As you may have heard already, Pat Harrington Jr., the veteran actor who won an Emmy Award for playing the endearing apartment building maintenance super Dwayne Schneider in the long running TV show One Day at a Time, died at the age of 86 this past week.
Back in the day, cocky and nosy Dwayne Schneider was a self-proclaimed ladies-man with the keys to all the rooms in the building and the keys to our hearts . For 9 years, until 1984, Schneider's character on One Day At A Time was the comic strength of the show, and even though his character was a caricature of your typical facility maintenance super (with the tool belt to match), his witty smirk and nod to the camera would let us all know that we were in on the joke.
Good Ol' Days
Mr. Schneider lived in simpler times. There were no household computers, tablets or cell phones, when you needed something taken care of in your building, you'd have to use a regular telephone (a rotary one at that) and call down to the building super. Dwayne didn't need a Facility Maintenance Software to get the job done, he would make his daily visits to the girls (sometimes un-invited) and make sure everything was in good working condition...and of course give unwanted relationship advice.
Simpler times indeed, a simple telephone call and there he'd be ready to answer, always available and no mistakes made...or was that just TV fiction.
Caught in the Past
I'm not sure if you'd be at all surprised to learn that a majority of building maintenance managers in 2016 (40 years since the start of the series) are still using this method of telephone calls to manage and organize their workflows. Writing notes on a pad of paper to be tossed in a waste basket for the ever filling city dumps, and moving through the year's preventative maintenance plan from memory. Is it reasonable to think that it is still acceptable to be organizing a building's priorities like it was done 40 years ago?
We now live in the technology era with every means necessary to improve our workflows and not have to rely on one person's memory for completing tasks. Today, there are ways to communicate and track requests without the need of being accessible on the other end of a phone at all times. A good maintenance manager in 2016 uses technology to categorize, schedule, organize and report on all the history of their facility. Why? Because they can.
Read More: Telephone Calls or Maintenance Software?
Dwayne Schneider didn't need Facility Maintenance Software because times were different, expectations and results were different. Today, if you don't have a software solution tool to help you manage your day to day, you are likely not doing the job to the level it should be done. Besides, no one is saying you still can't drop by and give unwanted relationship advice to your favorite tenants, Dwayne Schneider will always have a warm spot in our hearts.