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Friday, August 05, 2011

05 August 2011, Friday
Life in London - Take Two - A Response Message to a Situation


About a month ago, Raymond began to mention that he'll bring a French guy that he knew, to stay at our place. We figured it was just an acquaintance to him. 


Raymond did not ask us, but rather mentioned how he was going to accomodate the friend. He told us he was going to buy a bed for him, or some mattress. So some of us were wondering why Raymond did not ask us. Afterall the house is the company's property, and a person who is not a close friend staying in the house is a potential security risk.

Now we have 5 people staying in the house. Mengdi is going to move out this weekend, to stay with Skeel. However, a month ago, we didn't expect to have anybody moving out.

Last evening before he left the office, Raymond sent a message over our office machines, to the rest of the Singapoeran guys telling us that his friend will arrive at this day, and please say hi to him because he is a friendly guy.

At that point it looked like nobody was going to say anything despite all the worries we were having by ourselves, so I sent the following message to all of us, but addressed to Raymond.

"Mr Raymond, we must tell you that your friend, if he comes, you must remember we are living in company property. If anything he does intentionally or accidentally, results in any damage or loss to our personal property or the rented house which translates to company property, we are going to hold you accountable since you are vouching for him.

This is taking into account that all our doors do not have locks on them. It means if you let him into the house there is absolutely no way we can protect any of our belongings.

If we are not comfortable with any of his behaviour at any time, we will tell you and you must convey that message to your friend. If he does not agree to conform, then we reserve the right to stop him from staying at the house at any point.

You know that property was acquired for the purpose of housing dneg staff from Singapore so we can work here in UK. So the opinions and consensus of dneg staff (namely the 5 of us sg people) are very valid and will carry weight in decisions like setting house rules and such. You can let him conduct himself in any way you like, when he is in your room. However, if we are uncomfortable with any of his behaviour within any other parts of the house, we will expect you to keep him in check and make him conform.

This sounds like a nasty message. But we must have a baseline of agreement. You know we are not nasty people, and we are friendly. But we need to agree on worst-case scenario, when things happen. You can now laugh laugh say everything 'will' be alright. But we need to agree what will happen if he accidentally sets fire and burn half the kitchen away. Who is going to pay for damage. If he runs off with YC's and my laptop, fly back to France, forever uncontactable, who can we hold accountable? He is your friend after all, and we know NOTHING about him. You vouch for him, you pay for consequences.

Of course we hope for the best, but we must be prepared for the worst.

So are we in agreement with the above?

Patrick"

Raymond replied something like, "Yes, I agree. I will keep him in check if he misbehaves".

The message did sound a little formal, the way it was worded. But I believe it was necessary to bring home the worst case scenario, if things go wrong. That's to give Raymond something to think about.

Happens that the same morning before I wrote that message, YC and Francis have already been talking to Raymond about that. So my message was in fact reinforcing whatever they told him that morning. According to Francis and YC, Raymond insisted that he told us he had this friend who was coming over. The difference is that he told us by mentioning that the guy was coming over, but he did not ask if it we were fine with that idea.

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