You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Chairman of the Bored

Randy and I attended our first annual condo association meeting last night. Out of 22 units, there were representatives for 12 units present (two by proxy, technically).

It was a pretty straightforward meeting, and much more uneventful than the ones I attended in one of my previous condos. When Matt and I lived in Salem our condo building had 107 units and held meetings every quarter. At the time, I was the youngest tenant in the building (I was in my 3o’s) and the majority of residents were elderly retirees.

Anyway, all of the the meetings dragged on as pasty white seniors complained about every little thing, from the curtains in the lobby to not wanting to maintain the indoor pool/gym. Living on fixed budgets, they all wanted to cut corners at, well, every corner.

Overall, last night’s meeting was far different. There was only one retiree (grumpy, but humorous) and the population of the complex is much more diverse. However, there is always one person who stands out. Last night, we’ll call him Guresh (at least, that’s as close as I could tell his name was because of his heavy accent).

After the property manager ran through the previous years expenses and next years budget, he opened up the table for conversations/concerns. Guresh spoke first. I knew we were in for something bad when he started speaking and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Oh lord, here we go.

For at least the next ten minutes he ranted on about snow plowing. Apparently, from what I could understand, he was upset because our snowing contractor is too efficient. He is happy with the results (admitting they do a good job). He’s also content with the pricing (we pay per inch, not per the number of visits).

His concern? Plowing is loud.

Seriously. We had to listen to him kvetch for 10 minutes about how plowing is disturbing to him and he finds it obscene that during a snow fall, the plows will arrive more than once to plow the driveway area. He said the noise is disturbing and when the snow plow recently came at 3PM and then again at 11PM, it managed to keep him awake all night.

Honestly, a plow being present for 30 minutes causes him to be awake all night long? If a 30 minute distraction prevents sleep for 8 hours, I think he’s got bigger issues than a snow plow.

Anyway, you could see in the eyes of every other resident that they were ready to move on. Whenever Guresh would stop talking to see how others felt, nobody would respond. Then somebody would ask what, exactly, Guresh would like done since nobody else seemed to have an issue…and since snow plowing is essentially a given up here in New England.

Guresh would have no answer, and just start repeating his case again and again. Ugh.

The meeting finally ended with nominations for a new board member. Randy kept nudging me to nominate myself, but after hearing Guresh, and having only lived there for 5 months, I wasn’t sure I was ready to run for office. However, if nobody else offered after a lengthy silence, I figured I might consider it. But then Randy, bless his heart, jumped in and said “I nominate myself.”

And he received a unanimous vote. Yep, I can now proudly say that I’m sleeping with a member of the board.


  1. Comment by Chris on March 11, 2010 8:44 pm

    Ugh. I know too well wonderful world of the condo board trustee. At our last meeting I declined to run since I’d pretty much had enough fun over the previous four years. But since not enough people volunteered, I was sort of elected by default.

    Randy will encounter a variety of personalities among the owners/board members. I’ve taken to naming them, based on my own biased judgment/hatred of them. It sounds like you met the archetype I call “The Squeaky Wheel.” This is the person that harps on ad nauseum about the one tiny minor issue that is of concern to them and them only. I’ve been listening to one owner bitch about how the back door closes too loudly for nigh on five years.

    Other people Randy will encounter:

    The Extravagant Cheapskate: “Let’s put a swimming pool on the roof and a petting zoo in the laundry room! But I don’t want condo fees to go up and we can’t have an assessment…. We could get a giraffe!”

    Captain Outrage: He absolutely cannot believe the shocking incompetence of the management and trustees when he notices some tiny thing amiss. I got furious emails from one person that four flakes of snow fell overnight and it took the plow until the next morning to clear them away. He was slightly inconvenienced so we should all be tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity.

    Miss Letter of the Law: Knows the condo docs like a rabbi knows the Torah. Likes to post passive aggressive notes next to the mailbox stating she noticed that someone appears to have left a high concentration of invisible, inert argon gas in the hallway and according to Chapter 6, Subsection 9, Paragraph 2, Line 4 of the condo docs, common areas are to be kept clear of personal belongings.

    Yeah, the glamour of condo board life. Enjoy!

  2. Comment by Randy on March 11, 2010 10:05 pm

    I know dear lord on me! What was I thinking? Karl has the time, but I had to drive (or stupidity) to volunteer. And I didn’t “Nominate myself” I simply volunteered. I mean in 12 people no one else would and the poor guy leaving was like I really want out! They even went around and were like, come on don’t you want to do it to a few people. I did nudge Karl, but Mr. shy wouldn’t do it.

    And Chris, I cried laughing about your comments. Jez last nights meeting makes me happy its a once yearly meeting and it make me think of “Frazier” on TV and his condo meetings!


  3. Comment by Jeffrey on March 12, 2010 6:05 pm

    I wanted to comment at length, but I just put the finishing touches on my “Noiseless Snowplow” prototype, and I’m having a bitch of a time finding a silent truck to push it.

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.