Thursday, July 30, 2009

Condo madness

I am on my condo association's board. And let's just say it's not all that much fun.

At first it seemed like a really good idea. A way to take my Type A personality and make sure that I was involved and had a say in what was going on. But, dude, it's been difficult to say the least.

We've been working on a construction project that has taken the better part of last summer and this summer to complete. Let's just say that most of our time is taken up with either working around the fickle Chicago weather or trying to get the fickle contractors, subcontractors, and assorted handymen out to our property to work on stuff. Add in an architect/engineering firm and 23 residents and it's been an absolute nightmare to organize. Luckily we have a management company (who some of the residents don't like... and I would quit if we didn't have them around!) who coordinates a lot of the work. But it's difficult for them too - they have multiple other buildings they manage so they only have so much time to execute a project management role. Additionally, there are many snafus - right after the stairwells were painted, someone tracked the black paint out onto the sidewalk. Then, Right after we sealed the sidewalk someone let their dog walk through the sealant and tracked the (grey) sealant back out into the stairwells.

Oy. It's like herding cats.

Heading up my Beef List on the condo association are two things in particular:
  • Everyone complains about everything.
  • No one ever comes to the meetings we have and no one wants to serve on the board. I don't get this... why spend roughly a hojillion dollars on something and then not give a flying rip about how it's managed? The meetings are IN our building and we give people two weeks' notice.... how does no one show up?! Plus since no one shows up we are scraping by trying to get people to serve on the board. Last time the only three people who showed to the meeting HAD to be officers.
What I've taken from this is that no one actually wants to help work on anything, they just want to complain. I somehow feel like I'm back in the sorority. Except back then people fought tooth and nail for offices b.c that established the sorority-girl hierarchy.

Add in the fact that everyone wants to do something else to the property, and if we did all these things the condo association would have no money whatsoever. But if we don't do them then we are automatically not listening to the residents.... I would like to just get this big construction project done and THEN talk about other minor improvements that can be done. One step at a time, my peeps.

Hubs has said he'll take over my board seat if it gets to be too much for me, but my Type A Control Freak personality wigs a little over even him taking it over. I guess that Hubs taking over would be a better scenario than someone else altogether taking it over, right?? If I could even GET someone else to take it over!

I guess I'm starting to see why people avoid condo associations. At least ours doesn't dictate too much about how we live our lives... I've heard some ridiculous horror stories.

So what do you think? Stick it out? Make Hubs take over? Say to heck with it? Has anyone else had condo association madness?


Mich said...

You should really just let Milly take over your seat on the board.

Anonymous said...

it's about being an adult working with other adults who have nothing to lose by complaining all the time - it is like this in every big city on most boards - unfortunately it is a fact of life so you probably need to question your ultimate goal by staying involved and your need for control

Anonymous said...

meaning: if your goal/expectations are to change the people or the building or the coordination it is probably not going to happen