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Contract Anxiety

Amy Campbell

May 9, 2007

3 Min Read
Contract Anxiety

A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Drew Whitney. 

This year I made a political leap and was voted into my local elementary school board. I have four kids in the school, so when I was asked to run for a position, I felt obligated. I didnt realize what I was getting into.
I thought attending one meeting per month wasnt a huge commitment, considering I was helping shape the future education for my brood as well as some 320 additional kids. I envisioned participating in the teacher-interview process, casting a vote for the best candidate, voicing opinions on literacy curriculum and math-test scores. Im finding out this is way more of a brain-drain than imagined.
Last nights meeting dragged on for four hours. Along with approving last months minutes and bill payments were discussions with tense discourse. What items needed to be included in a contract to assure the school would not be liable for anything related to a pending generator installation, which would be the responsibility of our town government? Next up: a grievance by the teachers who allege the principal violated their contract when asking them to perform lunch duties.
The crucial outcomes of these items depend on contractual itemshow they are articulated and interpreted. I couldnt help to think, during my ride home, about how weve all become so contract-paranoid. So many times our lives can be twisted or unraveled by the wording in a contract. One misconstrued item in a signed agreement could easily turn into a recurring contract nightmare.
We would never buy or sell a home without a contract or start a business, enter into a marriage, get a loan or hire an employee. Its almost as if we hear, Sign on the dotted line as often as Have a nice day. But with all the worries of signing contracts its really hard to have any nice day.
Fortunately, for our school board, the chair is an experienced attorney. He knows when to dig in and make wording adjustments to keep us covered. Unfortunately for the teachers, it meant losing their grievance. Their interpretation of the contract just didnt fly.
How about your contracts? Do you feel confident after signing a construction agreement? Are you sure the bank loan docs are all in order and cant be used against you? Are your employment agreements clear, such that you wont get sued through some loophole discovered by a disgruntled staff member? How about you rental contracts?
If youre losing sleep worrying about the validity of your agreements, my suggestion is find someone versed in self-storage contractual law. With the right attorney and carefully crafted verbiage, any suit brought against you should be an opened-and-closed case, promising you ample shuteye, free of contractual nightmares. Sleep tight.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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