Thursday, June 29, 2006

Difficult complainants

The caregivers and I met with the town council this morning for an update on the situation. All the property officers and managers from the division showed up which was good - it gave us a better idea of what they were having problems with. We also distributed copies of our form to the town council officers and let them know what kind of details we needed - for example, if it was a cat nuisance case, what precisely IS the nuisance in that case? Which cat was involved, etc?

The resident caregivers showed the town council all the followup action they had taken in each case and shared experiences. On the whole it was a positive meeting. However, some officers kept asking what could be done if the problem with regards to one cat was solved, but another cat started causing the same problem, for example a cat sitting in front of someone's home. We explained that removing the cat did NOT solve the problem - the resident with the cat could always get another cat (and often did). However the main issue is the RESIDENT. I told the officer short of removing the resident with the cat or the complainant, it would be hard to solve that problem permanently, because at the end of the day it was not a CAT problem, but a problem with the people involved.

They also told us that they did get complaints where for example, someone said they needed to go out of the flat but the cat was sitting in front of the door. They asked the town council to come down immediately because they were so scared, they could not shoo the cat away and were trapped in their homes.

One of the Property Managers mentioned that most of the difficult complainants are unreasonable and their complaints are as well. We also told them that we dealt with our share of difficult residents so we do know what they handle too.


Anonymous mrs budak said...

I think the fear of cats sitting in front of their doors is legitimate. Assuring the residents that the cat will not attack them is not going to be helpful; fear is fear (and I understand as I used to be very frightened of cats).

I think if the residents are taught some simple tricks, the town councils will not be deluged with minor complaints like cats sitting in front of residents' doors. I would like to suggest the following:

1) Spray water (plain water, not bleach or other poisonous things!)

2) Cut onions / garlic (the cat will smell it and then run away)

3) Tiger Balm or other menthol-based ointments

4) Empty can with coin inside (some cats don't like the sound and they will run away).

The town council can give these practical suggestions to the residents. I think as long as the cats go away, and as long as there are no other related complaints (like faeces), the residents will be happy enough to try these simple tricks.

29/6/06 3:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Mrs Budak, the officer told us he did ask if they could spray water on the cat, but the person said they could not and they needed the town council to come down immediately and remove it from their doorstep.

29/6/06 3:59 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The caregivers have also agreed to go down if there are any such more incidents right away.

29/6/06 4:03 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

'Spray' water has to be emphasised and highlighted; we do not want residents taking a pail and pouring/splashing water on the cats.

29/6/06 4:20 PM  

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