Monday, February 20, 2006

Gated communities

We live in a “gated community”. In theory, the gates are to let us and our friends in, and keep the bad guys out. In practice, anyone who really wanted to get in for nefarious purposes would just have to hop the gate. My 8.5 month pregnant friend pointed out that it would be possible for her (even now!) to step up onto the conveniently located cross-bar and open the “people gate” from the inside. So much for protection.

But when it comes to getting ourselves in, or getting our friends’ cars in…well, that’s another story.

For the last two years, the call box wasn’t updated. There was a stack a few inches thick of letters requesting that a number please be added, but since July 2004 no new numbers had been entered. Why, you ask? Well, because July 2004 was when the board member who knew how to do it moved away. So much for the call box.

For the past year, whenever the gates were out of order it was cause for celebration. Quick, let’s have a party NOW while everyone can get in! At least, when the gates were broken open. Sometimes they broke shut, which was definitely not cause for celebration. When that happened, you hoped that they got fixed before you were late for work.

A few weeks ago, someone evidently had had enough of the gates. He drove up to them, and then drove through them. Hey, you can’t really blame him. These gates could make anyone crazy – it was only a matter of time. The resultant 45 degree angle left just enough room for a compact car to squeeze through, so once again we were free to invite people over. As long as they drove small cars.

Sadly, last week the gates were replaced. Our remotes don’t work quite so well with this new one. Most of the time you have to be about two feet away for it to register the signal and start opening. Sometimes it doesn’t register at all, and three or four cars will get stuck outside, drivers futilely punching their remotes.

There is hope on the horizon, however. The new gate has a new call box. An updated call box. A pretty, shiny call box. The only problem is that it doesn’t have any numbers in it. Today I asked a board member if, when, and who was going to be getting our numbers into the call box. She blithely responded “Oh, within the week, definitely!”

I’m not holding my breath.


Elena said...

I like it.

So are you going to send it in now, or wait until next week?


Amber said...

This whole complaint thing is pretty funny.

I do like this one though, and I can certainly sympathize. I lived in an apartment complex with a gate very similar to what you describe, although they did update the numbers pretty frequently. However, the call boxes only worked about a quarter of the time so it was pretty frustrating. Someone at our current condo complex is obsessed about putting up entrance gates - every few months he brings it up at the HOA meeting and it dutifully gets added to the minutes and shelved because everyone (except this guy) knows it would be too expensive and generally useless (except for causing frustration in the people who are supposed to be here!)