Persistence Pays with Difficult People !


Particularly with difficult people – persistence pays! Take “John” and “Jane” who are parents in default on their school fees. Just like with most other difficult people (and, across multiple industries, I have dealt with all types of problematic relationships), their bark is generally much worse than their bite.

Opposed to John and Jane will be the value-based, pastoral, school, who will often be exasperated at the way that John and/ or Jane have treated them.

Whilst John and Jane are in the School’s ‘too hard to handle’ basket (due to factors including the Schools’ internal controls as well as John and Jane’s rudeness and frustratingly comical reasons to try to justify non-payment, I hear their reasons, but respectfully ensure their compliance anyway).

Some reasons that I have heard include –

  • ‘We never asked for (insert subject choices, extra-curricular activities etc)’;

  • ‘Our child is an elite athlete/ academic/ insert reason for how their child is more special than every other student, and s/he therefore should be on a scholarship with a paid allowance’, amongst others.

Whilst (like with other types of debtors), John and Jane can fall on hard times (e.g. separation, divorce, business failure etc), it is their frustrating failure to communicate which only ends with rudeness and justifications rather than apologies and compromises, which causes angst.

John and Jane will often try to avoid paying school fees, including by -

  • Moving home (even interstate) without providing a forwarding address (I classify this as a “passive” frustration step - as John and Jane hope that the recovery problem disappears); and

  • Living in a gated compound (I classify this as an “active” frustration step - as John and Jane will often monitor their visitors, and will feign absence for any unknown person – including my process server who is trying to serve the court papers on them).

Despite all their efforts, even earlier today, when John and Jane moved interstate without a forwarding address, to a gated compound, and repeatedly ignored my process server, I got them served (and will make them pay their outstanding school fees).

How? Whilst a magician never reveals his secrets, everyone can still learn the following valuable lessons - (1) Where there is a will, there is a way; and (2) Never make a lawyer (especially Weinberg) angry. Good manners really do help ! And remember, when all else fails (and even before it does), get the lawyer who revels in the fight to protect you and GET WEINBERG!

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