Author Topic: Charitable Attitude  (Read 3850 times)

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Sparkle Star

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Charitable Attitude
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:31:57 AM »
We've recently had dealings with a local charity and some of the behaviour of the lady who is in charge prompted me to wonder what my fellow eHellions would make of it.

Recent/frequent examples include:

1. She is always - and I mean always - late. Sometimes it's 10 minutes, sometimes 45. Her reasoning is that somebody else needed her (to lend an ear, practical support, whatever) and as a good Christian it was more important she responded to them than kept our appointment.
2. She expects everything for nothing. For example, she asked a friend of mine who runs a video company to take some footage for a promotional film. He was happy to oblige, under the expectation from the brief that it would take him maybe a day. After three days (due to her insistence on reshoots etc to meet her very specific idea of how the film should look) it was done. He'd been told he just had to hand the film over and the charity would edit it with students from a local college; however, she then said she'd rather he did it and she'd like it in the next couple of days! He felt he had to point out how much of his time he'd given, which as a one-man business was a considerable donation. If they wanted him to continue, and to provide the finished article so quickly, payment would have to be involved. I gather it got quite heated and unpleasant....her view is that as a charity, everyone should be willing to give whatever she needs for free.
3. When she asks for a favour that involves you, you're the one that ends up chasing her endlessly with phone calls, emails etc to confirm arrangements - even though you're the one helping out. Two days ago she asked me if I could drop some items off to her at her office. I've been trying to pin her down to a time ever since. Part of me thinks that I should just leave it for her to make contact as if she doesn't get the items, it's her issue - but I know that other people are expecting to receive them this evening, so I'll feel bad if they don't.

I should say that I'm not overly stressed by this lady, though I do get irritated by her persistent lateness as it's a real bugbear of mine. But I support the charity and I like her personally a great deal - I'm learning to deal with 'the way she is'.

It strikes me, though, that some of her behaviour is quite rude or inconsiderate - and etiquette-wise, the fact that you're representing a Christian charity/organisation isn't an excuse, is it? Just interested!
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 08:39:49 AM »
She's rude and entitled.

Showing up late for appointments tells that person that they are not important to you.  Expecting something for nothing and then getting upset when people legitimately ask for compensation is entitled.  Forcing people to chase you down after asking them to do a favor is rude.

I think she likes the idea of saying she runs a charity, without actually liking to do the hard work it takes to be effective.

Margo

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 08:49:54 AM »
Her attitude and behavior stink. And the fact that she is representing a charity make it worse, as she will give the charity / organisation a bad name, too.

In relation to the specifics:

1. Don't wait. If she not there on time (or within a reasonable time - I would probably give a lee-way of up to 5 mins) leave.

2. Say no. In the video example, after the first day I'd have been saying, "I'm sorry, I have donated a full day of my time to your charity at your request. A job of this size would normally take no more than a day, usually less. I am not in a position to donate any more of my time and resources. I would be happy to do further work on a business basis if you want. These are my rates". And if she got aggressive I would write to the director of the charity, or the organisation running it, to let them know how their representative has behaved and that she is bringing the organisation into disrepute. (and making clear that you could have done what you weer asked to do, in the time allowed, if she had not been so indecisive)

3. Don't chase. If you are doing her a favour, do it when it is convenient to you. IF she asks you to drop stuff off, it's fine to say "I can do that at 6 tonight, or at 10 tomorrow,. Which do you prefer" if those times don't work you say "I'm sorry, I won't be able to drop them off. You can pick them up from me - on (give 2 or three possible times)

In the specific case you mentioned, don't feel bad. SHE is the one letting down the people expecting these items, not you.

As you say you like her, you couls consider whether it is possible for you to say to her that while you like her a lot, and support the charity, people do expect a more porofessional approach and her behavior is not helping the charity.

WIth the lateness, if there is a genuine emergency (someone who is suicidal / has just lost a loved one etc) then she ought to be able to phone or text to tell you she's been delayed. If you speak to her, you can gently point out that by not showing up when she says, she is sendig you a message that you are unimportant, and that she has no respect for you, and places a very low value on you and your contribution, and that is hurtful and unkind (and unchristian) If she prides herself on being a caring, christian person then pointing out that she is being uncaring towards you and others may help her to understand, and, if her curent behavior is down to clulessness rather than self-centeredness may help her to change.

MrTango

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 08:50:46 AM »
I agree that her behavior reeks of entitlement.

Here's how I would respond to the examples given:
1) Lateness:  If she was more than 10 minutes late, I would just assume that she wasn't coming and continue with my plans for the day.

2) The Video: I would have handed her the raw video at the end of the 1 day to which I had already committed.  I would have told her that any further time would be billed at my normal rate.

3) I would make one phone call to her and if she didn't answer, I would leave one voicemail and include a notice that if I didn't her from her by a certain time (I'd give 24 or 48 hours), it would be her responsibility to contact me.  If she answered by hemmed and hawed about timing, I would say "In that case, you'll need to call me back by this time tomorrow and let me know a time that works for you.  Otherwise, It'll be on you to pick the item up from me" and end the call.  If she's late calling me back or she's a no-show at the arranged drop off/pick up time, see item 1.

TootsNYC

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 08:56:19 AM »
Here is your clue to her thinking

Quote
Her reasoning is that somebody else needed her (to lend an ear, practical support, whatever) and as a good Christian it was more important she responded to them than kept our appointment.


She values "giving and serving" above all, and like *many many* people, she expects other people to share her values.

This is not an appropriate attitude.

Yes, she is rude.

PlainJane

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 09:07:24 AM »
By being late and by 'requiring' you to repeatedly contact her, she is stealing your time.

Stealing. As a Christian woman, she should know stealing is one of the Big Ten.

Maybe you should remind her?  ;)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 05:19:35 PM by PlainJane »

KarenK

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2013, 09:12:55 AM »
1. Lateness - I'm with everyone else. Give her five minutes (10 if you have a good book with you), then leave. I would not tolerate being kept waiting for 30-45 minutes.

2. Video guy - Well, the next time, she'll have to find someone else to sucker, because this guy won't be doing any more work for her anytime soon!

3. Finally, the favor - I would not chase her if she asked me to do her a favor.

This kind of person burns through contacts and friends, as each decides they are through with her. She then moves on to the next one, burns them out, and so on.

Yeah, rude all around.

Thipu1

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 09:48:45 AM »
Here is your clue to her thinking

Quote
Her reasoning is that somebody else needed her (to lend an ear, practical support, whatever) and as a good Christian it was more important she responded to them than kept our appointment.


She values "giving and serving" above all, and like *many many* people, she expects other people to share her values.

This is not an appropriate attitude.

Yes, she is rude.

The 'giving and serving' attitude is all too common among non-professionals who run charities.  The problem is that everyone else should be the ones doing the giving and serving. 

The one who is in charge becomes a little tin god who, as the representative of the organization, must be made to look good by the people who are actually doing the work.  Money, time and expertise provided by other volunteers are only to be expected for the good of the organization. 

The lady in question needs a wake-up call. 

She must be punctual for meetings.  The time of others is as important as her time.  If meetings go on without her, she may learn that she isn't as vital to the success of the charity as she thinks.  Good work CAN go on without her. 

Requests to volunteers must be reasonable and the extent of the duties must be clear from the outset.  You don't ask a skilled volunteer to give up days of what could be paid work for a whim. 

It's often been said here that respect works both ways.  The lady in question is not being respectful of other volunteers.  They are doing work to help the charity.  They are not doing work to groom her image in the community. 

These suggestions may sound harsh but these issues need to be addressed.


GreenBird

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 12:12:36 PM »
Similar to the other posters, I'd stop waiting for her and stop chasing her.  Her attitude clearly shows that what she's doing isn't about charity, it's about her.  I'd leave her one message giving her a time when she can pick up the items you have for her, and if she doesn't pick them up then it's her problem. 

If you want to continue to work with this particular charity, is there someone else you could work with?  I wouldn't be shy about telling the charity you'd like to work with someone who is more reliable, because it's just too frustrating to work with someone who doesn't show up when she says she will, isn't organized enough to clearly know what she wants, and doesn't follow through on her commitments.  Volunteer time is a precious commodity, and the charity should really know how much of it she wastes. 

Winterlight

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 12:15:13 PM »
My father runs a small charity and he would run over his own foot before he'd behave like this.

I expect donations to start tanking- there are a lot of other organizations out there who handle things professionally.

Quote
Her reasoning is that somebody else needed her (to lend an ear, practical support, whatever) and as a good Christian it was more important she responded to them than kept our appointment.

Yeah, no. If she can't be bothered to show up on time without a text or call, forget it. And even texting or calling wouldn't work if she makes a habit of this, because she's still leaving the people who made an appointment with her hanging. She's not a neurosurgeon who's had an emergency come in, thereby having to bump some scheduled patients. She's just not willing to be where she agreed to be.
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LadyL

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 12:20:58 PM »
 Unfortunately due to the usually low pay and long hours of nonprofit work it can attract some people whose competence is far outpaced by their martyr complex. I would not personally be involved with this group at all.

I encountered a similar group in my city - they promote a cause I believe strongly in. However, the leader is more interested in creating a "cult of personality" around herself than actually collaborating with community members or getting anything done. We brought her some proposals that the rest of her staff liked and voted to move forward on, but she clearly was bothered that they weren't *her* ideas. She did the same thing to a member of a collaborating organization who also successfully pitched a great idea - she killed it for no reason other than it wasn't hers. A year later, she is still having "open calls for proposals" but they haven't picked one and probably never will.

m2kbug

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 12:39:55 PM »
Definitely don't wait for her anymore.  I would not wait around for that long, not repeatedly, anyway.  I think I would refrain from any further appointments at all with this person if that is at all possible.   

Don't agree to any more favors.  I think if it was a matter of her needing certain items, she can stop by the house herself, and I could leave the items on the porch for her if necessary, but that's about the extent I'd go at this point. 

For the video, she was asking for way too much.  He agreed to one day's time, not three, and not all the extra editing.  Surely the charity could have come up with some compensation.  He'll have to be more clear and direct on what he is willing to do and how much time in the future, if he chooses to work with this charity again.  He could charge a fee, maybe give a generous discount, whatever is comfortable him. 

I agree, that perhaps you might need to talk to someone at the charity about working with someone a little more reliable.  It's great she wants to help out, but she's maybe not the best suited for certain things. 

It annoys me to no end when people pull the Christian card as some excuse for bad behavior. 

oogyda

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 01:10:43 PM »
Unfortunately due to the usually low pay and long hours of nonprofit work it can attract some people whose competence is far outpaced by their martyr complex. I would not personally be involved with this group at all.

 

*Snerk*  I know some of these people.  Can I use that phrase?
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bopper

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 01:16:31 PM »
Gotta say that this is not a new thing:


Matthew 23:4 regarding the Pharisees:

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments lon

Pen^2

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 01:23:02 PM »
It strikes me, though, that some of her behaviour is quite rude or inconsiderate - and etiquette-wise, the fact that you're representing a Christian charity/organisation isn't an excuse, is it? Just interested!

She is rude, entitled, and a hypocrite. And representing an organisation associated with morals (religious or charity) is not an excuse for bad and thoughtless behaviour, but the opposite! She has a much stronger reason than others to be polite and kind. To do otherwise reflects badly on her entire organisation.