Posts Tagged ‘Secretary’

From the Dentist Chair

May 3, 2017
IMG_20150516_0001

Rain

The second of May with the 2pm meeting with Craig was getting nearer. I kept looking at the Dental appointment reminder stuck on the fridge held by a magnet. There was no need really. The friendly secretary reminded me of this looming meeting by phone the day earlier. No escape! My internal mouth machinations had already been investigated a few weeks before. The dentist then (Craig) tried to keep up a cheerful demeanour but there was just that split second furrowed brow on his face that hinted at a serious dental journey ahead. At least, there wasn’t a; ‘dear oh dear,’ or a sudden catch of breath from him. The verdict was that all could be saved and an itemised quote would be mailed. It came promptly within a few days. I divided the amount by the number of years I had not visited the dentist. It softened the blow. After checking my savings account I bravely decided to go and front up with the remainder of my mouth, tormented teeth and savings account.

Has anyone noticed that doctors’ waiting rooms have chairs, yet dentists’ rooms have couches or settees? Craig’s waiting room has soft carpet, a kind of grey-beige colour, not unlike the colour of my teeth. It is nicely furnished with three and two seater settees. Not only that! The secretary is also in the same room, cosily seated behind a desk. You can hear her talking demurely in the phone or clicking on the computer. She occasionally threw a reassuring glance over the patient. I was the only patient, so it was nice to know I wasn’t alone. I would not want a stern secretary with all that is awaiting. No, you’ve got to give it to Craig. There is calm and serenity. But, is it before the oral storm yet to unleash its fury?

I have fainted only twice in my life. The first time was in church. Where else?  I was about eleven or twelve and hungry. I had not eaten because this church laid down a law that if you were to receive communion you could not eat. The church had lots of laws that forbade almost anything that was joyful or gave pleasure. Gloom and doom was installed at a very young age. It was winter and standing room only. The church was coal heated with the hot air welling up through steel grates on the floor at the back of the church. I was standing at the back of the church on top of this grate, ready to bolt as soon I received this wafer that promised I would be with angels in case I carked it. ( but only if I had not sinned in the meantime.) I fainted and remember coming around with a woman holding me up telling me to go home. I got hot chips with pickles instead from money mum had given me to put in the collection bag. It used to do the rounds in the church attached to a long wooden stick held by a sickly looking man. A bit like a fishing-rod. Since then I put buttons in and keep the money! A wise move.

While waiting to be called into the dentist’s surgery I was mulling over the fainting history of many years ago. My worst fear was that in my heightened state of a grinding dental infused anxiety, I would not be able to get up from the settee, and instead crumble and fall prostrate in front of the dentist. It would not be a good look in front of the nice reassuring secretary that I had previously given a list answering many questions including an answer to the question about my level of nervousness. I filled in that I had no nervousness at all.

Readers will be happy to know I made it to the dentist chair without much drama.

 

 

 

 

The outlook though the window and why Ivy needs removing.

October 25, 2016

Last Saturday morning at around 10.30 I happened to glance outside the bedroom window. I often look through windows. There is nothing wrong with that. I often wonder why so many windows in Australia are covered, shutting out the possible excitement that might be going on outside. The Venetian blind had a lot to answer for.

The outlook through the window is somewhat marred by a paling fence opposite the drive-way passing through our housing compound, or condominium as it known by in the US. We have planted a jasmine against the fence which helps to soften the look of the paling fence. However, we know that the Chairperson, the Secretary and the Treasurer of our Body Corporate are ardent lovers of exposed paling fences. We are therefore in the minority trying to install some beauty and making the best of the ugly paling fence by trying to get greenery to grow up and hide them. The paling fence is a revered type of architectural structure by believers of privacy. Privacy is absolutely set in stone by most people. A much loved emotional stance. It must be defended by hook and crook against anyone who dares to infringe on it.

The paling fence is a kind of barrier between properties, a border but without guards looking for smugglers or refugees. Sometimes it causes friction when a ball happens to cross this boundary. Nasty neighbours have been known to refuse to throw the ball back. In shared housing complexes, the parking of cars and shared paling fences have been known to cause endless wars between maniacally ‘privacy’ seeking neighbours. The popular image of hanging over the fence by neighbours talking to each other is a myth but it makes us look a bit better. Only last week a 68 year old neighbour got murdered by his 73 year old next door life long enemy. The Newspaper described the neighbourhood as ‘a close knit community.’ The article included a photo of a tear-stained woman holding a little teddy bear as proof. The murder was a result of an (illegally) overhanging branch of a tea-tree.

As I said earlier, I was looking through the upstairs window. I noticed a determined looking Chairperson and her equally sharp looking Secretary walking by. An ominous sign was that the Chairperson was holding a garden clipper with the Secretary following her with a small barrow. What were they up to? They stopped right opposite our house and both crawled through some shrubs. The Chairperson is in her eighties and the Secretary in her fifties or so. When they reached the paling fence it came clear what they had conspired to achieve. It was some unwanted ivy that was growing up the fence. It was not to be tolerated. Within a minute they had cut the bottom of the ivy and started to rip it off the paling fence. Such dedication. And it was Saturday afternoon!

We had resolved to not give any oxygen to Body Corporate disputes since last time, when one of them, we know it was the Chairperson had left a threatening letter in our letterbox on behalf of ‘owners’ suggesting we sell up. We let the ivy be taken. Let them relish their nastiness. I was upset but restrained an urge to a dual strangulation. Instead I took the new cordless vacuum cleaner from the room’s corner and switched it on. Helvi noticed I was upset and my usual spirited and enthusiastic vacuuming was obviously lacking. My face was long and the spirit murderous.

She said, ‘why get upset, Gerard?’ True, it is only a trivial matter. The vacuuming did give some respite and seething anger did abate a bit. Even so, I consoled myself with a fervent hope that Alzheimer will soon get to the Chairperson. The sooner the better.

Helvi, as always remained sensible. I said, ‘how come you always stay so calm?’ ‘You give so much more than I.’ ‘So true, she said wickedly and smiled.’ ‘Let’s just plant more Jasmine.’

The resignation of the Body Corporate Secretary.

September 13, 2016
Almost There

Almost There

Just as I was relishing my new career as Secretary, practising rocking backwards and forwards on my heels, when all has come to a sudden (but not grinding) halt. Readers might remember that on a fortuitous Monday a week ago, I was nominated as Secretary in running together with Chairperson and Treasurer our Strata titled common property. It came out of the blue. Helvi and I both though something was brewing at the AGM which was held at the official address of the Body Corporate. There was an unusual air of joy and conviviality about at this particular meeting.

I accepted gracefully, and even got up from my chair to thank the attendees of the meeting, greatly humbled by the occasion. Who would have thought, and so late in my life? Dad would have been so proud. It brought back memories of the times many decades ago when I was secretary of the Parramatta scooter club. The meetings then were held above the Ambulance hall, an address which came in handy when our president had a nasty fall on his Vespa going down a steep mountains at Stanwell Park during one of the much loved treasure hunts on scooters. I had a Lambretta.

But, lets go forward again. At this AGM meeting it was agreed another small meeting would be held just by the committee. It was to be held the following Saturday at the Treasurer’s town-house just diagonally opposite ours. The meeting was at 5.30 pm. After arrival, the resigning Secretary and treasurer were present and after a few minutes the Chairperson took her chair by sitting on it. The Secretarial books were handed over and I produced my sharpened pencil and shining new note-book to start my duties as the new Secretary. My first entry were noting down the names of all three committee members including my own name, which I still remembered.

But then it all came to crashing halt. At precisely 6.05 pm, I resigned when it became clear I was being groomed to foment discord and disputes between the neighbours living next to the Treasurer and Cahirperson. I walked out and before their meeting was even finished I tucked my letter of resignation under the doors of the three committee members that were still holding the meeting, no doubt discussing what to de next. Looking through the Venetians I noticed they were sipping gin and tonic!

Here is me my letter of resignation.

On 10 Sep 2016 6:43 PM, gerard wrote:

Hello all,

I am sorry but hereby terminate my very short stint as secretary for the Body Corporate at 7 Ascot Rd. I was looking forward to making a contribution to our community and an even nicer place to reside in.

The stumbling block is that I was asked by the Chairperson to write a letter to all residents to park all cars in garages. Any cars superfluous to availability of garages to be parked on the street.

For years, some cars were parked in garages and some in front or alongside garages without any problems. It now seems to have grown into an issue. As most families now have more than one car, I was unable and certainly unwilling to antagonise residents to find alternative parking arrangements on the street.

Number 1 doesn’t even have a garage and parking has never been a problem till lately.

I will not be part of a revengeful shit-fight between some residents.

Yours faithfully,

Gerard Oosterman

Drunk with power

September 5, 2016
Japanese Windflower

Japanese Windflower

Thomas Grey once wrote,

“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

It was always going to be an AGM that would be less boring than any of the previous ones. The furore about the public posters about the stolen cyclamen guaranteed a meeting whereby moving motions would thankfully be kept to a minimum. After arriving at 5.30 pm, Helvi and I took our seats around a large table. I immediately went for the head of the table. This would ensure that both my impaired ears were in line with whoever spoke from either side. I immediately noticed the carafes and glasses on their coasters in the middle of the conference table. The place was also heated. A sure sign that this Strata Body’s AGM was going to be a real bottler.

Five of the eight possible town-house owners, capable of voting were present and somewhat gingerly took their seats. We had anticipated that the issue of the posters was going to be kept last. There were still some issues to be dealt with, not least of all, the inevitable accepting of previous minutes of the last AGM and financial statements. I noticed that the Extraordinary GM whereby the dodgy quote for painting was dealt with together with the threat of the Strata Body Corporate losing their license, because of the irregularities of funding were exposed (by this writer) were conveniently not mentioned. The atmosphere was tense if not electrifying. AGM’s can never reach that sort of level. It’s not like a rugby game in Wales, nor like the procedure of politicians leaving the House pre-maturely and a Government losing a vote for the first time in over fifty years.

http://theconversation.com/turnbull-government-loses-discipline-and-votes-in-house-chaos-64772

At last after much wrangling the Poster issue was raised. It wasn’t a motion nor foreshadowed and I resisted the temptation to raise an objection. We were getting very hungry, and even though I drank some water, I don’t like gnawing hunger. But, and here comes the punchline. I was nominated ‘secretary’! After all that. The Poster complaint was wiped away when I mentioned we followed the police’s advice in notifying the neighbours by stapling up ‘Thief Alert’ posters. One lady had taken a large rock to the meeting, claiming it was hurled at her door as a result of my posters. She blatantly lied. I pointed out that putting up a poster doesn’t mean rocks would be hurled around.

It never stops. I am now a secretary. Unbelievable.