Our council is pretty on top of things so I’m usually keen to stay home and send in my proxy – I know what I want and listening to other people blather on so they can feel they’ve been heard isn’t high on my list of things to do.
My wife, however, threw this one under the umbrella of “spending time together” (I’m not sure where that logic runs but I’m trained well enough not to question her) and so I went.
I should have known things were not going to go well when, as we were leaving the compound, um… I mean complex, my eyes were assailed by one of the Children of the Strata lying in the middle of the road attempting to break dance. I implored my wife to floor it and take down this genetic wasteland before a) he could pro-create and further damage the gene pool and b) he brought break dancing back and got rich doing it (quick poll: which is worse?).
Fortunately for Elmo the Genetic Throwback, my wife feels for dumb animals (I’m not complaining, it’s why she married me) and didn’t listen. As we drove by this kid stared at us as he danced slack jawed and drooling with a “Look what I can do…” expression pasted on his determined and vacant eyed little face I forgot to check to see if he was wearing cursed shoes… maybe that was it.
In the first 20 minutes I knew this was to be a strata meeting like any other strata meeting (or at least like I’d imagined them – as I said I’m usually pretty good about worming out of these things) when the woman interjected with an inane point that proceeded to spark 15 minutes of pointless conversation. The thing is, where more than 5 people are gathered one of these people will be a stupidity emitter that will dampen down the common sense of all nearby individuals – the moment someone says: “I just wanted to say…” you know you’re in for something especially dumb because this person will have no point other than to hear their voice.
But all this is beside the point (happily I had to go home and look after the kids as we’d only booked Oma for ½ hr), my point is about punctuality (well it was before I went on too long so I’ll touch briefly on the topic).
Yesterday’s meeting started at 6:30. To set the ground work here there are 30+ units in the strata and there were about 18 of them there on time; after that in waltzed another 3 or 4 people as if they expected the entire proceedings to wait for them. Thanks to them the meeting couldn’t get into full swing for about 15 minutes into it (and that’s when the walking brain freeze said: “Excuse me, I just wanted to say…”). What could have easily been a half hour meeting went on much longer and only thanks to the children at home did I get to leave early and miss the rest of it.
It’s a shame that you can’t pick your neighbours because if I did I would not chose the sort of person who shows such casual disrespect as to arrive late to a meeting where ALL YOUR NEIGHBOURS ARE WAITING FOR YOU and probably expect the entire proceedings to wait for them. This is reflective of another of the “commons” that isn’t common – like common sense there also seems to be no such thing as common courtesy.
It doesn’t seem like a good idea to piss off your neighbours (that being said if you’re my neighbour and you’re reading this I am, of course, not talking about you (unless you’re the break dancing kid – STOP DANCING!)).
So my brief foray into the world of strata meetings reinforced everything I thought it would be – and now I have a phobia about going to these things again… you might say I have a … wait for it… wait for it… stratas-fear!