by Kate Collins
Have you ever sat on a board or in a committee meeting that got heated? Where the core issue got lost because one board member’s ego stood in the way? It happened to me last week at our homeowners’ association board meeting. One hot button topic. Five committee members – three of whom were trying to do what was best for the community, one who wanted what was best for herself, and one who was trying to mediate. Add to that one leader who didn’t lead and what do you get?
Voices raised. Faces turned red. Tempers flared. Neighbors who weren’t so neighborly. And nothing decided. Now a few residents aren’t speaking to each other.
A homeowner’s association board is supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the community as a whole. When a few or even one member can only think of her/himself, it ceases to work.
What didn’t stop working was my right brain. Even while my left brain was arguing, my right brain was plotting a future murder mystery.
Here’s what I came up with:
The Victim: The board member who wouldn’t approve someone’s landscape plans.
1. The neighbor whose plans were unfairly shot down.
2. A board member who stood up to the victim and got bullied and shot down.
3. The victim’s former employee who was fired for a silly reason.
4. A person from within the victim’s family/former husband with an axe to grind.
And I was off and running. It’s too bad I’ve already got my plot for book 16, which I’m just now starting. But hey, 17 is right around the corner. All I need is a title. Hmm. Something to do with landscaping, shrubs, flowers ….. Oh, well. Something will come to me.
By the way, I do this at other times, too, such as when I’m waiting in a long line at the airport. You know those annoying TSA employees who insist your hand lotion is actually the residue from illegal drugs? I see a murder mystery taking shape. Amazing how you can entertain yourself when you put your right brain to it.
Next time you’re stuck in a similar situation, try it. At the very least, it’ll make you smile. At the most, it’ll make the time fly by. Or maybe you have a better way to make the tedium interesting. I’d love to hear it.