Tuesday, July 17, 2007

True achievement!

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that 'achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.'
Helen Hayes (1900 - 1993)

Last spring I was asked by a neighbour if I would become a member of the Board of Directors for the condominium I live in. Now, I’m not exactly up there in the “involved in my community” category, but since I do hand over a significant chunk of change to these folks each month I figured it might be good to understand better what it was being used for.

I arrived just in the nick of time – for the first special assessment the owners here have ever had in nearly 30 year of existence. Turns out our roofs are leaky and the best long term option is a membrane roof. Cool! The money has been collected over the last few years and we are good to go!!!

Or not, since it seems that our attics do not have sufficient fire inhibitors and to upgrade them to meet the building code is going to cost each unit owner $2400. As a member of the board, if we do not do the attic upgrade, we would be liable if there is a fire – not to mention the havoc played with personal home insurance. So now, on top of the usual monthly condo fees, we have had to ask owners to cough up another $70 per month over the next three years.

So, you say – why go with the expensive roof? Why not shingle it instead? Well, every time we put on shingles the damn thing leaks – it’s a structural problem based on bad initial design that affects property values.

The owners are now staging a revolt, or coup or mutiny. However you want to characterize it, its ugly and involves words like “corrupt” and “misleading”. Everyday my neighbours are scurrying around and talking in hushed tones. People who normally don’t give each other the time of day are uniting in anger and pointing fingers at a group of volunteers that unfortunately includes me.

So I have achieved a couple of interesting first for me: first time on a Board of Directors, and probably a first time being kicked off one.

Clearly, success will have to wait for a little while longer. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep on knitting these.

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)


Chriss said...

It's always difficult to be the "bad guy". And that's why it's so hard to find people to volunteer for boards etc. Good thing you have knitting and spinning to keep you cool!

J. said...

that bites, hang in there and keep on knitting! will we see yo tonight? It was great to have you there last month and I am sorry that I did not get to chat with you more. I am not sure if yo heard us but we were plaotting a going away party - Aug.4 at my house if your free - there will a potluck and kool-aid yarn dying! lots of fun to be had.

nancy said...

Its sad really - I live in a 10 year old condo that had major roof problems too. We had this one lady who was president of the board for the first 7 years - and kept telling everyone else that our we were "MAKING UP" the fact that our roof leaked. It did get nasty - but we were vindicated during the mandatory structural assessment report when the determined that they never actually put a hole through the roof under our dryer vent - and it was venting in our cathedral ceiling. (among other things - like absolutely no flashing) keep up the good work!

Anita said...

I love your blog, and I'm going to buy the knitting with one skein book! I meant to make it to the meet-up at Bridgehead but kiddies soccer foiled my plans. My friend Amy and I are turning 40 in Ottawa this year, and we decided to give ourselves a birthday present - we are funding shipments of hand-knit items to afghans for Afghans in September. For Christmas, we're funding shipments of hand-knit to the Innu of Labrador and the Dulaan Project (Mongolia). Right now our challenge is reaching out to the community to get people knitting! Yarn Forward is a collection point for the campaign in Ottawa. I'm wondering if you'd consider passing on the info about the project in your blog? If yes, please fire me an e-mail, and I'll post a link from your blog to our! anitaDOTbarewalATrogers.com

Anita said...

Probably would help if I listed the blog name


Heather said...

Your attitude is great for this. Seriously, I would have been so discouraged by it all, but you are taking it in stride. It's awful that'll you might end up taking the fall. Hopefully these people learn that working together is more productive than pointing fingers.

Thanks for the comment on my blog btw :) To respond: I appreciate your encouragement on the craftroom ;) I have to remember it's just paint and that anything I do can be changed. Plus, it's our house! :D It's not like I have a landlord to answer to.

Jeanne said...

Wow - sounds like a very difficult position. How frustrating that you are trying to do a good thing and getting grief for it. Hope things improve! Mittens are amazing - pictures!