Sunday, December 8, 2013

Body Corporate Nazi

When old people who haven't achieved much in life end up living in apartment they take out their frustrations by joining the body corporate and becoming Nazis. There is something about the position that just attracts angry, bitter old biddies.

For some incomprehensible reason our body corporate Nazi has decided that we shouldn't put bins in the bin bay but instead store them in our own garages. She confronted me telling me that local dogs were just mad for the pooey baby nappies held within the bins. The fact I don't have a baby didn't seem to matter to her.

I have begun my campaign against this stupidity with this letter.

Dear neighbour,

You are no doubt well aware of the recent edict that bins be stored in private garages rather than in the bin bay. While I’m sure this decision was made with the best of intentions I believe it to be extremely ill-advised.

Consider this scenario.

It is Thursday evening and Jill is lugging her heavy bin from her garage to the curb. The plastic is cutting into her hands, her dodgy back is twitching and with the big bin blocking her vision she can’t make out exactly where she is putting her feet. The rough sandstone stepping stones are slippery from recent rain and a little leaking garbage juice. Suddenly Jill slips, wrenches her back horribly and smashes her face on the corner of the dis-used bin bay. Poor Jill lies there unconscious, bloodied and surrounded by spilt garbage.

Eventually Jill is rescued however she faces many operations and ongoing therapy. Unfortunately Jill’s back is now the shape of a question mark and her once angelic face has been transformed into a horrific mess that frightens small children.

Jill sues the strata for gross negligence and wins full damages with the judge agreeing that this was “an accident waiting to happen”. The strata scheme is then bankrupted and we have to give up the plastic plants that so enliven the foyer.

While this is indeed a distressing hypothetical scenario, I believe it important to be mindful of safety issues and potential liabilities in a world where litigation and back problems are extremely common.

Storing bins in garages is also inappropriate for another reason. Cars go in garages. When you attempt to squeeze a bulky bin in there, suddenly not all cars will fit. This renders the garage essentially useless for its purpose.

If we assume the average rental for a garage is $80 per week, this means occupants are paying over $4000 a year for what has essentially now become just a garbage storage facility, whilst parking their car on the street. This seems rather ridiculous considering we have a purpose-designed bin bay.

People need to use the storage space in the garage for their own things. Many choose to store their winter clothes there. I cannot however imagine anyone wanting to store their clothes next to a bin containing prawn heads, overripe bananas and nappies full of baby crap. It would seem far better that bins be stored well away from valued personal possessions in a space where the malodorous stench can at least be carried away by a fresh breeze. Again, the bin bay sounds like the better solution.

I realise there are concerns about dogs getting into the garbage but there are certainly other avenues we could take to eliminate this problem. One suggestion would be for the unit block to get a pet tiger that guards the bin bay. While tigers are undoubtedly cool and would probably scare dogs away, I fear this solution could be as legally fraught as making people trudge about with heavy loads on uneven stepping stones.

A more boring solution would be to get bins with latches on them. Dogs are yet to evolve to a point where they have opposable thumbs, rendering them quite impotent in the face of a latch-fastened bin. Despite not being as awesome as the tiger idea it is relatively cheap, should not cause any legal liabilities and does not waste people’s valuable garage space.

While this is undoubtedly a stupid letter I hope it is taken seriously. No one wants to see hypothetical Jill or anyone else injured. Clearly it will make life safer and more convenient for everyone if we can rethink the current policy and arrive at a sensible solution.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

The saga continues

I got a letter in return from the Nazi calling me an idiot and a mouth-breathing word-by-word reader. This was perhaps the most pathetic insult I have ever heard. The letter nit-picked various aspects of my letter but did not really address the central safety issue.

It said that rather than taking the outdoor route the garage I should take the internal route which involves two flights of stairs and two locked doors (not exactly convenient or safe).

I continued to store my bin in the bin bay and was today again confronted by the Nazi. I pointed out that I had studied health and safety and having people carry bins down stairs was in fact unsafe. She retorted telling me that she was 80 and she could do it, so I should be able to.

At this point I noticed she had a massive bruise all the way down her arm. She stormed off so I didn't get a chance to ask if she had got the bruise from a fall. Nor did I get to point out that people aged 80 plus are the group who most commonly die from  falling down stairs.

Normally I wouldn't wish pain on anyone but part of me really hopes she falls down the stairs while taking out the garbage, breaks her hip and has to move out. It would be such delicious irony.

To piss her off a little further I am going to make stickers with the following picture and plaster them all over my bin.

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