Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to email@example.com and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.
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Dear Ms. Demeanor,
Our beloved super is retiring after 25 years. What is the proper etiquette in terms of giving him a warm send-off? Do you have any gift or party tips for us?
Farewell to Strong Arms
How bittersweet! I absolutely love and applaud your instincts. The super is one of those people in the neighborhood (...in the neighborhood - sing it with me!) who can make or break city life.
A gracious send-off is well-deserved for a man who does all home-related things you cannot or will not do. He is the guy you call when things go bump (or squeak) in the night, the one who unclogs a toilet or helps an ex- move out (similar job description, no?).
While a get-together in the lobby (for a larger building) or someone's apartment (in a smaller building) is lovely, it is not necessary.
Having everyone in the building sign a card of thanks and congratulations is a wonderful idea. People can chip in a minimum suggested amount or more towards a gift. Depending on your super, his interests, and his retirement plans, think watches, fishing or sporting equipement, iPad, gardening supplies, etc. Or simply present him with an always-appreciated cash bonus.
Retiring minds want to know,
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