Sunday, August 8, 2010

prisoner's dilema

Currently, the water is off in my building. It's been off since yesterday afternoon - "the pump is broken, we will need to turn it off so that it can be fixed. It will be back on on Monday".

It's not that i trusted that a 36 hour pump repair job would really take place, but if that's what they say, i guess that's what I had to go with.

So I stockpiled water, about 40 L of it. No, it's not a lot, but every single bottle and bucket, and pot was pretty much full. ( tells you a bit about what i have in my house).

And I've been managing, I've been conscious of water use - even more than normal. I've still been able to bathe, make coffee; I've made the critical decision between flushing the toilet or keeping the water for cooking; and my kitchen is starting to drive me crazy because the dishes are piling up.

Anyway, how I use water isn't really what I want to talk about. You see, I just got a knock on the door though from the building management. Every month, I pay about $8 in monthly fees that is supposed to go to grounds upkeep ( sounds fancy, but its really just some dude who sweeps every day). I didn't know that it was also supposed to go to water pump management, but it turns out that it is supposed to. It also turns out that the pump isn't broken, it's just the pump service fees haven't been paid and so the powers that be turned the pump off.


Now, I'm being asked to pay the $8 in advance for September, so they can pay make up the shortfall in overdue fees and we can get the water back on on Monday.

So what should I do?

(Nevermind that its $8 and that's what most of you back home pay for your fancy lattes, or a single fashion magazine, nevermind that, its quite a bit of money here. And never mind, that this shortfall is the management's fault, and yet we're getting the short end of the stick. never mind that.)

(Never mind even, the fact that it probably means that they just haven't really paid the management fees so who knows what they did with the money we've all paid? )

Never mind. The more important issue is what I should do.

You see, I'm not going to be here in September. There's some dude in flat 13 who owes about 4 months fees, and a few other tenants who haven't paid up yet. I'm the only one that is being asked to pay in advance,and maybe I would do it and the water still won't come on. But if I do pay, and the other folks pay, then the water ' could' really come back on.

I'm stumped: should I pay, or should I not pay? If I pay, I'm supporting a system of lack of accountability and poor management and i might be screwed in the long run. If i pay, I might also be able to get the water back on. And all of this will hinge on whether or not the other folks will pay their arrears as well.

What should I do?

I've lived here for 3.5 years. I've learned to be incredible distrustful of almost every single interaction that involves money. Every business decision that I make is involves a bit of game theory that often hasn't gone my way. It's going to be a doozy moving back to Canada.

1 comment:

happydream said...

One : By 45 years ago. Only 4 hours had the water to running in to the house of every 4 days!!!!!!!!!!!! We had to wash the clothes, take the shover, clean the house and use every thing to keep the water to wait for another 4 days!!!!!! for whole summer!!!!!!! But the Hong Komh people still there!!!!!
Two: back to CANADA!!!!!!!