Rattled

It started with an email this morning to my tenants. I’m trying to sell my house in Joburg and my tenants have been pretty difficult. They wanted to buy and we agreed on a price and then they couldn’t get credit because they were blacklisted. So I waited. And waited some more. And gave them a time-limit which came and went with no word from them. So I made plans to put the house on the market and they came back to me and said they didn’t want the house anyway.

Cut a long story short – now that the time is approaching for them to move out, they suddenly want to buy again. But that ship has sailed and now they suddenly want to jump on it again.

The sorry bottom line is that I just basically don’t trust them. So I emailed them this morning saying sorry, I just can’t go back to our original agreement. Which is fine. But I know my tenants. They have so much justification now just to dig their heels in and be obstructive about providing access for show days. First they “forgot” and then they needed to change the show day because a guest was coming to stay and then there was their grandchild’s christening. Fine. I can be flexible.

But when I got a desperate call this morning from an estate agent I don’t know wanting to rush through an offer for an “out of town” buyer (who could, it just so happens, buy and then rent to my current tenants for two years) I smelled a rat. It comes back to trust. So now I sit with only a sniff of a buyer in the immediate vicinity (he’s talking to the bond people) and a pissed-off tenant and estate agents trying to pull fast ones and I’m 1400km away from having much control over this. I’ve just got to trust the process and trust the estate agents whom I do have a relationship with. It will happen in due course.

I’m also feeling rattled because I would really love to do tons of reading on Cape Town (for a post I want to do on Cape Town novels) but I can’t do that at work. And now my group wants me to do a presentation to them next month on this as well. Plus mercury retrograde seems to be playing havoc with my appliances. The DVD player, the cellphone, the microwave – they’re all pleading for help.

And I’m still recovering from the various outward cashflows that accompanied the buying and moving into of the house.

Anyway, what this means is that when patients don’t pitch for their appointments, I’m secretly a bit pleased. Not all the time. I like my patients and would like to help them. But just sometimes (like now).

Incidentally, I can also report that blogging can make you happier. According to the knowledgeable and well-connected John Grohol of PsychCentral, a Taiwanese study by Ko and Kuo (2009) found that blogging increases your sense of connectedness and wellbeing. Now if only I could find a blog that reduced my house-related anxieties and also did my Cape Town-reading homework for me.

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14 Responses to Rattled

  1. “patients don’t pitch for their appointments” .. not familliar with this phrase? does this mean they don’t show up? we call them “no shows” here. and I know the feeling. it’s nice when I’m given a spare hour that I hadn’t counted on. I lose money when they don’t show — still, some days, worth it.

    glad to hear about blogging increasing happiness. would explain a bit about why I find myself reading so many : ) and it beats earlier studies I had read about suggesting that a lot of internet time was associated with depression.

    sorry about your house selling woes. maybe these out of town buyers belong somehow to your tenants (parents?) and will come through and you’ll be done with it. but until then, stresssssssss. lots of deep breaths.

  2. Mercury retrograde! That explains the water leak in our London flat, which has caused our tenants not to want to renew their contract. I knew there was something fishy afoot. As for your tenants, I’m sure you’re right to go with your instincts and not trust them.

    As for Cape Town novels, I recently read Badlands, which was fantastic.

  3. Trust your instincts. I hope you can find an estate agent that is on the up and up.

  4. Harriet says:

    Hmm, blogging can make me happier? Perhaps I should write more.

    Sorry about the house woes – sounds stressful. I hate anything that deals with money and finance; I hope that works out for you and soon.

    By the way, finished Steppenwolf. Strange ending indeed – I’m wondering how a psychologist would deal with Harry Haller as a patient.

  5. Pete says:

    phd in yogurty – Yes, they’re no shows. I don’t lose out financially since I work for the government. But that extra hour is often a welcome break. And yes – deep breaths!

    charlotte – Sorry to hear about the flat. And do you have an author for Badlands? Couldn’t find it on a quick net search.

    Lilian – Thanks. I realised this is a standard day in the life of an estate agent. Just have to take it a step at a time.

    Harriet – Thanks. Me too – hate having to deal with money. As for Steppenwolf, I thought that Hermine was a bit like a therapist for him (as well as a mother). Of course there are big parallels between therapy and mothering – would be interested to hear your thoughts on that. There are aspects of Harry’s character which seem narcissistic, which suggests that he would respond to therapy which focuses on mirroring the self back to him. Narcissistic patients often don’t do well in therapy but if they feel valued and understood, then they can thrive.

    • Harriet says:

      Pete, My mother’s mothering style wasn’t anything like therapy. In fact her mothering is probably why I am in therapy! Harry does seem narcissistic because he is very depressed and I think depression tends to make a person think about himself a lot – and what a horrible person he is, how he can’t do anything right, how nothing ever goes right for him, etc. Not narcissistic in the “Aren’t I a great person” kind of way. Harry also thought he was “above” people, he was more intellectual and no one could talk to him on his level. Which may be true actually.

      Harry did start to come alive because he felt he was understood by Hermine. Maybe it just takes that one person to turn someone around.

      And I guess the magic theater was therapeutic as well, allowing Harry to see all of the parts of his life as though on a chessboard, and to see other possibilities.

      But in the end it seemed to me that the solution for his problems seemed superficial. I was disappointed.

      • Pete says:

        I was also disappointed in the ending – I thought it was a bit lame. And maybe a lot of Harry’s thoughts are “healthy narcissism” in the sense of that everyday stream of consciousness but then he gets bogged down in unhealthy narcissism and thinking he’s just not cut out for normal society. Interesting parallels with Hesse’s own life apparently – and 1920s Germany must have been a very difficult place to be.

  6. litlove says:

    Oh what a pain that house sale must be! I feel for you. Not being able to trust people is a feeling that inexorably undermines everything you want to do and say. I really hope the estate agent can prove helpful to you here – that’s what they are supposed to do, but the quality of estate agents is pretty awful in the UK. Hope yours is on top of things!

  7. Pete says:

    Litlove – I had an email exchange with my tenants today and we cleared the air a bit. But I can see that they want a lease extension and I just can’t do that (however nasty it will seem to them not to agree).

  8. Turns out it’s called Madlands, and is by Rosemund J Handler.

  9. Courtney says:

    Mercury in retrograde! Thank God. Does that count on my side of the hemisphere? In the last two months our car, our coffee pot and our dvd player have all died,and the car took all the money…

  10. natalian says:

    Mercury in retrograde sums up my month of August perfectly – my internet connection, washing machine, cell phone and now tumble dryer have all been trying my patience of which I have little!

  11. David says:

    Hmmmm. If it smells fishy with the possible buyer of your place, it probably is … and unless things are very different in the UK than they are here, it’s completely up to you whether you choose to negotiate with the fishy-smelling buyer. If you have a bad gut feeling, tell your agent you don’t want to deal with that buyer, and reject their offer.

  12. doctordi says:

    And this stuff is David’s backyard, so I’d be following his advice on this one, Pete! If you think it reeks, it just about always does.

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