Grrr. One of our irritating neighbours has filled up the communal 1100 litre bin, actually over-filled it. Waste at our development is collected by a private company who refuse to collect over-filled bins. Now there is something to be said for this policy. It is useful to attach a negative consequence to behaviour one wants to discourage (just as rewards should be attached to behaviour we want to encourage–––this is the basic principle of behaviourist psychology.)
But in this case, the punishment for over-filling a bin is counter-productive because it ensures the behaviour continues: The bin stays over-filled! In fact the problem gets worse. The trash builds up and up and up! Argh! It is like fining someone who cannot pay a debt!
But this is not what bothers me…
Another example: At the last development the management company had an arrangement with a private wheel-clamping firm, who would come and clamp any car parked outside one of the marked bays or parked in a bay that had been sold to one of the residents. Worse, there was no notice on each bay saying whether it was owned or not. And the development of just under a hundred apartments had but one space per apartment and two visitors spaces. So anyone visiting the complex had to take their chances. Now, parking in someone’s spot is a nuisance. But under the circumstances it is a foreseeable and relatively remediable mistake. The clamping company charged a call out and clamp removal fee and an impounding fee if they removed the vehicle after it had remained clamped for more than a few days.
What bothers me: I don’t think either of these punishments is appropriate. And I don’t like the contracts other people enter into binding third-parties like me. The cases above are not quite alike, but in both cases we have a management company entering into a contract with a company and agreeing that the company can punish some form of behaviour, but the people on the receiving end of the punishment are not the ones who entered into the contract. This is especially so in the parking case. Where does the clamper get the right to clamp someone’s car (to prevent them moving their car and to force them to pay a charge)? From the management company. Does the management company have the right to stop someone moving their car? I don’t know. I don’t think they have that right. (Maybe the management company has the right to try to discourage rogue parking, but this wouldn’t legitimate any and every means to that end).
Grr. I’m going to buy some bolt-cutters and keep them in the car. Then if anyone clamps my car, they’ll come back to find a broken chain attached to a lost and lonely anchor!