Author Topic: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for  (Read 4469 times)

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Fleur

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BG. I think I've mentioned before on here my friend who is very old and who lately had to have a pacemaker fitted. My mother knows her as well, though oddly enough not as well as I do. End BG.

My mother bumped into my friend's sister (who is also nearly ninety) Sister implied that she was rather run ragged with cooking for friend: they live next door to each other. I can really sympathise with that, and I would be too, in her position. That said, when my friend first got ill, I purposely did not offer practical help, as I am very busy with two jobs and various volunteering activities as well. When my mother bumps into friends sister, the first thing that comes out of her mouth is 'Fleur'll take on some of the cooking'. AARGH! I can't do it, and I have actually avoided calling them all week because I feel awkward. I feel a bit guilty, but at the same time I am a little annoyed with my mother for volunteering me without asking first. I think she might have realised that if I could have volunteered, I would have. So, I'm looking for advice as to how to say 'I'm sorry it won't be possible' but in a nice way. I'm stumped.


camlan

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:22:07 PM »
Ideally, you tell your mother that you simply can't take this cooking on. And your mother has to go to the sister and tell her that your help won't be forthcoming.

I'm in favor of people who volunteer other people's time and energy having to deal with the fallout when the voluntold simply can't do whatever it is.

You didn't create the problem; you shouldn't have to deal with this mess.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

kckgirl

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 12:25:23 PM »
Your mother is the one who should be calling and apologizing for her error. I see camlan had the same answer. Let her deal with it for you. She can either cook or apologize.
Maryland

Fleur

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 12:28:32 PM »


Thank you! Yes, I do see that point: I think I might ask my mother to do that. To be fair, she didn't do it maliciously at all, she just wasn't thinking. But I do see the point that I shouldn't have to apologize for a situation not of my own making.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 12:31:56 PM »


Thank you! Yes, I do see that point: I think I might ask my mother to do that. To be fair, she didn't do it maliciously at all, she just wasn't thinking. But I do see the point that I shouldn't have to apologize for a situation not of my own making.

I would not "ask" my mother, I would be telling her that she will have to contact them and tell them that she is sorry, but she should not have volunteered your services without consulting with you first.  At this time, you are unable to offer any cooking services.

Roses

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 01:14:34 PM »
POD to the above.  Your mother should call and tell them that she made a mistake in volunteering your time, and that you are not available to help. And she should apologize.

Roe

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 01:31:00 PM »
If your mother feels awkward about calling and telling them that you won't be able to help, she is more than welcomed to cook for the friend.  After all, she did offer. 

And yes, your mother should be the one to call them.  I realize she didn't do this maliciously but she is treating you like a child.  My mother *used* to do that until I decided not to quietly go along with her plans.  She hasn't done that to me in years. 

Bijou

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 01:57:03 PM »


BG. I think I've mentioned before on here my friend who is very old and who lately had to have a pacemaker fitted. My mother knows her as well, though oddly enough not as well as I do. End BG.

My mother bumped into my friend's sister (who is also nearly ninety) Sister implied that she was rather run ragged with cooking for friend: they live next door to each other. I can really sympathise with that, and I would be too, in her position. That said, when my friend first got ill, I purposely did not offer practical help, as I am very busy with two jobs and various volunteering activities as well. When my mother bumps into friends sister, the first thing that comes out of her mouth is 'Fleur'll take on some of the cooking'. AARGH! I can't do it, and I have actually avoided calling them all week because I feel awkward. I feel a bit guilty, but at the same time I am a little annoyed with my mother for volunteering me without asking first. I think she might have realised that if I could have volunteered, I would have. So, I'm looking for advice as to how to say 'I'm sorry it won't be possible' but in a nice way. I'm stumped.
If they haven't contacted you about it, perhaps the sister found it odd that someone would volunteer another person for something like that.  I wouldn't contact them at all.  You didn't talk to them,  your mother did.  The only response could be to your mother..."Mom, I'm sorry you mentioned that to them.  I just can't do it.  Please let them know and you might suggest some other options for them, such as you providing some meals, Meals on Wheels or their church family helping out." 
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 01:59:28 PM by Bijou »
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Oh Joy

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 02:09:44 PM »
I'm sorry for your awkward position.  Quick question (I couldn't tell from your post): were you present when your mom made this offer to friend's sister?

Auntie Mame

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 02:57:26 PM »
Sounds like your mother needs to get some dinners cooked.  She volunteered you without checking first, it's now her responsibility.
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Fleur

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 03:55:57 PM »
I'm sorry for your awkward position.  Quick question (I couldn't tell from your post): were you present when your mom made this offer to friend's sister?

Sorry, I wasn't clear. No, I wasn't present at the time, this was told to me after the fact. I spoke to my mother this evening, and let her know I wasn't able to do the meals. She wants me to contact the sisters, but I agree with you guys and think she should do it. She can't do the meals herself, at least not for the moment, because she is going away in a couple of days. I'm really sorry to leave them in a tough spot, and if it was possible, I would do it, but it isn't. I just have way too much on. If I do end up contacting them, I will endeavour to do so without JADEing.

TootsNYC

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 04:11:08 PM »

If they haven't contacted you about it, perhaps the sister found it odd that someone would volunteer another person for something like that.  I wouldn't contact them at all.  You didn't talk to them,  your mother did.  The only response could be to your mother..."Mom, I'm sorry you mentioned that to them.  I just can't do it.  Please let them know and you might suggest some other options for them, such as you providing some meals, Meals on Wheels or their church family helping out."

I agree--lots of people in the sister's position would not pursue that--I know I wouldn't! I'm wise to the whole "parents volunteering adult children" thing--mine don't do it to me, my ILs don't do it to us, and if someone else does, I simply ignore it.

Or, if I truly did need the help, I would approach the volunteer-ee and say, "Your mom suggested that you might be able to help us. Is that possibly true?"


And I think the reason your mom should call the sisters is that it will help her learn to not do this again. Sort of like making the teenager come back to pick up her own jacket off the living room floor.


(If you did want to help them, get them some takeout coupons, if you can. Or suggest a Meals on Wheels-type program, or remind them to check with their doctor. Or contact Elder Services or some such and asking them to pursue it. I'm feeling so terribly bad for the poor 90yo sister!)


If they did contact you, then you should simply say, "I'm sorry--my mother spoke too soon. Right now is a tremendously bad time for me to take on a responsibility like that. I can't have other people counting on me like that right now. However, have you looked into Meals on Wheels, or discussed this problem with your doctor, or someone? There *are* resources available, and some of them are ones we all pay taxes for. Or, people donate to organizations like that specifically because they want to help."

YummyMummy66

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 04:26:57 PM »
I'm sorry for your awkward position.  Quick question (I couldn't tell from your post): were you present when your mom made this offer to friend's sister?

Sorry, I wasn't clear. No, I wasn't present at the time, this was told to me after the fact. I spoke to my mother this evening, and let her know I wasn't able to do the meals. She wants me to contact the sisters, but I agree with you guys and think she should do it. She can't do the meals herself, at least not for the moment, because she is going away in a couple of days. I'm really sorry to leave them in a tough spot, and if it was possible, I would do it, but it isn't. I just have way too much on. If I do end up contacting them, I will endeavour to do so without JADEing.

Of course mommy wants you to contact them.  That way, she does not look like the bad guy.  I would be telling mom, sorry, I will not be contacting anyone.  You volunteered my services without asking, you can take care of this blunder. 

Texas Mom

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 04:40:34 PM »
Mom opened this can of worms, it's her job to take care of it.

Why the obsession with cooking?

Are there any grocery stores in your area that have prepared (ready to eat) food?  If so, suggest your mom go by XYZ grocery, pick them up a prepared meal & drop it by.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Politely getting out of a favour that someone has volunteered you for
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 06:51:07 PM »
Mom opened this can of worms, it's her job to take care of it.

Why the obsession with cooking?

Are there any grocery stores in your area that have prepared (ready to eat) food?  If so, suggest your mom go by XYZ grocery, pick them up a prepared meal & drop it by.

I agree. And you have nothing to be sorry for.  You didn't volunteer to do this, your mother did, so its up to her to let them know that it won't be possible.