Author Topic: I am confessing I snapped at someone - I resigned # 45 update #61 and #121  (Read 28764 times)

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POF

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2012, 09:17:12 PM »
OP here ....  Iwas out volunteering while this interesting discussion went on.

Dee is not making suggestions ... she is telling me / directing that what i should be doing is X,Y,Z.  Dee does NOT have the authority to make changes, even if I thought her change was the bestest ever, it needs to go through a process with the planning committee.

I am very open to suggestions and opinions, for example Dee and some folks were working with a list that wasn't quite sorted out the way the wanted ( someone else ran the report ) - I asked of they wanted ti to sort by age and  Idid it for them.

Frankly, I would not talk to an employee the way she talks to me.

I actually think it does matter that I am a volunteer.  I am doing my job as directed by people who are my bosses. Dee - while a board member is NOT my superior on this project. She just likes to direct and put her 2 cents in.

I think there is absolutely a big difference between managing employees and managing volunteers.


LeveeWoman

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2012, 10:19:57 PM »
OP here ....  Iwas out volunteering while this interesting discussion went on.

Dee is not making suggestions ... she is telling me / directing that what i should be doing is X,Y,Z.  Dee does NOT have the authority to make changes, even if I thought her change was the bestest ever, it needs to go through a process with the planning committee.

I am very open to suggestions and opinions, for example Dee and some folks were working with a list that wasn't quite sorted out the way the wanted ( someone else ran the report ) - I asked of they wanted ti to sort by age and  Idid it for them.

Frankly, I would not talk to an employee the way she talks to me.

I actually think it does matter that I am a volunteer.  I am doing my job as directed by people who are my bosses. Dee - while a board member is NOT my superior on this project. She just likes to direct and put her 2 cents in.

I think there is absolutely a big difference between managing employees and managing volunteers.

Are you the only one she bullies?

Miss Unleaded

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2012, 04:44:20 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.

This would be how I would approach it.  I would get her to record her suggestions in written form (email, bugtracking software, whatever works).  Then once a month or however often is appropriate, get the people involved in decision making to review all suggestions, decide which ones are practical and useful to implement, make a time estimate for each change request and prioritise them accordingly.  You must obviously be involved in this process.  This way you can keep firm control over how much time you dedicate to her ideas and if she complains you can point to your records and say 'Well the database committee discussed your idea on the February 30th and decided that while it was an interesting suggestion, it would take over 9000 hours to implement and the benefit was too slight to make it a worthwhile addition.'  Then rinse and repeat. Or if it's a new idea, you can say 'You know, annoying lady, that the formal change request process is to log your suggestion in Bugtracker and it will get reviewed at the next meeting.  I can't do anything about it if you tell me in person.'

Good luck.   :)

POF

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2012, 06:55:27 AM »
OP here ....  Iwas out volunteering while this interesting discussion went on.

Dee is not making suggestions ... she is telling me / directing that what i should be doing is X,Y,Z.  Dee does NOT have the authority to make changes, even if I thought her change was the bestest ever, it needs to go through a process with the planning committee.

I am very open to suggestions and opinions, for example Dee and some folks were working with a list that wasn't quite sorted out the way the wanted ( someone else ran the report ) - I asked of they wanted ti to sort by age and  Idid it for them.

Frankly, I would not talk to an employee the way she talks to me.

I actually think it does matter that I am a volunteer.  I am doing my job as directed by people who are my bosses. Dee - while a board member is NOT my superior on this project. She just likes to direct and put her 2 cents in.

I think there is absolutely a big difference between managing employees and managing volunteers.

Are you the only one she bullies?

No she is equally annoying to a LOT of folks.  There have been steps to change her role - and interestingly enough she's improved abit. Shes just hanging out a LOT with me this year ( great )

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2012, 11:40:10 AM »
It's a great idea to institute a policy that suggestions must be submitted in writing for review. It gives you the perfect reply whenever she starts on you, and I'll bet that most of the time she won't be willing to write up her demands suggestions.
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Eden

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2012, 11:52:31 AM »
I think there is absolutely a big difference between managing employees and managing volunteers.

I'm clearly terrible at expressing myself because I don't disagree with this either. Volunteer or not, this woman has no business providing that direction to you and definitely not in the manner she is. Addressing it straightforward without reference to you volunteer status, is I think the best approach. A formal process really sounds like a great solution. Sounds like you're on the right track.

RegionMom

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2012, 07:08:19 PM »
I agree that volunteering is a lot different, and should be admired and respected and thanked, not heaped on with criticism!

When I was working with a huge production for children's choir, as an assistant volunteer to the head volunteer, you would not believe the complaints from parents!  Fusses about attendance/rehearsal restrictions to perform, staging, sign-ups for other help, etc...
and the BEST diffuser line she used was,
"Yes, I see your frustration.  Would you like to volunteer to help, as I am also jsut a volunteer, and am donating all this time and effort to help your child?  I could always use another volunteer like me to help me out, the head volunteer!  I signed up to volunteer through the church music office.  Would you like to walk with me over there while I carry these supplies and we can talk it over with the music minister, who helps coordinate the parent volunteers after his day job at the church?"

The parent would sputter and sometimes even apologize.  They thought she was on staff somehow, and therefore it was ok to fuss and abuse and complain.  But somehow, they did not want to fuss at the music minister...

I know the person here knows that OP is a volunteer, but perhaps she thinks there is an extra benefit to the OP (resume builder, politics, who knows) that makes her think that she can be so bossy. 
Document, review, stick to the plans laid out, document, and keep us informed on e-hell!
 ;)



Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

SPuck

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2012, 10:38:09 PM »
You didn't swear, you didn't yell, you didn't grunt, you didn't growl, you didn't gesture. Your fine.

Raintree

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2012, 11:44:29 PM »
When I was working with a huge production for children's choir, as an assistant volunteer to the head volunteer, you would not believe the complaints from parents!  Fusses about attendance/rehearsal restrictions to perform, staging, sign-ups for other help, etc...
and the BEST diffuser line she used was,
"Yes, I see your frustration.  Would you like to volunteer to help, as I am also jsut a volunteer, and am donating all this time and effort to help your child?  I could always use another volunteer like me to help me out, the head volunteer!  I signed up to volunteer through the church music office.  Would you like to walk with me over there while I carry these supplies and we can talk it over with the music minister, who helps coordinate the parent volunteers after his day job at the church?"

Reminds me of a club I'm part of. A fellow took time out of his own life to put together a Product for all members to enjoy, for free. I am sure he put in a lot of hours of his own time, with no financial compensation, so that other members could enjoy Product. A group email was going around to announce that the Product was finished, and members could pick them up at the next meeting. A photo of the Product was included in this email. One member emailed everyone back to say, "I thought the Product was supposed to be like this? Why is it like that?"

The volunteer asked her if she'd like to take over Product duty next year. She shut up.

strawbabies

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2012, 08:14:28 AM »
If she's not your direct supervisor over your volunteer work, she needs to not be talking to you about this at all.  If she has suggestions, she can contact the person who is, and see what they think.  If they agree, they can come to you and see if changes are feasible. 


Eden

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2012, 10:12:59 AM »
I agree that volunteering is a lot different, and should be admired and respected and thanked
I agree with this.

When I was working with a huge production for children's choir, as an assistant volunteer to the head volunteer, you would not believe the complaints from parents!  Fusses about attendance/rehearsal restrictions to perform, staging, sign-ups for other help, etc...
and the BEST diffuser line she used was,
"Yes, I see your frustration.  Would you like to volunteer to help, as I am also jsut a volunteer, and am donating all this time and effort to help your child?  I could always use another volunteer like me to help me out, the head volunteer!  I signed up to volunteer through the church music office.  Would you like to walk with me over there while I carry these supplies and we can talk it over with the music minister, who helps coordinate the parent volunteers after his day job at the church?"

But I really find that response dismissive and laced with martyrdom. Now, I do absolutely understand that a lot of the fuss from the parents was probably OTT and unwarranted. But would a legitimate concern be met with the same response? Should a parent not be able to raise a concern because they are not a volunteer? That is really the heart of my concern. Volunteers are wonderful, generous people. But it IS okay to ask that things be done a certain way. In the case of the OP the person asking was not in a position to do so. But in general I can't get behind the idea that a volunteer should be immune to being asked to do something differently just because they are donating their time.

bah12

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2012, 10:43:58 AM »
Again, I have to agree with Eden.  While volunteering is different than paid work, I don't think it necessarily means that others can't make suggestions, air legitimate complaints, or ask that work be done a certain way.  As long as these things are done with respect, by someone in a position do so, volunteers don't get automatic passes to never be told what to do.

What a volunteer can do differently than a paid employee is say "Look, I only have X amount of time to give to this effort and I am only able to do certain things.  If you need this done, I'm afraid you're going to have to look elsewhere." 

But really statements like "I'm a volunteer, why don't you become one too" or "Do it yourself" are dismissive.  And they aren't good responses even when someone is being overbearing and pushy (understandable, maybe...but not good).   In the case of the OP, she has a legitimate reason to be frustrated...and she has a good case for speaking with the boss about the behavior of this woman.  But she has that case even if she was a paid employee.

camlan

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2012, 04:01:37 PM »
Well, I've been a volunteer. Yes, it is permissible for people to question things.

But when you are trying to plan a dinner, say, for all the volunteers at your parish, and you are volunteering to plan said dinner, it is indeed frustrating when all you hear are questions and complaints. Frankly, most of the questions are really complaints.

The day and time of the dinner are questioned, the menu is questioned, the location is questioned. All by multiple people, multiple times. It doesn't matter if you choose paper plates for ease of clean-up or china dishes to save the environment--that choice, and you have to make that choice at some point--will be questioned. You can have 4 different entree choices, taking into consideration vegans, vegetarians, the most common medical conditions and allergies and still people will tell you that you have made all the wrong choices.

They will nit-pick the difference between boiled potatoes and baked potatoes, green beans and peas, thin and thick crust pizza. "Oh, why are you having peas? I hate peas!" when there are three other vegetables to choose from, plus salad, plus four entrees, two choices of potatoes, rice, pasta and rolls. No one is going home hungry, even if they hate peas.

It is amazing how otherwise nice and kind people turn into total nit-pickers the second there is a free dinner for them. At some point, when you are planing an event for 100 people, not everyone is going to get their first choice for date, time, location, menu and ecological soundness. And from my experience, you do not get compliments, only complaints.

A serious complaint, like there are peanuts in 75% of the dishes being served? Yes, that deserves consideration. A whine about how we should start an hour earlier so that everyone can get home on time to catch Survivor? Does not deserve the same degree of concern.

Questions are fine. Questions that are really thinly disguised complaints are not. Maybe the answer is for the questions and complaints to be raised only with the paid employees and not the volunteers.

And it would be nice, once in a while, to hear a "Thank you" instead of "Why on earth are you doing X?"
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Raintree

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2012, 03:11:16 PM »
Well, I've been a volunteer. Yes, it is permissible for people to question things.

But when you are trying to plan a dinner, say, for all the volunteers at your parish, and you are volunteering to plan said dinner, it is indeed frustrating when all you hear are questions and complaints. Frankly, most of the questions are really complaints.

The day and time of the dinner are questioned, the menu is questioned, the location is questioned. All by multiple people, multiple times. It doesn't matter if you choose paper plates for ease of clean-up or china dishes to save the environment--that choice, and you have to make that choice at some point--will be questioned. You can have 4 different entree choices, taking into consideration vegans, vegetarians, the most common medical conditions and allergies and still people will tell you that you have made all the wrong choices.

They will nit-pick the difference between boiled potatoes and baked potatoes, green beans and peas, thin and thick crust pizza. "Oh, why are you having peas? I hate peas!" when there are three other vegetables to choose from, plus salad, plus four entrees, two choices of potatoes, rice, pasta and rolls. No one is going home hungry, even if they hate peas.

It is amazing how otherwise nice and kind people turn into total nit-pickers the second there is a free dinner for them. At some point, when you are planing an event for 100 people, not everyone is going to get their first choice for date, time, location, menu and ecological soundness. And from my experience, you do not get compliments, only complaints.

A serious complaint, like there are peanuts in 75% of the dishes being served? Yes, that deserves consideration. A whine about how we should start an hour earlier so that everyone can get home on time to catch Survivor? Does not deserve the same degree of concern.

Questions are fine. Questions that are really thinly disguised complaints are not. Maybe the answer is for the questions and complaints to be raised only with the paid employees and not the volunteers.

And it would be nice, once in a while, to hear a "Thank you" instead of "Why on earth are you doing X?"

Wow. It would not make me want to sign up to volunteer a second time, it really wouldn't.

camlan

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Re: I am confessing I snapped at someone and was rude to them
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2012, 03:51:16 PM »
Well, I've been a volunteer. Yes, it is permissible for people to question things.

But when you are trying to plan a dinner, say, for all the volunteers at your parish, and you are volunteering to plan said dinner, it is indeed frustrating when all you hear are questions and complaints. Frankly, most of the questions are really complaints.

The day and time of the dinner are questioned, the menu is questioned, the location is questioned. All by multiple people, multiple times. It doesn't matter if you choose paper plates for ease of clean-up or china dishes to save the environment--that choice, and you have to make that choice at some point--will be questioned. You can have 4 different entree choices, taking into consideration vegans, vegetarians, the most common medical conditions and allergies and still people will tell you that you have made all the wrong choices.

They will nit-pick the difference between boiled potatoes and baked potatoes, green beans and peas, thin and thick crust pizza. "Oh, why are you having peas? I hate peas!" when there are three other vegetables to choose from, plus salad, plus four entrees, two choices of potatoes, rice, pasta and rolls. No one is going home hungry, even if they hate peas.

It is amazing how otherwise nice and kind people turn into total nit-pickers the second there is a free dinner for them. At some point, when you are planing an event for 100 people, not everyone is going to get their first choice for date, time, location, menu and ecological soundness. And from my experience, you do not get compliments, only complaints.

A serious complaint, like there are peanuts in 75% of the dishes being served? Yes, that deserves consideration. A whine about how we should start an hour earlier so that everyone can get home on time to catch Survivor? Does not deserve the same degree of concern.

Questions are fine. Questions that are really thinly disguised complaints are not. Maybe the answer is for the questions and complaints to be raised only with the paid employees and not the volunteers.

And it would be nice, once in a while, to hear a "Thank you" instead of "Why on earth are you doing X?"

Wow. It would not make me want to sign up to volunteer a second time, it really wouldn't.

I think the questions/complaints/suggestions the OP is getting about the database are similar to the questions I was getting. And the questions that RegionMom and her fellow volunteer were getting about the children's choir. Not about food, obviously, but the same level of questioning of small details and micromanagement. It can be extremely frustrating to be working on something where you have limited time and a limited budget and you are volunteering your time and everyone else just keeps wanting to change every single little detail. And I bet with the children's choir there were "questions" about why Susie is getting the solo and not Sarah, and how come my kid is in the back row where his grandparents won't be able to see him, and I have to leave the concert early for a work meeting so please have the number with my child in it first. I personally would not want to go within 100 yards of that particular minefield.

Yes, each question/complaint/suggestion might be valid in and of itself. But, volunteer or paid employee, there's only so much back-seat-driving a person can take. I can pretty much guarantee that if one of the parish priests had been in charge of the dinner, he'd have gotten less than 10% of the questions/complaints that I got.

For the OP, I think the best thing is to refer the database "suggestions" to the paid person who is technically in charge of the database. Just stop the conversation before it starts. "Complaining Woman, that's a neat idea. You'll have to run it by Sam, though. I'm not the person to talk to about it."
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn