The most important person in your life is not who you sleep next to. Nor is it a parent, your plastic surgeon, or your parakeet. The individual most responsible for your safety, security, and life satisfaction is, in fact, your building's superintendent.
It is likely that you do not like being around this person. It is probable that your super is overweight, smells peculiar, and has a mustache that seems to twitch all on its own like a caterpillar stirring in chrysalis. But you should be closer to this person than you are to your lover. Okay, maybe not physically - but definitely emotionally and spiritually and intellectually.
Here's why: last year, in the middle of the night, a pipe burst in the ceiling above my bathroom. Drywall shrapnel shot everywhere, water pumped in by the gallon, hell itself opened its vast crimson maw and released demonic plagues upon my home. Apparently, the woman who resides in the unit directly above me had done renovations with a poorly-reviewed contractor. I suffered the consequences. But there was salvation.
Joe, my incredible super, came to the rescue. He cleaned everything up in a timely manner, fixed all of the damage, and made sure I was awarded reparations. How could I be this lucky? Was I just blessed with a terrific superintendent? No. This took hard work and dedication to earn over many years.
Your super is not a given. He is not a privilege. He is not just handed to you when you move in. You have to labor for his approval, favor, and friendship. You have to woo him.
Wooing your super follows almost exactly the same strategy as flirting. I cannot actually think of a single difference between the two endeavors.
Here are 3 easy steps to make your building superintendent swoon for you in the middle of the night when your pipes are bursting:
1. Wine and Dine
This is pretty basic stuff. Here's the situation: Oh no, you accidentally bought too much wine (or gin, or vodka, or moonshine) at the liquor store! What are you going to do with all of this extra alcohol? This is terrible! Quick, go knock on your super's door and ask him to help you consume it. Problem solved! Drinking is the ultimate social lubricant. You are now friends.
This also applies to food. Let's say you baked too many brownies, and you just can't find anyone to eat them. Hand them over to your super and he will bat his little eyelashes, lick his big juicy lips seductively, and fall for you.
2. Remember Important Dates; Give Gifts for Those Dates
Your super is a human being. He was born from the womb of an older woman on a specific date which reoccurs each year. Some of us call these "birthdays." Stop me if I'm going too fast. This might be news to you.
Find out your super's birthday. How? you ask. Just ask him, I respond incredulously. Reward him for being born. Shower him with compliments, slip a silly pop up singing card under his door, and make him feel appreciated. He'll remember your sweet efforts and come running to help you the next time your toilet is erupting.
The annual calendar also has other holidays that can be recognized / used as excuses to bribe people into companionship. Christmas - buy him a funny nutcracker. New Years - champagne. Labor Day - steal his identity and apply to jobs on his behalf via LinkedIn. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
No, not milk that has been coagulated into a curd, aged under pressure, and diced for mouse traps. I'm talking about cash. This is the lowest effort strategy to win over and influence your super. Give the man the money he deserves but for some reason doesn't earn.
I give my super $100 every Christmas and 4th of July. Yes, that's a lot of money - but the payoff I've received from his kindness and attention is priceless. Trust me, your super is worth the investment. Now go find an ATM.