Saturday, November 13, 2010
A Week of Holding Conflict Together
I had an unusually full week and resolved 4 conflicts. By Friday night (I got home after 9 PM), I was exhausted and really need a weekend to re-charge my batteries. Two of the hearings were achingly similar: both women in their early 60's who were discharged after 20+ years of employment from their public entity careers after experiencing very typical orthopedic-type medical disabilities. After spending the days with these two dynamic older ladies, my own bones ached in empathy! It must be very hard to face retirement--no matter the nest egg you've got from your years of working at the same employment. Both were settled, at VERY different results, but both employer and employee were satisfied with the results. One of the cases this week was for 6 illegal aliens, all facing deportment proceedings, against a "notario". It presented a glimpse into the fascinating dynamics of the underground industry of folks who portend to help this community, without any power over the immigration authority of the U.S. government. It called into play the moral/political morass of whether some help and an ability to stay in the U.S. (illegally) for years was better than immediately going back to Mexico when their truth was revealed about how difficult it is to gain citizenship here. Then yesterday was a complicated purchase and sale of a business. Two friendly businessmen in the same industry made a bad mistake and entered into the loosest of transactions without consulting appraisers, business brokers or lawyers. Now 6 months later, they needed to re-do their deal by spelling out all of the terms they needed to negotiate when they were on friendlier terms. Thirteen hours later, they have a transaction I hope they can live with! Meanwhile, this mediator had an interesting, but exhausting week.