Management Hates Me, Possibly Because I’m a Shrink

For reasons beyond my control, I needed to abruptly move out of my office to a new suite down the street. It’s actually in a better location, closer to major subway stops. I’ve been there a few weeks now and it’s become clear that the leasing/managing office prefers to handle tenants’ issues in their own time and via their own methods.

The original plan was to have my name on the door of the office suite within 2-3 business days. A week went by and nothing. I knocked on management’s office door at that time and the superintendent of the office simply yelled through the door. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

“It’s Rob Dobrenski, I need you to…”


“Rob Dobrenski, in Suite 705. I need you to put my name on both the suite door and the professional directory in the downstairs lobby so my clients can find me.”


I looked to my right and down the hall where my office is located. Unless someone had snuck over there during this brief, loud conversation to put my name on the door with those acrylic letters, then tip-toed back past me, the job was not done.

“No, you didn’t do that. I need you to address this right away.”

Shit, I could hear the man say loudly, which led me to believe that stentorian was his normal way of speaking, because I think he said it under his breath.

He opened the door, looked me up and down, and said, “Fine. We can do that later today. What’s your name again?”

“Rob Dobrenski. I emailed it to you, per your request, when I moved in. You said that would assure you spelled it correctly.

“Are you the dentist?”

“No, I’m the Psychologist. Ph.D.”

“Fine, later today.”

“Thank you.”

The next morning when I arrived I saw the following on the door:

Ron Dobrenski, pH.d.

Back down the hall I went and knocked on the door.


“This is Rob Dobrenski. You spelled my name and credentials wrong on the door.”

Fuck, he said this time, and opened the door. “Fine. What is your name again?”

“Rob. Dobrenski. Capital P, lower case h with a period, capital D with a period.”

“You don’t like ‘Ron,'” he said with a smile. “Like Ron Jeremy?”

“There’s nothing wrong with ‘Ron,’ it just happens to not be my name. Please change it immediately.”

A few hours later a client came in with a smile suggesting he couldn’t wait to have a laugh. “Hey there…Ro.”


“You see your door?” he said, shoving a thumb over his shoulder.

Sure enough, the man was right:

Ro Dobrenski, Ph.D.

There was no time to address the issue then and there, but I seethed through the entire session, wondering if the asshole superintendent was just screwing with me. After my client left humming the tune of “Row Row Row Your Boat” to further damage my professional credibility, I immediately went down the hall again.


“You put my name on the door incorrectly. Please open up!”

Asshole, he said this time. “What is the problem this time?”

“My name is not ‘Ro Dobrenski.'”

“It’s not?”

“No. And as a matter of fact I’m willing to wager that ‘Ro’ isn’t anyone’s name, at least not anyone you or I know.”

“Oh riggggghhhhtttt,” he said, suddenly remembering something. “We ran out of ‘B’s’. We should have some in a few weeks.”

I considered drawing a temporary ‘b’ in with a Sharpie, then realized how stupid that would look. Defeated my eyes narrowed to slits. “You’ll rue this day, Super.” And I walked off.

I decided to simply deal with the phantom letter until another client mentioned her son joining the college crew team. “You know,” she said, “rooooooowing” with a wink.

So, in an act of defiance I took the ‘O’ off the door, leaving an almost respectable ‘R Dobrenski, Ph.D.’ in its place. I suppose I could have just addressed the matter in this way from the get-go, but my new office mates have their full names on the door, so it crossed my mind that I might look like some sort of Shrink Rebel to my new peers. That is something I don’t want, at least not yet. Of course they could just read this site and assume they will be the topic of innumerable blog posts in the future. And they’d be right, so let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that just yet.

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15 Responses to “Management Hates Me, Possibly Because I’m a Shrink”

  1. What a freakin jerk. People don’t realize how easy it is to be nice. Maybe there is someone you can report him to and have his potty mouth replaced.

  2. Yasmin says:

    Can’t wait to hear about the new office mates! And are you going to tell us about those “reasons beyond your control”? Sounds very intriguing…

  3. J says:

    I bet the Super’s name is spelled correctly on his door. Wouldn’t be a shame if his office mysteriously, suddenly had his title changed to “Lazy Prick”?

  4. Benjamin Butina says:

    Rob, if having your name on the door is part of your lease, just tell this asshole super that you’re not paying jack until your needs are met to your satisfaction.
    Also let him know that you’re going to let the building manager (or whoever collects the rent) know EXACTLY why your payment is not forthcoming. If the building manager gives you any crap, just tell him to send the bill to Ro Dobrenski.

  5. Amber says:

    I second Benjamin!
    You crack me up Rob. Seriously. One of these days you’re going to run into someone that steps just a little too far over the idiot line and that cool facade is just going to crumble and you’re going to punch him right in the face. Make sure someone tapes it!

  6. Ro says:

    This was hilarious. Keep up the writing. Hope the book’s going well.
    Did you have to move out of the old place due to ShrinkTalk?
    Dr. Rob: Thanks so much. And for the first time possibly ever, none of this was my fault.

  7. That is insane Dr. Ro! I mean Rob 😉
    That super is a freaking idiot. I certainly hope you don’t have any problems in that building that require immediate attention because you will be screwed.

  8. JennaK says:

    I can see the whole squinting of the eyes. I know that look. Best. Look. EVER!

  9. KT says:

    Does this mean no more stories about Dr. Steve?
    Dr Rob: Steve will always have a home here.

  10. Michelle with 2 L's says:

    Dr. Ro-
    For reasons beyond my control (The world is a horrible place full of horrible people that don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves!) I haven’t been consistent with reading ShrinkTalk as of late.
    Guess what…I really like the last few entries and had to comment how humorous I found them; it’s super cool you can make fun of yourself.
    Back to me: I, too, have come across people who don’t realize the absolute importance of a name. It took my boss almost three years to spell my name with 2 Ls and not 1. After about the 28th time I brought it to his attention, he said, “It’s spelled correctly on your pay check, right? Isn’t that what’s important?” I told him that I once knew a Michele who was a whore that used to beat her children and I just can’t be associated with the one L spelling so he must stop doing it. He never spelled it wrong again. I think if you act a little looney you can manipulate people into doing what you want them to do. At least that’s what works with him. Blah, blah–yeah, the last 3 entries were fantabulamazing!

  11. goats says:

    That super is clearly fucking with you Dr. Rob. I know threatening someone with violence is “not the answer,” but in this case it might be…You can borrow my brass knuckles if you want. Or, you can put oil or vaseline on his doorknob so he can’t open it. I mean, there is a whole fesces routine as well, but that is neither here nor there. Yes, I am probably the most immature 35 yr old ever, and yes, I believe that sometimes fighting fire with fire is the best way….or at least the most fun…

  12. Anonymous says:

    I doubt two clients in a row gave enough of a shit about the lettering on your door to make jokes about it. But I understand, this is sweeps week and all… pulling out the big guns, ‘ey?

  13. […] I had mentioned I recently moved into a new office suite. The noise reduction there isn’t bad at all, but on […]

  14. […] angered and worried the managing company of the building. That pleased me tremendously because, as discussed, management and I don’t like each other. So to see them up in arms over something ridiculous […]