Author Topic: I am confessing I snapped at someone - I resigned # 45 update #61 and #121  (Read 29825 times)

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POF

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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 ?

Thanks
Karen



 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 07:20:29 AM by POF »

DottyG

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 10:51:00 PM »
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

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 10:53:52 PM »
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.   

Raintree

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 11:10:48 PM »
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. "

DottyG

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 11:12:50 PM »
Raintree's wording is good.


doodlemor

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 11:34:10 PM »
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.

I agree with gramma dishes.  It is OK to draw your boundaries.  It sounds like this person has been making your volunteer work harder and more stressful. 

If you are again talking about the person from this thread.....

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=122546.msg2830032#msg2830032

......then I think you are a saint to be able to control yourself at all.

lollylegs

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 04:05:21 AM »
I'm not sure what you've been saying to her before this (you mentioned that you've been basically ignoring her, but does that mean pretending like she doesn't exist? Bean dipping?  Walking away?) but I wonder if the problem is that you didn't say something sooner and let it build up until it exploded.  Short term, grit your teeth and apologise next time you see her.  Long term, maybe look at ways of dealing with it as it pops up.  I like the the rinse and repeat method - come up with a phrase and repeat it each time Dee makes one of her comments.

Her: "You should do it this way..."

You: "Thanks, but I've come up with a way that works best for me."

Her: "But my way is so much easier."

You" "Thanks, but I've come up with a way that works best for me."

Her:"But your way is stupid!"

You: "Thanks, but I've come up with a way that works best for me."

Rinse and repeat.

weeblewobble

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 07:19:47 AM »
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.

I tend to side with gramma dishes on this one.  ETA: I read the link doodlemor provided.  If it is the same person, I think you deserve a medal for not responding with violence or a cat-correction spray bottle.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 07:23:14 AM by weeblewobble »

POF

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 07:23:09 AM »
Great advice - thanks,

She's actually not the woman in the other thread - but annoying person #2 in the organization :0.   You are right - I have let it build up.  I'll try to deflect better based on the advice given  here.  I also decided that I am not bringing it up to her and apologize.  I may have been short, but when i reflect on my choice of words and tone - I was not rude. Exasperated maybe. but I will take proactive steps so that I do not get frustrated. Thanks

Thanks

Karen

BarensMom

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 08:16:29 AM »
I would find some way of pointing out that you are a volunteer, not a paid employee, and, if this woman continues to pester you, have the option of taking your skills and time elsewhere.  You have been bullied and badgered, and it's no wonder that you finally called her on it.  I wouldn't apologize - in fact, I would demand an apology from the woman for harassing you.

Let me recap:  This woman has bullied, badgered and harassed you.  She is not the victim, you are.

camlan

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 08:45:58 AM »
Well, I'm going to dogpile on and agree that you were not rude.

Some people pick up on verbal cues--you've been deflecting her verbally and it hasn't worked. Some people pick up on your avoidance of a topic--she hasn't been picking up on that, either.

So sometimes what you have to do is show that you are exasperated. And you did just that. You didn't yell, you didn't  use bad words, you didn't call her names. But you did show her, by your word choice and tone of voice that you had had it with her constant complaining.

It isn't rude to let someone know that you are upset by their behavior.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Oh Joy

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 09:08:32 AM »
Instead of her pestering you with her great ideas whenever she feels like talking about them, can you suggest an alternate way for 'anyone' to suggest changes to the database?  Kind of like when a meeting facilitator effectively puts a distracting idea into a parking lot.  Database change suggestions are discussed at the quarterly meeting, or e-mailed to you to review monthly, or sent to the principal for the board to discuss, or something else that makes sense for your organization.

That way, you don't have to choose between validating and ignoring her, you have a broken-record answer, and if someone does come up with a good idea it can be considered.

Best wishes.

Shoo

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 10:06:25 AM »
Great advice - thanks,

She's actually not the woman in the other thread - but annoying person #2 in the organization :0.   You are right - I have let it build up.  I'll try to deflect better based on the advice given  here.  I also decided that I am not bringing it up to her and apologize.  I may have been short, but when i reflect on my choice of words and tone - I was not rude. Exasperated maybe. but I will take proactive steps so that I do not get frustrated. Thanks

Thanks

Karen

I'm glad you're not going to apologize to her.  IMO, you did nothing to apologize for.  You put up with a lot from her for a long time, and she finally pushed you too far.  I think you were quite restrained in your words with her.

Eden

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 10:33:44 AM »
OP, the only thing I would suggest in any conversations you have about this is that you tread lightly when pointing out that you're a volunteer. Organizations can and should still request and require improvements and standards in work even if the people doing the work are doing so for free. If you feel the requirements are excessive or the people enforcing them are unreasonable, you may express it or you may quit, but whether or not you're doing the work as a volunteer or a paid employee is irrelevant.

I do think your idea of asking for an improvement meeting for after the holidays is a great solution.

rashea

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 11:06:30 AM »
I might also see if you can put in an official "change" process for any suggestions. We did this when managing a volunteer organization's database, because it kept too many changes from happening at once and screwing things up. Have 2 or more people who have to approve structural changes. Have these be paid employees. Then the volunteer doesn't have to vet the changes.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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