General Etiquette > general

I am confessing I snapped at someone - I resigned # 45 update #61 and #121

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In our volunteer group, there is a woman ( Dee )  who likes to 'direct" everyone. She is a board member, but that does not necessarily confer special privileges.  She likes to come up to me and start telling me how I could handle the databases better. Now, I've invested a significant amount of time and talent ( especially if you factor in my billing rate ) in creating and maintaining a set of databases that we use for various vital purposes.  However, I only have limited time to devote to this VOLUNTEER work.

Dee likes to tell me what I should be doing differently, better or what would be a great idea.  I typically try to ignore her, but she has been particulary at me lately.  She's been critical of the work I do with others ( I am FOLLOWING the guidelines for reporting that are laid out by the board - but she wants it done differently. )

I walked in our work room tonight and she was going on and on about if we added this data and if we captured that data it would be soo ooo oooo much better. No - it would not actually and it would be a ton of unnecessary work - and it isn't even her area).  I snapped back - and I said - if you think this is a better way to do it - how about you just do it yourself.  She then went to the President and said I was very condescending to her.  The president came to me and I said ... look .... she is constantly bothering me about how I do things, I am a volunteer - this is the best I can do and the amount of time that I am willing to invest. Should you look for someone else to take this on ?

I was rude, I was provoked, but I did answer her in a less than polite way ( I did not raise my voice, I did not use bad words, I did not call her names ) - my tone was sharp and I was clearly exasperated.  Her comments usually just roll off my back, but I got caught in a moment of weakness. 

I have no excuses, I was wrong. I am going to meet with her and the president tomorrow.  I am going to ask that suggestions to the data process be held until lafter we finish our XMAS project.  We can then all review the suggestions and I can make some recommendations on what is doable or not. 

I just wanted to confess, next time I will try for the bean dip instead,

Any other suggestions on how to hadle this better ?



Just apologize to her and go forward. There isn't much you can do but accept that you were rude and go on from there.

gramma dishes:
Ya' know ...   :-\

I don't think being just a wee bit sharp with someone is actually always a breech of etiquette.  As you said yourself, you weren't hostile or rude, your language was clean and you didn't imply that she was any number of ugly things a less polite person might have called her.

You simply let her (and subsequently the President) know that you had had enough.  You quietly put down your line in the sand. I don't think you have said or done anything to feel bad/guilty about.   

Yeah, I don't think it sounds that bad. In fact, when the President approached you, it sounds like you handled it perfectly. I bet you are not the only one who has been annoyed by her.

I think the most you should do or say is, "I am sorry if my tone was a little hostile the other day. I'm afraid I was feeling rather badgered. If you have any concerns with the way I do this, I'd really prefer that you bring it up with the president, and I'd be happy to discuss with him/her my reasons for doing things on the limited time that I am able to volunteer. "

Raintree's wording is good.


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