I have noticed that my willingness to volunteer, coupled with my inability to shut up, has led me to leadership positions of a number of not-for-profit organizations. And though these tasks may be personally if not financially rewarding, they are often more positive in retrospect as opposed to while I am in the middle of my term or chairmanship. After volunteering over 25 hours per week as president of a chamber of commerce, I was forced by Jeff, my business partner, to pledge that I would never again serve on any chamber board. I’m still on a couple of boards, just not as president and never on a chamber of commerce.
The ladies (it is always the ladies) of our building hosted a party last Wednesday. I came home to find the gathering in our lobby, directly between me and the mailbox, so I had little choice but to participate. It is not that I am anti-social. I still have the unpleasant memory of a nosy neighbor, 20+ years ago, that transformed me into a “Hi” and “Have a nice day” kind of guy.
The party started around 5 PM. There was wine, cheese, vegetables with hummus, and some Napoleon-like torte, homemade and impossibly cut into squares 1 inch by 1 inch and close to 3 inches high.
Into this festive occasion I chose to broach a serious issue. I prefaced my comments by clearly stating that I had NO INTEREST in serving on the condo association board and that I really liked living here in Woodhawk. (By the way, we all really love Woodhawk and say it constantly. I looked for cameras in the lobby wondering if this effusiveness was real or for some unseen monitor when I first moved in. No cameras. It is real.) But the board, at the staff’s request, locked the room to the dumpsters last year. Disposing of larger items and boxes through the chutes can be a hassle. Throwing stuff directly into the dumpsters was more convenient. But the board never talked to us, the condo owners of the building before or after. Their communication skills rival those of my two year old granddaughter.
This discussion lasted about fifteen minutes. It was interrupted by shouts of “You should run for the board” and “Yes, but we really love it here.” I reminded my neighbors that I was at least ten years too young to be on a condo board. In the end it was decided that, all in all, the locked dumpsters was a mild inconvenience and that the board must have had a good reason. And that I should run for president of our condo association.
And there you have it. People want me to run for office and my platform will be garbage.
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So, not that it has ever happened, but if Sally and I ever had a big fight and she decided that she wasn’t talking to me, all I would need to do is take her on a plane and put on my headphones…