Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't beg

I spoke to a few caregivers today, and two of them mentioned that they were scared of the town council. One of them said to me that she is having problems with the town council threatening to trap her cats because of irresponsible feeders. She told me that the officer wasn't very helpful and that she would beg for his help.

Another said that the town council did not have the details of caregivers in the estate because they were scared of giving their details. She said that the town council might 'do something' to them.

While I can understand that some people are scared or frightened of authority (and both these ladies are not seniors, but middle aged if you're wondering), the thing to remember is that you are not accountable to the town council. You shouldn't need to beg because you're not doing anything wrong! The town council certainly isn't paying you for your volunteer work. Plus you don't need to help them - if anything, the town council is accountable to you!

Complainants are certainly taking advantage of this fact - they're complaining about all sorts of things. There is no need to of course be rude, but you shouldn't feel like you are subservient to the town council because you're not.

Make your case, but don't feel the need to beg or be scared. The town council is subject to the same laws as the rest of us are. They also have a duty to serve you, the resident. You have no corresponding duty to them - you are helping because you are offering to. Sometimes when you go in with an attitude of being afraid or of pleading with the town council, some officers may use that to be even more difficult because they can sense your fear.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

contrary to the misguided perception of complainants and TCs, ALL residents have equal rights to comment on how their community is run and to the time and ear of their TCs.

TC officers are there to serve the needs of every resident, not just the ones who shout the loudest or are most likely to get them in trouble with their bosses. they are duty bound to listen to every piece of feedback.

as for the caregivers, i wish smthg can be done to make them feel more empowered. doing what they do, on their own time and money, is a good and noble thg. it is a civic minded thg. their compassion raises us from a selfish materialistic society and sets us on the path to becoming a gentler, more gracious nation.

when they speak to TCs, they have to do so with the confidence that they are bringing smthg to the table that is worthy of support. if they behave like they need to beg for the TCs time and understanding, then, clearly half the battle is lost before it even starts. presentation is everythg.

1/8/06 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one has to understand the context of the situation. Despite all that is said about TC and how they are supposed to serve us. Let's be reminded it is the same TCs that run campaigns telling people not to feed and that a good neighbourhood is one without strays. Hence TC officers will take it upon their own hands to stop feeders and call in AVA for round ups. And besides TC, HDB simply in my own opinon reflect the style of the ehemm Govt. Clamp down all dissent and all alternative view are not constructive to that of the govt and hence should be shut up

1/8/06 8:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - the reason why TC officers feel they need to do this is because they feel that residents tend to complain about the cats. If tomorrow everyone called their TCs and said that they want the cats to stay I am sure that the policy will change very quickly.

Also the people who look after the cats have something to lose - the cats. The complainants on the other hand can make the TC's life a living hell and they have nothing to lose by complaining.

2/8/06 12:34 AM  

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