Dealing with complaints
Calsifer mentioned I sound a bit frustrated today and she's right because that was the first of two 'anonymous' complaints.
The second one was about someone who complained that was someone 'keeping' a lot of cats downstairs. No other details. I asked if it was home cats or community cats, if the cats were sterilised, what time the feeder came. The complainant told the officer he refused to give more details - but the officer should go and 'check'.
I wrote back to the officer and said if I go down and check and find no cats there can we then close the case? I said that it was ridiculous - after all, what was the complaint precisely?
I called the feeder in the area and she mentioned she knows someone who feeds there. She told me there aren't many cats there, but she mentioned there are two pregnant cats. I asked her if she was planning to sterilise them and she said she can't because she's Buddhist. I told her we did have a sterilisation brochure and we had spoken with some Buddhists about this, but she said she wasn't sure she could do it.
I told her that while I understood, the worry is that there will be more complaints after this. She said that she wanted me to ask the complainant if he had a father or mother. I know what she's trying to say - but I told her the complainant probably sees these as pests and sees no correlation between his father and a cat. In fact, he'd probably get insulted.
It's important to try and figure out what we can do to minimise complaints. Are you going to have to bend over backwards sometime? Yes. Is it always strictly fair? Probably not - but it could save the cat's life.
People sometimes say that they don't complain about their neighbours and the things THEY do. I told the feeder on Friday for example who raised this point, she was most welcome to do so if there were things that irritated her, but she said she didn't want to. The fact is - people complain. You can either complain back (which could degenerate into tit for tating) or try and resolve the complaint. It doesn't mean of course that if you have a genuine complaint, you should keep quiet either if you have a genuine complaint, bring it up.
It would be ideal if no one complained and spoke to each other about problems - but that's not what happening. So let's work with what we have and try our best to resolve the problem if we can. If not, the cats are the ones who suffer - not us, not the complainants, not the TC.
At the same time, the officers and complainant should be reasonable and we should not hesitate to call them on it if they're not. After I wrote back to the officer to complain there were no details, she suggested that she 'guessed' the cats might be defecating in the void deck. I told her there was no pont 'guessing' if it was something completely different. She emailed a while ago to sya she called the complainant again. The complaint was about noise at night and defecation in the corridor upstairs. So how was this about someone 'keeping' cats in the void deck??