Dealing with unreasonable complainants
I was just drafting an email to confirm what was said at the TC meeting yesterday (and what a long email it was). One thing discussed was unreasonable complaints (which all admitted were the minority) and how they should be dealt with.
For example, what if someone said they did not want any cats there. One of the residents brought up the case of someone who said they were scared of cats. The officer said for example, people might not be able to go upstairs if there was someone scared of cats, or someone might take a spill if they were running away from the cats.
I said that I thought that if someone was genuinely frightened of cats, caregivers would certainly try and help. For example, possibly changing the feeding spot I pointed out that in one case we had a woman who WAS scared of cats, but she didn't want them killed either. I also said that there were people scared of other things too - cockroaches, lizards, etc, and yet the TC was not being asked to get rid of ALL cockroaches or ALL lizards.
I said that it's about working hand in hand - the caregivers will try their best to ensure the cats come into as little contact with the person who is scared of cats as possible. In return however that person has to realise there can never be a cat free estate - no matter whether they like cats or not.
In addition, there is someone who obviously likes the cat as much as the person frightened of cats - and that's the caregiver. So why should the cats be removed without balancing both sides of the equation?
So this is what was decided - a clear line of events should be set out. This would show that the caregivers and TC tried their best to solve the problem in question but that the other party either refused to engage in diaogue or working together, or else was unreasonable. As the town council GM said, they are not maids.
For this reason, if the complainant can be shown to be unreasonable, then the TC can show they DID do something but that the complainant would not be reasoned with. So the TC cannot be accused of not doing their job - nor can the caregivers.
I suggested in my email to them that it would be good to set down events, phone calls , emails, etc to show what action had been taken, and why ultimately it had proven to be futile, so a set of actions could be shown.