Mystery Clogs and Strange Smells: School Complaints

Read these funny and crazy requests school facility managers have received.   April 25, 2023

By FacilitiesNet Staff

FacilitiesNet recently shared our favorite outrageous complaints from facility managers in K-12 schools, colleges and universities. From mouse-catching cats to loud toilets, we received some crazy stories.  

We asked readers to share even more. Here are the best and funniest stories from facility managers in K-12 schools, colleges and universities. 

"Teacher complained about a 'dead animal' smell in her classroom. We investigated, and could not find any odors, certainly no dead animal. The following day, we received the same complaint. We interviewed the teacher and she said it was a really strong garlic odor, probably from the air conditioning. We had our mechanics check the system, and inspected the grounds for landscaping, such as ornamental garlic and found nothing. The teacher stated that it was really strong in the front of the classroom and the students in the front row noticed it. She went to the classroom next door and asked if that teacher smelled anything. The second teacher could smell something now that it was brought to her attention, but only when the other teacher was in the room.  

Upon the third complaint, and exhausting all other possibilities, I asked if she had any changes to her diet. I will remember her response for the rest of my life.  

'No,' she stated with a puzzled look as if she were reaching into the depths of her brain to substantiate this answer. 'Well, I did start taking a garlic supplement.' Her eyes widened as she became aware of her admission. 'Oh my God! I stink, don't I?'"  

"Two people in the middle of the same room with desks back to back. One person calls and says they are cold. Five minutes later the other one calls and says they are too hot."

"We had a work order put in that the principal at one of our campuses could hear dead birds on the roof and it was stressing her out. So we went and checked it out with smiles on our faces and told her we had removed all the dead noisy birds and all was OK after that."  


"I noticed on the Building Management System that the IT office (a repurposed server room with two heat pumps in addition to central heating/cooling) was abnormally hot in mid-summer. I did everything I could to adjust the system to cool the office. I finally contacted the occupants of the room to apologize for not being able to cool their office and to let them know that I was working on the situation. I found out the occupants enjoyed the high temperature and were adjusting the two heat pumps to combat my efforts to cool the space. Yes, they were running the heat in the middle of the summer!"

"After clearing a clogged sink drain in a student's dorm room for the third time, the Director of Student Housing called me, the manager. Apparently, the student had told their parents about the recurring clog. The parents, in turn, called the Director of Student Housing to complain that this keeps happening and raising a fuss. Therefore, he called me, and started berating my plumbing technician and saying that if he was unable to do the job properly, I needed to get someone in that could.  

I called my plumbing technician, who had just completed clearing the drain. He said that he had finished, and asked where the director and I were. He still had the remnants of the blockage. So he brought it to us, wrapped up in a shop towel. As he opened it, he explained that this was the third time he had cleared the clog with the same result — a used condom the student had stuffed down the sink drain in order to dispose of it."

"We had an elementary school teacher that said she had a gas leak in her classroom because everyday when they came back from lunch and turned the heat on they all got so sleepy. I said everywhere I go after lunch must have the same problem because I get sleepy after lunch also. If I remember correctly there was not even gas in that building."  

"One morning, while chipping ice from the entryway area of our school, I had a staff member come out into the cold to ask me if I could put paper in the copier machine for them. Then they just stood there waiting for me to stop what I was doing so I could load the copier for them."

"Teacher calls and says 'my room smells of propane. It was very strong so I opened a window.' Custodial staff arrived they informed her there is no propane in this area of the building. The custodial staff then suggested she take a look at something else. A child had a diaper on that was in need of service."


Do you have a similar story to share or think you can top these? Submit your most outrageous complaint. 


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