If I was to analyze the most paralyzing reasons why I procrastinate, being a meanie would be at the top. It’s not conflict, per se, I try to avoid, it’s having to adopt a harsh or hostile aspect.
Where is this all stemming from? Good question. If you’ve been following along for a while now, you know I have issues with my homeowner’s association (HOA). Incredibly, they are all tree-related.
For example, 17 years ago, I had a battle with them over a Java plum tree in front of my house. The issue was only reconciled by my becoming threatening towards the association.
Then, Wilma hit and the large tree behind my home savaged my roof. Then there was the root issue (detailed in the link off to the right) with the same tree.
Finally, there was Irma, the hurricane from last year. She came through and looked around and saw that self-same tree in the back. Thanks to Irma, not one, not two, but three tree limbs clobbered my and my neighbor’s roofs.
The damage was expensive. It was also avoidable. Prolonged discussions with the HOA about removing the tree had previously proved fruitless. After Irma (and $3,400 of roof repairs), I reopened the discussion with the HOA about the tree.
I apologize. I chose the wrong word. “Discussion” implies more than one conversant. What I got in reply to my entreaties was silence.
No reply whatsoever. Not to emails sent since last September. Not to several phone calls.
One time, I actually got the association manager on the phone (he must not have recognized the name). He actually agreed with me about the problem and claimed he was taking it to the board.
That was back in November. No further word has been received via phone or email.
During this entire period, I have been polite and respectful in all communications. I have shelved my famous sarcasm and kept the tone direct and courteous.
My neighbor who had her roof co-damaged told me I should get mean. My other next door neighbor, upon hearing my tale, told me I should get mean. Even my family and friends told me I should get mean.
I don’t like being mean.
So, I sat, frozen, for the first week of January. I knew I needed to follow up on the issue, but I couldn’t bring myself to write nasty. Even though polite has gotten us nowhere.
Finally, this morning, I sent another email. It was polite, but cold. It also carried an implied threat: ignore me once more and I will take it as the HOA’s position that they also think I should get mean.
I can do that. After all, I worked in Corporate America; in management. Being a meanie is in the job duties.
I’m just uncomfortable being a meanie. It’s why I could never advance beyond a certain level in Corporate America and why I was frozen for the first week of the year.
But, I’ve laid down my “gauntlet”. I’ll throw another phone call at the HOA later this week and then I’ll move on to meanie.
Beating an HOA is nearly impossible. That’s not even part of my “meanie” plan. But I don’t need to “win” to claim victory in this battle.
I only have to be a meanie.