Monday, April 16, 2007

Matters Building

It has been a while since I writ about our abode in general. I guess it indicates that things are going smoothly, and they were, note were.

Item 1/ Under the building is a huge basement, almost the whole footprint of the building. Apart from a couple of sump pumps, there is nothing else there. It does have some lighting, but not much. Around the floor at the walls are gutters to drain the floor which can flood. It has often been mentioned that it would be good to utilize this space and a feasible plan has been hatched.

It would require lighting to be upgraded and the door to the area changed to a metal grill door for ventilation, but these are minor. The plan is to build storage cages and extra bike racks. While the bike racks would be free, as the others presently are, there would be a charge for the storage cages, somewhere around $10 per week. Once the capital investment is repaid, the money will be divided up between the body corp committee members........no, just kidding. The money will go to the body corporate and reduce the body corporate charge that owners must pay.

Item 2/ Rather that have a live in building manager and cleaner, for the last nine months or so we have employed a company to supply the cleaning and building manager. They are a totally Sri Lankan firm and most of them are quite easy on the eyes. Their competence varies, but they are eager to please. The one nominated as building manager is a nice bloke, but was a little intimidated by white people. But as well as gaining experience about managing a building and tradespeople, he has also learned how to deal with white people and non sub continent Asians who infringe rules. He has turned into quite a good building manager. One committee member has put a lot of time into assisting him. But he is now leaving. We have trained him up and he is now good and can go off and do a good well paid job elsewhere.

You see, the problem is, we are paying less than half to a private contracting company than we did when we had a live in manager. We all know that our building manager was only getting around $1300 a month for a 36 hour week. But no one did anything about it and now he is leaving. While he is staff of the company we employ, we could get around this by topping up his pay with regular bonuses. With the live in manager and cleaner wife, their package cost the building around $80,000 and that was too cheap. For more hours of service, we are now paying $38,000. Since R is on the committee and not me at moment, I don't have much say, but I am quite annoyed that we are losing a good building manager when some extra dollars would have retained him, and he deserved the money too.

3/ We have the buildings inaccessible windows cleaned twice a year and they came this week to clean the windows. I was home when it was all happening. They cleaned my bedroom window and were almost to R's window when a shower of rain happened. They called it quits for the day and returned to finish the job the next day. Well, the rain made my just cleaned window dirty and it will remain so for the next six months, but R's, the spare bedroom and the inaccessible lounge room window are sparkling. I am not happy.

Later edit: This was written a week or so ago. Not sure why I did not publish it.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.