Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => Complete Silence => Topic started by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 06:30:34 AM

Title: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 06:30:34 AM
Edited to add: I am sorry for the length!)
 
/BG: I used to live with DF (then DB) in a flat the other side of the city. It was a one bedroom flat and not somewhere we wanted to stay for a long period of time, due to the mould and damp in the bedroom and bathroom. It smelt awful and set off my chest infections (damp always does). The biggest reason we wanted to move, however, came in the shape of "Rachael", our upstairs neighbour. We were introduced the day we moved into the flat. She came downstairs simply to ask us to please keep the volume down as she can hear everything from her flat. I didn't see how she could, since her flat wasn't directly above ours but the other side of the house (a Victorian terrace which had been converted into flats), but nevertheless we agreed to be careful about noise, and didn't question her request. 
 
Over time, it appeared Rachael had issues with noise. We were not the only tenants she constantly harassed. We were not overly noisy, even when we went out together at the weekends. We took care never to slam any doors (although others in the flat did on occasions) and we spoke in whispers if we were late back. Basically, we made every attempt to comply with her wishes. We were noisy on occasion, but no more so than the other tenants. We saw the friendly young guy who lived opposite us in the other downstairs flat quite frequently in the local pub. He always had a smile for us until any of us mentioned Rachael. He confessed that she was driving him insane. She had knocked on his door 4 times in the past week to complain about his noise, she had written a letter of complaint to the landlord and she was threatening to get him evicted. DF and I were shocked...this young man was never out late at nights, even at weekends, and was the quietest, most unassuming man ever. He was wonderfully kind and helped us move our fridge/freezer out when it suddenly stopped working, and helped the delivery guy deliver the new one whilst DF was at work.  We couldn't understand why she suddenly had it in for him.

As time went on, it became more and more clear to us that she had problems with everyone, not just DF and I, and the young man in the other downstairs flat, but with everyone. We often chatted with the young couple who lived directly above us and they said they had never heard any excessive noise coming from our flat and they lived above us! They told us Rachael had complained to them about their noise, too.
 
The situation came to a head the day after my birthday, which fell on a Saturday that year. It was my 30th birthday, so of course it was a special do. We went out with mutual friends from work and had a fabulous (slightly drunken!) time. We were in high spirits after a great night of singing, dancing and talking.  The following morning, 8am on a Sunday, we were treated to five loud knocks on the door. So loud that we thought it was the Police or something. DF got up and I stayed in bed. He came back after 5 minutes and said it was Rachael, and she wanted us to go up and see her. We waited until a decent time and then went. She proceeded to lambast us for half an hour, call us rampant alcoholics and tell us we were a complete waste of air and deserved...well, some pretty nasty things that I would really care not to share with you.  After half an hour, we had both had enough of being spoken to like children and she was unprepared to listen to us at all. We said nothing further, just walked out. She followed us back into our flat, or tried to, but DF firmly closed the door. Maybe we could have dealt with it better, but we were shocked.  That was when we decided to move. 
 
Finally, with regards to background, anyway, this woman made enough noise herself. She was "single", ie didn't have a partner. However, she had a friend with "benefits". And those benefits were loud, loud Scrabble games going on until 2am up to four times per week.  Pleasant if you happen to live in the same building.  We laughed about her a lot, but if the truth be told, her behaviour was starting to become more and more eratic. She started printing out A4 notices and pinning them onto the front communal door. She started leaving the latch off the door to prevent "noise". She put notes through everyone's doors warning of eviction if we did not comply. We needed to move. And very soon did, hoping never to see her again. /End BG
 
Fast forward two years (approximately). I entered a singing competition at a local pub last month. It was a bit of fun, at a nice pub and I didn't expect anything to come of it. I got through to the semi finals, which meant preparing 2 songs that I knew word for word (there are no words on the screen for the competition). DF was so understanding about this and knew I needed the practice, so I was able to go on a Sunday afternoon for an hour to practice for the competition. It was a great little arrangement until we saw...yup, Rachael. She was sitting with her laptop, outside, typing furiously. Every 5 minutes she would stop and complain about the noise (no change there then!). She said hi to me, and smiled, seeming happy to see me. I said hi back. We chatted about DS (she had no idea about him and expressed an interest).  It is important to note that I don't have more than 1 alcoholic drink on a Sunday afternoon and don't stay longer than an hour. Getting drunk on a school night is a bad idea in so many ways!  Anyway. Rachael made it clear she wanted to work, so I left her to it and went to sit with my friends. All we could hear was her complaining to the manager. The manager is a straight talking Aussie and asked her simply "Well why are you choosing to work in a busy pub in the middle of happy hour and karaoke?" She said because she didn't want to be at home. Fair enough, but why complain about the noise? There are quieter places...
 
She started a conversation with one of the girls sitting at our table, talking about her "work". She was vague about it but hinted she was involved in Child Protection services, although she dodged questions asking more specific details.  I decided I didn#t want to be around her any longer, so politely made an excuse and walked away.  The following week, she was back again. And the week after that. And the week after that.  I was always polite with my "hi", but never actually any more than that. As far as I was concerned, she was part of my past, and I had no desire to forge any friendship with her.
 
Last Sunday, I was able to get an hour alone to practice for the semi finals yesterday.  I prepared the songs I was doing, all was good.  I went outside to call DF and when I had finished, prepared to go back inside to sing my song. A young girl I had never seen before stopped me. She asked if she could have a word. To cut a long story short(er), she was embarrassed to tell me that Rachael had been telling her some pretty nasty things about me and DF. She basically said that DF and I were swingers (falsehood), confirmed alcoholics who had been to meetings (falsehood) and we had had Social Services round (falsehood).  She said she was personally investigating getting DS taken away from us.  Ouch. I explained briefly to this girl to take no notice, but thanked her for telling me. I figured to ignore Rachael's pathetic lies would be the best option.
 
Yesterday was the semi final. I performed my song, but was distracted when I noticed her sitting watching me. It was quite eerie the way she was staring at me.  I finished the song and went outside to call DF. When I had finished, she followed me. She asked if she could talk to me, and against my better judgement I said awkwardly "OK..." She proceeded to say to my face, almost word for word what that young girl had said to me last week.  I was silent, through shock. I then made my excuses, told the bar owner I had to go home for DS and asked him to let me know whether or not I got through. I couldn't stand to wait around for the results, I simply wanted to leave the place and get as much distance between her and me as possible.  The owner didn't mind (or didn't appear to mind) that I'd left, and maybe I should have stayed in there. But I just could not stand to be anywhere near this weird woman.
 
DF's theory is that she is jealous of our relationship and wants to do anything she can to ruin it. She is not jealous in nthe way she wants DF, per se, just jealous of our relationship. She's not happy, so she wants everyone else to be unhappy too.  I don't know, I guess that would make sense. All she does is moan about how awful men are. And how much she doesn't miss having a boyfriend.  And how unbelievably rubbish men are.  Ok...
 
I didn't speak when she gave me her diatrabe last night, mainly because I was too frightened of bursting into angry, furious, frustrated tears.  :(  I know it was a bit pathetic of me to leave the place. I didn't ask my friends to come with me, I knew they wanted to find out the results. She had ruined my night, I didn't want to ruin everyone else's.  Now that the competition is over (I didn't get through and I'm not too disappointed), I will not be returning there for a while, particularly not on a Sunday or Monday.   
 
My question is if DF and I, for example, see her in town and she tries talking to us? She is strange enough to actually be nice to our faces usually. She normally just talks nasty about us (and others) behind our backs.  I've been told by other people in the past, back when we were living in the flat, that she was telling stories about us. We ignored it as best we could and just tried to get on. I would just like to know how you guys would handle it.

At the end of the day, we are new parents, enjoying DS. I enjoy my evenings out, I am responsible and careful. DF enjoys his time out, as well, and it's good for us. I don't go out to the pub all the time, I have a Zumba class for example, or I just go for a walk and sit in the park to read my Kindle.    ;) 
 
I can imagine I am going to get some pretty harsh comments, but I honestly don't know how to handle her.  I don't want any legal advice, I don't want this thread to get locked.  If we basically assume that she's talking the talk and has no intention of doing anything except wind us up, it would help.  So please, no legalities.  I just wanted to share this story as I think it is very weird.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: TheVapors on May 29, 2012, 06:42:40 AM
So it boils down to...

You had a bad neighbor some years back. You thought all that was in the past. However, having run into her recently, it appears that she is spreading rumors about you, and making (apparently) empty threats about having your child taken away by CPS (or some variation).

I'd not even acknowledge this person if they stood in front of me and said, "How are ya?" I would not engage. Say nothing. Do nothing to encourage her pseudo-friendliness.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 06:50:51 AM
So it boils down to...

You had a bad neighbor some years back. You thought all that was in the past. However, having run into her recently, it appears that she is spreading rumors about you, and making (apparently) empty threats about having your child taken away by CPS (or some variation).

I'd not even acknowledge this person if they stood in front of me and said, "How are ya?" I would not engage. Say nothing. Do nothing to encourage her pseudo-friendliness.

That's about right. It's slightly concerning, hurtful and confusing as we have done nothing to her to make her do this. It's cruel and vindictive.  We will be ignoring her and just hoping she goes away soon.  I thought I'd kind of avoid that establishment for a short while, as I have no wish to see this woman. 
 
The other way to look at it is this: By carrying out this campaign of hatred, she is merely showing her true, very nasty, colours to people. As convincingly "nice" as she can appear, people will see her for what she is, I guess.
 
I'm trying to play it down in my mind, but there is no doubt to me that this woman is very strange indeed. We didn't even know each other, and we certainly were never friends in any shape or form.  She was just someone who lived in the same house as us and made everyone's lives difficult needlessly. 
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: kckgirl on May 29, 2012, 06:53:46 AM
In the future, don't go against your better judgment! If Rachael asks to talk to you, say you can't because you need to be somewhere (anywhere that isn't near her) and go there.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 06:56:55 AM
I didn't want to appear rude. Looking back, that is how bad things happen to me. My good old conscience whispers "No, don't avoid her, that's rude" and I think "Yeah but I really don't want her to talk to me" and then I get into this pointless argument with myself in my head and end up agreeing to whatever because I am scared of looking rude.
 
If I had a spine, I could have said "I don't know what you are playing at, woman, but whatever it is stops now. Leave me and my family alone. That is all I want. I don't want your friendsihp. Now, if you'll excuse me..." It's so easy to think in hindsight, but I would just never have the nerve to say it!!  :(
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: sparksals on May 29, 2012, 08:12:51 AM
Don't engage the crazy. 
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: princessdolly on May 29, 2012, 08:43:04 AM
Etiquette-wise when she asks to talk to you it would be best to say "I don't think that's a good idea" then walk away.

What a psycho...
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: violinp on May 29, 2012, 08:47:52 AM
Don't engage the crazy.

I cannot POD this enough. If you never see her again, it'll probably be too soon for you.  :P
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 09:16:15 AM
If I am being honest I think it's best I avoid being seen in this place for a while. Not because I have anything to hide but because if people don't see me out, they're less likely to give credence to the story. I'll be going back when people have either made up their minds she's a head case, or forget it completely. Either way, this drama llama doesn't need feeding!
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: mechtilde on May 29, 2012, 09:17:58 AM
I think people are already making their minds up about her...
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on May 29, 2012, 09:21:09 AM
This is not an etiquette issue. This is an issue for the OP to bring to the woman's supervisor.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: CleverScreenName on May 29, 2012, 10:05:54 AM
I didn't want to appear rude. Looking back, that is how bad things happen to me. My good old conscience whispers "No, don't avoid her, that's rude" and I think "Yeah but I really don't want her to talk to me" and then I get into this pointless argument with myself in my head and end up agreeing to whatever because I am scared of looking rude.
 
If I had a spine, I could have said "I don't know what you are playing at, woman, but whatever it is stops now. Leave me and my family alone. That is all I want. I don't want your friendsihp. Now, if you'll excuse me..." It's so easy to think in hindsight, but I would just never have the nerve to say it!!  :(

Why would you care that you appeared rude? You already knew what this woman was saying about you, and yet you chose to still talk to her.

This isn't an etiquette situation, this is a personal issue that you need to take care of with Children Protective Services.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 10:13:42 AM
My friend has emailed me. This woman has nothing to do with CPS . The management of the establishment now knows she's lying and she is trouble. This removes the scary aspect.

I feel issue solved in that I don't want to ever see this woman again, and am happy to admit I was stupid for giving her the time of day!!! I would be justified.in simply walking away should I have the misfortune to see her. 

She doesn't deserve to be listened to as she doesn't know the truth. Usually I would hold pity for her, but my family come first here. Cross me and I will ignore. Threaten my family...and I will not ignore.

Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: HenrysMom on May 29, 2012, 10:23:24 AM
Since the manager of the establishment knows how she is and that she is harassing patrons, couldn't you ask him to have her removed or to bar her from the place?  You can tell him that she is keeping you, and by extension, your friends, from wanting to spend $$ at his business.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: CleverScreenName on May 29, 2012, 10:27:39 AM
My friend has emailed me. This woman has nothing to do with CPS . The management of the establishment now knows she's lying and she is trouble. This removes the scary aspect.

I feel issue solved in that I don't want to ever see this woman again, and am happy to admit I was stupid for giving her the time of day!!! I would be justified.in simply walking away should I have the misfortune to see her. 

She doesn't deserve to be listened to as she doesn't know the truth. Usually I would hold pity for her, but my family come first here. Cross me and I will ignore. Threaten my family...and I will not ignore.

Seems your issues resolve themselves rather quickly, and I'm not sure what you needed in the way of advice if you already had the ball rolling.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: NyaChan on May 29, 2012, 10:32:34 AM
I would seriously be worried about the mental state of a person who behaves this way.  I would suggest dropping a word to the owner of the pub describing what has happened and stating its effect on the time you are willing to spend at his place.  It might prompt him to either remove her or keep a closer eye on her if she starts harassing either you or another patron.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: NyaChan on May 29, 2012, 10:35:07 AM
My friend has emailed me. This woman has nothing to do with CPS . The management of the establishment now knows she's lying and she is trouble. This removes the scary aspect.

I feel issue solved in that I don't want to ever see this woman again, and am happy to admit I was stupid for giving her the time of day!!! I would be justified.in simply walking away should I have the misfortune to see her. 

She doesn't deserve to be listened to as she doesn't know the truth. Usually I would hold pity for her, but my family come first here. Cross me and I will ignore. Threaten my family...and I will not ignore.

Seems your issues resolve themselves rather quickly, and I'm not sure what you needed in the way of advice if you already had the ball rolling.

Hollanda asked what she could have said to a woman who approaches her in public and makes wild accusations about her and her SO- even if she now knows the woman is making things up and has no power, I think having some lines at the ready should the situation repeat itself could be useful.  Also, even resolved situations can make for good discussion .
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: CleverScreenName on May 29, 2012, 10:39:59 AM
My friend has emailed me. This woman has nothing to do with CPS . The management of the establishment now knows she's lying and she is trouble. This removes the scary aspect.

I feel issue solved in that I don't want to ever see this woman again, and am happy to admit I was stupid for giving her the time of day!!! I would be justified.in simply walking away should I have the misfortune to see her. 

She doesn't deserve to be listened to as she doesn't know the truth. Usually I would hold pity for her, but my family come first here. Cross me and I will ignore. Threaten my family...and I will not ignore.

Seems your issues resolve themselves rather quickly, and I'm not sure what you needed in the way of advice if you already had the ball rolling.

Hollanda asked what she could have said to a woman who approaches her in public and makes wild accusations about her and her SO- even if she now knows the woman is making things up and has no power, I think having some lines at the ready should the situation repeat itself could be useful.  Also, even resolved situations can make for good discussion .

She knew what to do, she said as much. I can't imagine being concerned about being rude if someone said things like that to me.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 10:50:06 AM
I would seriously be worried about the mental state of a person who behaves this way.  I would suggest dropping a word to the owner of the pub describing what has happened and stating its effect on the time you are willing to spend at his place.  It might prompt him to either remove her or keep a closer eye on her if she starts harassing either you or another patron.

Did that last night. Calmly and objectively. I got my point across.
I think he was shocked. I didn't want to tell him, he was busy. But hey. It needed to be done. And my friend works in a job involved in some aspects of child protection. She put my.mind at rest. He's a happy boy, we go to Mum.and Baby group weekly and he's well looked after. She said not to worry. She would know Rachael if she worked in CP. That's a relief.

Sometimes I just need some ideas of how I could handle myself better if the need arose again. Sometimes writing it down helps get it in perspective for me. I didn't realise how vindictive this woman.could actually be. I don't want validation.or a pat on the back. The non etiquette part, ie what this woman could possibly do, is not for this forum.  What I do now is up to.me. But your.advice is helpful. It's reinforcing to.me that she has problems.  Big ones. Keeping myself away from her.is a priority.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on May 29, 2012, 11:16:43 AM
Etiquette-wise when she asks to talk to you it would be best to say "I don't think that's a good idea" then walk away.

What a psycho...

I agree. Just decline and walk away.  The way you describe her should make her appear nuts to Othe.  And since you know these ladies. They will know you to be the sane one and her nuts.

Best to ignore ignore and ignore.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 29, 2012, 11:42:34 AM
She was just annoying when we used to live near her but we never dreamed she would stoop to these levels.  She must know how her behaviour affects people.

I hope others start ignoring her too. The less attention she gets the better.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Instantkarma on May 29, 2012, 12:33:27 PM
She was just annoying when we used to live near her but we never dreamed she would stoop to these levels.  She must know how her behaviour affects people.

I hope others start ignoring her too. The less attention she gets the better.

You would think so but sometimes people who get ignored find it to be like a challenge like ok ill make up something so wild that people will have to talk about it - like saying she is going to report you to CPS is an escelstion from saying you are a bad mom for being at a pub on A Sunday - some people dont know how to keep themselves from trolling till something "sticks"

I'd definitely make sure to keep track of any further brush ups so u have a clear record of what happens if she tries to cause problems...good luck
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Horace on May 29, 2012, 01:14:52 PM
Hollanda - you live in England, why are you calling Social Services, CPS? Pretty sure people would have understand you if you'd used the correct terms.

As for the rest of the post; why would you want to be polite to someone who is acting like a complete cow to you.  It's just asking for trouble and drama.  Ignore her and then you won't have this issue.  If people try to stir things up then just tell them you're not interested in hearing anything about her.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on May 29, 2012, 03:36:15 PM

I am confused.  You posted this OP below today.  And then later today you posted the snipped after it.  In the last snipped, you also posted that you spoke to a friend today and that crazy lady isn't part of the CPS. 


I too am not sure what you are asking.  Given the time frame given below, i am very confused how it all got sorted so quickly in less than a day? 








 
Yesterday was the semi final. I performed my song, but was distracted when I noticed her sitting watching me. It was quite eerie the way she was staring at me.  I finished the song and went outside to call DF. When I had finished, she followed me. She asked if she could talk to me, and against my better judgement I said awkwardly "OK..." She proceeded to say to my face, almost word for word what that young girl had said to me last week.  I was silent, through shock. I then made my excuses, told the bar owner I had to go home for DS and asked him to let me know whether or not I got through. I couldn't stand to wait around for the results, I simply wanted to leave the place and get as much distance between her and me as possible.  The owner didn't mind (or didn't appear to mind) that I'd left, and maybe I should have stayed in there. But I just could not stand to be anywhere near this weird woman.



Snipped:



on: Today at 11:50:06
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: #borecore on May 29, 2012, 04:33:42 PM
I am confused by the postings Zilla mentions and the long background -- you get an hour in a bar to practice your songs every Sunday night? What about the other competitors or patrons at the bar? -- and the defensiveness about your alcohol consumption and care for your son here and in other posts.

BUT the heart of it is someone was saying things that you feel aren't true and you weren't sure if silence was the best response, right? Silence is the best response. I wouldn't say avoiding or not avoiding a place you go every Sunday to drink and sing because this woman might be there complaining about any and everything is necessary or even wise, though. Doing what you're comfortable with without regard to groundless (if they are indeed groundless) rumors and whispers is best, IMO. Sounds like you have damage control under control, too.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: atirial on May 31, 2012, 05:22:54 AM
BUT the heart of it is someone was saying things that you feel aren't true and you weren't sure if silence was the best response, right? Silence is the best response.
Agreed. It sounds like a situation that calls for a polite brush-off. Avoid speaking to her if at all possible and never be alone with her.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 31, 2012, 05:58:31 AM
A few things, since I haven't managed to respond to this post:
 
Zilla, I have worked in a number of different departments within different hospitals. I kept in touch with people.  One of them knows Rachael, and no, she doesn't do what she said she did. (So that part of her story was a lie.)  No, I am not a troll. When something like that happens, my first thought is limiting the damage or at least finding out what the damage is as fast as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What did happen in this case was that my major worry was proven unfounded. However, the situation was not resolved, really, as I still had not worked out what I should do about her to prevent any further damage being caused and without other people (Rachael excluded) thinking I was being rude.
 
See, my worry was this. She would start talking at me and I would do the eHell approved response of either silence or bean-dipping or "What an interesting assumption" etc. I would then get accused by someone overhearing this of being rude.   :-\
 
I thought that in my first post that I had put Social Services and in brackets "Child Protection" to ensure that people both sides of the pond knew what I was talking about. I omitted to do this.  I'm sorry.  I didn't want to use Social Services (SS) as I didn't want to confuse a mainly US board, if that makes sense.

Regarding what to do as regards the near future - well, that has been taken out of my hands now. We are travelling to see families over the Bank Holiday. I'm ecstatic about this, as after the whole competition thing, spending time together as a family is all both DF and I want.
 
DF's response...DF's not really surprised she's resorted to spreading rumours about us, and pointed out her complaints about us and others to our previous landlords were nothing more than fabrications. She takes one small truth and blows it out the water.  He told me not to worry so much. Be that as it may, it is clear things around here are going to have to change.  I don't know about a drink problem (I am aware of my defensiveness), but if it is causing any sort of concern about my abilities to be a mother, I am willing to give it up without a second's thought.
 
I don't want it to seem that I am either going there for the drama, or avoiding the place because of the drama. A happy medium would be just great here. And yes, as the majority of responses are saying to me, ignore, ignore, ignore.
 
I don't know what her intentions are, and I don't care. My intentions are to enjoy a Bank Holiday weekend with my DS and DF, and keep thoughts of her out of my mind as far as possible. She doesn't deserve the headspace. 
 
I feel that I have covered the main elements in this post. Please feel free if you would like anything else clarifying.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on May 31, 2012, 06:01:20 AM
I am confused by the postings Zilla mentions and the long background -- you get an hour in a bar to practice your songs every Sunday night? What about the other competitors or patrons at the bar? -- and the defensiveness about your alcohol consumption and care for your son here and in other posts.

BUT the heart of it is someone was saying things that you feel aren't true and you weren't sure if silence was the best response, right? Silence is the best response. I wouldn't say avoiding or not avoiding a place you go every Sunday to drink and sing because this woman might be there complaining about any and everything is necessary or even wise, though. Doing what you're comfortable with without regard to groundless (if they are indeed groundless) rumors and whispers is best, IMO. Sounds like you have damage control under control, too.

Sunday was the day all competitors tended to go, not just me. There is karaoke at that place a few times a week, usually 3-4 hours in length. One hour was simply the time I had told my DF I would take, since it is near where we live.  I can understand the confusion.
 
Thank you for your post.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: CleverScreenName on May 31, 2012, 09:43:25 AM
A few things, since I haven't managed to respond to this post:
 
Zilla, I have worked in a number of different departments within different hospitals. I kept in touch with people.  One of them knows Rachael, and no, she doesn't do what she said she did. (So that part of her story was a lie.)  No, I am not a troll. When something like that happens, my first thought is limiting the damage or at least finding out what the damage is as fast as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What did happen in this case was that my major worry was proven unfounded. However, the situation was not resolved, really, as I still had not worked out what I should do about her to prevent any further damage being caused and without other people (Rachael excluded) thinking I was being rude.
 
See, my worry was this. She would start talking at me and I would do the eHell approved response of either silence or bean-dipping or "What an interesting assumption" etc. I would then get accused by someone overhearing this of being rude.   :-\
 
I thought that in my first post that I had put Social Services and in brackets "Child Protection" to ensure that people both sides of the pond knew what I was talking about. I omitted to do this.  I'm sorry.  I didn't want to use Social Services (SS) as I didn't want to confuse a mainly US board, if that makes sense.

Regarding what to do as regards the near future - well, that has been taken out of my hands now. We are travelling to see families over the Bank Holiday. I'm ecstatic about this, as after the whole competition thing, spending time together as a family is all both DF and I want.
 
DF's response...DF's not really surprised she's resorted to spreading rumours about us, and pointed out her complaints about us and others to our previous landlords were nothing more than fabrications. She takes one small truth and blows it out the water.  He told me not to worry so much. Be that as it may, it is clear things around here are going to have to change.  I don't know about a drink problem (I am aware of my defensiveness), but if it is causing any sort of concern about my abilities to be a mother, I am willing to give it up without a second's thought.
 
I don't want it to seem that I am either going there for the drama, or avoiding the place because of the drama. A happy medium would be just great here. And yes, as the majority of responses are saying to me, ignore, ignore, ignore.
 
I don't know what her intentions are, and I don't care. My intentions are to enjoy a Bank Holiday weekend with my DS and DF, and keep thoughts of her out of my mind as far as possible. She doesn't deserve the headspace. 
 
I feel that I have covered the main elements in this post. Please feel free if you would like anything else clarifying.

If someone can hear what you say, then I'm pretty they would hear what she also said. So, I can't imagine they would think you were rude. And honestly, why would you care? You are way overthinking this entire thing, and the rest of your post, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on May 31, 2012, 10:22:19 AM
A few things, since I haven't managed to respond to this post:
 
Zilla, I have worked in a number of different departments within different hospitals. I kept in touch with people.  One of them knows Rachael, and no, she doesn't do what she said she did. (So that part of her story was a lie.)  No, I am not a troll. When something like that happens, my first thought is limiting the damage or at least finding out what the damage is as fast as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What did happen in this case was that my major worry was proven unfounded. However, the situation was not resolved, really, as I still had not worked out what I should do about her to prevent any further damage being caused and without other people (Rachael excluded) thinking I was being rude.
 


I saw my name being referenced but not sure why? Where did I call you a troll? I was asking about the timing of your posts from the original post to the last one before my post that it was less than 12 hours.  But from your original post you made it seem that nothing was resolved.  Hence my confusion.


What you posted above, I didn't question the validity of your friend's claims that Rachel doesn't work in CPS.  Just wanted to clarify that!
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Nora on May 31, 2012, 02:17:06 PM
I do get why she posted her long reply that included "I am not a troll", as several of the preceding posts  had a very suspicious "gotcha" vibe.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on May 31, 2012, 02:28:28 PM
I do get why she posted her long reply that included "I am not a troll", as several of the preceding posts  had a very suspicious "gotcha" vibe.


Gotcha vibes?  I got confusion vibes. 
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: NyaChan on May 31, 2012, 02:36:35 PM
I thought people were calling her a troll also.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Corvid on May 31, 2012, 05:43:06 PM
It is well beyond time to employ the cut direct to your ex-neighbor.

What a whackaloon.  Do not engage the crazy.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: thlayly on May 31, 2012, 06:51:22 PM
I agree with Corvid.

FWIW, if I overheard someone saying any of our Ehell phrases to get someone to leave them alone, I would not think they were rude.So, Hollanda, if I heard you saying an Ehell phrase used to shut down a conversation with this woman, I'd think she was the rude one, not you.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Bibliophile on May 31, 2012, 07:14:24 PM
I do get why she posted her long reply that included "I am not a troll", as several of the preceding posts  had a very suspicious "gotcha" vibe.


Gotcha vibes?  I got confusion vibes.

I got confusion too as i first thought she left the bar without talking to the bartender about the crazy lady, but the update sounded like she did talk to him before leaving. I'm actually still pretty confused on this one. I just can't see giving much credence or waste much time worrying about the lunatic ramblings of an ex-neighbor.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: AustenFan on May 31, 2012, 07:49:02 PM
I'm confused too, sorry Hollanda

The way I'm understanding it is that the time when you left the bar you spoke to the manager and let him know what Rachel said and that she wasn't affiliated with child protection or social services, but you couldn't have known that until you checked with your friend the next day.

I'm also not sure how Rachel could be in trouble for lying. Who is she in trouble with? I can't imagine the pub manager has any power or authority over her.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: NyaChan on May 31, 2012, 07:52:20 PM
I figured she was in trouble with whatever medical facility she works for as she was misrepresenting the scope of her authority.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: AustenFan on May 31, 2012, 08:00:22 PM
OP said her friend works in a hospital and knows Rachel, not that Rachel works in a hospital or medical authority. Even if Rachel does, I can't see how an unverified accusation passed on by a third party can get anyone in trouble.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Harriet on May 31, 2012, 08:13:46 PM
My friend has emailed me. This woman has nothing to do with CPS . The management of the establishment now knows she's lying and she is trouble. This removes the scary aspect.

Hollanda didn't say "in trouble," she said "is trouble." I took this to mean that the pub manager knows that Rachael is bad news, not that R is in trouble at R's work. I'm guessing the conversation with the pub manager Hollanda's referring to occurred when she explained why she was leaving before the competition was over. The email from the friend happened later but Rachael had lied about other things as well.

OP, feel free to clarify, though.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on May 31, 2012, 08:15:49 PM
Hence the confusion.  Not trolling.


Just wanted to reiterate that point.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: AustenFan on May 31, 2012, 08:25:03 PM
Ahhhh, we are going to chalk this one up as a huge comprehension fail. Sorry!
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on June 01, 2012, 02:01:51 AM
Ok. I explained to the manager what she had been saying and expressed serious suspicions as to the plausibility of what she did. My suspicions were grounded on this: why would you, if you had a very confidential job, take a laptop to a busy pub and work in plain view of everyone? That makes no sense. I voiced my concerns that she was going round saying these things and he agreed. He'd noticed a lot himself. It was a very scary thing to hear this woman tell me she could get our baby removed from us and maybe I overthought it but I was. scared.  :'( It's still worrying. 

I don't know when I will see her again. DF reckons I just go on Sunday...I am seriously unsure about it. I don't want to exacerbate the drama but equally I don't want to deliberately avoid. It's a long weekend this weekend so....hmmm. I'll decide on Sunday!
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Perfect Circle on June 01, 2012, 03:04:43 AM
Go about your life as you were planning to. Do not let this kind of a bully woman steal a moment of your normal life enjoyment, she is not worth it.

Good luck. I hope it all goes well.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: magician5 on June 03, 2012, 05:55:15 AM
Sometimes I just need some ideas of how I could handle myself better if the need arose again.

Sorry to say it, but you are too polite. Why do you even say "hello" to her?

We have a similar whackaloon in our building - I never had or imagined such a situation! These days, if we chance to encounter her and are forced to speak, all we say is "I don't think we have anything to say to each other."

If she is determined to make more trouble, I'm sure she can find a way, but why get into any sort of conversation when it's bound to turn out badly.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on June 03, 2012, 07:07:21 AM
Harriet, thank you. I am typing on my phone so may make typos. I feel I am awful at explaining myself right now. I appear to have developed the communication skills of your average amoeba.  Maybe once I've caught up on sleep I'll feel better!

I doubt I'll go today...May change my mind later. Had a busy 2 days as a family and we are all tired
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on June 03, 2012, 11:54:08 AM
Woah. Update. I went and she was there. I ignored. She talked her usual brand of rubbish. I sang karate song and went to the.ladies'. Came out and she was there. She tried to talk to me and I said"I don't have time for this, I have to leave." she kept on and on and then yelled in my face. I remained silent...I was shocked. She was led out by security. I left 5 minutes later. Hmmm she's.got issues!!!!

Complete silences are good.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Harriet on June 03, 2012, 12:51:02 PM
Sounds like she escalated when she couldn't get a rise out of you. And then went so far that security had to get involved.

I hope this assuages your fears about what others at the bar may be thinking! Let this be validation that you are in the right (as others have pointed out, this should be obvious, but it sounds like you still had inner doubts/fears -- let them be banished.)
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Horace on June 03, 2012, 01:03:52 PM
Woah. Update. I went and she was there. I ignored. She talked her usual brand of rubbish. I sang karate song and went to the.ladies'. Came out and she was there. She tried to talk to me and I said"I don't have time for this, I have to leave." she kept on and on and then yelled in my face. I remained silent...I was shocked. She was led out by security. I left 5 minutes later. Hmmm she's.got issues!!!!

Complete silences are good.


This might be a really stupid question but: why didn't you just leave? I mean you stood there and let her have a go at you and then she shouted in your face? I understand you might have been in shock but I just really don't get this.  I wouldn't have even told her I was leaving, I would have just walked out.  No-one gets to shout at me, not a stranger, friend or partner.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Zilla on June 03, 2012, 01:06:32 PM
Wow, sorry you got so horribly embarrassed like that in a public place.  But I guess she showed her true colors finally.  And if you see her again, turn around and leave. Don't stand there.  Walk forcibly and leave.  If she is in your way, you step around her and walk quickly out.  If she follows you or tries to block you, you say, "I am calling the police" and you take out your cellphone while saying it and while continuing to walk.  Whatever you do, don't stop.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: NyaChan on June 03, 2012, 02:12:13 PM
Actually, in this case I think it worked out well that Hollanda stood her ground.  As a result, it was the person behaving badly who was publicly removed by security and not the victim who had to turn and leave the place they wanted to be.  Still, as a safety thing, it may not be best to adopt that method for any future run ins with angry people! 
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: O'Dell on June 03, 2012, 02:59:51 PM
Actually, in this case I think it worked out well that Hollanda stood her ground.  As a result, it was the person behaving badly who was publicly removed by security and not the victim who had to turn and leave the place they wanted to be.  Still, as a safety thing, it may not be best to adopt that method for any future run ins with angry people!

I too think it worked out well. As for walking away from an angry person, sometimes it's not wise to turn your back on someone like that. It's a judgment call that you have to make in the heat of the moment and hard to second guess.

Hollanda, you are more than justified in giving the woman the cut direct. You were justified once you found out that she was spreading lies about you at the apartment and once again justified in keeping them up when she spread them to your friend.

I've experienced what you fear...I stand up for myself and a witness claims *I'm* the rude one! The solution is to protect yourself and do what you know is right and *then* deal with the person's comment. You can give them an icy stare. You can tell them they don't know they whole story. You can ignore them completely. There are other ways to handle it. I admit sometimes my response to that person isn't all that polite and there may be expletives involved.  :-[ At any rate, Chances are that no one will claim you are rude, and if they do, have your response for that sort of thing at the ready.

I'm glad that the owner of the pub knows what is up with her. I'm surprised that he didn't boot her out when she complained repeatedly.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on June 04, 2012, 07:38:42 AM
She was between me and the door. I was also rooted to the spot. Oh well I doubt I'll be seeing her again.....!!!! On a positive note she made herself look crazy.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Jocelyn on June 04, 2012, 03:45:32 PM
Hollanda - you live in England, why are you calling Social Services, CPS? Pretty sure people would have understand you if you'd used the correct terms.


Many countries and states within the US have a name for the department that contains their child protective services divisions.  Social workers within those departments will use their division names in order to specify the type of work they do. For example, in my state, you can be a social worker for the Division of Children's Services but not have anything to do with Child Protective Services, although all CPS workers work for DCS.
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Hollanda on June 04, 2012, 04:29:10 PM
Hollanda - you live in England, why are you calling Social Services, CPS? Pretty sure people would have understand you if you'd used the correct terms.


Many countries and states within the US have a name for the department that contains their child protective services divisions.  Social workers within those departments will use their division names in order to specify the type of work they do. For example, in my state, you can be a social worker for the Division of Children's Services but not have anything to do with Child Protective Services, although all CPS workers work for DCS.

I explained, I thought in my OP I had put Social Services and then in brackets Child Protection Services.  Lol obviously my fingers were working faster than my brain!  >:D
Title: Re: What could I say? (Very Long!)
Post by: Reason on June 04, 2012, 05:20:52 PM
Looks like it worked out really well. Congratulations.