SparkSuper.com Proudly Presents:
Building Superintendent, East Village, NYC
We're proud to introduce Luis Tejada. He has been in our Super Network since 2014. He's covered buildings primarily in Lower East Side ("LES"), but he's known throughout our other NYC buildings because of his deep sense of dedication to his trade, great humor and humility, customer service and persistence to doing it right the first time.
Luis' commitment to his buildings often keeps him starting the day at the crack of dawn, where you'll find him trekking all over Manhattan.
Behind Luis are the experiences of:
- 32 years in the building trades in NYC
- Hands-on experience with floor refinishing
Learn more about Luis by clicking the video below:
[So, please tell us your name:]
Hi, my name is Luis. I'm 54 years old.
1. How long have you been a building super for?
A good 10 years, on and off. Different positions in different companies.
2. How did you start your career?
I would say, back in 98, 97. I started working, cleaning buildings, doing floors, stripping, waxing. Then, I started picking up from the other guys that worked there, that was doing regular maintenance, building repairs.
3. Do you remember your first teacher/ mentor?
He was an older gentleman, name was Juan. He took me under his wing and he showed me a lot of the basic building maintenance repairs, minor stuff, door knobs, door locks.
4. When do you feel proud as a Super?
The best for me is when you actually go to someone's apartment and you fix something that they are so down about it, and they're having issues about it. And, when you do fix that, just to see them so happy, to see them, like, "oh my God, it's done, I can't believe it, has been like two weeks," you know, and they actually get happy. And, it makes you feel good. You know, it's like you did something good for them.
5. What inspires you to be so passionate about being a building super?
Three children. My wife, my mother and my brother. That's my family right there, my immediate family. That's the only ones that I really, it's my life, it's that little net right there. I live for them. I work for them. That's all I do. That's all I think about as I get up in the morning and as I go to bed. And, I get emotional just talking about it because that's what I love. That's me. I'm a family guy (chuckles).
6. How do you deal with tenant in difficult situations?
Try to handle it as calm as possible and tell him, ma'am or sir, I'm very sorry. I'm trying to do my best to help you out in this situation, but let me handle, let me see what I can do for you. Let me try to fix it. They are always right.
7. What is the most important thing that a building super should learn?
In my experience, they have to learn customer service, how to deal with people. You have to be patient and speak to them proper and remain calm. Don't become hostile. Gotta learn how to control yourself, in all situations, actually.
8. How do you handle building emergencies?
All the "first aid of a building," you should always learn it right away. You want to know where all your valves are at in the building. You want to know your building inside out, where every screw is sticking out from; electrical power shut down; water and main shut-offs. You need to know this. So, that's one of the first things that you should know, how to shut down an emergency situation, how to control that in order for it not to become a worse situation.
9. How do you solve an issue when you are away from the building (as a "traveling" super)?
I'm actually pretty good at directing people over the phone. I can draw them a map. I've got a mental map of each building, so I'm pretty good to talk them through it and get them exactly where to go. Even if they've never been to that building. I'm pretty good with it. I'm confident with that.
10. Do you have a special way of maintaining your buildings in a good condition?
I love to have tools in every building. Not to have tools in the building, or a setup location for tools, is crazy. It's essential. I mean, you need it there. Oh, you need a drill. You need a wrench, channel locks, screwdrivers, hammer, rubber mallet (sometimes, you need them. You don't want to break somebody's wooden floor, you want to bang it softly. You don't want to use a metal one), snake for a toilet, plunger, you know, you need these things.
11. What is essential knowledge for a building super?
I think it's very important, in this time, you need technology. Every building is become to be high-tech. Boilers, back in the days, was just a boiler without panel, without an electrical panel, without an internet panel. We need to know all this. If you don't know, you're going to get stuck, so it's good. It's important. Very important.
I like Whatsapp [smartphone chat messenger], just to keep in communication with other supers and the office itself. Many times you need to use your cell phone to call the person and not just texting, because sometimes you need to speak with someone on the phone to understand the situation that's going on.
Luis' Special Repair Skills & Notes:
(sanding, applying stain and polyurethane, leaving residents feeling happy!)
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