David Thompson
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April 28, 2021

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svh

Lefties project.

David

Also, ostracising people and engaging in petty workplace spite is so much easier when you know who they voted for.

David

Also, for no reason whatsoever, today’s words are mid-life crisis.

Richard Cranium

The previous buttocks thread nonetheless seems appropriate when discussing Mr Garrett (since pronouns were not insisted upon in "his" twitter feed).

David

Heh.

Richard Cranium

Alas, when I clicked through, I found humanoid life form Garrett's desired pronouns.

he/him.

So, some plus points for that.

David

But no, we mustn’t laugh. I mean, suppose you were needy and neurotic, someone whose self-worth hinged on mouthing - and being seen and heard to mouth - the most fashionable political opinions, and being denied the opportunity to bore others with them, at eye-watering length, during office hours…

sk60

Also, for no reason whatsoever, today’s words are mid-life crisis.

Today's other word is 'aposematism'.

David

Heh.

WTP

I mean, suppose you were needy and neurotic, someone whose self-worth hinged on mouthing - and being seen and heard to mouth - the most fashionable political opinions, and being denied the opportunity to bore others with them, at eye-watering length, during office hours…

Or suppose you worked in Human Resources over the last several decades, but did this in a much more incremental, boil-the-frog fashion until we got where we are today. Of course anyone who objected over those previous decades, well THEY would be the ones bringing politics into the workplace. The HR angels were just "helping" diverse groups of people to get along. And how could one object to that?

David

The thing about this Basecamp no-politics-at-work policy is that the founders aren't exactly conservatives, but apparently they're still not up to snuff. The clear moral of the story is to not hire activists in the first place.

WTP

The clear moral of the story is to not hire activists in the first place.

So without an HR department, how do you hire anyone? How do you maintain compliance with the plethora of employment regulations?

Richard Cranium

Herr Garrett's choice of flags were entertaining.

Pirate, LGwhatever, Canadian, US, and then TwitterCheck

At this point, our host should drink some type of caffeinated beverage to stay awake over the next bit of text. Those of you who aren't software weasels should consider imbibing the same (assuming you wish to stay awake to read it) or something alcoholic (assuming you'd rather not stay awake to read it).

But he's supposed to be an expert in human interfaces.

Jesse James Garrett’s career in human-centered design includes co-founding the first UX consultancy, Adaptive Path; writing the foundational book The Elements of User Experience, whose iconic five-plane model has become a staple of the field; and defining Ajax, the dynamic interaction model that transformed web technology and design in the Web 2.0 era.

Ah. Ajax := "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML" His day was about 16 years ago. The Wikipedia web page for Ajax mentions him.

Not sure how JavaScript (it would have been difficult to find something worse than Perl, had JavaScript not been created) and XML point to human-centered design.

David

I dimly recall that it was once considered impolite, and rather vulgar, to talk politics at work. It was often regarded as, among other things, an imposition. (See The Blurting, linked above.)

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Related, JP gives a block of instruction.

Unrelated, "...design in the Web 2.0 era." I am still trying to figure out how Web 2.0 is different from Web 1.0, other than it is a crap shoot what sites work on what browsers, and there are more ads and trackers.

The beauty of dial up is that Twitter would never have worked.

David
So without an HR department, how do you hire anyone? How do you maintain compliance with the plethora of employment regulations?

That does present a conundrum. Still, perhaps they should have chosen one of the other 700+ applicants as their data analyst.

Peachy rex

There is an obvious danger in throwing down an ultimatum like "you can work with Nazis or you can work with me!"

anon a mouse

Web 2.0 is different from Web 1.0,"

Same as all sequels - "The Search for More Money"

WTP

Still, perhaps they should have chosen one of the other 700+ applicants as their data analyst.

Yeah. That's my point. Did you review the other 700? The HR field is full of this crap. It was bad enough 20+ years ago when I used to go recruiting with them. The one thing I learned is how deeply evil they are. And that was back then.

Though TBF, there's more than one Jane Yang. From same link comments:

Jane Yang
January 30, 2019 at 12:56 am
Oh, my gosh. We have the same name. Also, my major is data analysis too. I am a senior student and graduate at June, and I am looking for a job now😂😂😂

David

The thing about this Basecamp no-politics-at-work policy is that the founders aren’t exactly conservatives, but apparently they're still not up to snuff. The clear moral of the story is to not hire activists in the first place.

And so, an excruciatingly right-on company that did hire people who regard themselves as activists first and employees second - and did so merrily, it seems - soon found the workplace atmosphere degraded, combative and “unhealthy,” as one of the bosses put it. As if no-one could have foreseen this. A workplace in which employees were either targeted for dissenting, however mildly, from The Fashionable Piety Of The Day, or were cowed into silence and then accused of “complicity” in whatever purported sin was being railed against on any given afternoon.

Instead of, you know, working.

David

That the bosses should find themselves having to officially ask employees not to use the workplace, work networks, and working hours for “political advocacy” – and explaining that angry exchanges about dementedly woke politics “can’t happen where the work happens anymore” – i.e., stop behaving like spoiled students who are still on campus - is quite a thing.

It suggests that a number of important errors, not least in hiring, had already been made.

pst314

So without an HR department, how do you hire anyone? How do you maintain compliance with the plethora of employment regulations?

It's always a temptation to offload as much of the hiring work onto the HR department, as it takes so much time to sift through applications, conduct phone interviews, etc.

A similar phenomenon contributed to the decline of universities: Traditionally most administrative work was performed by professors on a rotating basis. But professors naturally resented anything that took them away from scholarship and teaching, and so they succumbed to the temptation to let full time administrators do it for them. Hence an ever-growing administrative apparat.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

We haven't had a poetry slam for a while, so I bring you "Colonized Erection" - sorry that is the band name, the "poem" is "White Hollywood".

This stunning and bold tour de farce was noted here.

anon a mouse

It suggests that a number of important errors, not least in hiring, had already been made.

"Individual responsibility" scares many, thus the tendency to go full "community"

I do enjoy bringing up imagery of witless herds, trampling in a mad panic to avoid predators when I'm told that "community" or "village" trumps "individual"

I laugh, and laugh...

Joan

i.e., stop behaving like spoiled students who are still on campus

That.

pst314

A similar phenomenon contributed to the decline of universities

I witnessed the debates over this in the 70's, although the process was already well underway.

There were also debates over student loan programs, with some arguing that it was a bad idea to saddle students with large debts and that universities should stick to traditional scholarship programs in which qualified students received grants not loans.

David

That.

Well, you have to marvel at how they’re essentially having to explain to their woke and quarrelsome employees the concept of a workplace, as a thing that’s not in fact interchangeable with a protest march or a student union bar.

As so often, the vanity and arrogance is remarkable.

aelfheld

It's a toss-up as to whether the Left delights more in its misery or in inflicting misery on others.

Steve E

Off topic, on an earlier thread Darlene asked whether under 30s would know how to set a table. Well apropos of that question there's a documentary coming out this month called Set! about competitive table setting. Apparently it's a thing and dates back to the 1940s.

Here's a little taste: https://vimeo.com/521998193.

Steve E

Jesse James Garrett. That's quite a conflicted handle. On the one hand he's Jesse James legendary outlaw on the other he's Pat Garrett legendary lawman who killed outlaw Billy the Kid. Surely he's fated to face a bad end at his own hand.

David

Here’s a little taste

Heh.

WTP

In the interest of "open thread"....

As you may or may not know I am the person who lost the musical chairs game to become president of our HOA. Our HOA has a small, community pool and thus the board has the responsibilities that go along with it. The restrictions are posted at the pool. Restrictions that the board takes grief for but are mostly driven by legal requirements and insurance concerns. A few years ago a resident simply asked if their child could be given swimming lessons by an outside instructor at our pool and we had to say no because of our rules. Well today we get a request from someone who lives in our community asking if we can make an exception for their 8 year old son to have a pool party there. You see, the husband is an attorney and would draw up a disclaimer, etc. etc. etc. And it "would mean a lot to my son and I hope we can find a way to make this work". What F***** crap. First of all, that this lawyer thinks that we are going to take HIS word that HIS document is good without running it past OUR lawyers, at OUR expense. Not to mention how that might conceivably impact our liability insurance.

The nerve of these people. Exceptions for them because they have the special "knowledge". This is a prime example of how these people, lawyers, bit by bit undermine our society. Making so many rules such that normal people cannot do simple things normal people would be allowed to do without question/concern 30-40 years ago because back then we had common sense. Now every damn thing has to be a rule and thus essentially a law, even though no one voted on it. But then for THEM, they want to write up exceptions. Because it "would mean a lot to my son"? Because he's so special? The lack of self-awareness in that profession is astounding. Pond scum, the lot of them.

Karl

Pond scum

I recommend that you thank them for informing you of their professional affiliation, and advise them of a little-known housing agreement stipulation that no lawyers are allowed in the homeowners association and politely ask when they plan to vacate?

Steve E

Restrictions that the board takes grief for but are mostly driven by legal requirements and insurance concerns.

Probably best to just hire a backhoe and fill it in.

pst314

As you may or may not know I am the person who lost the musical chairs game to become president of our HOA.

Serving on an HOA is a thankless job: many residents do not appreciate the work involved, much less the stress. And at the same time, very few residents will agree to serve on the board.

pst314

Well today we get a request from someone who lives in our community asking if we can make an exception for their 8 year old son to have a pool party there.

I would think that any such exception would be legally suspect (same rules must apply to all residents) and that a lawyer should know this.

WTP

I recommend that you thank them for informing you of their professional affiliation, and advise them of a little-known housing agreement stipulation that no lawyers are allowed in the homeowners association and politely ask when they plan to vacate?

Oh, it may be even better. I have a question out to our ARB person asking if these weren't the same people (address seems right) that refused to correct their installed fence, which was put up (I believe purposely) with the "ugly" side facing the street and thus the community. Our restrictions were not 100% clear on that little detail (which we have now corrected) and thus we're stuck. There is a hedge on the outside of this fence but there's no requirement for a new home owner, or even this one, to keep it and maintain it.

WTP

Probably best to just hire a backhoe and fill it in.

Heh...While this is likely in jest, and I have jokingly said same, it would take an act of God to get such a thing approved.

and that a lawyer should know this.

Yes, see my comment just now as to this might have been a homeowner who was pushing the boundaries a while back.

anon a mouse

BTW, I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you that no one asked the 2020's definition of "NAZI"...

*it's "someone who might not totally suck up to me 24/7"*

pst314

"refused to correct their installed fence, which was put up (I believe purposely) with the 'ugly' side facing the street and thus the community. Our restrictions were not 100% clear on that little detail"

So, slimeball lawyers trying to get away with whatever they think they can and to hell with their neighbors. Figures.

pst314

Very old joke:
Attorney Hunting Season and Bag Limits

1. Any person with a valid state hunting license may harvest attorneys.

2. Taking of attorneys with traps or deadfalls is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.

3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited. If accidentally struck, remove dead attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

5. It shall be unlawful to shout “whiplash,” “ambulance,” or “free Perrier” for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

6. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 100 yards of BMW dealerships.

7. It shall be unlawful to use cocaine, young boys, $100 bills, prostitutes, or vehicle accidents to attract attorneys.
. . .

Mick

it would mean a lot to my son

Normally some emotional appeal is expected here to justify bending the rules - it would mean a lot to my son before he starts his chemo, for example.

But of course the whim of their spoiled brat is in their minds the emotional appeal.

and I hope we can find a way to make this work

If we all put aside our personal interests, we can get that orphanage built!

Steve E

So, slimeball lawyers trying to get away with whatever they think they can and to hell with their neighbors.

A friend of mine was selling her house. A lawyer and his wife made an offer. He didn't use a real estate agent and he acted as his own lawyer. My friend's real agent wisely suggested a large cash deposit ($100K). Well the offer was accepted by my friend (against the recommendation of many around her). Two weeks before closing Mr. Lawyer wanted to back out of the deal and he wanted his deposit back. Well, Mr. Smartiepants lawyer took it to court and once again represented himself. The judge berated him for his lack of understanding of real estate law. My friend kept the deposit and the judge awarded a couple hundred thousand dollars in damages. It's sweet when lawyers screw themselves.

Darleen

The HR field is full of this crap.

The change came when they went from "Personnel" to "HR". As the former, they were little more than a service department that processed applications, set up interviews, made sure the hiring packets were current, and people signed for the employee manual.

As "HR" they glommed onto the idea of being Gatekeeper of who got in the front door (and having the power to say yay/nay to any hiring) and Last Word Enforcer of all policy.

In government employment, they are even worse. The last few years before my retirement, the thorn in my side was an HR person named Victor - I usually heard from him a couple times a day unless it was to answer my questions.

anon a mouse

The change came when they went from "Personnel" to "HR".

Which, I am convinced, came about as no one could spell "personnel"

Darleen

competitive table setting. Apparently it's a thing and dates back to the 1940s.

Home entertaining was big in 40s-early 60s. I didn't know that there were actual competitions but I always enjoyed going to the "home" section of some of the old department stores and looking at how their designers set up numerous table settings.

I worry, though, that the trail borders on mocking the people involved in the competition.

BTW... I recently discovered this group.

ComputerLabRat

In the spirit of Open Thread, I just want to state how happy I am that this post finally bumped that woman with the vapid "I'm getting ready to pee without using the loo" look on her face off my screen.

On the topic of the OP - how far down we've come as a culture and a society that the idea that the workplace is for, well, work has become hugely controversial and the subject of much overwrought handwringing.

Richard Cranium

I guess nobody noticed that since resources are things to be exploited that the name "Human Resources" was a big hint on that department's mission.

Steve E

I didn't know that there were actual competitions...

The documentary was filmed in California at the Orange County Fair. Something you might be able to attend in person?

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2021/04/28/its-not-just-knives-and-forks-and-emily-post-rules-welcome-to-the-world-of-competitive-table-setting.html?rf

Darleen

The documentary was filmed in California at the Orange County Fair. Something you might be able to attend in person?

Yes, I've attended in the past and somehow missed that area. If they open this year, I will have to seek this out.

pst314

I guess nobody noticed that since resources are things to be exploited that the name "Human Resources" was a big hint on that department's mission.

I used to joke about that, but nobody laughed.

Cloudbuster

Imagine having all the employees just focused on doing the job, and then discovering that Nazis are the best workers!

Cloudbuster

The change came when they went from "Personnel" to "HR".

I used to work for a large urban daily newspaper and it had to deal with a lot of unionized employees: ITU, Teamsters, etc. The department was named, up into the '90s, "Employee and Labor Relations" which we all abbreviated to ELR. I liked that name. It seemed to acknowledge that employees were people who had interests and that the company had to negotiate with them -- manage a relationship. The company was proud of the fact that in more than 100 years of operation it had never laid anyone off.

The day it changed its name to HR was when I knew the end was coming. That and the internet. I left in 2000, and the paper is now just a shell of itself. The original prominent local family who owned it for generations sold it off to a chain a number of years back.

Cloudbuster

> The clear moral of the story is to not hire activists in the first place.

So without an HR department, how do you hire anyone? How do you maintain compliance with the plethora of employment regulations?

I like the implicit assumption that you can't have an HR department without hiring activists. Probably true, though depressing.

I'd suggest the solution to the problem lies a tier up from the activist-filled nature of the HR profession and might be found in the direction of your final phrase: "the plethora of employment regulations."

Cloudbuster

Wow, the bigger the photo of him gets, the more insufferable he looks. It's like one of those crazy optical effects they used to put in kids magazines. "See how if his face is far away, he looks just a little bit punchable, but when his faces is really big and up close, you probably can't resist punching the picture? Amazing!"

https://jessejamesgarrett.com/ (NSFD -- Not Safe For your Display)

semi retired conservative

Jesse James Garrote -

I’ve been providing guidance and mentorship to design leaders for nearly 20 years — here are a few names I’ve worked with that you’ve probably heard of.""" """Apple Disney NPR Nike Twitter Microsoft Sony Intel CNN Sonos Capital One Allstate GoPro Skype United Nations

A veritable who's who of lefty tech douches, corporate woke cowards and of course, the rotten apple floating at the top of the barrel, the U.N.

Quelle surprise.

Alex DeWynter
Probably best to just hire a backhoe and fill it in.

You may jest, but that's exactly what the HOA at my brother's condo wound up doing with the in-ground jacuzzi.

This is also why I have my Zillow search filters set up to block as much as possible anything with an HOA/POA. I don't mind CC&Rs, where everybody can see the rules before plunking down tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars. Giving a bunch of power-mad Karens and amateur pettifoggers the power to create and interpret those rules on the fly will only lead to tears.

Daniel Ream

Basecamp

The entire tech field is full of staggeringly immature and unprofessional people. In some cases this is not coincidental; Microsoft and Google both have or had a policy of maintaining employee environments (dorms, labs, "student unions" with support businesses on premises, etc) that were identical to university facilities in order to keep the employees from realizing they weren't at university any more - because undergrads/grad students are accustomed to working long and unconventional hours without additional pay. IIRC, a Google employee was fired for pointing this out on Twitter about a decade ago.

it would have been difficult to find something worse than Perl, had JavaScript not been created

I can reliably cause the millennial React coders who are making a dog's breakfast of our UI to BSOD by pointing out that Node.js is making exactly the same mistakes that Ruby on Rails did fifteen years ago. I sent one of them Zed Shaw's Rails is a Ghetto essay with all references to Rails swapped for Node and he didn't notice.

I am still trying to figure out how Web 2.0 is different from Web 1.0

Client-side rendering vs. server-side. And we're on to Web 3.0 now, although the distinction now seems to be marketing-driven rather than a meaningful distinction on architecture.

The HR field is full of this crap

HR is the symptom, not the cause. When large numbers of women entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s, the little darlings discovered that it wasn't all cocktails at lunch and Making It After All, but rather a rough-and-tumble, cut-throat place where men blew off steam in ways hitherto out of sight of the womenfolk. This led to piles upon piles of new legislation against "hostile environment" harassment, "pay equity", mandated maternity leave, hiring discrimination, etc. HR departments are a response to that; companies needed dedicated staff to protect themselves from employee lawsuits.

HR departments have certainly been co-opted by petty tyrants in power skirts in a form of regulatory capture, but a company prepared to pay the costs of legal settlements rather than maintain an HR department can do so. In many cases it would cost less. A former employer of mine did exactly that when employee self-service benefits portal became enterprise-ready.

The nerve of these people. Exceptions for them because they have the special "knowledge"

There is, of course, another possible explanation: we'd like to use the facilities for a one-off event that's outside the usual regulations, and we realize that the regulations are there because of legal liability and not because you're being mean about it; so we're happy to do all the boring expensive drudge work of writing up disclaimers, indemnities and so on on our own time to shield the HOA from any issues, and hopefully we can all make this work out.

Lefties aren't the only ones who project. If you assume everyone is a nasty vicious c*nt constantly trying to stab you in the back, make sure you're not just looking in a mirror.

Jim Whyte

Daniel:

True enough about the HOA issue, but one principle I have learned to live by is, "never take the advice of a lawyer that is acting for another party". As Andrew Tobias said in another context (cold calls from brokers), this is so basic as not to warrant elaboration.

pst314

Lefties aren't the only ones who project.

As Solzhenitsyn said, the line between good and evil runs through the middle of every human heart.

NTSOG

WTP: "The lack of self-awareness in that profession is astounding. Pond scum, the lot of them."

I always liked this as a result of few discussions with lawyers about matters professional which left me wondering in what parallel universe they live:


Replacing lab rats with lawyers: The National Institute of Health (NIH) announced last week that they were going to start using lawyers instead of rats in their experiments. Naturally, the American Bar Association was outraged and filed suit. Yet, the NIH presented some very good reasons for the switch.

1. The lab assistants were becoming very attached to their little rats. This emotional involvement was interfering with the research being conducted. No such attachment could form for a lawyer.

2. Lawyers breed faster and are in much greater supply.

3. Lawyers are much cheaper to care for and the humanitarian societies won't jump all over you no matter what you're studying.

4. There are some things even a rat won't do.

pst314

Speaking of administrative bloat: University of California at Berkeley Posts Ad for Staffer to Host Climate Healing Circles and Lead Transgender Backpacking

pst314

4. There are some things even a rat won't do.

That is a classic.

pst314

Barnard College instructor discusses murdering whites wholesale in coming race war.

"When this race war hits its crescendo. I'll gather you all into a beautifully decorated room under the pretense of unity. I'll give a speech to civility and all the good times we share; I'll smile as we raise glasses to your good, white health, while the detonator blinks under the table, knowing the exits are locked and the air vents filled with gas."

Mass murder complete with gas chambers. As I've said before, there are a lot of black Americans who would willingly follow a black Hitler...and a lot of white liberals who would cheer.

Black racists are scum, but white liberals (who hire and protect them) are even worse.

WTP

When large numbers of women entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s, the little darlings discovered that it wasn't all cocktails at lunch and Making It After All, but rather a rough-and-tumble, cut-throat place where men blew off steam in ways hitherto out of sight of the womenfolk. This led to piles upon piles of new legislation against "hostile environment" harassment, "pay equity", mandated maternity leave, hiring discrimination, etc. HR departments are a response to that; companies needed dedicated staff to protect themselves from employee lawsuits.

Well yes, exactly. My last boss at the last defense contractor where I worked had zero personality, was a passive-aggressive jerk, even lied to my face once to cover for his boss, etc. to the point where he was known in certain circles that knew me as MSD (for My Second Dick). Needless to say, I hated the guy. Anyway, his direct reports (not really a team...but I digress) got a message from HR about a meeting with him and an HR rep. The black, female HR woman running the meeting, who really knew very little about him, starts belittling him in front of the whole team. As the only other person in the room over 40, I felt it my responsibility, regardless of how I felt about him personally, to come to his defense and point out that she was not just being unfair but borderline cruel and this meeting was not the place to do such a thing. We were there (supposedly) to work through what the problems were. I had to hold back on the cruel part a little because I was afraid my defending him might make him feel even more belittled. Again, with a guy I despised. It was one of the most absurd things I ever saw in my 8 years there. Though admittedly I did see quite a few other absurd things even more...absurd.

There is, of course, another possible explanation: we'd like to use the facilities for a one-off event that's outside the usual regulations, and we realize that the regulations are there because of legal liability and not because you're being mean about it; so we're happy to do all the boring expensive drudge work of writing up disclaimers, indemnities and so on on our own time to shield the HOA from any issues, and hopefully we can all make this work out.

Da bawls on dis guy...

Oh, the boring, expensive drudge work eh? You know what's drudge work? Volunteering your time to manage a community of ingrates. We have rules. Rules that other people in the community have respected. This guy wants special treatment and I'm supposed to get all weepy/appreciative that he's not going to put me or the board to any extra work or expense? Not to mention Jim Whyte's point, which was actually my first unconscious instinct, "never take the advice of a lawyer that is acting for another party". Especially as I now hear that this indeed was the property where the homeowner put his fence up backwards and refused to correct it. Actually, I am now told he was given a heads-up while the fence was going up but refused the "advice" he was given.

And when other homeowners ask for approval for this party or that party going forward, shall we ask "Are you a lawyer? No? Ah, well you can't afford it." But neither you nor this lawyer scum will be around to address their concerns. Nor may I or anyone else who may have moved on and/or forgotten the whys and wherefores. Because some people gotta have their own special rules. And they're the f****g rule makers. God help us.

And that's not to mention the 12 year long f****g lawsuit over a tree that the board was not allowed to discuss (or some even know about) whilst homeowners asked WTF we were doing with the money they were paying. Money that we had to put aside in case we lost...which we couldn't tell them about...Oh f*** it. I posted all about that here before. Not going into it again.

What I really want to know now is WTF is with this rule #7, "It shall be unlawful to use cocaine, young boys, $100 bills, prostitutes, or vehicle accidents to attract attorneys." I mean, I understand the "young boys" part but...We're not hunting them for sport nor food (ugh, can you imagine? Gotta be even slimier than hobo meat). Kinda more like coyotes. Varmints/vermin. That sort of thing. Should GF&W really care?

WTP

Also...Giving a bunch of power-mad Karens and amateur pettifoggers the power to create and interpret those rules on the fly will only lead to tears.

People need to be aware that much of the "Karening" that they associate with the HOA is...AGAIN...litigation fear. Too many rules are a bad thing. Personally, I take care of my stuff partly out of self respect but also because I respect my neighbors. I don't have a problem following rational rules, and even many irrational ones that don't really affect me. In a perfect world we would all be able to have just exactly the right number of Goldilocks rules that fit our lives perfectly. But that's not the world we live in. Some people care about some things others care about others. A civilized person, a mature person, a grown-up, should be able to tolerate slight annoyances in favor of the greater community. Now I am speaking here in relevance to REAL ESTATE. It is a unique form of property that cannot be moved and other people are forced to deal with. Personal property, businesses, etc. are a totally different matter where far more choice is available to otherwise disinterested parties. Ah, but I digress yet again...what I'm trying to get to is these rules we may not like, that some of us may not even like to enforce (me me me me), are quite often a function of an overly litigious society. Once one person gets a break, then the next person wants to know why they can't get the same. Especially in today's environment where all sorts of grievance groups are looking to cry to the plethora of lawyers out there looking for business.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Well, if I’m running a business, jjg would be out the door. “Come in, jjg. Sit down. I’m afraid you’re not a good fit. As you know, we are the leading manufacturer of left-handed widgets, and we have a sole-source contract with DOD for ambidextrous widgets. It’s no exaggeration to say we are important to world peace.
“Now. When you got here, we had no policy against talking politics at work. But, between you getting people into hand-waving arguments, and your average of 14 trips per day to Human Resources to complain about one person or another, we had to institute such a policy. You have refused to abide by it. We can no longer afford the 43% drop in production caused by your behavior. World peace and all that, and also. frankly, we ain’t paying you to talk politics. we’re paying you to make widgets. Sorry it didn’t work out. Good luck in your future endeavors.”

And since you KNOW he’s taping it all, resist the temptation to add a humorous “ Sieg Heil” as you’re showing him out.

WTP

Also in regard to Karening...When the pandemic began, there was concern from some residents and some on the board that we needed to close the pool because if someone got Corona there, we could be sued. I and one other board member stood very, very firm that with proper posting of social distancing rules and such, the pool would remain open. As I understand it, we were one of the few communities that did keep our pool open. I know that big Country Club near me closed their pool. We kept ours open but the implied legal threat, regardless of CDC guidelines stating pools were not an issue, did generate a good bit of Karening that we had to deal with.

Richard Cranium
People need to be aware that much of the "Karening" that they associate with the HOA is...AGAIN...litigation fear.

Indeed. There is a fairly large body of water (AKA "large pond") at the rear of my house which is part of my city's drainage system. As it so happens, all of the homes around said large pond own a slice of that large pond out to the more-or-less center. One of the people who owned a home on that large pond liked to go kayaking on it.

(That pond is pear shaped with a maximum length of ~130 meters and maximum width of ~93 meters. I figured you lot would ask about that.)

Someone pointed out that if some fool managed to drown near the center of pond, then said fool's survivors could sue almost any of us since you couldn't be sure upon whose property the fool drowned upon. Shortly thereafter, the HOA (which normally only dealt with pond maintenance) promulgated a rule where nobody at all could swim or boat on the pond. That annoyed the kayaking home owner quite a bit, but so be it.

Steve E

I don't have a problem following rational rules, and even many irrational ones that don't really affect me. In a perfect world we would all be able to have just exactly the right number of Goldilocks rules that fit our lives perfectly. But that's not the world we live in.

I have a problem when they start telling you what colour your drapes have to be; or a specific type of blind you have to use if you want blinds on your windows; or not allowing you to hang a wreath on your door; or what type of plants you can put in your garden etc. etc.

NTSOG

@ RC: "(That pond is pear shaped with a maximum length of ~130 meters and maximum width of ~93 meters. I figured you lot would ask about that.)

Depth? The depth affects how high any diving platforms, if any, can be built.

I have a number of man-made dams [for irrigation and supplying water to live stock] on my property which are within my fenced boundaries. The boundaries are clearly marked with "Keep out; Private Property" signs. I [and other farmers] locally are not required to have toddler/idiot/drunkard-proof fencing around each of these dams, though if we had a proper swimming pool within the house yard we would have to have child-proof fencing. If some plastered fool falls into a dam having trespassed or someone visiting the area loses a little child who wanders into a dam and, sadly, drowns the responsibility does not rest with me. During the season for mushrooms it is amazing how many people think they have the right to come through my fences and pick mushrooms on my property without asking for permission - and the fools, not knowing the difference between a cow and a bull, can place themselves in grave danger. Some years ago a neighbour on his way home from town stopped to tell some folks to leave his property as they picked his mushrooms. They told him to F-Off! He left them, only pausing to explain politely "Those cows aren't cows." The fools were in his bull paddock with several large bulls. Nothing untoward happened to them, but he did warn them.

WTP

I have a problem when they start telling you what colour your drapes have to be; or a specific type of blind you have to use if you want blinds on your windows; or not allowing you to hang a wreath on your door; or what type of plants you can put in your garden etc. etc.

Agree. For the most part. But two things...Yes the interior stuff is nobody's business...except funny you mention blinds. For about 6 months or so, one home had their blinds all askew. Walk/drive past it for a few days, weeks...no big deal. But after several months it's bloody annoying. I'm usually the last to notice these things but once I do notice them, I can't stop seeing it. After thinking about this a bit, I started to wonder if this is partly because there's a natural, human social instinct, at a subconscious level, to wonder if the people there are OK. Now I had seen activity there. Open/closed garage. Car in drive then not. Why wouldn't/couldn't they just straighten the blinds? Neighbors start to complain to us. Eventually they got sent a letter. There was some rigmarole about God knows what, I forget. She was having this problem or that problem. It made no sense. Just fix your frikken blinds. I personally get zero satisfaction out of telling a grown-ass adult to behave like one. Eventually that, and the green growth that was on her mailbox and garage door, did get taken care of. But why do mature adults, people living in $250K-$375K homes, need to be told such things? At first we assumed she was elderly or sick. There was some allusion to being sick but when one of the board members offered to come over and fix it for her, she suddenly wasn't all that sick and the stuff got fixed.

As for colors...well this is the standard thing about keeping people from painting their homes neon orange with purple stripes or whatever. Rather than having to approve each color as chosen, there's a color book. People get very upset that they have to pick from the book, even after we tell them if the color they like isn't in there (it's an old book from 30 years ago or so), we generally approve whatever they want so long as it is within reason. But people get all freaky when they read that they have to pick from that specific book. It's not that strict of a rule. But people start off all wound up about these things. I call it pre-Karen Karening.

At the end of the day (heh...I hate that phrase), if you really want to get upset about HOA's, well yes there's plenty for you to choose from to get upset about. The thing is, people buy a home, they are given a copy of the covenants and restrictions. From what I can tell, no one (except maybe me) reads them. They just drive into a beautiful community and think that, I don't know...perhaps angels from heaven come down and keep it that way. A nice community takes work. Either work by the vast majority of the homeowners (happening less and less) or by an HOA. Don't like it, don't live in one. I personally don't like being told what to do, nor do I like telling others what to do. I don't even want to be on this frikken board, let alone president. Hell, I even make it a point (this goes way back before my HOA involvement though) to never vote for myself. But nobody else is willing to do it. I joined because some drunk ran into one of our walls several years ago and it didn't get fixed for months. I learned that part of the problem was there weren't enough board members to form a quorum to get anything done. I thought I'd only be on for one three year term, such was my intention as I have a summer home elsewhere. But then at a meeting I lost my temper a bit with a whining home owner and told him if he didn't like how things were getting done, he could get off his sorry ass and help. Never saw him at another meeting, nor in the neighborhood again. This, unfortunately, impressed some people and next thing I knew, I'm the bloody president.

pst314

next thing I knew, I'm the bloody president.

You have my salute and my sympathy. I always thank our board members for their work and talk with others in ways that convey how much they do for us.

pst314

one home had their blinds all askew

One of our homeowners has very messy looking curtains, almost as if they have hung sheets in the bedroom windows. It makes the place look bad to anyone going by, and prospective buyers might wonder if those people are on welfare or are just slovenly and will be problem neighbors in various ways.

pst314

Some years ago a neighbour on his way home from town stopped to tell some folks to leave his property as they picked his mushrooms. They told him to F-Off! He left them, only pausing to explain politely "Those cows aren't cows."

The "F-Off" response begs for some sort of punishment: Aggressive anti-social behavior needs to have costs.

pst314

I have a problem when they start telling you what colour your drapes have to be; or a specific type of blind you have to use if you want blinds on your windows; or not allowing you to hang a wreath on your door; or what type of plants you can put in your garden etc. etc.

I can sort of understand the idea of uniform window blinds or drapes (they can make a condo building look 'messy'), but still find it astonishing that anyone could object to Christmas wreaths, a variety of plants and flowers, etc: A variety of plants and flowers are part of the beauty of a neighborhood. Do the rule-makers hate Christmas or are they over-worried about somebody putting up an "inappropriate" or "garish" display?

Governor Squid

I guess nobody noticed that since resources are things to be exploited that the name "Human Resources" was a big hint on that department's mission.

Our HR department recently rebranded itself. Now it's called "People Solutions." We half-joke that we'd like a heads-up when they start developing the "final" one.

Steve E

I can sort of understand the idea of uniform window blinds or drapes (they can make a condo building look 'messy')

Yes, this is the argument that's often made to enforce drape & blind uniformity. I just don't see how your 20 second view of my purple drapes from a distance once or twice a week should overide my enjoyment of my favorite colour for multiple hours a day, seven days a week.

Cloudbuster

Some years ago a neighbour on his way home from town stopped to tell some folks to leave his property as they picked his mushrooms. They told him to F-Off!

Last time I told mushroom pickers to get off my property I had a 12 gauge pump shotgun slung casually over my shoulder. No "F-Off's" were uttered. That sh*t don't fly with me.

And speaking of bulls, I, too, have had trespassers venture into pastures where I had a bull running. One such couple drew the interest not of the bull, but of a large, friendly ox I have. He decided to trot over to them to say hello. The sight of a 2,000 pound horned black behemoth headed your way at a trot can be pretty bracing. They later told me he "charged" them, but I know better -- I've known that big teddy bear all his life. They learned to stay off the property, though.

Steve E

The sight of a 2,000 pound horned black behemoth headed your way at a trot can be pretty bracing.

Reminds me of this great Buddy Hackett joke about why some cows have horns told to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.

Steve E

Reminds me of this great Buddy Hackett joke

Sorry, the cow joke starts at 1:54.

ruralcounsel

I have no sympathy for people complaining about serving on an property-owner managed HOA. If you dislike it so much, and are such a misanthrope, quit. Some people just aren't cut out for it, just like some people aren't cut out for living in an HOA-controlled development. Unfortunately, those HOA board spots tend to go to two types of people. (1) The inevitable busybody who like to wield power and is totally inflexible, and (2) the good samaritan who thinks it is their duty to serve in hell for a bit, but want to be considered for sainthood because of it. Type 2 usually yields to type 1.

The trouble with HOA covenants is that they get drafted, and then years go by before anyone bothers to keep them up, despite things like paint colors and shingle styes no longer being available, so the property owners have to ask for clarity from people who don't want to be clear. It has rules about garbage pickup, except they've switched garbage disposal outfits 6 times and those rules no longer apply.

"Oh, the boring, expensive drudge work eh? You know what's drudge work? Volunteering your time to manage a community of ingrates. We have rules. Rules that other people in the community have respected. This guy wants special treatment and I'm supposed to get all weepy/appreciative that he's not going to put me or the board to any extra work or expense?"

You sound like you expected a public-facing position was going to be like assembly-line work. Everyone should just stay in their little lanes and never want anything not on the menu.

Here's a solution: don't volunteer and then be a bitch about it because you don't feel appreciated enough. If drafting a document to allocate risk and indemnify your HOA is such drudge work, you should have no trouble drafting one yourself. What you fail to acknowledge is he wouldn't be the opposing party in any lawsuit, it would one of the party guests. At best he'd be a co-defendent, and once the judge realized he was the drafter, that piece of paper would mean nothing in terms of protecting him. If your HOA can't find an insurance company that has a package that allows the residents to rent the pool for a limited private party, let me suggest your lazy ass HOA isn't trying very hard. You don't like the inconvenience of a pool? Maybe you should move somewhere that doesn't have one. Isn't that the classic response of all HOA's to people complaining about the HOA?

The biggest problem I've had with the HOA community that I've been in the past 9 years is the property owners who rent their places instead of living in them. Those are the units that aren't maintained, the rules are rarely properly explained to the tenants, and the tenants come and go so fast it's hardly worthwhile. Not to mention the tenants who are useless druggies and steal from their neighbors. Unlike in a condo situation where the other owners have a say in who is allowed to live in their community.

My HOA Board seem to be reasonable people, except for periodically wanting me to be responsible for an old steel lamp post out by the sidewalk that arguably is on community property and there is no sign that the light is fed off of my power panel. It's rusting away and starting to lean since the builders buried the steel post directly into ground rather than cement, back 40 years ago when they constructed these cheap units. Whenever I raise these points, they drop the issue without clarifying anything, until the next committee gets installed. Hey, at least I keep a working light bulb in it, unlike about 30% of the other ones.

pst314

Reminds me of this great Buddy Hackett joke

Here's another:

A man is driving down a country road when he comes across a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep. He tells the shepherd, "I will bet you $100 against one of your sheep that I can tell you the exact number in this flock." The shepherd thinks it over; it's a big flock so he takes the bet. "973," says the man. The shepherd is astonished, because that is exactly right. He says "OK, I'm a man of my word, take an animal." The man picks one up and begins to walk away.

"Wait," cries the shepherd, "Let me have a chance to get even. Double or nothing that I can guess your exact occupation." The man says sure. "You are an economist for a government think tank," says the shepherd. "Amazing!" responds the man, "You are exactly right! But tell me, how did you deduce that?"

"Well," says the shepherd, "put down my dog and I will tell you."

pst314

I just don't see how your 20 second view of my purple drapes from a distance once or twice a week should overide my enjoyment of my favorite colour for multiple hours a day, seven days a week.

Yes, although it's a lot longer than 20 seconds for pedestrians in my neighborhood, but any problem with the color of drapes is easily solved: just get liners which do not affect the look from inside. Most of the objections that I have encountered have been from people who have an excessive need for uniformity in everything. (insert photo of Adrian Monk carefully arranging everything)

WTP

Sorry, the cow joke starts at 1:54.

The ensuing joke about a duck is apropos as well. Actually funnier if you hadn't heard it before. But it's been several decades and thus maybe you have. But Buddy Hackett still makes it worth it for the telling. Also, it centers around the killing of a duck. Which is nice.

pst314

Also, it centers around the killing of a duck. Which is nice.

The menace must be exposed.

WTP

I have no sympathy for people complaining about serving on an property-owner managed HOA. If you dislike it so much, and are such a misanthrope, quit.

And I have no sympathy for people who complain about HOA's. If you don't like them, the GTFO. Stopped at (1) The inevitable busybody who like to wield power and is totally inflexible, and (2) the good samaritan who thinks it is their duty to serve in hell for a bit, but want to be considered for sainthood because of it. Type 2 usually yields to type 1.

Wow. Some God like vision you got there, Charlie. Why you are wasting it on me, God...ah, You...only know.

OK, I lie. I read a bit further now. Still, WTF is YOUR problem? Do I sound like a "good smaritan" to you? Nobody else was willing to do the job. I don't do it for my fellow man. I loathe and despise my fellow man. Especially the kind like yourself. I do it because I was raised with certain sense of responsibility to myself but also to things around me that I see that need to be fixed. They impact my property value as well and as no one else is going to do the work, I do it. My actual long-term goal once all the things finally get fixed that previous boards failed to address due to f***** lawyers, I plan to be as big a pain in the ass to people such as yourself as possible. Not for the power trip mind you, but to get lazy freeloaders like yourself off your lazy asses to do the job rather than bitch about it. Or even having the nerve to bitch about those who actually do the work. Does that sound like a "good samaritan" to you?

pst314

OK, I lie. I read a bit further now. Still, WTF is YOUR problem?

Sounds like a bad-tempered lawyer. :-(

pst314

(1) The inevitable busybody who like to wield power and is totally inflexible, and (2) the good samaritan who thinks it is their duty to serve in hell for a bit, but want to be considered for sainthood because of it.

We only ever had one power-loving busybody, and we never had anybody who wanted to be "considered for sainthood." We have had lots of people who volunteered because they knew the job had to be done, and who served for years in spite of the aggravations. The most frequent problem has been--and is--inconsiderate homeowners.

The trouble with HOA covenants is that they get drafted, and then years go by before anyone bothers to keep them up, despite things like paint colors and shingle styes no longer being available, so the property owners have to ask for clarity from people who don't want to be clear. It has rules about garbage pickup, except they've switched garbage disposal outfits 6 times and those rules no longer apply.

Not a problem here: When the original window model was no longer available, we worked with that homeowner to do a little research and then ruled on what make/model/color must be used. Problem solved. We have changed garbage disposal outfits a few times, but that has not been a problem. But homeowners who do not properly dispose of their trash has been a continuing problem.

The biggest problem I've had with the HOA community that I've been in the past 9 years is the property owners who rent their places instead of living in them.

We solved that problem over 20 years ago: We passed an amendment prohibiting rentals.

Here's a solution: don't volunteer and then be a bitch about it because you don't feel appreciated enough.

Nobody is expecting to receive flowers and chocolates. But we would like to not be subjected to vitriol and abuse, not to mention unreasonable demands from people who cannot understand why exceptions should not be made for them, and the endless problems with inconsiderate owners who do not think the rules apply to them.

ccscientist

At work, one should (must really) be able to work with people who you do not like, whose religion, sexuality, politics, and food preferences you find repugnant--otherwise no work can take place, ever. This is why "get woke, go broke" is an aphorism--they are taking their eye off the ball. In most businesses, there is a small margin for profit and you can totally go into the red by forgetting your mission.

WTP

Thanks for saving me some typing.

We solved that problem over 20 years ago: We passed an amendment prohibiting rentals.

Is that still in effect? We originally had such a restriction but I was told that after the 2008 real estate crash, in order to bring the demand back up the feds forbid such restrictions. We recently amended our docs to restrict short term Air-B-N-B vacation style rentals.

pst314

Is that still in effect?

Yes. We managed to keep our property maximally attractive through very good financial management: We have never had to have a special assessment because we very carefully manage the budget: We hire good experts to evaluate our property and make a 30-year estimate of likely repairs and replacements, and we set the monthly assessments to build and maintain sufficient reserve funds to cover them.

the feds forbid such restrictions

I have never heard that. Could you have been given incorrect or inaccurate information? Or maybe there are legal limits on such restrictions but they have to do with particular selective types of restrictions, such as "no children" etc?

WTP

Curious. What state are you in? Maybe it is a FL thing, but I don't think so.

pst314

Illinois. But not Chicago, thank God.

pst314

We passed an amendment prohibiting rentals.

We did have to grandfather in all existing rentals, so we were not completely renter-free until the last such unit was sold. But that only took a few years as best I recall.

pst314

Writes Taylor Hatmaker at TechCrunch. In a not-at-all-loaded and totally non-divisive way.

From that link:

"Drawing the line on 'political' topics becomes murky very quickly for any non-white or LGBTQ employees, for whom many issues that might be seen as political in nature in some circles — the Black Lives Matter movement, for instance — are inextricably and deeply personal."

The writer may be too work to realize that Black Lives Matter can be deeply personal for white and Asian people too, as we do not like being harassed, terrorized, beaten or even murdered.

pst314

Arrgh, that's 'woke' not 'work'.

Jacob

And presumably taking with them their intersectional prayer mats

Lol. That.

David

Lol. That.

Well, the religious connotations don’t seem entirely inapt.

Again, if you regard it as acceptable to use work time and work resources to be political 24/7 - say, to endorse Black Lives Matter in the workplace or to denounce the alleged devilry of Donald Trump – and if you regard this somewhat odd activity as more important than actually doing the job you’re being paid to do, and despite it disrupting the ability of your colleagues to do their work, the thing that pays their mortgages, etc., then some belated growing up seems in order.

And some unemployment.

pst314

Well, the religious connotations don’t seem entirely inapt.

Wokeness is similar to Islam, in that a chief reason for the existence of both is the divine mandate to prey upon other human beings.

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