Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What is required to get along where we live and feel good about life?

I have been pondering that question more this last few days, due to an event that very recently transpired. I live in this large complex (in the photo) that was once a fine luxury hotel built back in 1928 which eventually aged to the point that owners sold it to people who transformed it into a HUD complex for retired seniors and disabled. Their present contract with HUD still has 27 or so years to run, during which time it can't be sold to anyone else for other purposes. So many buildings have since been built downtown to house people I do not expect it to be anything else but a HUD complex for years to come.
I love it because it has a large pool where I can exercise every summer despite the raging 110 degree heat in Phoenix. I also like the ambience of a building with such a long history of people activity. I feel many ghosts of the past roaming here along with the present tenants.
I have at different times during the ten years I have lived here involved myself in resident activities including participation in tenant organizations from time to time. I have always thought that the biggest difficulty the residents have in making these activities work is getting along with each other! It seems that many come to live in here not exactly programmed to see eye to eye with anybody else. I don't know why that is, I only know that the results have been a great many squabbles over just about anything that was proposed we do, until I would weary of fighting and withdraw.
So the other night a poster was put up on my floor and also on my door inviting me to a meeting being called to talk about the idea of tenants buying the building so they could run it in a more pleasing manner, apparently, than our management is doing. Well, tenants might understand tenants' viewpoints better, but it takes getting along to have a successful tenants organization let alone do anything so far out as buy the building. And at a time when credit is frozen and hardly anyone is able to buy anything when the banks aren't lending.
The tenant who called the meeting, a long time participator in tenants affairs, said he had been asked what board would not be voted out that would have to be responsible? He said oh a permanent board would be appointed that could not be voted out! I thought what? How?
One lady interrupted almost before he could get anything else said that she thought this was a ridiculous idea, and she was so indignant she could not be persuaded to let anybody else have their say, and kept interrupting and getting louder and louder. Soon both the man proposing the idea of buying the building and another supporter were exchanging gentle shouts with her, and I finally interrupted, said that when I saw this poster I thought it was mainly designed to let management know for the nth time that tenants were not happy with her management, even if we did not manage to buy the building, and I walked out. I have been heartily objecting for some time to poster wars of a negative nature being posted on our bulletin boards. That is simply carrying tenant war too far, I think, making all of us participants by being unable to avoid reading them. This poster announcing the meeting with such a sensational proposal as buying the bulding seemed more of the same. Not practical. Not realistic, but capable of giving management another little sting. And maybe some satisfaction achieved. (Petty)
In order to get my opinion in there I felt forced to raise my voice which upset me all the rest of the night and yesterday. I am sure elevated my blood pressure. And made me feel more isolated than ever in here, which I don't like.
I maintain that the tenants who proposed this idea which brought out quite a gathering to the ballroom were being more emotional than reasonable and got back an emotional backlash almost immediately.
Buying the building is such an unlikely possibility in this day and age, considering the difficulties the billionaires are experiencing that it is hardly even worth proposing, considering that such proposal could have a negative effect. To think a group of tenants such as we could buy this building is just too absurd, viewing how we get along. They maintained this had been done in Salt Lake and Texas, back in the dark ages I would assume. Not recently I am sure.
I might add that I also don't hate the management here. And I think any clashes tenants have had with this present management are probably as much their fault as managements, if it got ugly. I consider this complex to be quite well run, and I have lived in a lot of apartment complexes that weren't. But the manager is a woman, and the tenants who have clashed with her the most in recent years I see as mainly being men who have a problem with authority, let alone woman authority. I don't feel I am respected by these men either, or I would not be sitting on the sidelines most of the time when it comes to tenants' affairs because the battles are too heated for me. I have invariably clashed with some male tenant who tried to shout me down when we disagreed. I am 78 years old, unable to hold my own very long in a shouting match with men 20 to 30 years younger. As soon as people start shouting, I am forced to withdraw or pay for the drain on my energy with several down days.
If men interested in tenant affairs cannot hold on to their tempers and respect the opinions of others, I see little hope of us getting together to do anything successfully. Reason flies out the window when emotions get hot. What do you think?


Pamela said...

I absolutely agree with you. If they can't even hold a civil meeting how do they expect to run that big place? There are financial concerns to take care of...maintenance...and all that goes with it. It would be a nightmare. I don't see the financial benefit of owning a part of it. They would be asking for money left and right. With a house there is always some sort of maintenance to do. With a building like would be a nightmare! Where would they get the money? From you tenants?
Looking forward to seeing you in March.

sober white women said...

Your place sounds great. I just hope that everyone can get along! It is sad when people are so closed minded that they can't see another view point.

Paula said...

Don't you hate it when older people act so childish? It seems like a nice place to live so I hope somehow someway someone works the problems out.

Joyce said...

I hope, down the road, these that are in disagreement, can see the light. Your place sounds like a lovely place to live, hugs and love,


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