Far too much food, and a good conversation

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I cannot seem to break the habit of buying too much food for festivities. I comfort myself by the fact that most of it will be eaten if not on the day intended them shortly after. I reckon that about £125 has been spent buying fairly ordinary items. I suppose with two guests for the best part of a week that’s not too bad.

I had an interesting meeting with a tenant on my allotment who’s tenancy I had on behalf of the committee cancelled due to lack of performance. He wanted to meet me to discuss it. There are many elements that come together when you have to remove someone from a position, or sack somebody, or in the hypocritical speak of the United States, to ‘let them go’. This discussion was on a very small scale but interesting nevertheless.

I put myself in a strong position by saying that my main aim is to serve people and look after their interests. I pointed out that he had not performed to the required standard for the last couple of years. He admitted that it was the case but pleaded extenuating circumstances such as workload. I could have easily argued against this but part of this chap  genuinely wanted to leave his daytime work, concentrate on his woodwork and on doing gardening.

I had to think very quickly here and had to evaluate the goodwill and enthusiasm that he displayed . I suggested to him that although the present plot appeared to be too much for him, it might be a good idea to change down to a smaller plot. Before I knew where I was, he was suggesting the same. I assured him that if he could be productive then he should move to a larger plot at some future time. I always offer to give people a hand for a couple of hours. In his case, he’s not very well physically but is too proud to admit it. I don’t want to offend or upset anybody and in this case the ploy should surely be to suggest something which on reflection he will find is within his physical and mental capability.

I wrote to the committee suggesting he take a smaller plot and they were in agreement but this will be a  last chance because he has not shown a good record in the past.  As I write this diary I await his response but I think it will be positive.

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, people are less moderate than they would normally be and I think it’s a good idea to take this into account. There are very few bad people through and through. They are more likely to be stressed, financially challenged, having difficulties with their relationship, have not had a holiday for some time, and are generally barely functional. It is for this reason that we should try to give the benefit of the doubt if a person shows genuine contrition.

Irrespective of the result, the positive and creative stance was maintained throughout the meeting and I thanked him for his time. I don’t want bad blood anywhere on the allotment. I have always maintained that everything we do should be a work of art, conversations included.  I hope this example bears fruit.

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