Thursday, February 09, 2006

Difficult Property Manager

I spoke to a really difficult town council property manager this afternoon for more than an hour. She kept saying that feeders attract other feeders and that cats attract feeders in the first place. This will lead to the community cat population exploding out of control because then more and more cats and people will move in. She refused to listen to TNRM. She also mentioned she had complaints, but though she said she would, she has never reflected any of the complaints back to us. I asked her how the complaints were to be solved if she just kept quiet about it.

She also said that she did not want to support sterilised cats, because there might be people who don't like the cats and may not want any cats in the estate. After clarifying, it turned out this was not a complaint she actually had, but one she was afraid that she MIGHT have eventually.

She also asked why people didn't spend their money on children or the elderly and why they spent so many money on cats. I told her that with all due respect, I didn't think it was her place to tell people in her constituency what they ought or ought not to be spending their money on.

She said that the people in her estate did not want the cats killed and she felt people did not like animals killed. I explained that cats that were caught would be sent to be killed, and she said she did not know that. I told her to check with the AVA but she then changed the topic and said that not all the cats ended up in the AVA. She said that she did not know how to deal with people who wanted the cats removed - I told her one simple was to tell them that since they didn't want the cats killed, they might consider TNRM. She then said she wanted to retract her statement. She also asked that the cats be taken somewhere else or perhaps shipped out of Singapore.

She also said that people who complained to the MP and higher up authorities would have better chances of getting their complaints listened to. She denied that she had agreed not to remove the volunteer's community cats, then agreed that she had when I read my memo of the meeting back to her.

At the end of the day, it's a good idea to just speak with the General Manager and not to her because she isn't very helpful at all.


Blogger =^..^= said...

That sounded like a huge waste of time.

Hmmm... this manager sounds like an unreasonable, unkind and illogical person. It'll take a lot to educate her.

Pity she is in charge because that just means so much more work for you and the other volunteers.

Maybe from now on you can bypass her and go straight to the GM?

~5-Cat Style

9/2/06 7:32 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Definitely. I do try and speak with the officer as some of them are just not sure how TNRM works hence their reluctance, but if they are resistent or rude about it, it may be time to speak to someone higher up.

9/2/06 7:48 PM  
Blogger Kayley said...

Shows how corrupted and idiotic some people's minds are. I hate these people, these animals-are-inferior-to-us people. Sickening!

My brother brought home an abandoned newborn kit but it died. It wouldn't eat. I spent $20 on stuff that lasts for 2 days but she did not even last through the night. So sad. But I do not regret it.

What I regret is that I live in a world where so many people have no compassion for animals.

And some people think feeding monkeys by throwing out oranges is kind, but one orange hurtled to the ground, almost hitting me and the regular strays at my block. We live in one weird world...

9/2/06 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh no! that woman sounds damn irritating! i admire the way you are able to write the whole story out so objectively! goshhh! i would just die handling her man! -gracie

9/2/06 11:38 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

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10/2/06 12:24 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Sunshine - that's very sad about the kitten. You shouldn't blame yourself for the kitten's death. Unfortunately newborns rarely make it without their mothers which is why we do ask people to make very sure the mother cat isn't around because she may have wandered off to look for food. You're right also in that some people mean the very best, but their actions sometimes don't reflect that.

Gracie - thanks.I was trying not to lose my calm as I spoke with her.

10/2/06 12:26 AM  
Anonymous polo said...

This woman manager is really hopeless. Her approach to her work and job responsibilities seems to be by avoidance, not to mention she's totally unreliable in twisting around what she had said. She'd better wake up to the fact that the cats and feeders are not going to go away.

It's good to by-pass her. Hope her higher-ups are more reasonable and intelligent people than what she is.

10/2/06 8:46 AM  
Anonymous tgif said...

you can bypass her once, twice, but not forever, unfortunately.

unless of course the GM you speak to is able to educate her, otherwise, you will bound to have to deal with her again?

10/2/06 10:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes we have met the GM a while ago and he's fine. In fact the other property managers in this area have been very reasonable as a whole.

10/2/06 10:10 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/2/06 10:55 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/2/06 10:57 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

What the volunteer/s can do is to quote the manager's comments and then write to the MP, sensibly on TnRM and its benefits, and cc copy to this manager. It may work.

Such property manager is also to be politely reminded that she is employed to look into the interests of the residents in the estate, including cat lovers. She is not a dictator.

10/2/06 11:07 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The caregiver already went to see the MP and the MP agreed that there were problems in the estate but that sterilised community cats should not be removed. I've written to the General manager since I spoke to the Property Manager to ask for a meeting.

10/2/06 11:20 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It will be good when eventually a protocol on how to deal with issues regarding (doing away with the default "cat nuisance" reference) cats so that there is consistency amongst all TCs and their staff.

10/2/06 11:43 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It would indeed - and it would also actually make life easier for the town council officers because they know what to say to complainants too.

10/2/06 11:46 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

As I walk my estate every day, I see garbage every where. I think our littering problem is getting worse. In my lift lobby, there are three bins, one just outside the lift, and one each at the end of the staircases on two sides.
In addition, there is the big bin for discard of bulky items. Yet, the whole area is littered with all kind of human-related stuff and bulky items, which if not left in the lifts, are dumped beside the ordinary dustbin outside the lift. Irresponsible cat feeders is just a miniscule part of our overall lack of social awareness and responsibility. We got to tell people up there that the problem is not with cats but ourselves.

10/2/06 12:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Very well said.

10/2/06 12:29 PM  
Anonymous the letter b said...

Property Manager?? supposedly university-educated, but serves to prove that the more educated they are, the less braincells they have left? if i were you Dawn i'd ask her where ideally would she like the cats to be shipped to?

honestly isn't she paid to deal with all sorts of problems since she had chosen to become Property Manager? seems like it's only the pay and the title that she was after. other than that she doesn't want to assume the responsibility of dealing with problems.

sad isn't it having such mad cows around? i mean, i had worked with misplaced-arrogant bullying property managers whilst during my stint at the town council. and they had to be female!

10/2/06 11:31 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Letter B, I did ask her that - and she said, she didn't know, but somewhere perhaps where there were no cats? When I asked where that would be, she just suggested away somewhere else!

Are they all University educated?

11/2/06 12:29 AM  
Anonymous the letter b said...

not sure about their requirements these days, but they sure were all graduates back then. you see, poly types start off as Property Officers and the highest they could go is Senior Property Officer. unless they wanted to advance their career by working with private real estate or property companies and suchlike.

and then, some of the older Property Managers were transferred from HDB - ie: been working with the gahmen for ages - so "promoted" to or known as Property Managers at Town Councils.

btw, "where there were no cats"? i'm aghast, not to mention, speechless. she now reminds me of that PR/Publicity Manager whose Admin Asst i had to cover for - I was Admin Asst hence we worked together - as she went for maternity. and i tell you it was hell.

11/2/06 12:52 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I was just wondering Letter B as I thought you didn't necessarily need to be a graduate - not that education is any indicator of intelligence. There are some people with very little education, but whom are much more capable of seeing logic than this woman clearly!

11/2/06 2:20 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

It is because of the lack of clear and sensible guidelines that must come from authorities well versed with animal science, such as the AVA, that the management of issues involving cats is totally at the mercy of the personal attitudes of the people employed by the town council. This certainly speaks poorly of their professionalism as civil servants.
I think AVA should also seek to educate these town council officers as well.

11/2/06 8:45 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Vegancat - that would certainly help. The number of misconceptions some officers have is quick shocking.

11/2/06 10:33 AM  

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