Top Five: Useless & Needless Condominium Notices

Let’s pick up where we left off Wednesday’s discussion about the “rules and regulations” regarding your condominium’s garbage chute.

We’ll take this a step further, and look those utterly useless and laughable notices posted by your condo’s property manager.

You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

We see them every night when we come home, and we look at them and say, “Are they serious?”

NoticeNotice

I actually had the idea for this post before Wednesday’s post about garbage, but it seemed that there were just so many problems with condominium garbage chute rules and regulations that it necessitated its own post!

If you’ve lived in a condo long enough, you’ve learned to snicker, grown, or silently shake your head when you see some of the notices posted in the elevators, or on the bulletins.

Some of these notices ask for something completely reasonable, but are impossible to be enforced.

Others will ask for something utterly stupid and unnecessary

1) “Please don’t raise your voice when entering and exiting the party room.”

I totally agree.

However, I don’t think that a notice like this is going to have ANY effect, whatsoever.

This goes back to my feelings on human nature, and that most people simply don’t have the common courtesy necessary to make any attempt to minimize their actions that have a negative effect on others.

Add to the fact that most of the people coming out of a party room are drunk, and it’s impossible to expect that these people won’t shout at the top of their lungs at 1:30am.

If any of you, who live on a party floor, feel that this is inexcusable behaviour, then I have a word of advice: next time, don’t buy a condo on the same floor as the party room.

Two wrong’s don’t make a right, but it could be argued that YOU are just as much to blame, for being naive enough to think that people wouldn’t be loud on the party floor.

I say this as an authority figure, of course, since I personally live on the same floor as the party room in my building.  I never once expected that people would be quiet, respect the residents, or try to keep their voices down.  That’s just way too much to ask…

2) “Please don’t toss your cigarette butts from your balcony as damage can be caused on the ground below, and it is a fire hazard.”

I believe I wrote an entire post about this subject last month.

Again, I think the notice and the request is noble, and reasonable, but it’s completely ineffective.

An asshole is always going to be an asshole, and you can’t stop that asshole from demonstrating assholeish behaviour by posting a notice in the elevator.

Picture “that guy” who smokes on his balcony.

He’s out there, on his cell phone, drinking a $9 red wine from a $60 wine glass, in his $500 loafers, with his greasy hair, and after he’s done inhaling his imported cigarette, he non-chalantly flicks the butt over the balcony as he’s done a thousand times before.

His behaviour will never change…

3) “Please don’t drop your weights on the floor of the gym as the sound reverberates on floors above and below.”

I’ll be honest – I don’t quite understand this one.

As a former gym-rat, it always bothered me when gym staff would ask not to “smash the weights.”

Guys – back me up here – when you’re doing flat-bench dumbell press with 100-pound free-weights in each hand, are you REALLY supposed to pop up after your set to ensure the weights don’t drop?  Risk ripping your shoulder, or slipping a disc in your lower back?

No.  You drop them on the floor, as has been done every time, always, in the history of weight-lifting.

There are exceptions to the rule, I guess, but I don’t picture somebody dropping 20-pound weights from shoulder height, just for fun.

I sympathize with people who live above or below the gym, but again, perhaps this is something that just comes with the territory, like living on the same floor as the party room?

BONUS: “Put weights back on the rack.”

Yeah, this has been tried in gyms, and it never works there either.

Plus, the guy who flicks his cigarette butts over the balcony isn’t going to put away his own weights…

(FYI – before you call me out – I have not lifted 100-pound dumbells since I was 22.  I’m currently putting on an impressive display of stretching with an elastic band, and hoping not to hurt anything…)

4) “Please do not let strangers follow in behind you when you enter the building.  You must ensure that any subsequent entrant uses his or her own access FOB.”

Right.

Because everybody wants to be “that jerk” that won’t let the person behind them into the building.

We’ve all been there, and try as we might, we’re just unable to say, “Sorry, I can’t let you in.”

In fact, the only person who has ever successfully pulled this off, is none-other than Jerry Seinfeld.

From Seinfeld, Season 9, episode #170, “The Strongbox”:

[Lobby of Jerry’s building – Jerry emerges from the elevator and walks towards the door. George is behind the glass eating a granola bar. Jerry stares in disgust at it]

JERRY: (opens the door for George) Where did you get that?
GEORGE: (puzzled) I bought it. (enters lobby)
Phil: (walking up to get inside after George) Thanks.
JERRY: (barring the way) I’m sorry. I-I don’t know you.
PHIL: What?
JERRY: There’s been some robberies in the building. I-I can’t let you in.
PHIL: But, I live here! I ran out to buy some birdseed, and-and I forgot my key.
GEORGE: Sounds like a scam. (takes a bite from the granola bar)
JERRY: (shakes his head) I’m very sorry. (closing the door on Phil. Jerry smiles and shrugs apologetically as Phil stares at them through the glass)
(George and Jerry head towards the elevator)
JERRY: Is that guy still there? (They are side-on to Phil who is in the background, still pressed against the glass, aghast)
GEORGE: (looking at the door) He’s starin’ at us.
JERRY: Don’t look at him. (Phil starts to knock on the door)
JERRY: We don’t hear that. (They enter the elevator)
GEORGE: Want a bite?
JERRY: Nooo, I don’t. (the elevator doors shut)

Right.

So we all want to be like Jerry?

I think you either have it in you, or you don’t, and a notice posted by property management isn’t going to change that.

I can honestly say that I have never once asked the person behind me to provide proof that they live in the building.  Is that bad?  Or am I just being friendly?

A couple months back, I took my dog out for a walk, and when I came back to the front foyer, the woman in front of me stopped, and said, “Do you have your access FOB?”

I said, “Yes, I do,” but I didn’t pull it out of my pocket.  I wanted to know what she would do or say next.

Amazingly, she said, “May I see it?”

So I pulled it out and showed it to her, in all its glory.

She then stunned me and said, “Well can you please show me that it’s for this building?”

So I did.  I waved it in front of the scanner, we both heard the “Beep” and saw the green light, and then she nodded, and walked ahead, although she didn’t hold the door for me.

I couldn’t resist, so as we both waited for the elevator, I said, “Good for you.  Who knows, I could have been some deranged serial killer.  But one with a very cute dog…”

Hey – they say that Ted Bundy was handsome, friendly, well-spoken, and perhaps the nicest guy you’d ever meet……until he murdered you.

Like I said before – people either play God with the door, or they couldn’t possibly care less who comes in and out.  I know that we have a lock on the front of the building, a concierge, a lock on the door of our condo, and an alarm system.  If that isn’t enough security, then move to a padded room…

5) “Please do not follow cars into the parking garage without using your entry FOB.  Your FOB must be used every time you enter the building.”

This is essentially the same situation as #4.

When I lived at 230 King Street, I was at an Annual General Meeting, where one resident (try and picture him….) was complaining that concierge wasn’t doing enough to stop “potential strangers” from coming into the parking garage.

He said that when he comes home in his car, he clicks his garage door opener, and then he enters, and STOPS his car to block anybody coming in behind him.  He waits for the garage door to go down, and only proceeds forward if the garage door goes back UP, thereby confirming that the person in the car behind him used their own FOB.

He suggested that this should be “protocol” for all residents, and that it should be instituted as a by-law.

Being the jerk that I can be, I stood up and said, “If I came home one night, after a 10-hour day, eager to get back into my condo, and some overzealous nut-job was blocking me from entering the parking garage, I’d have a really, really big problem with that.”

The man didn’t back down.  He said that the entire building was “unguarded,” and that’s when I used the line I referenced in Point #4 and said, “we have a lock on the front door, a concierge at the front desk, and a lock on our individual unit.  That should be sufficient.”

Am I wrong?

Theoretically, somebody could gain access to the underground garage by following a resident in.  But they can’t gain access ANYWHERE in the building, from the garage, without an access FOB.  Unless, of course, they follow somebody in, as per point #4…

Along the lines of the Seinfeld theme, perhaps this has been a post about nothing.

But I’m eager to hear what I might have missed – from any of you condo-dwellers like myself.

What other pointless, fruitless, notices have you seen in your condo?

11 Comments

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  1. Kat_YYZ says:

    “Am I wrong?”

    yeah… you are wrong. This attitude of “oh well, there’s nothing we can do about it” is BS. It’s what’s wrong with the world. If everyone spoke up when they saw something wrong, we wouldn’t even need these notices.

    Maybe there are a few “greasy douchebags” who will never change. But there are also tons of clueless people who do stupid things out of absent-mindedness. You confront them with the possible consequences and their eyes grow wide: “Oh! I never thought of that!” (And then you grab the sides of your head to keep it from exploding because ‘how the hell could someone never think of that???’ and yet there it is.)

    Instead of the weakly worded notice, they should post the story and photo of the burned building that Paully posted.

    People thought the same way about banning smoking in places like restaurants and bars: they thought it was unenforceable, people will keep doing it, business owners won’t want to tell customers to butt out, non-smokers will quietly seethe and grumble (and cough) under their breath. But now it’s the smokers who are afraid. And it’s not fear of by-law enforcement. Within 30 seconds at least 3 people will tell you to put it out. You will be ostracized.

    People can change, but it’s not going to happen just by sitting around and wishing for it.

  2. Frances says:

    David, that’s “groan” not “grown”.

    1. ScottyP says:

      Groan….

  3. Paully says:

    23 Hollywood Ave in North York had a fire in September caused by a cigarette tossed from a higher floor. Management have since posted a notice that the damage was close to $200,000 which is a cost will ultimately be paid by all of the unit holders.

    I wish that the person who caused it could be found and made to pay for the damages.

    See the picture of what a carelessly tossed cigarette can do here:

    http://www.680news.com/files/2013/09/hollywoodapartmentfire-473×315.jpg

  4. Network Admin says:

    The thing that really annoys me in my condo is that I have to pay for cable that I never use. It increases my maintenance fee for about $30 / month.
    AFAIK, in the US it is not legal as of 2007, http://www.storesonline.com/site/405630/page/927157

  5. Philip says:

    I drive a brand new lexus but am actually a homicidal drug dealer. GO figutre

  6. Geoff says:

    @ Moonbeam – parking a crappy car infront of your house goes in the same category as people littering? I don’t litter but I do drive a 12 year old mazda that has some serious denting on it – while I also have a pretty solid portfolio of real estate and stock investments.

    Well lad-di-dah, Mr. Fancypants! is what Ash would say to that comment you posted (let’s play the who gets the reference game)

    1. moonbeam! says:

      Well when the crappy car with no hubcaps is the neighbour’s car, he can park it in his own drive….

  7. Jonathan says:

    David, thanks for this post and the last one. They make me so happy that I now own my own house and no longer have to deal with sharing a home the occasionally selfish, paranoid or just plain nosy people that make up the rest of humanity. Now if only the goddamn neighbourhood kids would stay off my lawn…

    Maybe there should be more truth in advertising when it comes to pre-construction marketing: the reality of condo ownership is not so about chilling in the rooftop hot tub with bikini babes, more about dealing with ornery old people obsessed with security and quiet.

    1. moonbeam! says:

      Don’t rule out a condo…. owning a house is no guarantee that neighbours and passers-by will behave decently….
      Parking a crappy vehicle in front of my house; pets pooping; people littering; neighbours partying on both sides and in back. Ugh… bad behaviour is a curse anywhere…

      1. AndrewB says:

        Agreed. Idiocy and lack of decency is everywhere.

        Worse though, is that your neighbours can essentially have a block party next door and blare music all night up until the city by-law noise curfew. Then you get all sorts of classy. Like the neighbour who parks 4 cars on their driveway built for two. Using street parking instead of their own driveway. People who never upkeep their yards, exterior of their house, never shovel their sidewalk of snow (which is illegal).

        This is all of course peoples’ own prerogatives and free will. However people are either cordial friendly, or can be the nosy neighbour who has no courtesy for maintaining a friendly community.

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