Thursday, December 08, 2005

"I'm from CWS"

I just spoke with a caregiver this afternoon, and she very helpfully went down on Friday to help with looking into a mediation. She lives in the area and does a good job. However, she mentioned to the person she spoke to that she was from CWS, and that can be a bit dicey. The reason I say this is that it may lead people to think for example that you represent CWS and that can be a good or bad thing. For example, people who like cats may be happy to speak with you. People who think that you're from CWS and may have a problem with the cats may unfortunately have the opposite effect. It may lead them to take a more aggressive approach. Also if you're a new caregiver, it may actually be difficult as you may not be able to answer all the questions and they may give you a hard time about that.

We've had one case where the town council told me that someone had gone down, said they were from CWS and got into a heated argument with the complainant. This made it very difficult for us because firstly, I had my suspicions, but did not know for sure whom the feeder was, and secondly, the feeder had claimed they were from CWS, giving the complainant a really bad impression of CWS and caregivers as a whole.

At one meeting I went to with a TC and RC, the complainant was so much friendlier when he met Jolanda and I because he said that he had this impression that all cat feeders were crazy (the woman in his block has a rather short fuse unfortunately) and his experiences had been rather negative. If people perceive someone from CWS to be (1) crazy (2) argumentative and (3)unwilling to take their complaints seriously, it can lead them to extrapolate that ALL cat caregivers are the same. This would be very damaging to caregivers and cats in general.

It's also good to stress that you're a caregiver in the area - it gives that much more clout that you're a fellow resident living there.

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