Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dear ReFraming Abby

A friend writes in...

A tenant I’m friendly with hasn’t been in for a month. I sent him an email asking if he's ok. He answers back, about family issues and other stuff and says “I hate to say it but I may have to give up the office.” I say “Sorry to hear. Give me a call if it’s not working for you, I can try to work out getting someone in there.” I go out of my way to try to let him work around his contract, but he ignores emails and won't return phone calls.

I’m confused by his behavior.

Framing disjoint!

Imagine him in the third act of an action movie. The rebels are laser-bombing his location...while you’re the friendly dude down at the hardware store. You’ve ceased to be a real person for him. Does that help?

Yes. I was trying to help him, but I’ve become a non-player character for him.

Yes, though not in an unfriendly way. Just a shift of attention. Either cover your ass as best you can or else become an equally daunting monster to get his attention - i.e. reappear in his reality.

It won’t get to anything like that. The building owner would be happy to have him pay and not use the office...and if he leaves we'd be able to fill it quickly. We're ok either way.

Me: Fine. Don’t expect thoughtful good behavior. Make HIM a non player character and just do everything by the book and give him his space.

Yeah, that’s it. Weird because we gave him a great deal, gave him leads that led to big sales for his company, etc.. But your explanation seems to be right.

Me: He’s pinned against a rock by some assault force and you’re texting him to sternly demand a headcount for next week's barbecue. "You're the one who suggested the bbq, Ken!!!”

Thanks, very helpful

no prob

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