The ‘Body Corporate AGM meeting with imposing Table.

If your life ever gets to a point where you need to take a break from neck breaking activity, intellectual (pouring over nothingness) or otherwise (pouring concrete), consider going to meetings, especially official meetings. We went to one yesterday, and I have never felt more ready for action than afterwards, any action.

As we entered the meeting room some people were seated already. There was a nod and a formal murmur of ‘morn’ from people that we see almost daily. Do AGM meetings make people change into frozen officious beings, trapped into a pre-destined kind of ‘meeting type?’ The metamorphosis from ‘normal being’ to ‘meeting being’ happens as soon as one is within the range of a large oversized table with the ‘minutes of the last meeting’ distributed out for all the members to ruminate over. The table is so large and intimidating that all seated around it immediately appear much smaller than usual.

The sensible thing to do would be to appear incognito. I wondered what the reactions would be appearing in my Batman Outfit, mask and all. A hushed silence followed with a move away from my chair? Would procedures cheer up a bit? I cannot fathom the rigidity of the ridiculous format that AGM’s or any meetings really seem to adopt.

No wonder they don’t work. There is never an excuse for doing things the most stifling, the most mind bogglingly boring way. Do they hold meetings like that in Cuba or Bali, Mexico?

Anyway, someone asked if there was a ‘quorum’ present. Yes, someone enthused. Ok, let’s start with the agenda. No, not yet. Why not? We haven’t passed the last minutes from the last meeting. Ok, they are now passed. No they are not. We haven’t asked if there are any objections to the last minutes. And so it goes on and on and zzzzzz…

Item 1 on the agenda is the report on Fire Hazards and archive fees. Ah great, really, really great stuff, can’t wait for Item 2.

May I ask you for a dance? Shall we visit the local morgue, a bit of tap-dancing, feed the ducks?

No; Item 3 now. Anyone thought of passing Miscellaneous Expenses?

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12 Responses to “The ‘Body Corporate AGM meeting with imposing Table.”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Your meetings need 1) a good company secretary and 2) a good Chairperson. Please, please, please Gerard, post a photo of you in your Batman outfit.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I know. But, I am beyond salvage. I once was nominated as returning officer for the local Australian Labor Party in Balmain, NSW. They held a reunion some while ago. I was amazed that some remembered, I generally just mumbled my way through and never ever remembered the correct formula.
      Sadly, my batman days are over having been chased through a park once by lots of kids who thought I was an imposter. They were right but it was an undignified escape into a public toilet where I ditched my Batman outfit and was then forced to deny I was the imposter.


  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Let’s invite the ducks, tap dance around the morgue, wearing your batman outfit, and I will dig out my catwoman clothes. That should shake them up! No ?Gerald, I have to tell you that all meetings, here or there are pretty much the same. Too much talking and not enough action, and only people who have nothing else to do, go to them!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Kaytisweet,

      I have yet to go to a meeting that was interesting or energizing. I have now developed an aversion to formal meetings. I break out in a sweat and become focused on the physical accoutrements of the attendants such as the way they move their lips while speaking or how they move about. I totally lose interest in any subject matter at hand and prefer to speculate on the state of their marriages or relationships and even imagine them sitting there in the nude with sagging bits all shriveled like myself . Anything but to concentrate on the agenda.
      It is so hopeless with me.


  3. roughseasinthemed Says:

    What Andrew said. I’m available for both functions.

    I don’t know who is running your meetings but they are no good at it.

    First off, the minutes should be sent out in advance not distributed at the meeting.

    Secondly, you don’t need to ask if there is a quorum, it’s only when a meeting isn’t quorate that it is an issue and that is the role of the comp sec to determine.

    Thirdly, Approve the minutes of the last meeting should be an item on the agenda, and it’s not the first item, preceded by apols and dec of interests. You don’t ask for objections. The default is to approve them and if someone isn’t happy it’s up to them to say so. Is there a matters arising item?

    Fourthly, we have a small room, small table and basic chairs in a room for free at the community hall over the road.

    Fifthly, most of us, apart from our freeholder who dresses like a 1920s gangster, turn up in our casual clothes.

    Sixthly, did you get an agenda in advance? Were there any supporting papers?

    Seventhly, there shouldn’t be any other business unless it is urgent and was not able to be notified to the board sec before the papers were sent out (what papers I am wondering, given the hand out of the minutes).

    And eighthly before you fall asleep at my rant, items should be placed on the agenda in order of priority. I don’t see the connection between fire hazards and archive fees. Is there not a finance section? because archive fees and misc exes should go under that.

    Forgot ninthly, we are on first name terms, I try and keep it informal but I will NOT have more than one person speaking at once or departing from the agenda. If they want to put an item on the agenda they should tell me beforehand – and provide a paper 🙂

    What the hell is this meeting? It sounds terrible.

    My agenda is:

    Council procedures, includes apols, dec of interests and minutes

    Financial business, I&E report and any significant bills for discussion

    Block maintenance, ie what we’ve done and what we can consider doing subject to funds

    Date and time of next meeting

    Private part of meeting to discuss those toerags who are defaulting on block charges


    I don’t want to see your batman outfit. Especially if you wear it a la John Major.

    It goes without saying that I wrote about meetings:


  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Geez roughseasinthemed ,

    Can you give us a list about subjects that you haven’t written about. I am in awe. How’s the ankle? I know you dislike quacks as much as I avoid meetings but how do you know your ankle doesn’t need an xray and a possible cast? Hairline fractures are hard of healing and Gibraltar is uneven and very rocky terrain to navigate hobbling about.
    I hope you are not obstinate. How far is your letterbox from the front door.?
    A bit miffed you don’t want to see me in a batman suit but as this uniform was ditched in a toilet near the NSW art gallery, I have to disappoint you anyway.
    As for meetings. At the last AGM of our Body Corporate a few days ago I was nominated by someone as chairman. I declined but am totally perplexed why anyone sees anything in me. I always clearly am up front with a strong dislike of formality and normality. Chairpersons have to be excruciatingly normal.


    • roughseasinthemed Says:

      TV. I don’t write about TV. Although I might do soon as I have watched some You Tube vids of books I have read.


      Current pop music.


      Fashion/clothes/consumerism. OK, I have written about consumerism but only in terms of It Is Not A Good Thing.

      That will have to do, as obviously I have written about everything else on five blogs over six years.

      Crepe bandage will do. Why do I need an X-ray to tell me it is poorly? I know that.

      I’ve had the fracture before, and it took months even with the op and the cast. I’ll live with whatever it is.

      I haven’t ventured out of the flat yet. Come the weekend ….

      I am not remotely obstinate. Occasionally single-minded.

      Letterbox is irrelevant. Partner can pick up the mail.

      I don’t like batman at the best of times so just as well you ditched the outfit. I’ve been to that art gallery.

      I am not remotely formal or normal and manage to chair meetings perfectly well. Why did you decline? You could have brought some semblance of reality to your meetings.

      Oh and my meetings last 30-40 mins so no-one has chance to fall asleep. Meetings are only as good as the people who turn up. Chair/sec just has to make sure it happens and the right decisions are taken.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I know from chairing meetings that humor is frowned upon and I can’t stand officiousness and would prefer no agenda and just sitting around with a coffee and talk about anything except business at hand. So, you can see it is all pretty hopeless.
        Years ago, in the early sixties, I was chairman (person) of the Parramatta Lambretta Scooter club. All hell broke loose when a girl wanted to join with a Vespa scooter. There were those who could not care less and others bickering about ‘watering down’ the Lambretta ethics. It became total war.
        Look, today there are hundreds of police sorting out murderous gangs of Comancheros and Bandidos, Hells Angels etc. Who would want to chair those meetings risking machine guns and bazookas at any moment to burst in and disturb the meeting spraying bullets around. At my age? You must be joking.


  5. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Wow.too funny- the post, etc. I laughed until I cried. I looked at the photo closely. If that is one from the “meeting” it is FUNNY.

    The “speaker’s” expression is a cross btween bemused and tight lipped. One man is hold his lips together with his fore finger with his thumb supportign his chin in what seems to be an attempt to keep his mouth from gaping open and his chin dropping should anyone say something that he does not agree with. The other man in the photo is holding a hand over his nose in an attempt not to smell what I presume might be a rat at the meeting.

    The photo is a classic. I’ve seen all those expressions and attended poorly run meetings as the one you described here. Again this post was hilarious..


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I am sure that photo reflects the typical “Meeting”.
      I must have got a gene from my father who detested meetings as well. There is no answer and I am sure they serve a purpose.
      Next door to us is a man who loves meetings. He has a special jacket which he dons at meetings. He folds his arms and looks around the table almost triumphantly before anything even gets passed. He breathes heavily and then comes out with words he would have practised all morning in front of the bathroom mirror. After the meeting he rocks backwards on his heels and is drunk with power.
      Sadly, he also grows camellias but that is another area altogether, which I will regale extensively in the future.


  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    During childhood and my teens I accompanied my mother to meetings. She ran everything within reach. She was brilliant and patient and busy and cared about people and tried to make things better.

    Nevertheless, I have successfully failed to join a single committee in my life.


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