Posts Tagged ‘meetings’

Some elderly can kick ass, others suck it

“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.”~ Golda Meir

What a day, what a day!!

Today was the first time that my complex had a resident council meeting under the “new leadership”, and I was so full of hope for a new day.

If you read the blog post about the Scrabble game I was involved with, the husband and wife were elected as President and Vice President, respectively.

But the meeting turned into a verbal brawl of sorts. And the leadership was totally less than admirable as our newly elected President never took order of those residents who were causing a stir.

I was rather disappointed personally as the new President was not able to hold a meeting as he was when he was in the same office back in 2005. Clearly, his health has been fading and he just didn’t seem to have it together.

For whatever reason, his wife decided to speak up just about as much as he did. And I became totally confused, who’s running this outfit?? She took over nearly half of the meeting, and I couldn’t understand it. Neither could I believe my own ears.

When the floor was open for comments under new business, a resident got up and started to talk about a “beautification committee”. In other words, she wanted to make a group of residents responsible for trash clean up. Because in her mind, the property was in bad shape.

Well of course it is, the drought has really done a lot of damage to our lawns. It doesn’t look as lush and green because we’ve had no rain. But she wanted to single out a number of people who live here to be responsible for picking up random trash, as well as be a helping hand with those who are unable to bend over and spruce up the front parts of their personal patios.

Ummm…. in other words, make other people work in other people’s gardens who may no longer be able to, or no longer care. Just because SHE wants the property to “look beautiful”.

There’s so many things wrong with this. Although I would agree with her that people should pick up their trash. But having people go intrude on their neighbors? Nah, I don’t agree with that at all. Pick up your trash and we’ll be just fine.

I’m not sure if that’s going to go anywhere. This is a resident who rarely shows up for any activities and/or meetings that we may have. But when she does arrive, you can be sure she’s about to bitch and moan about something. If she has nothing to complain about, she’s going to be sitting at home… inside, and not come out for anything but to check her mail.

And that was the first round.

The second round came about when another resident who also stays at home and doesn’t participate and always gives the excuse of poor health, had brought up the idea of celebrating “Octoberfest”.

Last year, there was a gathering in the evening where we were celebrating it. It was a nice social event with the rest of the residence. And it even had included alcohol. Well, beer.

The consumption of alcohol at specific activities and events here have been more or less “forbidden”. It is not quite “banned” necessarily, but the fact of the matter is that there are some people who live here that have had religious convictions against the consumption of alcohol. They have been the residents who have spoken louder than the ones who have no opinion about whether or not alcohol is being offered, so they’ve said “no alcohol”. But last year’s Octoberfest celebration was a rare test-drive of an exception. “Near beer” was also offered. A limit of real beer was given to those who actually were drinking.

Anywho…. this second round- the resident who rarely comes out offered the suggestion to have yet another Octoberfest celebration this year as well, because she so much enjoyed the year before. So when our social worker said that it was a possible event to place on the calendar, she was happy as a peach.

And then it turned ugly. The social worker left her in charge to plan this event. And she had also mentioned that the event would have to take place during the week some time and could not happen in the evening or over the weekend. (Last year was held in the evening.)

There are only two members of staff that works here. They have made their personal decision that they are not willing to stay longer into the evening or over the weekend. They have their own lives.

If this resident would’ve just accepted the deal then the snowball of bitterness would’ve never started to roll.

Round three- the issue of having our community room open over the weekends and/or week nights. First off, let me share with you the back story of this “dead horse”.

In 2006, and year prior, certain residents had the keys to the community room and these residents were more than willing to get up in the mornings and open the community room for usage by the residents. But in 2006, the people who run this complex decided to remodel it. It was closed for many months while work was being done to it.

The community room is an open room with chairs, nice furniture, a great collection of books, and even a television. Several computers are also connected to the Internet for the residents to use to check their e-mail if they do not have a personal computer or an Internet connection at their home. The remodel came with a lot of newer and fresher things. Including one big-assed television set. Yep, big screen.

But the Board who oversees things had made the decision to collect all of the keys that were handed out to residents and no longer allow the community room to be open during the nights or weekends. It was an issue of protection for both the residents and the items that were held within. It also was an issue of insurance that nothing would be broken or stolen.

So since then, all of the residents who lived here then, and those who have moved in afterwards have basically adapted to the new policy. But many of them do not like it. They honestly would prefer to have access to the community room, just like it was before. Several times residents have gone to the Board to ask them to change their minds, but so far they have not.

I personally wouldn’t mind if it was open, but I’ve gotten so used to it being closed. And also consider the fact that members of staff have changed since 2006 as well. The newer members of staff that work here today, mainly the social worker and the apartment manager are simply not that willing to give up their personal lives to come over here and make sure things run smoothly. The residents who are stubborn not to see it as a risk factor, call it “babysitting”.

That came up today by little Miss “I wanna Octoberfest”. The war then began.

She cried and cried and cried and complained about how it was not fair that the community room was not open any more to the residents. It was not fair that the two main members of staff were “being snooty” for not wanting to come in over the weekends, and it was not fair that the members of staff would have to agree to “babysit” the residents.

The two members of staff have personal lives. I can see why they wouldn’t want to come in. But at the same time, I could also wish that they would every once in a while come in and allow us some off-site activities. It doesn’t have to be every night though.

The social worker had decided to interject and stop the childish whining. She was trying to explain that #1- the two members of staff are NOT the ones that the residents should take their frustrations out on because the residents do not have an open community room any more like it used to be. #2- There are specific reasons why the Board decided to keep things closed.

But the woman would not listen to the social worker. She wouldn’t budge a single half an inch to hear the side of the social worker. She went on and on about how she and her husband HATE being “stuck in their caves” during the weekends.

Well honestly and personally, that’s an easy fix. If you don’t wanna stay at home- go visit a neighbor. Go out to eat, go to a movie, something!! But I am sure that I would be met up with “We don’t have the money for that.”

Then just go visit a neighbor.

She continued to say that she and her husband has renter’s insurance. So they’re set and not afraid. But not everyone here has that. And she knew that the Board wouldn’t dare let the community room be uninsured, so she just couldn’t see what the problem was.

And so then the social worker came out with the big heavy question to her: “So if the community room is open to the residents when staff is not here, and something happens, are you willing to be held responsible?”.

I was so glad when I heard that. I thought for sure that would be the nail in the coffin on this woman. It wasn’t.

The response to the question was, “Insurance is insurance“.

Umm… what??

First of all, she never actually answered the question. And secondly, that kind of a response was in a sense more or less a way to say, “I don’t care what happens to the community room as long as it is kept open for the residents to use. You’re covered, why bother worrying?”.

The social worker had then seen that this woman was not going to give it up and so the social worker in better judgement gave it up, saying to her that she needs to present it to the Board.

An issue that has been repeatedly denied over and over and over again for the past five years or better. The horse is DEAD!!

Now I am sure that maybe someone can come up with a solution for this. And maybe in the future things will change. It is the fact that she and her husband have only been living here a few years.

They moved here after the 2006 remodel and the decision to keep the community room locked on evenings and weekends. So they’ve never really known any different. And I can do nothing more but roll my eyes and laugh at this fact. Why are they soooooo much involving themselves to try and obtain something that they’ve never experienced before?

Not only was the community room unlocked on the weekends. But we also were involved in a variety of other off-site activities:

  • We went to the movies
  • We went out to dinner on a spur of the moment decision
  • We went out to breakfast once a month
  • We went to the horse races
  • We went shopping in the malls for an afternoon
  • We went to the baseball games or other local sporting events
  • We went to the theater

And many, many more fun things to do, that was away from home. Why did those things suddenly disappear? Because of a change in staff. Those who worked here before were willing to do these kinds of things. Those who work currently, are not.

This woman and her husband (mainly her) were battling the social worker because they were jealous of the fact of what USED to be. And since they’ve moved in, they keep hearing these wonderful stories of all the fun things we used to do around here, and now we don’t do that any more…. and these two are taking it PERSONAL?? Because of their jealousy.

Jealousy sucks. And I know that this woman is going to hold yet another nasty grudge against staff members and have nothing but gossip and back-talk about the members of staff for a long time to come. These grudges that she holds, will commonly go on for several weeks, a couple of months even.

But it makes NO sense because the two of them rarely come out of their apartment. The husband comes out, but the wife does not. And its probably a marital problem between the two of them as to why he comes out and she doesn’t. Which is not the fault of any body else who works or lives here. It is their own.

But why fight until you are almost out of breath for something that you aren’t even going to use?

I would bet that she decided to use this platform to whine because of who was elected. She was pleased with who is now in charge so to speak and decided that was the time to come rushing in and complain as much as she wants, because of the new shift of power and she believed that she could get away with it. And honestly, she did.

Hypothetically estimating, maybe a total of five or six residents would actually use the community room during either the evenings or weekends. Another five might use it for other personal reasons (personal gatherings, family parties, etc.), and when you add all of that up, you MIGHT get a total of fifteen random residents using the community room during these hours… out of almost 70 who live here.

I just don’t see it as a convincing case. If they do open it up, they’ll monitor the situation as to who and how many use it. Just like they monitored the beer from last year’s Octoberfest celebration. Nobody got stupid, nobody got drunk, nobody got into a fight so they may be a little less strict on further parties and social gatherings to include alcohol.

This however, is probably going to go down in flames with the low numbers of people actually using it during times in which we have been accustomed to it being closed after having the situation watched closely to see exactly who is using it.

All the while, our newly elected President allowed this snowball of ill-feelings to rattle on and on and on. Basically the President and Vice President also think that the community room should be open. But they’ve got their own problems too as to what their excuses are. (No cable, and they live in a mess and they are lucky not to yet be evicted for it.)

But he sat there and let it drag on, until he finally suggested to her to make another motion to do something about it and present it to the Board. In which I really don’t think is going to do them much good at all.

The elderly, and the absurd things that they fight over. Some are just that stubborn, others are just that dumb.




If life were boring, then I think that it would not be worth living. At least that is my own feeling. It has definitely not been boring at all these past few days.

So let me catch you up to speed on what’s been going on with me.

A friend of mine has moved into town from the other side of the country. I’ve been trying to play catch up with him from missing so many opportunities when he was in town the last time. But this time, he’s staying. So I think that there will be plenty of more opportunities to be had just hanging out, chewing the fat and shooting the bull in the near future.

I hung out with him a lot over last weekend. Just glad that he’s in a place where he is more comfortable, happier, and in my opinion, better off. From last Friday night through Sunday afternoon it was GO, GO, GO!! Incredibly fun, but also incredibly exhausting. It all caught up with me though on Saturday. I don’t think that I got but about an hour and a half worth of sleep that night and early Sunday morning. And then it was up and at it again for much of the day. I think that by the time it was all said and done, I was toast! I literally crawled back home and had debated with myself on whether or not to slither under the covers and catch some sleep. I knew that if I had crashed out, chances were that I would not be able to sleep during the night if I had woke up again a few hours later.

My body would fight no more and I simply came unglued from my wheelchair and floated on to my bed and it was “LIGHTS OUT!”. But for only another hour and a half.

Everything from that point from Sunday evening when I awoke again until yesterday has been a complete blur. I don’t even remember what I dreamt about during those few hours of sleep that I got all weekend.

So it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that yesterday I was a total zombie. My head spinning for much of the day, my back sore, and my mental state nearly a complete blank.

I could feel deep down that I was missing something. Something was not right, something undone. It finally came to me that I hadn’t been in communication with my new friend that I have made mention in a previous blog post. So I sent a message to them and re-established contact.

So many more factors of life that just make this world worth living in are circling around in its usual patterns. I’ve been having a hard time just jumping back into it again.

Then today was a lunch meeting. It was nothing to write home about, but I was thankful for the opportunity to go. Food always makes it better, doesn’t it?

I took a few hours off this afternoon to try and gain back my sanity before jumping back into it again tonight. Now the work of the day is all finished.

But wait, it gets “better”…

Tomorrow, I have a 9:00 AM appointment. How I wish it was an appointment with the spa! That would be nice. I think that by noon, the day will be void of appointments, meetings, and personal obligations. Then on Thursday afternoon, we do it all over again. Needless to say that work has been lacking. And will continue to lack for the next few weeks.

This weekend, my sled hockey team is supposed to travel to Houston for a weekend tournament. But it doesn’t seem likely as details are sketchy at best and nobody can decide on which would be better to go, either Saturday or Sunday? I realize that its not any fault of the team, but it sure is frustrating as this kind of tournament is exactly what the team has been craving for ever since the beginning of the hockey program. And even at this hour, nobody knows anything. Frustrating for sure.

Besides, I’ve not been able to go to practices in the past few weeks because I was trying to get over pneumonia. I am out of practice and most likely out of shape. And I expect to play in a tournament? That’s laughable.

Then four or five days after that is supposed to happen, I return to the road again for a four day trip all by myself. It promises to be a good time.  I hope to meet some really nice people that I have made contact with by e-mail in the past year or so. Its not a vacation by a long shot, but its not going to be pure stress either. I actually am looking forward to going. The sled hockey tournament this weekend in Houston though, I’m at the point that I could care less of whether or not we go. Even though the team has cried long and strong about doing something like this. If the team doesn’t go, I know that they will be disappointed. And since I have found myself in a position to hear the cries of my fellow team mates, it will be difficult for them. Difficult on me because they will be knocking on my door about how disappointed they will be.

On a more positive note, I am understanding that a cell phone will be coming my way! I’m excited about it. I’ll be able to join the ranks of the people of the 21st Century and be “mobile” with the capability of text messaging and phone calls. I surely hope that the phone comes before I take my four days of travel. It will be nice to have that option to communicate with others while I am gone. And when I am back, so that the communication lines can go a lot faster and smoother as needed. For those of you who have been complaining that I need text messaging? Neener, neener, and more neener!

I’ve made the decision to re-arrange things in my life. After seeing that my “Cognitive Distortions” post received so many views to it. To those of you who have read it and gave it so many views, I thank you.

Its time to take a break and try to cause a change for myself so that I can reach a better state of mental health. I believe that we all need to do that from time to time. There’s a lot of garbage that I need to cut out from my life.

From those of you who know me on Facebook and how I have described myself as the “online psychologist wearing the tie”, I need to bring that to a close. Not to say that I won’t be there for my friends and colleagues when they TRULY need me, but taking on more would not be a good idea at this point. At least not until all of these things that are causing higher levels of stress and exhaustion start to fade away.

I just simply refuse to neglect those who I feel are important in my life. So there are no worries for those who take such an important and vital role in my life. But as they say, “Where does a doctor go when HE gets sick?”. I aim to find those answers out for myself.

So for the time being- Where’s the Calgon???