Author Topic: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?  (Read 4760 times)

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problemattic

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Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« on: December 18, 2012, 01:30:52 AM »
Hello, all.  I will try to keep this brief, but I'll warn you that brevity isn't my strong suit.  I had a friend with whom I was close for several years.  (I'll call her FF; Former Friend.)  She was a devoted mother, worked very hard, and overcame many obstacles to build a life for herself and her children.  I thought a great deal of her.  When she met a man and fell in love after decades of struggling as a single mom, I was happy for her...at first. 

As time passed however, I saw her begin to ignore her children and obsess over her boyfriend to the point where she would take a day off of work to spend with him, but could not take time off for her children under any circumstances.  I ran errands for/with her kids, picked them up from school when they had early release, and took them to the doctor when I was asked.  I wasn't working at the time, and it was easy enough to help out.  I really felt she was going through a phase of sorts, and that she would find a balance between "me time" and motherhood again, but a couple of years passed and that did not happen.  I completely lost respect for her the day I found out her child had to walk along a busy highway to the dentist for a minor surgery while she was out of town with her boyfriend.  (The surgery was preplanned, not unexpected.)  Granted, we are talking about a fifteen year old, but he was in pain and miles from the dentist's office!  (What dentist does this sort of procedure on an unaccompanied minor, anyway?  Another gripe...) 

After that, I remained polite to FF when I did run into her, but distanced myself from her overall.  I just didn't "get" her anymore and she didn't understand why.  (I wasn't about to tell a grown woman that I thought she was acting like a besotted 14 year old and forgetting to mother her children!)  I also began working and could seldom help with her kids, so I'd outlived my usefulness.  She asked me to check on her boys daily while she was on a week long Christmas trip with her boyfriend, which I did, then posted a sophomoric rant on Facebook about how I thought I was better than her, unfriended me, and that was that.  I was pretty ticked that she used me one last time before kicking me to the curb on FB, but not completely surprised. 

Now, just to muddy the waters a bit, I have to tell you that she and my sister work together, and FF is most often the person who answers the phone if I call the business which employs them both.  I don't call often, as FF is extremely short with me and I'd just as soon avoid the angst.  My sons are encouraged by their aunt to call her at work from time to time...she says it's the best time for her as she is there long hours...but I found out that if FF answers, she may cut them off mid-sentence with, "She ain't here!" and hang up, take a message but never pass it along, or otherwise treat them rudely.  As a result, the kids seldom call there anymore, and my sister seems genuinely confused as to why.  She just chuckles at FF's behavior.  The two lunch together, and I recently found out that Sis helped FF move furniture into storage.  I can understand that it is important to remain civil with someone with whom she has to work, but I am a little taken aback that Sis is downright friendly with FF. 

I do not hate FF.  I wish her well; just from afar.  What I do hate is the way she speaks to my children, and I am very hurt/confused/angry that Sis seems completely unbothered by the fact that FF is rude to her nephews.  I have a several nieces and nephews, and I would not communicate with anyone who was rude to them beyond being civil, and then only if I absolutely had to deal with the offender.  I certainly wouldn't take the rude person out to lunch!  If FF wants to be hateful toward me, then that's her business, but my children have never been anything but respectful toward her, and they certainly don't deserve her wrath.  Am I right to feel that Sis is being, well, a bad aunt?  This is a family owned business, and very casual, but Sis is in a position of authority.  One word to the owner from Sis would end FF's tele-rudeness for good.  Am I being a goose about this?  Is the bad taste in my mouth over FF's behavior clouding my judgement?  How would you feel? 

Thanks for hanging in there!

Iris

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 01:44:39 AM »
I think your past history is irrelevant to this situation - in a nutshell an employee at your sister's workplace is rude to your sons, yet your sister is confused as to why they are no longer calling.

I would simply say "I don't see why my sons should be exposed to discourtesy. Your receptionist is rude and unreliable so they don't like calling you at work. If you want them to contact you at work you need to address the matter." Say it with a puzzled look and tone - why on earth would she expect her nephews to ring somewhere where they may treated rudely?

As to sis helping FF move her things, I think that's a MYOB scenario. It's up to your sister who she is friends with.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Shopaholic

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 01:49:16 AM »
I think you can think what you want of FF, but you can't meddle in your sister's adult relationships.

Your kids have stopped calling the workplace because they are treated rudely by the receptionist. This is the receptionist being unprofessional, and your siser should address it as such.
You can tell your sister exactly why your kids don't like calling her, or have them tell her themselves.

Nora

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 04:20:58 AM »
I think you can think what you want of FF, but you can't meddle in your sister's adult relationships.

Your kids have stopped calling the workplace because they are treated rudely by the receptionist. This is the receptionist being unprofessional, and your siser should address it as such.
You can tell your sister exactly why your kids don't like calling her, or have them tell her themselves.

Pod to all of the above.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 06:53:26 AM »
I think I would be recording the phone calls when my sons call your sister's place of business and letting sis know exactly how her friend is behaving.  She might not be seeing this side of her.

And if sis continues to side with FF, then you can say when she complains about a lack of interest from her nephews, you can come back and say, "You have no one to blame but yourself.  Why should nephews continue to call when they are treated the way they are?"

Virg

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 06:55:29 AM »
I find the background realistically irrelevant to the situation at hand and honestly it does seem like your history with FF is clouding your perception of the issue.  As an example, your comment about her son walking to the dentist doesn't strike me at all peculiar, since I don't consider a fifteen-year-old a "child" and don't see anything unusual about a dentist performing a scheduled procedure on a teenager without mom around.  The short answer is that Shopaholic hit the nail on the head, so addressing the issue directly is the best approach, and leaving the rest out of it is wise.  I'd let your kids tell her why they don't call much any more and let her solve it or not, and I'd be careful about labeling her a "bad aunt" just because she's friendly with someone who's rude.

Virg

Sharnita

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 07:55:42 AM »
I wouldn't tell her she is a bad aunt (or sister). However, if the kids have to deal with rude FF I think you can tell them you don't want them calling Aunt at work and you are not being a bad mom (or sister) either.

JenJay

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 08:13:40 AM »
I think you can think what you want of FF, but you can't meddle in your sister's adult relationships.

Your kids have stopped calling the workplace because they are treated rudely by the receptionist. This is the receptionist being unprofessional, and your siser should address it as such.
You can tell your sister exactly why your kids don't like calling her, or have them tell her themselves.

Yes, and I would vote for having the kids talk to her. It sounds like she thinks you're being silly and just don't want your kids talking to FF. I bet if the kids told her that whenever they call FF snips "She ain't here!" and hangs up on them, she'd get the picture. They should also ask if they could email or call an alternate number instead of going through FF.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 08:20:38 AM by JenJay »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 08:37:25 AM »
You don't state how you or communicated the rudeness to your sister or the age of your kids. 

I agree the background is irrelevant other than your dislike of FF could be causing sis to believe your over inflating her rudeness.

You or your sons can calmly state they will not be contacting aunt at work anymore because they feel the receptionist is rude.  If they do call do not leave a message to be passed on.

Magnet

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 08:42:50 AM »
I don't think your sister is being a bad aunt but I do think she is highly unprofessional by asking her nephews/nieces to call her at work.  I get that not all calls to someone at work are work related.  But to actively encourage personal phone calls at work is not fair to the business.  Your sister can certainly talk to these children at another time.

I also disagree that the receptionist is being unprofessional, as these calls are not related to business.





lowspark

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 08:45:29 AM »
Your kids should call Aunt at work, as instructed to by Aunt. When they get a rude reply, they then immediately call her at home and leave a message.
"Aunt, this is neice/nephew. I just called you at work and whoever answered the phone told me in a very rude/abrupt way that you weren't there. Please call me back."

They should do this every time.

Then, if the aunt doesn't either figure out how to fix this at work, or just tell the kids to stop calling her at work, because, after all, ultimately what the receptionist does is out of Aunt's control, then she's a bad aunt. In addition, if she doesn't return the kids' phone calls from the home messages, then she's a bad aunt.

Leave it between your kids and their aunt. That way any feelings you have toward the FF will not even enter the picture.

KarenK

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 09:36:40 AM »
I don't think your sister is being a bad aunt but I do think she is highly unprofessional by asking her nephews/nieces to call her at work.  I get that not all calls to someone at work are work related.  But to actively encourage personal phone calls at work is not fair to the business.  Your sister can certainly talk to these children at another time.

I also disagree that the receptionist is being unprofessional, as these calls are not related to business.

Although I understand that in some businesses/offices taking personal phone calls is frowned upon or outright forbidden, that is not the case for all of us.

As for your second comment, a receptionist's job is to answer the telephone and direct calls politely and efficiently, not to pass judgment on the appropriateness of the call. Anyone who calls, regardless of why, deserves to be treated with respect. FF is being very disrespectful to both the OP and her sons.

OP, if your sister starts asking why her nephews don't call her anymore, have them explain it to her. She may think you are overstating the situation, and this might convince her to do something about it.

In a way, I do think she's a bad aunt. She's letting someone verbally abuse her nephews. I'm hoping it's just because she needs more convincing.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 11:50:16 AM »
POD to letting your boys tell her, calmly, why they don't call.  I also like Lowspark's idea of them calling her at home if FF hangs up on them.

problemattic

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 04:47:35 PM »
Thank you all for your input! 

I have to stress I would never tell Sis she is a bad aunt, and I wouldnít refer to her in that way in front of the boys. 

I thought the BG was relevant only in that it pertains to FFís reasons for being rude to my kids.  She is ordinarily very pleasant. 

I wish I could explain just how relaxed the workplace in question is, but Iíve never been lucky enough to work where personal phone calls are the norm.  I can only say this is the case where Sis and FF work.  If the work is getting done, no one minds. 

I have told Sis that the boys are uncomfortable calling and why, as have they, so I suppose my only course of action is to have them refrain from calling her at work as some of you wisely suggested.  I couldnít turn a blind eye to rudeness to my family the way Sis does, but I do need to respect that she isnít me and we donít have the same standardsÖand thatís okay.  In side-stepping having the kids call Sis at work, I can remove FF and our history from the equation.  If Sis doesnít get it, then that will have to be okay, too. 

Thanks again, and have a great holiday season!

Precarious Armada

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Re: Is Sis a "Bad Aunt," or am I Unreasonable?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 04:07:11 AM »
Your kids should call Aunt at work, as instructed to by Aunt. When they get a rude reply, they then immediately call her at home and leave a message.
"Aunt, this is neice/nephew. I just called you at work and whoever answered the phone told me in a very rude/abrupt way that you weren't there. Please call me back."

They should do this every time.

Then, if the aunt doesn't either figure out how to fix this at work, or just tell the kids to stop calling her at work, because, after all, ultimately what the receptionist does is out of Aunt's control, then she's a bad aunt. In addition, if she doesn't return the kids' phone calls from the home messages, then she's a bad aunt.

Leave it between your kids and their aunt. That way any feelings you have toward the FF will not even enter the picture.

This.