December 18 2009
Lots of you may wonder what boards really do, especially if you are thinking of buying into High Rise Society. I don’t mean directors of those mega corporations like GM and Lehman. We know they don’t know what they’re doing because they all went bankrupt and are now being run by the government that probably knows even less. No, I’m talking about boards of the buildings where you live and where you probably invested most of your money. In case you don’t know it, they have even more power over you. How do they use it? Hopefully, not like this.
We need to get a chair.
For the doorman.
Who said he should sit? If he stands he’ll be able to get to the door faster.
But the door opens automatically.
So what? This isn’t Tokyo where robots greet you. New Yorkers want real people opening the door even if the door opens by itself
If he sits on a chair he’ll fall asleep.
How can he fall asleep?
That’s what happened on Seinfeld when George bought a chair for the security guard.
But that was a rocking chair. We don’t have to get a rocker
Well, what kind of a chair. It can’t be too comfortable.
What are you some kind of masochist?
He should stand. That’s all there is to it.
How about a stool?
Only if it doesn’t have a back. Then he can’t fall asleep.
Did you buy the chair?
The one the doorman’s sitting on.
No, You said you were gonna buy the chair.
I didn’t agree to one with a back. That’s an unapproved chair.
We don’t need board approval for a chair.
Yes we do. Why didn’t you consult with us first?
I told you I didn’t buy the chair.
Then where did it come from?
How should I know.
We have to hire a guard.
Why do we need a guard for the chair?
Because lots of unauthorized people are sitting on it.
Since when do you need permission to sit on a chair.
The only one authorized to use the chair is the doorman.
But you didn’t want the doorman to have a chair.
Well now that he has one, he should use it, not let residents sit in it when they’re waiting for the bus.
What about you?
What about me.
Can you sit in the chair?
Of course I can sit in the chair.
But you’re a resident.
I’m a board member.
MORAL: You want a board that doesn’t lose sight of the forest for the trees (or the chairs), and that puts your interest and that of the building ahead of its own. It’s simple to articulate, but not always easy to find Stay tuned for ways to increase the odds.