Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rule By Committee ... Arrggghhh

Q: How many women does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Eight. One to turn the bulb, one for support, one to bake some cookies, and five to relate to the experience.

Why is it that when a group of women get together, they start to have a pack mentality? Oh, come on now, I'm a woman and I know. What is a group of women called? A gaggle? A flock?

... A coven?


We have a garbage shed that has a bolt and lock on it -- don't ask me why, it's just a garbage shed -- and whenever I slide the bolt closed I manage to slice my finger open on a sharp piece of metal. Oh, trust me, I don't do it on purpose. It's quite painful, and I usually end up bleeding all over my clothing. This has been going on since last summer and I mentioned it to one of the council members. Nothing was done. I have lived here for 11 years -- this month -- and I have never seen anything as ridiculous as a lock on a garbage shed. They can't seem to prevent people from breaking in through the parking garage because it's a free and easy access, but they put a lock on the garbage shed. On Friday morning I cut my finger again -- very badly -- trying to close the bolt. I e-mailed my friend on the council, and a conversation ensued.

Me: "Hi, Mary, that #&!$*^! lock sliced my finger open again. That's about the 8th time now. I can't understand why this isn't happening to anyone else, but of course it seems to be only me. I'm not going to struggle with the lock anymore until it's fixed."

Mary: "Hi Jo, I am recovering from a very bad bout of pain at the moment, so I will forward this to Molly, the president of the council. she can let the appropriate authorities know. I don't think anyone else has reported it doing this as far as I know. I'm sorry to hear it is so aggravating and causing you injuries. I find I have to put my garbage down, handle the lock with two hands and then throw out the garbage and then close the lock."

(Copies of the e-mail went to Martha, Marion, Margaret and Melania, all of whom are on the council.)

Me: "Hi, Mary, sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Please let me know if there is anything I can do."

Melania: "Jo, I'm not very good with my hands at all but I have found a way that works really well for me. I thought I'd share it with you, giving you all the details so nobody gets hurt anymore. I insert the key in the padlock and leave it there during the whole operation. I twist the key to open the padlock, slide the lock, open the door, throw the garbage, close the door, relock the padlock and only then remove the key."

Me: "Melania, thank you! I'll try that."

Molly: "Hi Jo, could you please contact me at 604-xxx-0000. Since there hasn't been other complaints I think it is best you and I go have a look and you can show me the problem spot."

Mary: "Molly, Jo did complain to me personally before, via email. I went down with her and looked at the bolt and she showed me where it was a problem. I suggested at that time that how she might open in more safely. However, I guess it's still a problem and now it is definitely time to get any edges filed."

(Don't you just love that word "complain"? I'm bleeding all over my brand-new white blouse because the sharp metal edge on the bolt has sliced my finger open -- again -- but I shouldn't complain...)

Martha: "Hi, everyone, I went out tonight and applied WD-40 to the bolt and lock. I also squirted graphite into the lock to hopefully help it lock easier. I tried covering the offending sharp pieces with electrical tape but the tape didn't like the WD-40. Perhaps some duct tape would provide coverage and would stick better until such time as we can get the metal filed? I don't have any but if someone does and wants to leave it by my door I can try again."

Me: "Martha, thank you! Perhaps even oiling it a bit so it slides more easily might help. I find I have to really jam the bolt back into place, and I slice my finger almost every time. It just heals, and ... there we go again."

Molly: "I didn't hear from Jo last night, as I expected to hear from her. The WD 40 is good, that is what I used when the lock was all rusted earlier this year. Marion and Martha, thank you for being willing to file, that saves the strata a handyman bill which we don't need now. I looked at the lock and still have a problem seeing how the cuts happen, and what needs to be filed. I was hoping Jo would have showed me."

Me: "Sorry, Molly, after Mary sent you the e-mail about having talked to me last summer, I didn't think I needed to contact you. It is turning into a huge deal, so please ignore my request to have it fixed. My apologies for having caused so much trouble...!"

Oh, lord-luv-a-duck ... a man would have just gone out and fixed it. Women do everything by committee, and they can't seem to do anything without getting personalities involved. Sorry, women, but you know this is true. The next time I slice open my finger, I'm sending the council my #&!$*^! dry-cleaning bill.


Hilary said...

I wouldn't have withdrawn the request.. particularly in writing. But mostly, I'm just fascinated with how every one of their names just happen to begin with the letter M.


Country Girl said...

Oh, my gosh Hilary! You are right. And so are you, Jo. Why does it take a whole village? And why can't they just have the ^&(&^ lock changed?

jackc50 said...

men and women tend to look at things a bit different....and thats all i'm going to say on that. it is funny to see all those m's among the trees...heehee. perhaps some new names will help, jc

Nancy said...

LOL! Perfect example!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I suppose you should keep a set of tools at work...as well as a bottle of peroxide to get the blood out of your blouse. Of course you could always have a committee convene to decide which tools would be appropriate to keep...... did you create all those "M" names to protect the not so innocent?

Anonymous said...

yea man answer: break the lock, forget the emails and leave the bloody rag on their desk...solution, they have to fix the lock, your feelings are expressed and they have to dispose of your pain...not exactly people friendly but effective

Patsy said...

Just get out the Smith and Wesson and shoot the dang thing open. That'll teach 'em.


Leslie: said...

I like Lorna's solution!

Don't forget, though, that men would sit an ad hoc committee to discuss variety of options available to them re a new lock...

Then they'd have to decide who'd change it and who'd maintain it, etc. etc.

So don't be too hard on the girls. lol

Faithful said...

yes, I agree! one woman could have made a decision to fix it herself or called in a man. I wish I could commend them for their attempt at trying to fix it themselves but...? Do you think it was a power thing? or just subterfuge? hehe

scarlethue said...

I agree with Hilary! The M's were the first thing I noticed.

My husband informed me that he's going to fill in the sink hole in my neighbor's yard that's slowly but surely encroaching into ours. We just had ours filled and a drainage system put in to ensure they don't happen again.

My answer was to call the neighbor's landlord, let her talk to our landscaper, and let them decide what to do. If she doesn't want to pay for it, we can get a lawyer to tell her she has to get it done since it's starting to encroach and will hinder our fence, otherwise we could take her to court.

Which way is easier I wonder? His involves real physical labor, mine a few strongly-worded phone calls. Neither are fun, that's for sure.

But Jo, after reading your post I may have to give you my husband's answer to this-- maybe you should file the lock yourself?

(or the duct tape sounded like it might work)

Jo said...

Hilary, oh, I just got to the point where I didn't want anymore "to and fro". It was just getting silly, silly, silly. :-)

CountryGirl, changing the lock would be too easy. And they wouldn't be able to agree on it!

Jackc50, oh, yes, men and women are very, very different. A man would just shrug, say "okay" and fix the #@!%$^& lock! :-)

LoverOfLife, oh, yes ... *sigh*.

Kathy, yes, *heh* That way they can't identify which one is stupider.

PreacherBoy, I would like to remove the lock, but that thing is fastened on there ... oh, man! I wonder who they got to do that!?

Lorna, Laugh Out Loud!! You always have the best suggestions! Anyone got a gun?

Leslie, well, you gotta admit, women can sometimes corner the market on pettiness about things like this. *sigh*

Faithful, oh, it was definitely a power thing! Oh, goodness, yes! A female version of a p*ssing contest. :-)

Scarlethue, I thought of filing the lock myself, and then I thought if I did that there would be h*ll to pay. Either way, it's a lose/lose situation. Let me know how the sink hole situation turns out! We can compare horror stories. :-)

TheChicGeek said...

You go, girl! So true. Woman always have to discuss and put feelings into it. Men tend to just go out and "Do It!" lol

I'm telling you, you've got to keep your lucky bracelette on :)

Donnetta said...

Ain't it the truth. D

introspection said...

I am a woman but will not discuss it further...!
But Jo, I feel for you. Pls be careful. Your fingers are more important .....!!

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

Why do people (and here I don't just mean women) always overcomplicate things. Here at work you always get these little sarcastic tones as well, but nobody actually does anything constructive. Why? Cause its too much effort.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or were these women actually trying to help? None of them had experienced the problems you had with the lock, yet they empathized and tried to find a solution for you. You did "complain" (or file a complaint) to them, and the implication is that you expected them to "fix" it for you. And they tried. They could have snubbed you much worse frankly. Your correspondence started with a swear (I assume) and ended with what seems a little "passive-aggressive" (this is not a personal attack, just an observation) "It is turning into a huge deal, so please ignore my request to have it fixed. My apologies for having caused so much trouble...!"

It looks like 5 women or so went to bat for you. Just MHO.

Jo said...

TheChicGeek, yes, I have to get my lucky bracelet fixed.

Donnetta, yes, :-)

Introspection, I have found out that other people have been getting cut too, and have complained about it.

Firefly, oh, yes... Simple is easier.

Anonymous, (M) -- you are becoming a bore. Please stop these anonymous personal attacks. And no, my complaint did not contain a swear word, only the "characters" -- meant in jest. Second of all, when my hand was cut last summer it became infected and required an antibiotic. That is dangerous. Third of all, my "complaint" was such that if the lock were to be fixed, no one else could be wounded as well -- which I have since found out HAS happened several times AND other people have complained to the property manager about it. This lock has been a problem for the people in this building for several months. I am now turning off my anonymous option -- which I have been reluctant to do -- and you will have to find some other way to keep attacking me, which you seem to find no shortage of ways to do. It just makes me sad. Really sad.

Canarybird said...

I feel sorry for you Jo! It seems hard to imagine that they couldn't just get someone to come and either fix it or put on a new lock, especially since you've cut yourself several times on it already. And I would also send them the bill for the antibiotics. (BTW cold water is the one and only thing to use to remove fresh bloodstains from clothing. Hopefully you will not need this advice.) I would put on my thick gardening gloves next time I take out the garbage if it's not yet fixed. :-) Cheers,Sharon.

Bagman and Butler said...

I'm not sure it is just women. I work in local government and sometimes I'm not sure we ever do anything. Yesterday we finally started using a one-page simple photo release form...downloadable in 5 seconds from the internet. It took us a year and a half and two separate committee's to finalize it.

lovelyprism said...

Aww Jo, I feel for ya. I'm sporting a couple bandages myself. Have you ever noticed you never realized how much contact any particular part of your body has with ALL it's surroundings until you get a cut?! Then it seems like that part of your body bumps and brushes everything all day long!

DUTA said...

From my experience, men wouldn't have been more helpful than the women in your story, They'll usually "raise a finger" only when the matter becomes a complaint of many.

Jo said...

Sharon, yes, a friend of mine suggested I use gloves too. That's a great idea. And yes, it would have been so easy just to get it fixed. *sigh*

Butler and Bagman, *LOL* I work for the government too, so I feel your pain. *heh*

Lovelyprism, oh, yes. *sigh*. I managed to burn the same finger, and I kept bumping it on things. It is permanently scarred now.

DUTA, isn't that the truth? Why is it if we point something out, people will always say, "Well, no one else mentioned it!" Well, I'm mentioning it. Aren't I a person? *deep sigh* :-)

Scoobyloves2004 said...

To Anonymous- Do you read this blog just to find some way to insult or belittle the writter? If so, you really need to get a life. Find someone else to harrass.

Jo~ I really don't know why they couldn't just got to a Home Depot and purchase a new lock. It couldn't be more than $10-15. I see a control issue with these petty women. I liked Lorna idea the best!!

Jo said...

Arley, *heh* someone has managed to file an even SHARPER point on the bolt. It's like a razor blade now, rather than just a really sharp knife. *heh*

Annaimports said...

Hello, just dropped in to checkout your blog and also introduce our Grand Opening for wholesale handbags . We offer the ultimate super selection wholesale of handbags, purses, wallet, Quilted bag, with the highest quality and the absolute lowest prices and that's a promise. We extend our invitation for you to stop on by and check our website out at : handbags, purses Thank you and have a great day!

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

Annaimports is a SPAM poster

John said...

Hope your finger is better...glad I didn't complain about my paper cut the other day, seems so minor now!

Glad to see you took off the anonymous comments. I never got any anonymous comments myself, but if I did, it would drive me nuts!

Keep up the good work; I'm sure you will.

Kym said...

Love that story, sorry to hear about your finger, but thanks for the laugh! We women are a strange bunch together, but alone we carry the whole world....sometimes! ;)

white crow said...

girls are great!! god is enormous!!
but their talks have no limit at all.
it is really very fascinating how they do that XD.

Slurryoffagrape said...

Hi there………. I was browsing your blog for the first time, having just started one myself recently, and this one about the bolt, and how men and women do things differently made me laugh out loud when I got to the bottom. So true………. I know, because I’ve been working closely with women for 36 years in the caring field, and am a man myself, and quite a butch and manly one too, if disadvantaged by small hands, feet and a little nose. (sigh).

How refreshing to read something that isn’t lashing out at we poor boys.

You are indeed a Real Woman, and I salute you. I love the way you write. :o)

If you get to read my ramblings, bear in mind I’m pretty beaten by It All. It’s not as refreshing a blog as yours :o)

K.x :0)