Theme: BEING GAME
Playing is fun. And educative.
It’s the opportunity to go all out.
To take chances and fail spectacularly. Without real consequences.
Other than the pinch of loosing.
The pinch is necessary.
For the educational part.
Because games are training scenarios.
The more you play and the more ‘dry-runs’ you have, the more you gonna be ready for the real thing.
If need be.
Getting to know ourselves and our abilities and learning to be resourceful with them is what’s it all about.
Learning through Experiences.
I really like playing but I hate certain games: Monopoly, Risk, Chess, Checkers, games where you have to think ahead.
I hate them because I believe I am not good at them.
So I can’t be bothered learning them because in the beginning I got my ass kicked so badly, that it still hurts just thinking about it.
So I avoid them.
Not a good strategy, I know.
But strategic nonetheless.
Instead, I love playing Kniffel, Rummikub, Mensch Ärgere Dich Nicht and Uno, fast paced games which have an element of luck in them.
The pick of a card and the roll of a dice.
Games which are not solely based on skill.
I also adore a thing called Beginner’s Luck.
Playing a game for the first time and winning.
It is my FAVOURITE because it means I only have to play once, to experience my favourite feeling:
It also means that I never have to play it again after that.
Beginner’s luck happened to me at a party.
A guy challenged me to a game of Backgammon.
And I won.
First time around.
It was glorious because he thought he could totally bust me.
But instead I busted him.
He was really pissed off, I remember.
And I glee’d.
(Such a strange word: a combination of glue and bleed 🤔)
So I ask myself: Why would I want to play Backgammon ever again? Why to deliberately set myself up for loosing?
I’d like to have a fighting chance.
When do I have it?
Can it be calculated?
Getting better at something needs practice. Practice makes perfect.
The perfection part I love, being perfect.
But I loathe the process of practice because it means getting pinched. Numerous times.
And the more I get pinched, the more I contract.
Until I’m ready to swipe the board off the fucking table.
There are actually two defeats.
- The defeat as in loosing.
- The defeat as in not trying to win
With chess I feel the pinch of a double defeat.
However, I am in a GAME at the moment.
With my tenant Sean P.
He is a worthy opponent I have to admit. And I chose him.
Sean moved into a small apartment I own in the UK, back in February 2020.
I knew that this wouldn’t be straight forward. He is a big guy, heavily tattooed.
I was already living in Amsterdam, so I could not meet him in person, but my daughter did and she said he was nice.
And she is fussy.
His messages seemed pleasant and genuine and he really wanted the flat.
His FB posts sounded positive.
I knew there were struggles but I wanted to give him a chance.
A fighting chance.
I believe this is the reason I ignored all the alarm bells.
- the fact that I could not get in touch with his previous landlady
- the fact his references were somewhat unorthodox
- the fact that when I checked with mutual Facebook friends, I heard stories of drunken arrests in Morrisons
- the fact that he could not produce consecutive months worth of bank statements showing regular income
All of these facts should have had me walking away immediately.
Running a mile. 100 miles. And 100 more.
It clearly looked like a LANDLORD SUICIDE MISSION 2020
This is the game I’m still in and I believe this is all happening for a reason.
I saw something. In him.
Something which made me completely disregard all the red flags.
In February 2020. Just before shit hit the fan. Big time.
Almost a year later and out of eleven full monthly rental payments I have received four.
I am owed almost £4K in rental income.
A complete financial disaster.
And on top of that it looks like I have an unemployed builder as a tenant with alcohol problems, serious anger issues and known bouts of violence everyone is scared of, including his own family.
This scenario cannot even be more grotesque.
It would be laughable.
If it wasn’t scary.
Because he has directed his anger towards me now.
Like a crazed pitbull.
Ready to tear me apart because I challenged him.
To fucking start paying rent plus back the money he owes me. Or to at least have a plan on how to improve his situation.
Clearly his current strategy of sitting around waiting for building work during lockdowns is not working so well.
How can one expect different results with the same actions?
I know deep down that he is a good guy. We had a really cool phone conversation about a month ago and realised that we actually have a lot of thoughts in common. There are synchronicities. We had a real laugh.
And I felt that despite all trouble we went through, we understood each other and it confirmed for me that there is a reason behind all of it.
And he genuinely apologised to me.
Which I really value.
More than the money.
Because, in general, he is a good tenant, besides the lack of rent. He is super tidy, he looks after the flat well. Better than any of the girls I’ve previously had in there.
And he tends the garden.
But I guess I should be seriously worried now.
He is angry because last time we texted, I dared to suggest that he needs to get his shit together, to find another place to live or a way to get money to pay his rent as I cannot keep on supporting him like this. My own daughter is struggling financially and I cannot help her because of him.
She is family and he is not.
So he started to insult me.
Threatening me verbally.
Informing me in not uncertain terms that he is doing his best and if that is not good enough for me, he will do fuck all. I will get nothing from now on.
The animal is cornered and is lashing out. Feeling helpless.
I recognise it. I too feel helpless. Because, if he chooses to not pay anything anymore, basically continuing what he has been doing all year, it seems there is nothing I can do to stop him.
And I have no more mortgage holiday left. And why should I?
Rent is rightfully mine. All year I gave him a break and have provided him with a nice place to live.
That was my initial intention back in February. I have been true to that despite it meaning I had to cut back financially myself.
There are a couple of small petty things I could do in order to vent my own helplessness anger but I know they will just make him even more mad.
I’m afraid to even move a muscle.
So, I feel I’m standing there, like a deer in the headlights, like game, ready to have my financial throat ripped out.
IT’S ONLY A POTENTIALITY
Remember, I am (in a) game.
And I have what I believe is a joker up my sleeve.
It’s the fact that I know that this crazed murderous pit bull is a scared puppy.
This is what I have been telling myself all year.
To look beyond appearance.
That’s what motivated me to give him a tenancy agreement back in February.
One month before the first lockdown.
The appearance is so in my face yet I am strangely calm.
I think I am done playing suicidal landlord.
I have felt pinches several times throughout this game.
I believe I learnt my lesson and I feel I am starting to win now.
Finishing this game elegantly.
I can totally win this and I have the feeling that all it takes are two final moves.
And then checkmate.
The cheque, mate.
Setting an intention and a deadline!
“Sean, I am informing you that our tenancy agreement is officially ending in 38 days and I have decided not to renew our agreement. I have furthermore set up a payment plan for you to be able to repay the £4K you owe me in additional monthly instalments.
The deadline to move out of the property and make way for a better suited tenant OR ALTERNATIVELY to start paying regular monthly rent on time plus extra to pay off your debts, is 2nd February 2021.”
And communicating this.
I will send him a voice message.
I know he is dyslexic.
Wow. It’s actually a really good feeling being able to intentionally wrap up a game to a win! Making strategic moves thinking ahead towards a positive outcome.
A CONTROLLED SPECTACULAR WIN.
That’s what I want.
Like in chess.
Seems I like it after all …
However, … what I like even more than a spectacular win is a
SPECTACULAR WIN WIN
Which is for the puppy to get a really well paid job and I get a friendly happy responsible tenant plus an increased regular monthly rental income to cover all of my UK bills, support L a little here and there and have some spare to build a money cushion.
Thus is the WIN WIN I want.
And the deadline for this is 02.02.2021
Voice message sent ✅