By Irina Echarry
But now we’re in 2009 and the CDR continues carrying out the same duties. One of them, (the most important) is maintaining vigilance.
Maintaining vigilance doesn’t mean only the night watch; it’s much broader. It means being aware how many people on the block are neither working nor studying, who is throwing ostentatious parties for their children, who isn’t a good mother or a good worker, or who likes to drink at any hour of the day or night.
However, the work of vigilance is almost never aimed at finding solutions. Most of the time, it’s only to have something to talk about.
A few days ago, the president of the CDR for my apartment building came up to me with great concern on her face. Lately the woman has had a lot of free time to dedicate to the CDR work. She retired, and although she has grandchildren and also is an asthmatic – two things that take up a lot of time – she makes a great effort to be on top of everything that is going on in the block.
She exerts herself to such an extent that she knows what each person has in their house.
As soon as I saw her I noted her indignation.
“Did you see that over there in back? It’s their fault that they cut off our electricity!”
I swear that I didn’t know what she was talking about. When I inquired, I learned that in the back of the building a resident had constructed a room that has “two air conditioners and a huge light bulb in the entrance that they turn on at six in the evening.
Among neighbors in any part of this country there is a general custom: inventing gossip. I try not to be a part of that custom and I let her know it.
“That’s why we’re in this pinch,” she said. “Don’t the blackouts affect you?”
“The same as everybody else.”
“So, in that case you should be concerned about what happens with the electricity in our area of residence.”
That’s when I got it.
In the new savings plan that has been in place for a few months, each municipality is responsible for the electricity that they consume and they parcel it out according to their necessities.
It so happens that my zone has been suffering constant blackouts because supposedly electricity is being wasted. And the president of the CDR attributes the waste to one room, to one family.
I then told her that I didn’t agree with the idea of blaming the weakest. It could be the bus terminal or the chocolate factory as well as the other families in general…
“All very well and good, but something must be said to those people. That light burning from six o’clock on shows a lack of respect.”
The country is going through a profound crisis and any effort to save electricity is a small token. It’s funny that what is bothering them is the residential sector (one isolated room) while the chocolate factory that emanates repulsive odors during the production process (at any hour), uses electricity with no scruples and contaminates the environment, goes unnoticed by this lady who knows everything.
Could it be that she doesn’t want to accuse the State because it’s easier to hound a family than an institution?
At any rate, I understand her. Surely the family will offer her an immediate response. The factory isn’t going to stop the production because there have been some days without power or a few allergic people affected. Even so, I believe that among neighbors we could spare each other these bad moments.