So I left work early (6:45) so I could go to the Co-Op meeting on passing a flip-tax in my building. It's generally a good thing and I was already going to vote in favor of it, but I figured I would go and hear what they had to say and perhaps meet some people in the building.
Somebody was expressing some annoyance to the board members that there was not enough information being made available to the owners. Bear in mind, that it has bothered me as well that I don't really have any insight as to what happens on the board. There is no regular report, no minutes published on the web site for the building. All we have to go on is the annual meeting and special meetings held when there is something to vote on.
The reality is that the board is composed of all volunteers, and it's apparently alot of work to make the information available. Fair enough - you get what you pay for, and I can appreciate them getting a bit agitated about people complaining, especially since they are volunteers and there is an open seat on the board that they can't get anyone to step up and volunteer to fill. In fact, they practically begged someone to volunteer. The head of the board actually said to the group, "Of course, there is a seat open on the board, and if you want to be more involved you should volunteer to fill it."
So after the meeting, I introduced myself to the head of the board, and while I admitted that I'm a software engineer and not a lawyer or an accountant or an architect, that if there was any way I could help out I would like to.
The head of the board looked at me, and said, "Um, ok, well do you have a card?" I gave him my card and he replied, "well, ok, well we will have to see where to take it from here." As in, he had sized me up and effectively said "don't call us, we'll call you". It was in his voice.
Woah, I haven't felt rejection like that since I was back in high school. Holy crap.
Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't wearing a suit, and I outright admitted that I didn't have alot of experience with such things. But his reaction was really something. It was like I had offended him just by inquiring if there was anything I could contribute.