When I bought the apartment that mubeimmik and I live in, it came with a part-time caretaker. He'd clean the hallways (Although you couldn't really tell...), replaced broken lights, did small maintenance - stuff like that. Originally he was employed by the public housing company that used to own this building, but once said company decided to cash in on their profits by selling these apartments individually he was supposed to get hired by the homeowners' association. However, the association didn't want to get involved with hiring people (it comes with more responsibilities than they wanted), and it wasn't like his performance was particularly stellar, so overnight there wasn't any caretaker at all.
For the first few weeks, this was OK. A cleaning company was contracted to do the cleaning (Guess what? You couldn't really tell...), and any 'serious' maintenance would be done by a contractor. However, this meant that all the small, fiddly things wouldn't be dealt with anymore. Within a few weeks there were several lights out, communal doors stopped latching properly - basicly the whole building suddenly looked a lot less well-tended. Nothing that will make a building look more derelict than badly lit corridors featuring erratically flashing fluorescent lights. It bothered me greatly.
It bothered me to the point where I decided that, really, I was more than capable enough to fix those lights myself, tend to those failing locks, and do the other small maintenance that's required in an apartment building. Sure, I could've filed a complaint with the company that manages our building and have them call the contractor, but that would've been expensive; I decided that if I could save the homeowners association several hundreds of Euros just by replacing a TL tube, it would be silly not to. In the end, I'd benefit from it myself, anyway. I got the keys to the old caretaker's office, and I said I'd keep an eye out and mend things the things that I could. At the next general assembly of the homeowners association I was made a board member, since I was doing so much work anyway. At some point, I was even stupid enough to take time from work so I could let various contractors who had to do maintenance work in.
Most people appreciated my efforts. Some of them seem to think (to this day) that I'm the new caretaker, and don't seem to realise that I'm actually doing this out of my own free will, in my own free time, and that they really ought to cut me some slack if the light in their hallway goes out while I'm away. There's a certain person, however, who took this to an entirely different level. He'd come rant at me while I was fixing things. He'd try to run me over in his car, he'd try to insult me and intimidate me - and even worse, he tried to do the same thing to mubeimmik. He'd yell at the garbage men who're kind enough to come pick our trash to the point that they were no longer willing to pick up our junk. Who had to fix it? Me. He was such a bad neighbour that at some point there was a special item on the agenda of the general assembly where people could rant and complain about this particular fellow. At some point I had enough of his constant insults, insinuations and gossiping, and I decided that I had done my share, and that I would reduce my involvement in the homeowners association and have someone else take over. Enough is enough.
Due to an earlier
Apparently my absence was no reason whatsoever to remove me from the board (Even though I actually asked them to), although it proved to be grounds to speculate about me wanting to move. And to add insult to injury, my least-beloved-flatmate has been elected to "janitor and caretaker", notwithstanding that he's not even a member (he rents - actually, he's living off welfare since he's considered to be unfit to work because of mental problems). I'm quite sure the rat fink expects to be paid handsomely for this, and I have little doubt that he will be, considering how 'lamentable' he is, not having a job or anything. Needless to say, I refuse to have any part in this, and I refuse to bear any kind of responsibilities as far as he is concerned. Therefore, I decided to resign from my duties as a board member. At the spot. And I'll just have to see what happens from here.
I think I made the right decision - I'm not trying to sound like people have an obligation towards me, or that I have gained the right to veto a decision after it has been made during a meeting which I should have attended, but I do have my own blood pressure to think of. It's too high as it is already. Either way, I can't help but feeling rejected, and can't deny the feeling that I somehow "lost".
I apologise for whining.