Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Jacob on March 19, 2000 at 10:56:31:


At the beginning, I thought you made some good points. I probably would not have handled this situation in quite the same way either. I advocate face-to-face communication whenever possible. I was even a little surprised myself that Matthew chose this method, as he is an excellent communicator.

However, you have gone way overboard in your last two posts. I don’t know Matthew extremely well, but I do know him better than you do.

To call him sneaky and conniving is way overboard, and to phrase it the way you did was tacky, and a little immature. It simply isn’t neccessary to go “off” on someone in that manner with that tone of voice. You will find that people here will have trouble taking you seriously, because of the way you attacked Matthew (who just happens to be pretty well respected around here, for good reason.)

Perhaps one day you can handle things with the same character and grace that Matthew has over the past few years. From my view, you are off to an awfully bad start.


Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on March 16, 2000 at 22:57:18:

Thought I would share what I think is a success story…

Basically, the situation is we have a church nearby with evening services Sun & Wed evening services. There would be lots of commotion going on disturbing me. This happened week after week… I got tired of the noise. Instead of being the bad guy… Well, based on an idea I heard from Nick Sidoti, I drafted the following letter on my computer making it look quite professional and formal…

The XYZ Coalition for Better Neighborhoods

Dear Neighbor:

It has been brought to our attention that the attendees of your church are responsible for disturbances, traffic hazards, and noise pollution in the XYZ area. The sources of disturbances, hazards, and noise are reportedly coming from the youth members of your church group following your gatherings.

Reportedly, youth members gather in the church parking lot in their vehicles following your services. While there are no problems with the gatherings in itself, it becomes a problem for the surrounding neighborhood when they do so in their vehicles, create commotion and “burn rubber” in the church parking lot and surrounding roads. This causes a great deal of disturbance and safety hazards for the surrounding area.

Needless to say, the problem has caused some concern as to whether the church is, in fact, being a “good neighbor” and taking responsibility in communicating this to its church members. We urge you to do so.

Please note, this is a courtesy notice. However, should the problem continue, our bylaws require us to report the “good neighbor”, noise, and traffic safety violations to local government officials and law enforcement officers.

We appreciate your prompt attention in this matter.


The “Better Neighborhood” Committee


Since this letter has gone out over 2 weeks ago, Sunday and Wednesday evenings are strangely quiet. Incidentally, I left no return address, name, or phone number.

Anyhow, I wonder if anyone will ever check to see if the “Coalition” really exists! :slight_smile: Pretty powerful, eh?

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Jack Beam

Posted by Jack Beam on March 19, 2000 at 15:23:58:

The Church would be well advised to turn over your letter to the proper State and Federal law enforcement agencies in their jurisdictions. They would also be well advised to never ever open a letter with no return address sent by a undisclosed source.

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by TCK

Posted by TCK on March 17, 2000 at 11:14:04:

Matt :

I’ve been watching your posts, and you usually give sound advice, but on this one,
I agree with Stacy. As a matter of fact Matt, I’m surprised that you handled this in such
a cowardly way.

Now you have got this poor minister on the defense worrying about his church just because
of some young people, who are just being young people.

I think it more appropriate for you to go meet personally with the minister or head
of the church, explain your position with warmth, grace, and charter, and not only
would you of had the same result, but a better relationship with your neighbor.

Some times it’s not so much what we say, but the way we say it.

You have your rights and the church knows it. I’m sure they would have been happy
to accommodate you or you still could have had a second warning, the choice of your letter.

Your letter was well worded, I just thought you could have accomplished this in a warmer
way. It seem like such a cold way to treat a neighbor, with out giving them the opportunity
to do the right thing with out threatening them.

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 17, 2000 at 24:10:19:

Hi Matthew-

Not to put a damper on this gem, but why would you not just speak to the appropriate church official in a non-threatening way and explain the situation? Or at least write them a letter signed by you? It seems the straight-foward and honest thing to do.

No biggie, just curious. I guess we all have our own ways.


Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Rick

Posted by Rick on March 18, 2000 at 11:06:15:

I think the strength of this approach is that it appears to be coming from the whole neighborhood, not just one concerned neighbor.

Calling this approach cowardly is like saying to a successful real estate investor who works only a few hours a week “You are lazy, go do some hard work”.

Why not take the path of least resistance - that’s not cowardly, it’s smart.

It only make sense… - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on March 17, 2000 at 13:25:57:

Let us just say you might not know the whole story or the neighborhood. If you think it was “cowardly” of me, fine. I got the results I wanted quickly with no harm or confrontation with any police, etc.

The issue here is getting effective results with little personal recourse and hassle and little need for legal involvement. I have observed these “kids” for weeks and their behavior in these vehicles. Do you honestly think that ONE comment by a NEW neighbor would stop it? It might have worked, then again, it might not.

Plus, I really don’t need the hassles of possible retaliation (by the kids) like getting my property “egged” or “rolled by toilet paper” or whatever.

I realize “I will never know until I tried”. But I know how unruly some kids can be. Think about it, they were creating these huge disturbances right on church property and didn’t care, week after week. This church of good size, so I am not just talking about tracking down a couple of people.

I apologize if it “bothers” some people. I don’t often post anymore but I figured I would share a tidbit I learned and implemented for myself and its relative success.

If you can look past the value judgement, you will see that I have done very little “damage”. There is no libel, slander, personal confrontation, police, formal complaints, ONLY a letter to remind them of PERCEIVED consequences if they choose not to abide by being a good neighbor.

To me, there really is no “guts and glory” here by putting myself out there to “right their wrong”. I choose to exercise my “courageousness” in other areas of life.

Like I said, I don’t post here much anymore so I figured I would give something that could possibly help some people out. It IS a property management technique that I learned from someone else I thought could be adapted. It can be used by the handicapped, elderly, people with health problems, people in “war zones”, women, smaller-sized people, etc. to give them the “extra perceived power” to get things done correctly in their property managment. Like most things in life, the technique can be used for a greater good or it can be abused.

I liken this technique to real estate using leverage at its best with miminum personal risk. My post was a lesson for those who want it. Sorry some of you disagree.

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on March 18, 2000 at 22:51:06:

I admit the approach is not very conventional and perhaps even controversial. I admit is not for everybody but you can’t argue the effectiveness in this case.

I did consider the “straight-forward” approach but the truth was, it just didn’t seem worth the potential aggravation.

If it is too controversial for public consumption, I suppose deleting this thread would just solve it. I just figured it couldn’t hurt (much) to share a story here.

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by TCK

Posted by TCK on March 18, 2000 at 21:44:03:


I beg to differ with you. Not only was it cowardly, but dishonest as well.
I watch what Matt is saying and it shows me weak character, and to you as
well for defending such a position.

You listen to Matt wine and cry as though he broke up a bunch of gang members.
Were talking about a church group. Yes the young people got route, big deal.

I’m sure that if the minister could control it with a threat, he could have just as easily
of done it with a good neighbor request. If not then Matt could have done what he
had to do. But the Minister and the Church deserved the benefit of a doubt and
an opportunity to correct this behavior.

If the minister had been addressed by Matt, the minister not only would have had the
opportunity to correct the problem, but an opportunity to know what neighbors that
he has to make happy.

Matt is just justifying why he didn’t have the nerve to be up front. Now he is making
this church group sound as though they are life threatening.

Matt then expects to come in here and demonstrate to us how clever he is because he
doesn’t have the balls to confront a minister.

One more thing Rick, a successful man would never hide behind such a weak move.
Successful people are usually aggressive in personality. Success has nothing to do
with honesty and integrity.

In the past I have seen Matt’s posts, and they have been good ones. But not only did
he disappoint me by what he did, but tried to compare it to a success story.

This man has to be hurting for success stories.

Re: It only make sense… - Posted by IdahoRob

Posted by IdahoRob on March 17, 2000 at 21:06:20:

Hi Matt have missed you over here!!! but I do like your posts on your web page. Your quit a man to not even peep about it over here. Masterfull minds do think in different ways (LOL) Anyway good luck over there. Guess if ones here want to know more they could e-mail you.

Re: Control your unruly neighbor (success?) - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 19, 2000 at 24:44:14:

Yes, I see. I should have added, that if I felt threatened for my family’s well being if I complained publicly, I would consider using this letter. I’m glad you shared it. Each individual will have to decide if and when to use it. Just a matter of personal choice.


The “coward” gets “aggressive.” - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on March 18, 2000 at 22:41:27:

Again, If you can get past your judgements of me, you will see it wass only 1 little management technique that was very effective with no harm done.

You do not have to like it or use it. It took me less than 20 minutes to draft the letter, sign it, spend $.33 and send it. Can anyone say, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered!”? Results happened nearly immediately, the neighborhood is quieter, no speedsters and no personal grudges against me because I “whined” to the minister.

Compare that to going into the church to track down the “right” person and HOPE that the correct person is in when I go in to lodge this verbal complaint. I get to wait and hope they will remember this verbal complaint several days so it can be presented to the group.

When the inevitable question comes up, “who complained?” The answer will likely be, “It is the new guy across the street”. Counter-answer, “Only one guy?” yada, yada, yada. Who knows how effective or how many go arounds I would need to make to get the same results?

Regarding life-threatening? Would you consider people racing down 20mph residential streets at 45-50 mph not? It probably isn’t life-threatening as long as NO ONE crosses the street at night at the wrong moment.

Lastly, label it a “failure” story if it makes you feel better. While you are passing judgement on me and going through your own routines, I continue to focus on getting excellent results with minimal work. I admit to being quite lazy and accomplishing as much as I can with as little effort as possible.

Oh, by the way, feel free to sign your full name publicly when you post… After all, only “cowardly” people would conceal their identity, correct?

Re: The “coward” gets “aggressive.” - Posted by TCK

Posted by TCK on March 19, 2000 at 10:31:01:


I’m going to cool the rest of this post, because if you can’t get the point, then it’s
just a waste of time. I have seen your posts in the past and you’ve seemed to be fair
and objective. Now you come in here and use a cheap technique on a defenseless
minister, wanting to call it a success story.

Matt if you were that minister, and you received that letter, wouldn’t you want to
protect your church?

If you had some young people in your congregation, who were out of line, don’t
you feel that you would like to handle it with the people who were offended
in order to correct the problem?

Also, in meeting with the parties who were effected by the young peoples actions,
you have an opportunity to establish a relationship and understanding.

The minister did no wrong, it wasn’t his fault. Matt if you feel like you handled this
in an honorable way, then what can I say.

I can see that I could talk until I’m blue in the face, and you’ll just respond with justification.
It’s not a matter of being smart or lazy, it’s a matter of being sneaky and conniving.
Apparently you don’t know the difference.

As far as my name is concerned, it’s Travis Cisco Kidd, I go by Cisco.

Re: The “coward” gets “aggressive.” - Posted by Matthew Chan

Posted by Matthew Chan on March 19, 2000 at 12:34:52:

If you re-read the letter, there was no personal attack on the minister or even the church. As a matter of fact, I am not sure who ended up handling it.

Regarding “sneaky and conniving”, what are your thoughts when you negotiate for a piece of property? Why not come out with the “truth” and tell them your BEST offer? No give and take or compromising. Is it sneaky to not start with your best offer? Why haggle at all?

I guess in the end, we can both agree to disagree…