ASK AMY: HOA President Cannot Calm Callers


Dear Amy: I am the president of my homeowners association and I generally like working in our community of 282 units.

I noticed that since our area found refuge there, I have received several calls where the owner was extremely agitated. Often they start the conversation at a high volume and halfway through their sentence.

I guess this agitation is related to the coronavirus and has little to do with what is going on in our community.

I am an engineer with poor skills.

Any suggestions on how to calm these callers?

– HOA Helper

Dear assistant: I appreciate your question and what you are trying to do for members of your community.

During “normal” periods, your engineering skills are probably ideal for fulfilling your important function. Unfortunately, these times call us all to practice new skills.

It would be wise to always keep in mind how worried many people are right now, even if you are not.

Anxiety has a way of clouding the thought process, as well as making matters worse until they can seem overwhelming.

Breathe before taking a call. Listen without commenting or interrupting. Do not tell someone to “calm down” (this type of directive leads some people to believe that they are not heard or understood). Your “listening posture” should be calm, assertive and positive: “I can tell you that you are upset. I am sorry that this is happening. I know it’s hard. “

If so, you might ask, “How can I try to help you?”

Be honest in your answers. If a problem goes far beyond your role as President of HOA, you must say so. If necessary, you can also ask people to follow up by email, so that they have a written record of their concerns.

I wonder if there is another person in your community who could serve as a temporary community ambassador. You and this person could work as a team to keep residents informed of the latest updates.

You do not want to become the repository of gossip or discord in the community, but if it helps others to be a sort of sounding board, you will perform an important function. Think of it as mastering a different kind of engineering.

dear Amy: I have been with my man, “Travis”, for eight years. Travis was the love of my life. Our relationship ended because of her cheating and her relationship with another woman.

Unfortunately, Travis has ended up using drugs and living a life of crime now, so I guess the breakup was a blessing.

Recently I discovered that he was in prison. I wrote her a letter of support and also sent her a care package. I made it clear that I came from the point of view of friendship.

I wonder if I’m “too nice” to this guy? It really didn’t go well between us. He never really apologized, but I guess I love him so much.

He has no family, so I just wanted to be there for him. Have I done too much?

– Ex-girlfriend too attentive

Expensive too attentive: “Travis” doesn’t sound like a good bet. All of his lesser qualities (cheating, lying, etc.) are likely to be amplified in prison.

You are probably not the only woman who cares about Travis, and that might help you to assume that he probably has other correspondents.

It’s nice of you to contact us, but if your contact with him forces you to hold back your own progress and personal development, then you incarcerate yourself with him. It wouldn’t be good for you.

Dear Amy: Like thousands of others who have loved nursing homes and other health care facilities, we have not been able to see our 89-year-old mom since March.

She was healthy and mentally sharpened until January. Since then, she has gone back and forth between the hospital and rehabilitation.

She went from a sharp mentality to problems with a simple phone call.

Someone from the family was with her every day until lockout. It’s a nightmare for us.

Well-meaning friends call to ask how mom is, then give advice and – worse – describe similar events that led to their mother’s death.

I had to tell them to stop. I can’t speak to someone who is dying right now. I am grateful for their friendship, but I am exhausted and heartbroken.

– Please stop

Dear please: It is heartbreaking. Yes, please stop.


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