Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gated Woes

The homeowners association in my fascist gated community has a new tool of oppression, the 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper notice, most likely printed at the home of a local loyalist and hung around the community for all to obey. Recent sign #1 states that "All holiday decorations must be taken down by January 31, 2007." After the peer pressure involved in forcing my family to hang Christmas lights across our back fence in the traditional community pattern (string of red lights across top of fence, white lights draped in calculated, wave-like fashion below), I was surprised at the lack of tolerance for leaving the lights up past January. I didn't see any printed fliers about the people who put their Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, but I suppose the community has bigger issues to deal with than hypocrisy.
Recent sign #2 unfortunately was not accompanied with an explanation for its surprising warning of "Zero tolerance for verbal abuse." I felt a perverse joy at the thought of what must have transpired to prompt the printing of that unexpected gem. Which unhelpful, misinformed, disgruntled employee got yelled at?! And for what?! It might have been the same incident that prompted recent sign #3, which is placed on the counter at the clubhouse in a protective, plastic frame: "Absolutely no one besides staff allowed behind counter." There is nothing behind that counter worth stealing, unless you desperately needed the scheduling book for the tennis courts, a cat calendar, or the sauna key attached to a cut of PVC pipe. If someone headed behind the counter, it was to rough someone up. Though generally not a supporter of violence as a means to an end, I understand why someone would see force as their only option for getting past the pervasive "can't do" attitudes that one encounters when trying to get anything done around here.


Blogger Aaron said...

Do you have any idea what the ramifications are for violators of the verbal abuse policy? I'm intrigued to find out exactly what "zero tolerance" means. Would they kick you out of the community? Report you to the police? Respond in kind? Or would they resort to that most fiendish assertion that they are rubber, and you are glue?

4:37 PM  

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