I mentioned a day or so ago that I was massively pissed off concerning the condo association. And since I've moved from nearly-incoherent rage to amused observation, let's see if I can condense the entire ridiculous thing into an entertaining but short shitshow review.
1. We have a new condo board; one veteran, and two newbies. The newbies were greeted with relief by those of us who did our stints on the board.
2. They've talked about cleaning our storage basement for some time. We usually clean it up every couple of years, when stored bikes proliferate and a lot of stuff that can't fit in our very small storage cages overflows onto the floor. Still, there's always been a fair amount of flexibility. For example, they let one of our old steel shelving units stay in an alcove for 17 years because we offered it as extra storage space for anyone who needed some, an offer taken up by a lot of folks.
3. That changed this year. The two newbies embarked on an extreme and rigid cleanup plan, citing sections of the homeowners' rules stating nothing except shoes can be kept on front landings. No previous board hewed to the letter of that, possibly because there's a section that says the board can make exceptions. But that wasn't what the newbies wanted; they wanted nothing but shoes. OK, fine, understandable for the front stairwells. But they extended the order to our rear stairwells, which people have used as more necessary storage space, especially those of us with condos smaller than 1,000 sq. feet. We're in one of the 3 smallest condos, but our rear stairwell space was huge, much larger than rear landings on higher floors. We used the space; so did others. Again, there was a great deal of flexibility.
4. Bob and I were in Seattle when the final association meeting was held; the agenda simply said there would be discussion of the cleanup, and Harlan was our main focus, so we missed our chance to debate this. We came back from Seattle and started to clean up our rear area, which I admit had gotten pretty overstuffed with stuff.
6. I asked via email about the storage basement alcove situation. No response. I contacted them again with an offer to buy a large set of shelving at our expense, put it up in our stairwell area, and let our maintenance person and smaller unit owners make use of the area. No response.
7. I ran into the two newbies on two separate occasions; one had the grace to look sheepish about not responding. I emphasized that we were adhering to the ruling, cleaning our stuff up, and really should have attended the Zoom meeting to talk about it. But I also said that treating all units equally wasn't the same as treating all units equitably, since most owners have similar storage needs, but owners of larger units have more space to handle those needs than smaller units. I took the second newbie into our stairwell area (he'd never been there), showed the usable space, gave my equal treatment vs. equitable treatment argument, and again offered to buy the shelving. I said I'd let the idea percolate with them.
8 Shortly before the deadline they'd set for people to label and store their items properly or have it thrown out - and I'll give them this; they did give folks multiple warnings - I emailed them again, recapped the situation to date, asked for a response, and also asked about a couple of other storage related issues that were unclear. No response.
9. Two nights ago, they sent out a final notice to everyone that included a paragraph saying "We understand some people (Some people?) want to put storage into the rear stairwells, but that wouldn't be fair to the larger unit owners, since they pay more assessment dues."
10. Wut. First, you didn't bother to get back to me. Second, these are newbies who are also looking to change the formula used to set cable costs from using square footage - again because "it's not fair to the large unit owners, since they get the same service as smaller unit owners." I can see that, but are those of us with small condos chopped liver? Don't we deserve some fairness, at least regarding storage? I remind y'all that BB and I managed to clean most of our stuff up without needing much of the proposed extra shelving, so this would have benefitted the other small unit owners more than us. And frankly, I would have been happy to open it up to the poor benighted large unit owners, especially since I'm not at all sure they knew what was going on and can't be blamed for the newbies' asshattery.
11. Yesterday, after I stewed all Tuesday night, I wrote an email that said "I wish you'd extended me the courtesy of a direct response. I don't bite, we've already showed that we're abiding by your rules - and we've already said we understand if you don't want to accept the offer. Our offer to you will stand; if the board changes policy, reach out to us, and we will make good on it. We're not going to sulk about this. I'd just have appreciated some response." The "you uncivilized young brats" went unsaid.
12. I got a "We're sorry if you were upset (which, as we all know meant they weren't sorry at all). But we felt it was better to answer everyone in the same email." That made about as much sense as the Flat Earth Society. But by that time I was in the "Fuck these fuckwits; I have better things to do than fight with them" mood. I sent a brief email back saying "Thank you for the response, I appreciate the information. Have a great Labor Day Weekend." I called it a day. I also went down to the storage basement, spotted boxes belonging to one absent unit owner, and one owner who is physically unable to put items where they needed to go, and made sure their goods weren't junked, and that they knew where I'd placed them.
13. Today, a new owner who had planned to label his bike before this morning's deadline (yes, he should have done it a couple of weeks ago, but he'd been told that the junk deadline was this morning) went down around 8 a.m., an hour before the official final deadline - and discovered the newbie board members had taken his bike and donated it along with some other bikes at least two and possibly three days earlier. You know; before the deadline. Days before the deadline.
14. He went ballistic in his own email, which he shared with every other unit owner. They got defensive, asked why he had to air a "private" discussion with everyone else, and offered to try to get his bike back. Then they made the mistake of trying to excuse what they did, and I'm not even going to share their excuse because it was pathetic. Finally, they made a truly bad mistake by saying "We all have day jobs so we can't be expected to get everything done right." Cue some remarkably elegant sarcasm from the bike owner.
15. I just sat back and smiled a great big smile. I told BB "I bet they wish they only had me to deal with."
This schadenfreude pie is really tasty.
Yes, I am that petty.
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