Author Topic: How to deal with flaky people  (Read 13549 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2012, 08:43:44 AM »
Are you sure you still want to support this candidate?

Excellent question. I've just now heard back from the candidate with profuse apologies and an offer to front us the cash for tomorrow. Pride forces me to decline the cash, but it also forces me to follow through on a commitment...but second thoughts are occurring.

I think you should take the money.

also, I personally think it's a mistake to change your support of a candidate because his campaign staff is flaky. It's true that all politicians get things done through the people they recruit to work with them, but this isn't like changing eye doctors because their staff can't get things right.

And things happen fast and heavy in campaign world. I'd give them a little slack. Especially if the candidate called you personally.

And this is a learning experience. Traveling places isn't the easiest way for you to help out. So, discuss that with the campaign team.

mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 11:11:47 AM »

Excellent question. I've just now heard back from the candidate with profuse apologies and an offer to front us the cash for tomorrow. Pride forces me to decline the cash, but it also forces me to follow through on a commitment...but second thoughts are occurring.
[/quote]

I think you should take the money.

also, I personally think it's a mistake to change your support of a candidate because his campaign staff is flaky. It's true that all politicians get things done through the people they recruit to work with them, but this isn't like changing eye doctors because their staff can't get things right.

And things happen fast and heavy in campaign world. I'd give them a little slack. Especially if the candidate called you personally.

And this is a learning experience. Traveling places isn't the easiest way for you to help out. So, discuss that with the campaign team.
[/quote]

Good point; however, I think I might disagree. A big part of leadership, I believe, is follow-through.  Credibility depends on keeping one's word, in my opinion. I would absolutely drop an eye doctor if their administrative staff is unreliable. Not only is it bad business to inconvenience customers (or patients), but in the case of an eye doctor, that flakiness has the possibility of costing the patient their eye sight. If my candidate is flakey now, how can I count on him to be any different than the guy who's in office now?
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Yankeegal77

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 12:39:41 PM »
Hi, mrkitty:

Chiming in late here, but I am a longtime veteran of campaigns and wanted to just add a couple of comments. First and foremost, this was rude on their behalf and it seems like you've handled things very gracefully.  Campaigns should be tight ships, but darn it all...running a campaign is like herding cats. ;) That said, the communication issues you fell victim to are really, really ridiculous and there would have been heck to pay with folks I used to work for.

Also, reimbursing volunteers in cash for gas, campaign-related purchases, etc, is very, very common, and is also done with gift cards. This money is budgeted and accounted for. I assisted a controller for a long time, and her record keeping was absolutely meticulous. So, to everyone who mentioned they thought it sounded off, it's not at all. :)

Having worked on staff for many different campaigns, I can attest to the occasional flakiness of rank-and-file volunteers, and often the staff which in turns makes the candidate look flaky. Many of them are young, often college-aged (like I was for many) with the best of intentions, but without the sense of urgency and responsibility that is crucial. Especially if this candidate is running against an incumbent, his/her volunteers and staff are most likely very inexperienced. But they need to act like professionals.

The candidates themselves very often have very little to do with the day-to-day operations of the office, depending on the size of the endeavor. That's up to the manager(s) and their next-in-command. Even if a candidate wins, their day-to-day office operations are often left to the Chief of Staff or admin, in the case of one gentleman I interned for, as his COS had a lot on her plate. :) Again, depending. Sounds like this candidate needs to have a sit-down with some staff.

Anyway, not to make excuses for the candidate, because this was just ridiculous. But wanted to add my BTDT two cents to what goes on. It's sometimes as if once the bunting goes up, common sense and etiquette go out the door.

 
You asked whether you should still go. If it were me, I would go to the event tomorrow and deliver the surrogate speech. That was the original agreement, and because I promised to do it, I would do so. The flyers and the edited personal remarks are secondary, IMO. It is up to the campaign to provide the flyers in a timely manner if they want them distributed. I would not concern myself with the personal remarks because the campaign manager has not yet approved them.

After I returned home, I would e-mail the candidate and the campaign manager and inform them that I attended the event and gave the surrogate speech. Then I would add that I appreciate the opportunity to work on the campaign; however, I will be unable to assist in the future. And that would be that.

THIS. Is perfect.

Finally, I have to disagree with another poster that mentioned you are being used and will be forgotten. Depending on the individual, that's possible, but in my experience, your kindness will be remembered and even if you don't volunteer again. But I do encourage you to give it another shot, if you still agree with the message and cause. Just maybe offer to do a little phone banking or staff an event. There's often some great free food in it for volunteers, and it's a great way to have fun and meet cool people. :)


jpcher

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 03:06:39 PM »
I know it doesn't make sense. Intellectually, it shouldn't be a problem. I feel like a putz. I am so naive! Now that it's over, I'm sure I won't hear from him again. But, at least I kept MY word, which is important to me. It would be nice to be reimbursed for the gas, though, so I'll submit that and see if they pay us back. It wasn't as much as I thought it would be, though. And, even better, it turns out we didn't have to bounce a check this week.

But that's why I generally don't involve myself in stuff very often.  I don't have great patience, to my regret, and find dealing with people that I perceive as unreliable particularly vexing. I always try my best not to disappoint people, yet I find myself disappointed often. I guess that's the trouble with being a "people pleaser". I think I need to work on that issue. But that's not what this board's about....I know. :)

Bold above . . . inquiring minds want to know! ;D

How did everything go?

Did you get your pdf to print/pass out? Did you ever get comments on your remarks? How did the speech go? How many people were there?

I guess, more importantly, were you well greeted by the staff when you showed up? Was the "show" well organized? Did you have fun and did you feel that what you did was worth the hassle?

Just askin'  ;D




P.S. When you send in your reimbursement request for gas, please also add paper and printer ink expense for the fliers.

mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 08:40:58 PM »
I know it doesn't make sense. Intellectually, it shouldn't be a problem. I feel like a putz. I am so naive! Now that it's over, I'm sure I won't hear from him again. But, at least I kept MY word, which is important to me. It would be nice to be reimbursed for the gas, though, so I'll submit that and see if they pay us back. It wasn't as much as I thought it would be, though. And, even better, it turns out we didn't have to bounce a check this week.

But that's why I generally don't involve myself in stuff very often.  I don't have great patience, to my regret, and find dealing with people that I perceive as unreliable particularly vexing. I always try my best not to disappoint people, yet I find myself disappointed often. I guess that's the trouble with being a "people pleaser". I think I need to work on that issue. But that's not what this board's about....I know. :)


Bold above . . . inquiring minds want to know! ;D

Did you get your pdf to print/pass out? Did you ever get comments on your remarks? How did the speech go? How many people were there?

I guess, more importantly, were you well greeted by the staff when you showed up? Was the "show" well organized? Did you have fun and did you feel that what you did was worth the hassle?

Just askin'  ;D

How did everything go?

It was okay. I guess. Not what I expected. You may recall from my original post that I had some difficulty finding out the details of the event. It might have been helpful to know how much time was assigned for me to speak ... the lady never ended up answering the question. The speech I was given to read was probably 7-8 minutes in length (at least that's what came out when I practiced at home and timed myself.)

My husband went with me. When I got there, there were ladies at the registration table. I introduced myself and inquired about the organizer, whom I traded emails with earlier. They told me to sign in. One woman who was standing there (I still don't know who she is) asked what I was doing there. I said I was asked by the campaign to give the "surrogate speech" on behalf of the candidate. She then said "well, actually, what you mean is that it's a proxy speech." I then said "well, I was told it was a surrogate speech, but I suppose that's basically the same thing, I guess." She then began to lecture me on semantics.

Okaaaaayy.....whatever. The woman sitting at the registration table had trouble spelling my name on the name tag she was preparing (one of those sticker kinds that you slap on your lapel). When the semantics woman standing there saw my name, she made an offensive joke - at least I thought it was. I have a name that starts with the same letter as another words that rhymes with "low" and could mean either a garden tool or a promiscuous woman.... and my name with this other word combined in a phrase doubles as a hokey greeting people use. Well, I don't particularly like my Christian name used in the same phrase as this other...word.

I told her I generally don't like that word.

"Oh, really?" She asked. "You're not one, are you? Does that word make you feel defensive?"

I was shocked and didn't answer her. I couldn't think of anything to say. The other thing was that she said it in such a sickly-sweet way and she spoke the whole time rather slowly. I thought maybe she had a problem or something.

Livid though I was, I continued to register for the event. I was instructed to place our campaign literature on all the seats. Another woman asked me what I was doing there, and I explained about giving the speech, and she said "oh, we're not doing speeches today. It's just a convention meeting where we vote on resolutions."

Jeez. I was going to be upset if I went through all this and found out I didn't even get to do what I came for. I told her I worked it all out with XXX before hand. Then the lady said "well, good luck with that" and then turned around and left.

I tracked down XXX, the organizer I was looking for. I asked her what the plan was. She told me I had one minute to give my remarks. "Oh, and save the speech for next week at the candidate forum. You should just limit your remarks as to why you are personally voting for your candidate."

One minute?! She couldn't have answered my question about that two flipping days earlier?! I had a seven minute speech to give - in the FIRST person - as the candidate - so I had to scramble to jot down a quick speech.

I was the first one called up to speak. I wasn't finished preparing what to say, so when I went up, I was so nervous and discombobulated at that point that my voice shook, the microphone gave a horrendous feedback screech and I can't for the life of me remember what in the world I managed to mumble. I didn't know I was being timed, so when my time was up, the BLAST of the air gun the guy pointed at me startled me so much that I jumped, screamed, stumbled, and fell on my a**.

Other than that, it went fine.

But I will never do it again. I may not have been fatally injured, but my pride was.

Don't worry, I'll be seeking full reimbursement.

I am just mortified. Oh, and after I got home, the candidate must have called me repeatedly trying to get a report of how it went, because this morning I found several missed  calls on my cell phone, spaced approximately 5 minutes apart for TWO HOURS. Apparently, I forgot to turn the volume up after I left the meeting, and I was so tired and sore when I got home last night that I went straight to bed for a nice looooong nap. After my nap, DH made me dinner and we watched a movie and then went to bed, so I missed the calls. But before bed, I checked my email and there he was, the candidate asking me tersely how it went.

I explained that I thought it went well (I left out the part about the air gun and the lady with the insults) and told him how I only had a minute, but overheard people talking before the event started that his opponent (the incumbent) isn't well liked in those parts and how nice it was that my candidate sent someone. The other guy didn't send anybody and no literature. People were saying that they though he was taking for granted that he would be re-elected (he is of the same party as my candidate), so I reported that to my candidate.

I haven't heard anything from him since I emailed him right before I went to bed last night. But on his facebook page, he personally thanked everyone who helped out yesterday, specifically naming everyone who attended events on his behalf yesterday....except me.

I will be voting for the incumbent.



« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 09:05:00 PM by mrkitty »
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jedikaiti

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2012, 10:18:09 PM »
I think you need to send the candidate an email telling him EXACTLY what you told us. That is truly abysmal.
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Iris

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2012, 10:44:29 PM »
I think you need to send the candidate an email telling him EXACTLY what you told us. That is truly abysmal.

POD. If that woman is working for him she needs to be fired asap. Not wanting to be called a [low] means you must be one? Oh, my word...
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mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2012, 11:21:36 PM »
Oh, I WISH she could be fired...from something. That (low) woman doesn't work for my (ex) candidate's campaign. She was a local party delegate for the county party convention...I have no idea who she is. I didn't catch her name...I wish I did. Maybe I could have turned HER name into an offensive "joke"... oh, wait. I can't think that fast; and, I think it would be kind of rude....this whole experience was just....unfortunate. I feel like crying, but I'm too...something. I don't know what.
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Minmom3

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2012, 12:19:29 AM »
Angry?  I sure would be.  I'd be all KINDS of ticked off at the lack of communication and disorganization, let alone the insults.  What a train wreck!
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Danika

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2012, 12:50:57 AM »
The whole situation does sound very painful. I'm sorry to hear that.

About 15 years ago, a close family friend was running for state senate. In order to vote for him in the primary, I had to register as his party. I did so, and then eventually got involved in local politics for that party. I went to a statewide event and met a lot of the representatives that I'd seen and heard about for years. I was very disappointed and shocked at how unimpressed I was to meet some of these representatives. Some of them were so sleazy and couldn't even make eye contact. Their smiles were so fake. The whole event seemed so phony and really turned me off from that entire political party altogether. Eventually, I registered as "undecided" in my state, instead of belonging to that party. It was a real eye-opener and turn off at the same time.

Back to your point, I too am very organized and don't like flaky people. Going forward, I think you should observe the red flags and then find a way to politely back out, as some folks suggested here. I'm sorry you endured this.

mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2012, 04:20:50 PM »
I think you're right, and I appreciate everyone's feedback...you all have been so kind and helpful.

Next time I think I'll be more careful. It's kind of my problem in life...I am so impetuous most of the time. I get excited about something sometimes and rush in, ignoring the red flags and my own instincts...I make things harder on myself than need be. Maybe this was a good lesson for me about thinking things through before I rush in. Maybe that's why I end up feeling resentful - I put out too much effort too soon, and then I end up feeling abused when I should have taken more care myself.

Thank you for the insight. Now, I just have to put this new-found knowledge into practice...hope I can do it. :)
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Danika

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2012, 04:31:13 PM »
...Maybe that's why I end up feeling resentful - I put out too much effort too soon, and then I end up feeling abused when I should have taken more care myself...

That describes me to a T!

I am still learning. What I try to do is imagine several possible scenarios like:
-I don't hear from the organizer, and it's 72 hours before the event. What do I do? What is reasonable?
-I don't hear from the organizer, an it's 24 hours before the event. What do I do this time? What's reasonable now?

I have my own business and a lot of times I try too hard to bend over backwards to accommodate my clients. For example, I prefer to communicate by email because I can work faster. I have some clients who will chit-chat on the phone for 2 hours when we only needed to discuss something for 5 minutes. Sometimes, I think "well, I need business. If they want to talk on the phone, I should let them." But I don't bill hourly. And I'm not in a field where I need to be listening to them talk about their lives. I should just say "we need to communicate by email instead." I have to think of boundaries, and what's reasonable and foresee what might happen in different cases, and how I will handle it if it does.

mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2012, 04:42:00 PM »
That's it exactly!

I lack boundaries....I have known that for a very long time. It's like I either ignore my own boundaries or go way overboard defending them, and then people don't like me because I over-react. I overreact because it's like a volcano building up...and yet it's ME who is the problem.

Anybody have any idea how to assert oneself without being selfish, pushy, rude or aggressive? How do you set up appropriate boundaries and enforce them? Oh, dear me, I don't even know where to begin...that's why I shut myself away at home ... I think I gave up trying to figure it out ... but I'm so terribly lonely. Does anybody know of any good books on the subject? Maybe I could start there?

But, someone please give me a hug. I think I need one. I don't know how I will ever fix ME.   :'(
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Danika

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2012, 05:38:25 PM »
That's it exactly!

I lack boundaries....I have known that for a very long time. It's like I either ignore my own boundaries or go way overboard defending them, and then people don't like me because I over-react. I overreact because it's like a volcano building up...and yet it's ME who is the problem.

Anybody have any idea how to assert oneself without being selfish, pushy, rude or aggressive? How do you set up appropriate boundaries and enforce them? Oh, dear me, I don't even know where to begin...that's why I shut myself away at home ... I think I gave up trying to figure it out ... but I'm so terribly lonely. Does anybody know of any good books on the subject? Maybe I could start there?

But, someone please give me a hug. I think I need one. I don't know how I will ever fix ME.   :'(

Oh, the volcano!!! That used to be me!

HUGS!

For me, as I imagine for you, it started in childhood. I wasn't allowed to express anger. I was expected to be a doormat, and to be polite and keep my mouth shut all the time. Anytime I defended myself, I was told I was "too d*** sensitive" or "overreacting."

But, I had some close friends who would tell me when I erupted like a volcano "You should have told me at step A that you were angry. Instead, you let A fester, and B upset you, and C happened and you didn't tell me til we got to N and now you're livid."

So, I learned that with some people, normal people, respectful and decent people, (as in not my parents) you can actually calmly say, even at event A or event B "Hey, I'm upset about A and B" in a calm tone of voice and they will not yell at you or tell you that you're crazy or full of drama.

Now, I usually let event A slide. Whatever the first thing that upsets me is, I let it go. But when the second thing happens, that's when I say something. To normal people. To crazy people who overreact, well, I cut them out of my life, because there are actually a lot of fairly normal people in this world and life is too short so spend time with the crazy ones, even if they are related to you.

When I'm upset about events A and B, I usually compose an email or a letter. I'm not good with confrontation in person or on the phone. I can't think quickly and I feel panicked and backed into a corner and then I don't say everything I wanted to say, or I shut up because I'm afraid to get too angry.

So, I use email and the written word. Then, I can compose something and think about it for about 30 minutes before I hit "send." The best way to do things is to be factual about what happened, not accusational about the motives you perceived the person had, and then state your feelings and reaction, and then what you would like to happen to resolve it.

For example, if your friend has a habit of canceling on you at the last minute to do something else. But you still value the friendship and you don't think it's because she hates you and never wants to see you again. You would compose:

Hi friend,

   I just wanted to say that I'm a bit upset.
   <- do not add "with you." Just say "I'm upset."

You and I had plans to do X. And then you cancelled at the last minute. I understand that things come up, and it's not for me to say that your new plans are less or more important than X, but I was annoyed because I had to borrow a car, get off work early, change clothes in the car, etc <- give some examples of how it inconvenienced you

I didn't say anything, because stuff happens. But then the next time we were supposed to get together, we were going to do Y and then you cancelled on me again. <- still factual. You are retelling the events

It inconvenienced me again. Again, I understand that stuff comes up. But now, it's becoming a pattern. And I feel

Add how you feel. It doesn't mean you're a poor me victim. But you don't want to accuse and say "You are a thoughtless moron." You don't know why your friend keeps doing this. But you need to show that you are upset and that if it happens again and again you're going to blow your top. Even just saying how you feel will let some of the pressure out of the volcano. If your friend is remorseful, you'll feel better. If she is not, you know not to continue to events C, D and E until you lose it completely.

So you are saying how you feel:

I feel like I am not a priority. Like my time and energy doesn't matter. I feel like I am putting more effort into meeting you than you are. This makes me angry and doesn't make me inclined to make more plans with you in the future.

And then say what kind of resolution you would like, if you can think of something.

Obviously, you want an apology. If that's all you want, then don't say anything more. Just sign your name. But if you want something like repayment for tickets you spent money on or something like that then add:


I was out $30 for your concert ticket. I couldn't find anyone to go at the last minute and didn't want to go alone, so I'm out $30 for my concert ticket, too. I'd really appreciate it if you would at least pay me back for your ticket.

And then the ball is in their court. But at least you've said your thing.

The only book I can think of that might help is The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. It's more about families, but it basically tells you how to just not engage in the fight or argument. How to just step away when you see a pattern. I'm sure there are others at the library. I usually look on Amazon because there are reviews and they are really helpful.

mrkitty

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Re: How to deal with flaky people
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2012, 06:04:34 PM »
Hey, that's great advice....I'm going to try it. Thank so much. We'll see how I do...

Hugs right back to you!!!  ;D
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