Author Topic: Charitable Attitude  (Read 3992 times)

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LadyL

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2013, 02:31:45 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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cwm

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »
1. I'd wait. But I'd make sure I had a good book with me, and when she showed up, I'd make sure to finish the chapter before we got started. If she asked what I was doing, I'd respond with "Oh, I'm sorry, I just got caught up, I can't stand to put a good book down at an unnatural stopping point. I figured since we were already late, a few more minutes couldn't hurt."

Okay, so I probably wouldn't actually do that, but it's good to think about, right?

2. Congrats to the video guy for standing up for his time. I've seen friends burned too many times by volunteering for work and then it turns into much more than they bargained for.

3. Try three times to get something to her. Make an honest effort those three times. Past that, if she wants it, she'll get back with you.

If you're on good enough terms with this person, I would take them aisde and mention that her lack of punctuality and the difficulty involved in getting things to her are really hindering your involvement in the charity. Don't bring anyone else into it, keep it strictly about YOUR involvement.

If you're not on good enough terms for that, find someone above her in the organization. Maybe a regional director or something, and bring up your concerns to that person. Again, keep it about your involvement, but also mention that it may not be projecting the best image of charity into the community, and while you support what they do, you can't support that woman being in charge because of the issues you're having.

SoCalVal

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2013, 03:13:33 PM »
She's a total SS; it has nothing to do with the charity or doing things in the name of the charity.  She's acting entitled for <insert reason here> and trying to get away with it for those reasons.  I've encountered people like that before; I ignore their "reasoning" and address the actual issue (the reasoning is a red herring anyway).  I once belonged to a school club that reserved the student body community room at a specific time.  Another club had reserved it for the time right before ours.  When my club was going to meet, the other club was still present and holding their meeting.  We were ignoring their continued presence at first, to be nice.  However, when they started getting louder and overtaking in sound our club (which was a social club), we told them they needed to hit the road.  Their response?  "We are trying to set up efforts for such-and-such charity!"  My friend then said, "That's nice.  However, this is OUR meeting time now, and you still need to leave."  I think we got the glare, but they picked up and left.



EllenS

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2013, 04:18:09 PM »
Now, that's a new one to me.  I have actually never heard of a Special Snowflake organizing a whole charity just to empower her Snowflakity.

If you really want to support the mission of the charity, I would give every dealing with her a limit, up front.

"I have your stuff, it will be at the front desk until Friday.  We are open 8-5."
"I can bring those items you requested any morning this week between 9-11, but after this week I will have to give them away to the next charity that wants them.  Call me and let me know what day to drop them off."

After she misses out a few times, she will either start respecting your limits or (more likely) stop asking you for favors.
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blarg314

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2013, 08:43:03 PM »
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.

The other problem is that *she* gets to define "giving and serving" so that it benefits her (and her pet cause) at the expense of others. She "has" to help somone when the ask, but it doesn't matter that she's wasting another person's time.

From a practical perspective, your options are

1) Leave when she's late, or refuse to meet her in a situation that inconveniences you if she's late. You can also leave halfway through the meeting saying "Oh, I only had half an hour to spare - it would be horribly rude to leave my next appointment waiting!"  Make it her problem, not yours.

2) Decide how much time you're going to spend doing X task. When that time is up, you stop, turn the material over to her and tell her that you don't have any more time/resources to work more on it. Be realistic about how long a task takes when you agree to do it, but if it's extended by her demands or pickiness, it gets left undone. Again, make it her problem.

3) Make a reasonable effort to complete the favour. Then dump the ball in her lap - leave a message saying "I've tried to contact you about X, but couldn't get hold of you. You can pick up Y at my house." or simply stop trying to contact her after a reasonable attempt, and leave it. If she wants it, she'll step up. Again, her problem, not yours.

These tactics may well mean that sometimes something doesn't get done, or gets done badly. But that's the price you have to pay for not being controlled by her demands. If someone comes after you about something they're unhappy about, you can say "Oh, you'll have to talk to SS about that!"


 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2013, 11:13:54 PM »
With the second example, I'd be inclined to pull her expectations into line. I'd say something like "Rude Charity Lady, don't be ridiculous. Video Guy has a business to run. If we ask him for two extra days' unpaid work, that's two extra days that he can't earn money to support himself (and his family, if he has one). We're effectively stealing his services. Surely you can't be advocating that?"

Sparkle Star

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2013, 07:09:32 AM »
I've really enjoyed reading all your replies, folks - thank you!

I was interested to get views because I think - especially in the UK - we tend to excuse or feel uncomfortable about addressing 'bad' behaviour when it involves a charitable/religious cause. It makes us feel like we're not being gracious or understanding.

I think Toots was spot on with this: She values "giving and serving" above all, and like *many many* people, she expects other people to share her values.

She genuinely is a good and giving person and her faith is everything to her. However, I suspect that part of her Pollyanna attitude is put on because it helps her get what she wants, and I also don't feel that what she's doing entitles her to be inconsiderate to everyone else's needs or lives.

As I say, I am learning to deal with her - and I'm lucky in that my involvement is quite peripheral so I feel I can step away somewhat if I need to.

But some great suggestions in there for handling the specifics, too....much appreciated!  :)
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whatsanenigma

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2013, 08:26:52 AM »
I've really enjoyed reading all your replies, folks - thank you!

I was interested to get views because I think - especially in the UK - we tend to excuse or feel uncomfortable about addressing 'bad' behaviour when it involves a charitable/religious cause. It makes us feel like we're not being gracious or understanding.

I think Toots was spot on with this: She values "giving and serving" above all, and like *many many* people, she expects other people to share her values.

She genuinely is a good and giving person and her faith is everything to her. However, I suspect that part of her Pollyanna attitude is put on because it helps her get what she wants, and I also don't feel that what she's doing entitles her to be inconsiderate to everyone else's needs or lives.

I think maybe part of the problem is that she's trying to "give and serve" in too many ways at the same time, and possibly in ways not suited to her.

There is most certainly a real need for people to "give and serve" when a sudden crisis arises.  Whole phone hotlines exist for this.  It isn't something everybody can or should try to do, and it sounds like she happens to be good at this.

However, there is also a real need for people to "give and serve" by being steady members of the background, who aren't constantly distracted by solving other people's sudden problems.  There is a great need for people to organize events, manage money, etc., for the organizations that support the people who help in a crisis.

Unless time frames are clearly defined, when a person is "on call", it is very difficult to combine these roles.  I think that by trying to do both in such an undefined way, she is neglecting both of these things.  I think she might need to focus on just one or the other.

And that could be a selling point for her.  If someone tells her how good she is at dealing with crises, and that she can leave the organizational stuff to someone else, that might help, because I don't think she's very good at the latter but might have a gift for the former.

EllenS

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2013, 11:20:48 AM »
Look, I get that you feel guilty setting boundaries with this lady.  So does everyone else.  But, as a deeply religious person myself, this woman is violating many, many tenets of most major religions in the way she is treating people.  I don't know what religious tradition you belong to, but most have common ground on these things.

1) Treat everyone with respect, and love/generosity means putting others needs ahead of your own.  HER time is hers to give to the "needy", but YOUR time is not.  By trying to make YOU wait, she is being selfish.

2) Taking/stealing from others is not holy, generous or sacrificial.  It is wrong.  Even King David refused to give an offering that he did not pay for. (See 1 Chronicles 21:24 )

3) People who do honest work deserve to be paid for it.  1 Timothy 5:18 (the worker deserves his wages)

4) If you make an agreement, honor it.  Don't attempt to change the terms of the deal to suit yourself. (Let your yes be yes, and your no be no/use honest weights and measures)

5) Don't manipulate, bully or intimidate people into doing what you want. Attributes such as "discord, fits of rage, hypocrisy, slander, deceit and accusations" are not holy behavior, but the opposite.  Gentleness, respect, thougtfulness, orderliness, and self-discipline are the goal of religious service.

Hugs, I know my quotes might not be directly applicable to your situation but they are the most accessible ones I have, and I don't think they are controversial?
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Twik

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Re: Charitable Attitude
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2013, 11:32:27 AM »
If her only failing was (1) I would try to be understanding. People in her situation often do find themselves confronted by people with terrible problems, and going "sorry, I have a 10 am meeting, must go," will sound like a brushoff to them.

However, in combination with the other factors, it does sound like she expects the world to dance to her tune.
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