The Swindlers

Trampa is another great word in Spanish. It means fraud, snare, to cheat, entrap, swindle. It’s great for describing the administration of my apartment building back in Buenos Aires, as evident in my prior post, Big Ass Mess.

I went back for a second assembly of homeowners after we voted to oust them for negligence, overcharging and shady business practices. For skimming off the top more than we could stand for.

The swindlers called the meeting this time for a vote on their unwavering decision to resign. I went, happy that justice was winning. Bye, bye, crooks.

We gathered again in the foyer and waited. It was hot and sweaty. We talked and waited. And waited. Forty-five minutes went by and the administration still hadn’t shown, nor their cohorts – our fellow homeowners that support them. What chicken-shits, I thought. What cowards.

Maybe not.

“They just want to disappear with our money,” said a fellow homeowner. The administration has our funds for the upkeep of the building and paying bills and the doorman’s salary.

This led to a discussion on what they could be trying to do, what they could be trying to pull.

“How should I know,” one of us said. “You can’t think like a crook if you’re not a crook.”

At one point, a man aligned with the administration came. He – a lawyer that offers his services to the administration, at inflated prices, so I am told – said they’d called him to say they weren’t coming. He listened to us argue about how to react. He heard our strategy and left. No doubt to report his observations to the administration. Their emissary.

Then another in league with the enemy walked through our congregation. It was the mother of the heavy-built ruffian who tried to break up the previous meeting. She walked through, looking at none of us. And out the door.

“Well, I’ll be,” one of us said.

“That figures,” another said. “She’s already made her fortune out of us. So what does she care?”

After an hour or so, we came up with a plan to not accept the resignation and keep the administrators in place for another month to finish business, clean up the books and transfer all records to a new management company.

Will they?

That’s hard to say. Like my neighbor said, you can’t think like a crook if you’re not. It might be better to think about moving, before another trampa.

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