Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



Before I hire a building manager, I interview the candidate at his or her home. One man had four dogs in his living room. There was very little non-dog space. We wound up discussing the job requirements in a third-floor bedroom. There was a big bird up there.

When a doormat reads “Got beer?”, that’s a bad thing. Nevertheless, I hired a woman with that doormat, and she worked out well. Also, her email was “Imadrunkmonkey@.” Still, I hired her. She had a strong work ethic.

Benny, a man I hired, worked the day shift at Eaton Axle. His wife, Betty, was the world’s best cleaner. She wanted to be buried with a can of Comet. I gave her an unlimited cleaning budget. She liked to vacuum the halls every day. I didn’t try to stop her.

One of my worst employes was a cocaine addict. She ran up my Home Depot account with unauthorized charges, like for an air compressor and a tool box. What really caught my attention was “gift certificate $50.” She fenced items. I fired her and then went to Taco Bell to reconsider. My father had once given a custodian a second chance after she had ripped him off, and she had repaid my dad and stayed on the job.

But my gal — the coke head — left me feeling blue. I mulled this at T-Bell. She had said, “I have a few shopliftings but I never stole from people.”

Was I not people?

I stuck with firing her. I didn’t say, “You’re fired.” I said, “If you turn in the keys this weekend, I’ll pay your moving expenses and give you an extra $400, and I won’t call the cops.” Sometimes it pays to move people out quickly.

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