at me as if I were the most ignorant person he’d

ever met! “I can’t really describe him, and it doesn’t matter,” he

answered impatiently. He’ll come in, ask for you, tell you he’s Ray, he’ll

take the package and leave. That’s it.”

He must have sensed that I wasn’t responding well to his demanding

manner. He took a deep breath—apparently to calm himself so he could

handle having a conversation with someone so dense. When he spoke

again, his tone was much softer and kinder, and the smile was back.

“Can you please just help me out here?”

“Would you like for me to have him sign for it?” I asked agreeably.

“No, that won’t be necessary,” he replied, making his way to the door.

He paused for moment like something had just occurred to him. “Oh,

one more thing. Ray might be leaving something for me. If he does, just

hang onto it and I’ll be back soon to get it from you.”

The smile never left his face as he waited for me to acknowledge what

he’d said. “I’ve got it,” I said.

“Great, because I’m counting on you,” he replied over his shoulder as heand walked away.

I sat and watched through the window as he got into his zippy red car

and sped away. After a moment, my gaze settled on the brown package

sitting on the edge of my desk. It bugged me to have it there, so I

moved it over to the credenza. I couldn’t help but wonder what was

inside. I guess I was pretty naive back then because it never occurred to

me that the innocent looking package might contain something not so


What’s In the Box?

Right on cue, about thirty minutes later, the front door opened and in

walked a very tall, dark character. I guess he was a man of few words

because he asked me my name. When I told him, he said, “I’m Ray. You

have a package for me.” It was not a question but a statement. Ray was

looking past me at the package which matched the description he’d

probably been given by our resident.

I began to have a very bad feeling about the entire thing and wanted no

part of whatever was going on between these two men. I reached

behind me, grabbed the box, and gave it to Ray. In a flash, he produced

a large, thick envelope.

“And what is this?” I asked.

Ray was already heading out the door but said something like, “Just give

it to your guy.”

I was still standing there with the stupid envelope in my hand when

three police cars came flying into our parking lot, their sirens blaring.

The cops parked behind and around the two cars in the front, blocking

them in. I stood there in shock watching the officers pull Ray out of his

car. They had him spread-eagled over it in mere seconds.

That Sinking Feeling

My stomach sank as everything started making sense. I had likely just

helped one of our residents complete a drug deal! OMG!! I couldn’t

believe it—I’d unknowingly been an accessory to a crime!

Of course, the officers came into the office and Alice soon joined them.

They had a lot of questions for me, and I sure had a lot for them,

starting with, “Am I in trouble?”

Seeing my despair, Alice gave me a comformng hug and said no. I guess

everyone in the room knew I’d been a victim of circumstance. Alice told

me that the day I’d introduced her to our new resident, she thought his

behavior was strange. She’d shared her concerns with a police officer

she knew. She’d learned that our resident matched the description of a

person the DEA was already keeping a close eye on for drug trafficking.

They’d come close to busting him several comes, but he’d always eluded them.

The man had multiple alias’s and was not only shrewd, he was also very


The Camera Doesn’t Lie

Alice looked up at the ceiling and pointed. “You see that thing up

there?” she asked me. I looked up and sure enough, there was a small

camera mounted in the corner of my office ceiling that I’d never noticed


“Everything that happened today was recorded. We also have cameras

outside our office and around the entire community. It was just a

matter of time before this guy was busted,” Alice explained.

“She’s right,” agreed one of the police officers. “We’ve had this guy

under surveillance for a while now. With what we got today, we’ll be

able to shut him down—hopefully for good.”

Another officer stepped over and reached out to shake my hand. “We

really appreciate your help,” he told me.

I was still numb from everything that had occurred and really shaken by

the ordeal. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if our

resident or Ray got out of jail and came back to harm me. It was just too


Shortly after this incident, I resigned my onsite position and accepted a

job working at our corporate office. Although I really miss interacting

with our residents, it’s good to know that in my current role it’s highly

unlikely that I’ll be used as a “Patsy” in another drug deal!”


Monica E. Simmons, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JDC Enterprises, LLC, has worked in the multi-family industry in several different capacities since 1987. She is a published author whose books include; I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!, It Happened in The Hill Country, 30-Love and it's sequel, Match Point.  

Contact her at:

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