Author Topic: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?  (Read 4796 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« on: March 29, 2013, 05:39:52 PM »
So I wanted to run a somewhat delicate situation by ehell.  I have unfortunately been having immense problems with a church secretary.  The highlight was when some missing paperwork resulted in very nearly having to delay an important ritual - paperwork I had been given the impression was not required.  Now, this in itself would have been bad, but her response was to essentially to outright state that I clearly wasn't serious about my faith and to strongly imply that the other person I had chosen to be involved - a very close friend - was no longer a practicing member at all, merely because he hadn't produced the appropriate paperwork yet.  She also never allowed me to finish a sentence during the entire conversation, usually cutting me off after 2 or 3 words.  I admittedly lost my temper at the end and indicated in a very ehell-unapproved manner that I wished to talk to someone else.

My issue is that I would at this point prefer to avoid working with her as much as possible.  I don't trust her to not mess something else up by not listening (an ongoing problem) and I really am quite upset at what she said to me.  I am not sure, however, how to indicate to her superiors that I would much prefer to work directly with them as far as it's possible.  What's the polite way to indicate something like this?

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3942
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 05:44:47 PM »
Is she functionally a secretary for another person or is that just the title for the person who is in charge of this area of church operations?  If she is just the gatekeeper, then I would speak to the person who she is representing, explain what happened, and discuss your options for future contact should you need to make arrangements with that person again.  If she is the person in charge, check if she has a supervisor or someone who is higher up in the hierarchy who may be in a position to speak with her about her way of running her "department."  If they are unwilling to do that, you may just have to deal with her.

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 05:47:55 PM »
Is she functionally a secretary for another person or is that just the title for the person who is in charge of this area of church operations?  If she is just the gatekeeper, then I would speak to the person who she is representing, explain what happened, and discuss your options for future contact should you need to make arrangements with that person again.  If she is the person in charge, check if she has a supervisor or someone who is higher up in the hierarchy who may be in a position to speak with her about her way of running her "department."  If they are unwilling to do that, you may just have to deal with her.

The latter - she's the person in charge of this area of church operations.  It's sort of a tough spot because I really don't feel comfortable dealing with her and I'm worried that she's going to mess things up for me again (especially as she's clearly decided that I'm not serious), but I don't want to leave an entire church over one rude person.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5348
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 06:16:37 PM »
Is it possible to communicate with her via email? That would allow you to say what you need to without interruption and get her to clarify what paperwork, etc. you need to have in order and on what timeline. If she's still difficult, or if you have to deal with her in person, I would see if there was someone higher up you could work with.

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 06:22:22 PM »
Is it possible to communicate with her via email? That would allow you to say what you need to without interruption and get her to clarify what paperwork, etc. you need to have in order and on what timeline. If she's still difficult, or if you have to deal with her in person, I would see if there was someone higher up you could work with.

That's the whole problem, actually.  There is a higher up I can work with, but I'm not sure how to communicate that I wish to work with the higher-up on affairs that the secretary would typically handle.  Especially since I don't want to put him in a position of picking which one of us to believe.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6319
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 06:27:39 PM »
Church secretaries should be Secretaries first and Church second.  A church secretary has no right to question the depth of your faith.  Even the pastor would be on shaky ground there. 

The job of a secretary is to get the paper-work done.  If that can't be done in a timely and efficient manner, the secretary is not doing his or her job properly. 

Go to the pastor and voice your concerns. 

SPuck

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 937
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 06:32:58 PM »
First you should go to the higher ups and say there was a miscommunication error. Afterwards you bring up that their secretary questioned your faith. Start with the practical then move onto the actually rude moment and you should be able to get your words across.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5348
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 06:33:59 PM »
Gotcha.

You've already spoken with the higher-up, right? So I'd approach it with the attitude that that's who you're working with now. When you call or go in just say "Good morning. I'm here to see/make an appointment with X, please."

As far as speaking to X I'd keep it factual - what you want, what do you need to do to prepare, etc. I wouldn't bring the secretary up at all. If you're asked why you aren't arranging things through her you can be honest without it sounding gossipy, just lay out the facts. I'd certainly mention that she doubted your commitment to your faith - that's insulting!

AnnaJane

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 06:34:09 PM »
I agree, go directly to the pastor. He will surely want to know if this person has taken it upon herself to be the church FaithOMeter. You can describe the paperwork issue as a " miscommunication" , but be clear that the religion comments make you feel uncomfortable about letting her handle further paperwork issues.

SouthernBelle

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 08:40:40 PM »
Many churches have a committee that is in charge of the staff and it's hiring and firing.  They also set salaries.  You may wish to discuss this with the chair of that committee.

magician5

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3408
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 11:22:44 PM »
"You get to decide whether I have enough faith when you become the pastor. Until then, do your job."
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28665
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 12:02:47 AM »
"You get to decide whether I have enough faith when you become the pastorGod. Until then, do your job."

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 07:04:07 AM »
"You get to decide whether I have enough faith when you become the pastorGod. Until then, do your job."

Amen.

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 10:57:33 AM »
Part of the problem is that part of her job is to ensure that people are fulfilling the requirements for their ritual.  This involves such things as ensuring that they're regular attenders and whatnot, and that the other person involved has already been through said ritual (people going through the ritual must be sponsored by someone who has already been through it).  The trouble is that, while we knew that both me and my chosen sponsor met the requirements, we were having trouble producing the right paperwork to demonstrate that.  So it's sort of her job to measure if you're meeting the external requirements for being an active participating member.  That said, it's still not her job to assume what she did...especially given her refusal to let me get a sentence out to actually explain the situation.

Gotcha.

You've already spoken with the higher-up, right? So I'd approach it with the attitude that that's who you're working with now. When you call or go in just say "Good morning. I'm here to see/make an appointment with X, please."

As far as speaking to X I'd keep it factual - what you want, what do you need to do to prepare, etc. I wouldn't bring the secretary up at all. If you're asked why you aren't arranging things through her you can be honest without it sounding gossipy, just lay out the facts. I'd certainly mention that she doubted your commitment to your faith - that's insulting!

Much as I want to get back at the secretary...this is probably the best option.  Just keep speaking with her superior unless it comes up.

jaxsue

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9966
Re: Could I please not deal with your secretary again?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 03:13:30 PM »
Church secretaries should be Secretaries first and Church second.  A church secretary has no right to question the depth of your faith.  Even the pastor would be on shaky ground there. 

The job of a secretary is to get the paper-work done.  If that can't be done in a timely and efficient manner, the secretary is not doing his or her job properly. 

Go to the pastor and voice your concerns.

This.

Having a secretary NOT be a church member is the best way to go, IMO. My dad was a preacher so I have a bit of experience in church politics.