He had kept me at the entrance of the building for fifteen minutes. It was cold and all I could think about was that I could not feel my nose. The building was getting renovated and the middle-aged building manager had a lot on his plate. On top of them all everyone held him accountable for almost anything. The poor man needed an ear to listen to him. “What if you update all the households a day in advance? If everyone knows workers are coming at 8am beforehand they cannot really complain about it later, can they? Especially if you are just notifying them and they cannot write back. You ever heard of push notification applications?…”
He downloaded BlipNow mobile app from Play Store. I helped him to setup an account and a Blip community for the building residents on the app, which afterwards he declared he did not really need my help with it. Ignoring my slightly hurt feelings I took his statement as a compliment thinking he actually meant BlipNow setup was quite straightforward. Using the web app on his phone he started adding all the phone numbers of building’s residents to his Blip community. He sent a test message, “I did it all by myself and it is super easy”. Once he saw the SMS, email, and mobile notification on his own phone he was so excited that he sent three other messages afterwards. I warned him he does not want his community to get reported or unsubscribed right away because he was spamming everyone. He was too happy to listen to me and he called it a day.
Before my alarm went off, I woke up from my phone vibrantly relentlessly 7:30 in the morning. I opened one eye and saw five SMS messages from the building manager each containing updates about the day’s events. It was a busy and a noisy day and I knew I do not want to be back home before 6pm. Later in the day I saw the building manager at the entrance again. I told him that he can just schedule his messages for some convenient time in the day using the web app. He seemed oblivious to why I would suggest a thing like that until I had to explain to him that it could be not so effective and even a bit annoying to send notifications early in the day. I realized I had hurt his elevated pride from having used BlipNow. I had to compensate by offering him to have a tea in my flat so that I could explain all the functionalities of the app. He took the offer with the same readiness that he took a handful of my chocolate chip cookies up in my flat while we went over the documentations of the app.
Some weeks passed by and the renovation at the building got crazier by the day. But somehow everything seemed calmer than before. We knew about the water outage on Wednesday, so everyone was prepared. We knew the windows were to be replaced so no one complained about strangers showing up at their doorsteps and asking to come in. All the time I could see the face of the building manager smiling calmly in the dusty air filled with timbers and shards flying around right before he sent a new notification to his Blip community.