Idyll Musings

The daily adventures of a bookselling family.

Idyll (n) - a short prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene in idealized terms; a carefree episode or experience; a romantic interlude; a scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics"

Many people are familliar with this quote; many people attribute it to Mark Twain. Though Twain did popularize it, he himself credits Benjamin Disraeli, author, British conservative statesman and the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield. The remark refers to the power of numbers, and how they can be used to make a weak arguement seem stronger. Twain's use of the phrase was in "Chapters From My Autobiography," published in the North American Review in 1907. He wrote,

"Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

I had this quote in mind as I sat in the mediation room yesterday and had to, once again, listen to the Property Owner (P.O.) lie, twist the facts, make up numbers, take things out of context, and paint herself as the poor victim in our housing dispute. Lies about what was agreed upon, what she knew before we moved out here....and the evidence of her lies was sitting in a pile of emails right in front of the mediators!!! And did they once go to look anything up for verification? NO!!

For example, P.O. says that she didn't know we had pets until we arrived. Here is a copy of the original post we made on Craigslist, back on May 20:

"Relocating from Massachusetts to Prescott, AZ
We are a family of 6 who is relocating to Arizona this summer due to job transfer. We are looking for a 4-5 bedroom house, or a 4 bedroom with a den that can be used as an office, that is close to Prescott High School and Granite Mountain Middle School. We have 3 pets: 2 short haired cats, and a 2 year old Chihuahua. We are hoping to find something that is a lease with an option to buy. Something with a fenced backyard would be nice. We are a quiet family and can provide excellent references. "

She responded to OUR post with this email on June 3:

"my husband and i have a house that is almost finished being remodled. it has 4 bedrooms total the lay out you could use on of manny places for an office. in the master sweet upstairs there is a living room and a loft. the house has a block wall around it the house sits on a quarter acre. the property has grass and very lots of fulley mature trees. the fourth bedroom is actually a in law quarter with its own bathroom bedroom kitchen and living room, also has its own laundry hook up. there is no garage but there is plenty of room for parking even enough room for an RV and your vehicles. if you would like pics e-mail or call xxxxxxxxx at xxx xxx-xxxx we would allow pets the house has a dog door. "

SHE KNEW WE HAD PETS!!!! And that is just one example of her lies, damned lies and statistics.

As you can see, I'm, angry. I'm damn angry. I vascillate mainly between angry and depressed, but right now I'm angry. I'm angry at the P.O. I'm angry at the court. I'm angry at the mediators, both of whom I got into heated exchanges with. They told my attorney I was being extremely volatile. Well you know what? Try walking in my shoes for the 3100 miles we drove to get out here, try walking in my shoes for the last three months, and le's see how volatile YOU get! What really peeved me was when one of the mediators told us we "wanted our cake and to eat it too," in response to the negotiations. He was claiming that we weren't willing to "give" anything in the negotiations. Oh, really? Let's see.... we moved out here with an agreement that we would rent for one year, then consider exercising our option to buy the property. At the time Mr. Mediator #1 made his enflaming statement, we had conceded to drop the purchase option, we agreed to pay a utility bill that included their use of the utilities during construction work on the house, and offered to move out at the end of January. Are we really celebrating with the proverbial cake? I don't think so!

P.O. wants us out by the end of October. We wanted to be able to get through the holidays and move out at the end of January. P.O. wouldn't agree. So after a break and discussion with our attorney, we came back and offerred to 'split the difference.' We'll move at the end of November. She won't agree to this unless we are more flexible as to her having the work completed on the house. We agred to come back on Friday for one final attempt to come to an agreement. If no agreement on Friday, it's back to court we go (Hi Ho, Hi Ho).

Why can't people be honest, and live up to agreements?


1 comment:

Anna Lear said...

As outrageous as this meeting was, it's all too familiar; it has been the case with every hearing I've been through in my divorce. What appalls me most is, as you wrote, the evidence contradicting the scammers' lies is RIGHT THERE and yet the mediators or judge or whoever pay no attention to it. Don't get me started on our "justice" system... I'll cross my fingers that Friday goes well AND that you find a new place soon. I am so sorry this has turned into such a nightmare for you.