Tuesday, June 12, 2007

There's No Excuse for Being Mean

Even after being in a TIC for seven years I tend to take a Pollyana view toward folks working together. During recent fractional loan debates emotions in our group sometimes ran high but in general everyone focused on issues and tried to help each other out.

Until Saturday. On Saturday we had the final powow. All six partners came to the meeting after crunching numbers and meditating on our personal finances. Five people decided to vote yay although the loan pretty much stinks. (Most of us could walk into any bank on earth and get a 30 year fixed rate of less than 6% and here we were signing up for a 5/1 ARM at 7.25%.) However, owner number 6 remained disgruntled. She began silently seething, abstained from the vote on the loan and continued simmering until halfway through our discussions about TIC agreement revisions she exploded, hurling cutting comments at another TIC member.

"It's all about you, isn't it?" was her main crescendo. "This is all about you," she repeated over and over again, snarling at the other partner, accusing the partner of orchestrating "this whole refi deal" solely for personal benefit - as if other the people in the group were incapable of doing their own math.

Over the years I have seen my TIC partners get exasperated. Once in awhile there might be a hallway encounter where someone needs to complain about Sunset Scavenger, or the water bill, or a cleaning person who doesn't really clean. But it's never personal. The individual is just having a vent about an issue. This is totally fair in my book. We do, after all live together and face challenges together trying to run a building in a City that sometimes seems to go out of its way to hobble our enterprise. If a partner needs an ear from time to time that's OK by me.

We all have demanding jobs and work long hours and making joint decisions is not always easy. But there's no excuse for being mean. People, if you want to deflate the joy in your co-owned household and derail your TIC partner relationships make cutting personal comments to your partners at TIC business meetings when you disagree with them on an issue.


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