A friend and neighbor came to me with what she believes is an important proposal for the Country Club Estates Home Owners Association. She passionately argues that our clubhouse needs a new crock-pot. They’re only $29.95 at Wal Mart, we really need one, we can afford one, and our collective lives will all be better if we have one. What can be so hard about this?
I told her to prepare for a tough battle to sell her idea. There will only be a small number of people that will see this issue as important as she does; a small group that truly sees the benefits of crock-pot ownership. Expect an equally small group of people that will believe, almost as passionately as she does, that this is a really dumb idea and last thing we need is a community owned crock-pot.
Prepare yourself for an even larger group that will oppose your idea solely because they just oppose spending money, any money, for any reason, period. These folks can’t be sold. They live their lives frugally, are used to doing without, and will never see the benefit or the economic return of crock-pot ownership.
The good news is that the vast majority of us could care less whether we have a crock-pot or not. We won’t take the time to listen to or even consider all of the important aspects of community crock-pot ownership. We’ll vote, just for the heck of it, based upon what someone said at the last cocktail party or what we heard over the fence the day before yesterday. We really don’t care, but we can be sold.
So far this is normal: a small group for the crock-pot, a small group against the crock-pot, a third group that won’t spend any money on anything, and the majority that could care less. But here at CCE we have two other unusual groups that you’ll have to deal with.
You’ll find a hard-core group of people that believe that the Reedys owe us a crock-pot. They’ll say things like: “The Reedys promised us one in the past and they’ve welshed on the deal or somehow beat us out of one. Jim agreed to give us one once and now he wants to sell us one. He’s greedy and only in this for the money.” You can’t overcome this insanity. These people want to believe this and no sort of argument will convince them otherwise.
The other group that could make your life difficult is how the CCE board will deal with this critical crock-pot issue. They should, but don’t always, keep their personal views to themselves. In the past they have used their management positions, either out of ignorance or just plain meanness, to influence, sway, or rig the vote. Their job is to insure that all sides of this crock-pot issue get heard and that we follow the democratic process outlined in our bylaws, regardless of how they personally feel about crock-pots. As individual members, they’re free to vote secretly just like the rest of us. In the past they haven’t always understood this.
And are you really ready for this? Those opposed to your idea will be vicious, cruel and think nothing of punching below the belt. Not so much from your legitimate opponents, but the don’t-spend-any-money-on-anything folks, and the Reedys-owe-us-one group will do everything to slander you personally and shoot down your idea with a long list of cockamamie arguments.
How bad do you really want this crock-pot?
As she headed for the door, I heard her mumble, “No thanks, I think I take my own over to the clubhouse when we need one.”
Bob Rockwell Country Club Estates
©2007 by Bob Rockwell