General Etiquette > Life...in general

Could I please not deal with your secretary again?

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JeseC:
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:
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:

--- Quote from: NyaChan 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.

--- End quote ---

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:
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:

--- Quote from: JenJay 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

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