Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Compromise... the win/win or the lose/lose

Like most normal and rational people I believe in compromise. It's a key societal value and it's truly impossible to imagine a world without compromise. Commerce wouldn't work, relationships would be impossible, and families would not exist. As todlers were taught the lessons of sharing and it later becomes the platform for comprimise. With that being said I believe in the power of mutual understanding and accepting that conflicts are never one sided. Parties are always going to share responsibility in a dispute. They may not share equal responsibility but it will never be 100% one parties fault with 0% of the responsibility landing on the other party, excluding random crimes.

On Tuesday I went to court. It was small claims court and I was suing my former landlord. Without getting too deep into details she acted super sketch to avoid a move out inspection and then without communicating with me at all said I owed an exorbitant amount of money in damages. I questioned this and she sent me to collections. There was no communication or response until a lovely woman (sarcasm) called me from a super low budget sketch collection agency.

I quickly found out that sending someone to collections is a total bully move. It doesn't matter if the debt is valid or is being disputed once you're in collections the option are to pay within 30 days so it is not reported on your credit score or refuse to pay and take a heavy hit to your credit score and continue to be harrassed by the collection agents until you actually do pay. Either way you're totally bullied into paying. It's awful.

So I sued her for the amount I was unjustly forced into paying. It was a really interestin experience. The judge was a spitfire named Judge Judy and she forced all the litigants to leave the court room and discuss settlements. I hate direct confrontation and I was confronted by the owner and her property manager. Initially they did not want to discuss a settlement and tried to convince me that I had no case. They barely let me speak and dismissed everything I had to say. However, after seeing how prepared I was and the documentation I had they started to discuss settlement. I stated I would be willing to split the difference. At the time it felt fair and I felt like I was being the bigger person.

They accepted the agreement and we moved into mediation. Boyfriend joined me in the mediation room and I was really glad he was there. It was difficult for him because the owner had made some hideously untrue accusations directed toward him. During the mediation they were very disrespectful and it was difficult not to take some of what was said personally. I so badly wanted speak my mind and stand up for myself. It would not have been the appropriate time to do so but I think I would have felt better.
At the end of this experience I felt very conflicted. I didn't feel good or bad about the sitution. I value comprimise but I feel like I comprimised my values...
image: Bing Images

1 comment:

Carol said...

I'm so glad you brought that mean woman to court!