Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bandaid Solution

I just called the town council officer back to clarify some details with him. I wanted to know what the specific complaint or if he was just asking for future reference.

He complained he had a problem for the last nine months. He said that the woman had been complaining of urination and defecation outside her unit and the woman complained that it might be a hygiene issue, so he wants to give her my number. He wanted to know what the suggestion was. He said they normally just trap all the cats and solve the problem that way because new cats won't move in.

I tried to explain the vacuum effect and that it's important to find out which unit it is that has a cat because this is likely to be a home cat if the woman lived on a higher floor. He promptly pointed out that if they found the unit they would call the HDB.

I said that the owner would likely dump the cat and he said that they would then impound it. I asked how this was stopping the owner from then picking up another cat, which he had no response to.

I then asked which floor this woman lived on. He said he wasn't sure but it might be the ninth floor and he had to find out. I'm surprised that after dealing with this complaint for nine months, he doesn't know this piece of information.

He then brought up a case that he said he referred to me last year. In that case, the complainant claimed there were X number of cats in the block. The feeder there claimed it was much less. So I wrote to him and asked him how many cats the TC officer himself had seen. He never responded.

He then said that we had not 'solved' that problem. I pointed out he had not replied to my email asking for more information. I gave him the date and time of my last email and said we never got a reply to that. He still didn't seem to be able to say how many cats there were - though now he says he thinks it is more than what the complainant saw. He then said not to bring up old issues. I pointed out that HE was the one who had brought it up.

I told him that if he didn't give us the precise details then he could expect to just tell me in three months that the complaint was still on-going. He said he would go and have a look.

Is it any wonder there are so many cat complaints if there is persistent defecation and it seems as if the TC officer doesn't even know which floor this is happening on? Of course the complainant will keep complaining - and the problem isn't solved if they remove the wrong cats downstairs - at which point they'll just remove some more.

It surprises me that some officers seem to think that just the ability to say that they 'did' something will please the complainant. The complainant doesn't care - the complainant just wants their problem solved.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can I say? This is a moron you are talking to.

30/5/07 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can such inefficient TC officer be filed with Dr Teo and perhaps he will change from Zero Cats to Zero Stupid TC officer?

30/5/07 12:13 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

I was wondering, if every reader of your blog: citizens with voting rights, and residents of all TCs, not just the caregivers, but concerned residents as well, could to write to Dr Teo, their MP, TC GM, and TC officer, cc the PM, the MND Minister, HDB head, Grace FU, the MND Minister of State, AVA, with

1) our thoughts, experiences, and
2) for cat givers stats as well
3) a demand that every MP, GM, TC officer and Property manager witness the PTS process of every cat they send to AVA
4) a demand that the conservancy fees we pay not be used for pest-control or culling expenses
5) justifications for the pay hikes of all and sundry when we as citizens aren't being heard or looked after, or our efforts as volunteers recognised as such

You reckon it helps any?

Basically, object to the status quo and demand as voters, tax-paying citizens and conservancy fee-paying residents that they learn and understand the logic of cooperating with TNRM rather than staying this ridiculous course of responsibility-shirking, cat-culling and myopic-problem solving.

I feel fed-up if it's not obvious =P

30/5/07 12:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - I'm behind that campaign :) I'm actually surprised that some of these officers get away with their lackadasical attitude. I sure hope that there's at least a bonus component to the pay because I know some very good officers and they certainly don't deserve to be paid the same amount as some of these officers!

Calsifer - that's certainly a good suggestion. I am going to write in a little bit about complaints as well.

30/5/07 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Fed up caregiver said...

It is yet another demoralizing blow to caregivers but we know we have to continue as this is the only way to reduce the number of cats so that less will have to suffer the results of these insensitivities of the Gahmen.
We really wish there are ZERO cats on the streets because it pains us each time we see one dead or injured from being hit by cars and cats mained by abusers, etc.
Why on earth do we want MORE cats to suffer??
But we disagree on killing them to "stop their miseries" as stated by Mr Madhavan of AVA.

30/5/07 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lackadasical attitude is common despite the "efficiency" claimed.
Many of us may not have encountered it, but what if you are uneducated, poor, lacking confidence, it could be a lot worse.

Let's face it lah....some TC officers know whose whims to cater to (rude, loud, anonymous complainant who could turn up to be related to someone BIG) and who to ride roughshod over - the aunties who are silently feeding the cats in quiet corners.

30/5/07 2:18 PM  
Blogger Mezzo said...

i have a theory that some don't actually want the cat problem to go away. Reason being, cat complaint, call exterminators, dead cats produced, ergo, problem solved. It looks simple, and it looks as if they're continually doing something.

i.e. - in civil service speak, they look busy!

30/5/07 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess thats what they mean by increasing productivity huh?

30/5/07 6:21 PM  

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