It’s a story worthy of King Solomon.
My apartment complex consists of two buildings, the “A” building and the “B” building. Each one has eight floors, twenty apartments on each floor. Each building is identical.
A few months ago, the Board of Directors applied for a state refund that was being offered to apartment complexes that were part of a state energy saving program. Today we received our refund.
But there is a catch.
The refund is based on the combined income of the tenants in each building, and each structure is considered a separate entity. So, while our apartment building was under the deemed amount necessary to receive the rebate, the other building apparently made a combined income that brought them slightly over the maximum level.
“Finally,” said my mother. “It paid for us to live with the poorer people.”
Everyone in the “A” building received a check for $100. The “B” building received nothing. You can imagine their reaction.
The issue is now the drama of the day in Flushing, Queens, talked endlessly about in the elevator, the mailboxes in the lobby, and the fruit section of the supermarket, pitting apartment dweller against apartment dweller, “A” building against “B” building, rich against poor. Should the two buildings that comprise the co-op share the refund as one, splitting it in half, or should the “A” building just say “Tough Luck, Suckers!” to their more well-off brother?
“You would think those in the “B” building would be happy just to be known as the Donald Trumps of the co-op,” a woman said to me as I entered the “A” building laundry room. The crisp check she just received in the mail was in her hand.