Monday, April 30, 2007

Residents speaking up

Say I work in a shop and I have clients who buy merchandise from this shop. Now should any of these clients have a problem with my service, or are not happy with my merchandise and they complain to me, I'll take this seriously. After all, if not, they may complain to my boss who owns the shop about me and I might get fired. So it's in my interest to keep my clients happy.

Now say someone else walks into the shop and they have several things they're unhappy about and they bring them to my attention. They don't buy anything and aren't clients. If I have the time (or I'm a smart employee and want to keep everyone happy), I'll take their feedback into account. However if I'm not so far-sighted, or if I already have too many clients to handle I may disregard the complaints from this third party. After all, this person is not a client - and if I am keeping my clients happy and not able to cope with other third parties, I can't be blamed.

The point of this analogy is this : substitute the employee in the shop for TC officers, the clients as residents and the third party who doesn't buy anything for CWS and you'll see what I'm getting at.

I spoke with some people today who kept saying that since we're CWS we have a certain amount of power among the TCs and I told them that they're mistaken. The reason that most TC officers and TCs even speak with us is that we are calling to speak with them about their residents - ie caregivers who live in their estate. Of course they're usually happy if we are able to come up with solutions to their problems, but if they have a very angry resident who wants the cats removed, versus CWS asking them please not to do so, most of the time, they'll listen to the resident.

This is why it's so important for residents to speak with their officers. One woman today told me that she did not know why the cats were caught. It turns out she and the others in her area all liaise with the officer through another woman, who often cannot be reached so she has no idea if there were complaints in her area. I told her that she should let her TC know that she is there and willing to help.

Another wanted us to pass a message to her TC because we're CWS - I told her it's more important that she's a resident and they'll take what she says seriously.

We're more than happy to help caregivers and TCs but TCs are sometimes in a difficult position as well. If it's perceived that their residents are complaining about the cats and want them removed, and no one is speaking up FOR them, then it puts them in a tough spot.

It's also not a good idea to do a 'surprise attack' on a TC. A feeder arranged a meeting for Wednesday and he wants us to come, but he (1) did not tell the TC he asked us and (2) did not even tell the TC what he wanted to see them about. Be upfront with your TC just as you expect them to be with you.

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