Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pre-empting

Sometimes when you know that a problem may occur, it is better to pre-empt the situation then to wait and see what develops. I received two phone calls and emails from people yesterday, one of whom said that he had an altercation with someone who was a known complainant in his area. He said that he wanted to let me know as he thinks the complainant will complain again. I told him that I thought it was important to let the management know beforehand, so that they hear the feeder's side of the story first.

At the same time, another caregiver wrote in to say that she had been having problems with a persistent feeder in the area. Her husband and herself had taken to coming down and doing spot-checks on the feeder, but she still persisted, waited for the two to come home, and then came down to toss food all over. The matter had come to our attention because of another resident, who was a complainant. The caregiver discussed calling in the NEA but she was worried they might ask for the cats to be taken away.

I suggested that she call the NEA and explain this was a littering problem, rather than wait for the complainant to do so. If you call first, you can put across the problem so that the cats aren't disadvantaged. For example, I told her that if the complainant calls up the authorities to complain, he might say it is a 'cat' problem and might complain to the TC, who might then round up the cats. Obviously, this is a littering problem and should be framed as such.

The complainant wrote back - he said that he HAD noticed that the littering was getting worse. The last time we had corresponded though I had mentioned the NEA would be the people to write to, and so he had already written to them. He was glad that the caregiver was actively looking into this and suggested working together to solve this with her.

Don't wait till something happens - especially if you know that there is an existing problem. It's best to take pre-emptive measures as soon as possible to prevent the situation getting much worse.

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