Thursday, June 08, 2006

There are two sides to a story

I just spoke to a complainant who was very upset with the situation with his neighbour's cats. He remembers the exact date of every transgression. I asked why he did not just speak to his neighbour about the situation. He said the last time he had seen the neighbour, the neighbour had asked aggressively why the complainant had called and complained to the HDB and town council about their cats. I told the complainant that if he had just spoken to the neighbour nicely in the beginning the situation may not have gotten so bad.

It turns out when they first moved in, they had been on fairly friendly terms and had even invited them in. On a few occasions after, he complained that they made too much noise at night, the neighbours apologised and all was well. The subsequent part gets murky, but involves the complainant's wife telling the neighbour she was not happy about something blocking their corridor and the complainant taking photos of it and sending it to the HDB, and now complaining about them to the HDB, MP and town council. He insists these people are in his words 'bastards' and that he is not the problem but that they are.

I told the neighbour that while I understood that he was having problems, calling in the authorities and the police generally wasn't helpful, especially if they didn't give the neighbours a chance to first rectify the situation. If they didn't then he would certainly have a better reason to go to the authorities. I told him that I'm quite sure they will have their own version of what happened as well and that sometimes as neighbours, we can't always insist on being the one in the 'right'.

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