Tuesday, May 9, 2023
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Guest Coaches: Joan Cass, Eileen Fortin and Robert Besunder (JADE)
You’re a mediator. Or you’re learning how to be a mediator. And you think you’ve got what it takes to be a really good mediator.
And then THIS dispute ends up on your plate.
Two neighbours. Billie Joe and Bobbie Sue. They live next door to each other, and they dated for a while. They were two young lovers with nothing better to do…so they decided to do something. One night they sat around the house (Billie Joe’s), they got high and watched some television. And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose…they decided to head down to El Paso on a short vacation together. Billie Joe did the driving. While in El Paso, they were looking for some excitement, so Billie Joe and Bobbie Sue got involved with some man who had a castle (guess that’s a thing in El Paso), and there was some kind of hassle…and they robbed him. Well, Bobbie Sue took the money and ran.
Yes, Bobbie Sue took the money that she and Billie Joe got from the man they robbed (they also shot him), and they escaped back to Ontario. Even the detective down in El Paso (Texas, in case you didn’t know), someone named Billy Mack, couldn’t catch them.
So what’s the problem? They took the money and ran. They should be smiling. But no, the story doesn’t end on a happy note. Once she had the money, Bobbie Sue decided that she could do a lot better than Billie Joe, so she broke up with him. Refused to talk to him. Refused to split the money with him. They’re still neighbours, but they have nothing to do with each other. Except…Billie Joe wants his share of the money. And even though the money was obtained through illegal means, Billie Joe keeps sending demand letters to Bobbie Sue, threatening to take her to court. Billie Joe has escalated matters by waiting at Bobbie Sue’s doorstep each day, waiting for her to come home from work, and in her view, Billie Joe was harassing her. So she threatened to go to the police. And in response, Billie Joe threatened to do the same, and in his own words, “I’ll rat you out to the cops about all that stolen money you’ve got hidden in your house”. Oh lord!
That’s where you come in. You’re a mediator and happen to have left a flyer in both of their mailboxes. “Community Mediation,” said the flyer. “Do you have a dispute with a neighbour or a friend? Money issues? Fences? Driveways? Pets pooping on your lawn? Don’t waste money and run to a lawyer or to the courts…contact me, and I’ll try to help you bring peace back to your home and neighbourhood.”
Somehow both Billie Joe and Bobbie Sue had a moment of clarity, and recognized an opportunity, and called each other, and agreed to jointly retain your services. So here they are…and here you are. If you’re ever going to hone your skills as a mediator, this seems like a good chance to do it.
That’s the role play we will work through, so we need you to join us at this session and volunteer. We need a mediator, and we need Billie Joe and Bobbie Sue. And the rest of us will be watching and learning, with coaching from the leaders of JADE – Joan Cass, Eileen Fortin and Robert Besunder. We’ll also have an open discussion before the role play, to talk about the mediation issues important to you, and we’ll also de-brief after the role play, to see what worked and what didn’t.