Re: What is the Etiquette?
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2015 18:42:09 -0700 (PDT)
We have a backup person. He is on vacation for the next week.  

It's still would've required a call, if he wasn't home I have to leave a 
message, I still have to follow up on it etc. etc.

I think my point is trying to make arrangements to see a community A few hours 
before you leaving town doesn't really work. At least not for me. Where is 
making arrangements in advance can accomplish everything. 

Ann z
Takoma Village
Washington DC

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 2, 2015, at 7:23 PM, Kay Wilson <kwilsonfisk [at]> wrote:
> A couple of thoughts.......
> --No one person should be the only person responsible to see that [fill in 
> the blank] gets done. If you had a back-up person, you could make one call to 
> that person, who could then handle the issue.
> --Contact information for visits (websites, brochures, etc.) could include a 
> minimum of "at least X days prior to the date you wish to visit."
> At Meadow Wood we are dealing with a similar issue. The head of our Grounds 
> Team has resigned for health reasons, and the person who has shared the 
> leadership of that team has just moved away for health reasons. As of this 
> time, despite several requests for someone to take over leadership, no one 
> has stepped up - probably in part because the two people that just stepped 
> down were doing such an excellent job that everyone else feels like the bar 
> is set too high.
> Kay Wilson
> Meadow Wood Cohousing
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cohousing-L [ [at] 
>] On Behalf Of Ann Zabaldo
> Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2015 12:56 PM
> To: Cohousing-L
> Subject: [C-L]_ What is the Etiquette?
> It’s Sunday afternoon.  
> I’ve just gotten word that a close friend has lost her husband of 60+ years.  
> I’m staring at this sympathy card trying to figure out what words I could 
> possibly write that might mean anything at all at this time.  I’m fixated by 
> the blank space on the inside of the card.
> My phone rings.  There is a lovely cheery voice from a cohouser visiting from 
> out of state w/ a request to tour our community this afternoon.  I hesitate 
> but then agree to squire them around Takoma Village.  A few minutes later I 
> call them back and decline after explaining about the death.  I just can’t do 
> it.
> I feel awful — here are these folks brimming w/ enthusiasm for seeing our 
> community.  Normally I jump at the chance to show off TVC because I’m so 
> proud of it.   People just want a chance to step foot in the community and 
> look around a bit.  I know how that is!  In my book … too much cohousing is 
> never enough!  I’m for it!
> But not this afternoon.  
> This has me wondering:  is there etiquette for visiting a community?
> One thing I know I dislike is people just dropping by and wandering around 
> until they run into someone to give them a tour.  While cohousers are a 
> friendly bunch I think we forget that these communities are our homes.
> Here are some guidelines (not rules!) I’m thinking about for requesting a 
> visit when I’m involved:
> 1.    If you’re visiting from out of town and think you might like a tour … 
> give the me a few DAYS — not hours — to identify someone to give you a tour. 
> 3.    If you want to stay in the guest room … I need at least 4 weeks notice. 
>  Our guest rooms are heavily used.
> 4.    If you leave a message do leave your full name and contact info.  It 
> helps to be able to return a call.
> 5.    Try to remember that each community has a life of its own.  The day and 
> hour that’s convenient for you to visit may find me and/or the community 
> otherwise engaged:  celebrating an important event, in the middle of a 
> serious work day or memorializing someone’s passing.
> 6.    And on the other side of the coin … one of the frustrating things I 
> find about trying to make an appointment in advance is NEVER getting a call 
> back or an answer to an email request.  The phone number or email address on 
> your website goes to that great black communication wastebasket.  If you 
> don’t want people to visit don’t put contact info on your website.
> You might ask:  why didn’t you look for someone else to squire them around 
> today?  That’s a good idea except I would still have to drop what I’m doing 
> to accommodate someone else’s schedule.  I’d either have to make phone calls 
> or write an email and then follow up to make sure the connection was made.
> What do you think? Am I being over the top?  How do you handle visits and 
> tours?  (BTW we have four HUGE formal tours a year — 30-40 people per tour.  
> Plus always happy to accommodate people w/ advance notice!)
> PS — I finally did fill in the blank space on that sympathy card before I 
> wrote this email.   Now I think I’ll go back to pondering Life, The Universe, 
> Death and Everything.   Maybe I’ll ask Siri …
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 703.688.2646
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