Thursday, February 08, 2007

sitting on the sidelines throwing rotten eggs

For eight years I sat as president of my Condo, and performed all sorts of task in the most conscientious manner I could. I took my job seriously and did my best to look out for the homeowners in my Condo. Last November I resigned and let a new President take over.

This was a very difficult thing to do. Sort of like a manager handing over the reins to a new manager, but more like a parent letting a child go and make its own decisions, or worse watch your child as it rears its own children. It is not easy to do. Matter of fact it is downright difficult. There are times when you want to grab them as say something like "what the hell do you think you're doing, that is not the way to do it, this is" or something like that. But you bite your tongue and hold back, because a) they are adults, and b) it is their child they are raising.

But being a former President of a condo is somewhat different as well. I am still a homeowner, with the same rights and privileges as before, and the board may not like what I have to say but they have to listen. Why, because I can be very loud and abrasive when I get upset.

My ex, the Wicked Witch of the North, did have some things she used to do or say that I did listen to, not many but some. One of them was a version of the old saw that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, or in my case if you want someones attention, wait until you have a large audience and then in the loudest voice you can muster make sure that they, and everyone else knows why you are upset, and what you want them to do.

This doesn't have to be verbal, it can be my email, or even on a website.

The current object of my diatribes are the Boards of both the community and my condo, and the property manager that serves both of them. My complaints have been loud and expressed in a very public forum, where it seems other like minded homeowners are expressing similar objections. It does work

When I moved from Florida to VA I used Beekins Movers, but somewhere along the line between the time they picked up my stuff in Florida and the time they were supposed to drop it off in VA the builder ran into a delay and the mover had to hold on to the stuff. OK, they were very nice, but when it came time to bring my stuff and actually move me in, they were looking for an additional $1500, for storage, unpacking , repacking and delivery. When I asked they said well the original contract ended when they dropped it off at the storage warehouse. And, they wouldn't deliver until I paid, in advance, by check.

I was furious but I paid, because otherwise they wouldn't deliver. I called everyone in the Beekins company and the local storage company. They were adamant - they were within their rights.

The wheel squeaked loudly, I created a series of web pages title I was robbed by Beekins, even used a version of their logo. I published the text of each of their letters and emails, and the names, addresses and phone numbers of each of their corporate officers, and each person I spoke to.

A month later I received a phone call, from the President of Beekins asking what it would take to get the pages off my site. I said I wanted my money back, he asked if there was any way we could compromise. We did, settling on the cost of a few hours of time for three men unloading, loading and unloading my stuff.

I took the site down after I cashed their check. Ah the power of words, and some public embarrassment

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