People get their panties in a bunch about the oddest things. Have you noticed? Some people, it seems, expect the world to cater to their every whim, absolving themselves of all responsibility. I don’t want to be one of those people. If we do that, we rob ourselves of an incomparable gift – self-mastery.
I live in a high-rise building in Chicago with more than 400 condo units. Imagine the space that many homes would take up if spread out horizontally in suburbia. That’s a LOT of humanity wedged into one very tall concrete box. For the most part, we tend to “play nicely” with each other – taking turns, holding elevators, turning the other cheek over mild missteps.
Recently our Board decided to re-do our corridors for the first time in 20 years (33 stories’ worth) … AND … to gut and upgrade our communal laundry room … all at once. They launched those projects without needing to charge us a special assessment to cover the costs. I see it as good financial stewardship and great timing–get all the mess and muck and mayhem of both projects over at once.
Not everyone agrees with me. Times like these–times involving change and this mild form of adversity–really bring out neighbors’ true colors. I guess you could say, “It all comes out in the wash.”
From my perspective, our property manager did a fantastic job keeping both projects moving, communicating often and clearly about anticipated closures and outages well ahead of time, even scouting and suggesting affordable pick-up and delivery laundry services in the meantime. Despite HUGE snags behind the scenes related to out-of-stock materials and contractor foot-dragging, our laundry room re-opened as promised, right on time and within budget. Corridors are on track, too. As with most such projects, a few minor “punch list” finish-up items remained–like re-setting the laundry-room clock–but, other than that, our brand spankin’ new laundry room looked better than ever and could to do everything a laundry room should do. Rub-a-dub-dub!
Apparently, “on time and on budget” didn’t satisfy one resident. She announced to the powers that be, “How DARE you?! … How DARE you re-open the laundry room before the clock was working?! How was I supposed to know when to switch my clothes from the washer to the dryer?!”
Seriously?! … Hmmm. Check your wristwatch or cell phone maybe? … Don’t have one? … Strike up a conversation with a fellow launderer and ask the time. … Ask our friendly Receiving Room clerk 10 steps from the laundry room what time it is. … Return to your unit and check your own flippin’ clock! Go one floor up to the lobby, and ask our ever-helpful 24/7 doorman … or … suit yourself. Sit and stew in front of the machine until it stops. THEN you’ll know it’s time to make that apparently incalculable leap from washer to dryer and again from dryer to laundry basket.
She could have met her own needs. She could have attempted to build relationships. She could take responsibility. She could do all of those things … AND … even better, she could look for the good in her new situation – new machines, more folding surfaces, brighter lights, better ventilation, upgraded finishes. Instead, she chose to focus on what didn’t get done and how the universe let her down, when, really, she’s STANDING in her own way. She had a choice. I wish, for her sake, she had chosen differently. We all get to choose how we experience change and adversity. We can choose resilience over resistance or resentment. … Now I’ll get off of my soapbox and take it to my beautiful new laundry room.
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