Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Speaking to complainants

I just spoke with the woman who has calmed down and called me back.

She said that she could not mediate because people may think she is nosy. Also CWS has authority and can speak with people. She has agreed to at least find out the unit number and let us know which household has cats. I'm very glad she calmed down though I wonder if the initial upset (and possible later phone call was) due to the fact that one of her sterilised cats is lost.

I really wish that CWS had the authority people think we do. Quite a few people will ask if we're a government authority. Some treat us as if we are and then try and get us to remove the cats. Others just don't care because we're not in any position to fine them or take away the cats and don't want to speak with us. I cannot even count the number of households where people wave me away thinking that I'm trying to sell them something even though I repeat several times I'm there because their town council has asked us to solve a problem. Others bang doors in our faces.

Plus when we DO talk to them, often they don't want to listen. People feel that they have a right to put food outside their own homes on an upper floor, or it's okay not to sterilise, or they'll just blatantly lie that the cat isn't theirs.

If a caregiver goes and speaks with someone, chances are they are fairly well known in the neighbourhood. In fact, when the complainant knows the caregiver is a fellow resident, it actually seems to work BETTER because they know you live in the same community. This makes them more inclined to work with the caregiver, just knowing the person is in proximity of the problem too.

The English and Mandarin translation of our "Kindness can Kill" flyer is out. This is about feeding upstairs and letting cats roam. The Malay one will be done soon. If anyone needs one, do write in.


Blogger Justin said...

Oh! this problem with cats....I love my cats too much and can't imagine life without them...

And hey, if you want to know more about my cats do check this post on my feline family. I hope u'll like it.

15/11/06 6:18 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That's great to hear Justin! Sounds like you have a big animal family.

15/11/06 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont worry dawn, it's normal for Singaporeans to slam doors in your face. Some reason we have become so desensitive to peddlars or could be peddlars.

When I was working with the census board during the last census, one family really took the cake. After identifying myself as a census officer and that their household is selected for the census, I asked if I may come in. An very educated sounding lady told me this "OF COURSE NOT!" So I did the survey outside her locked gate....

15/11/06 7:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Poor you!

I've become quite used to it, but it kind of amuses me (and sometimes frustrates me) that people think we have so much power when really we don't. We're just going up and talking to people too - just as any caregiver would.

15/11/06 7:40 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

Can the "Kindness can Kill" flyer be made available on cws website? Some of us can just download and print it on our own, thus saving the hassle of getting cws to send out and also to conserve fund.

16/11/06 11:28 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Sure - we're trying to recover lost information and then will try and post new stuff once that's done!

16/11/06 11:31 AM  

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