Author Topic: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)  (Read 68683 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« on: March 04, 2014, 08:20:08 PM »
People can be well-meaning when they give or offer help. But sometimes....you just really wish they wouldn't, not just for annoyances but sometimes they're helping can really make things worse.

This week I've encountered a case of it, more in the annoyance category than anything else.

I'm enrolling students into their new courses, one of the other assistants who is sitting next to me keeps on chiming in while I'm talking to students telling me things that I already know. It's all I can do to not look and talk at him icily for interrupting me abruptly. He hasn't caught on that I don't need his help and rather get on and do my job without interruption.

Any other stories?

siamesecat2965

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 09:48:36 AM »
Not anything specific, but when I ask someone at work about something, they say no, and in my mind, that's the end of it, but they feel the need to continue on, until i either have what I asked for, or the issue is resolved. When it doens't alwasy need to be.  For example, do we have a membership in a particular org. as I need to *try* and get a copy of something they put out. If we do, great, can I have that info so I can get what I need, but if not, the world won't end.

I had one CW, who thankfully is gone, we dubbed "Useless" since he was. He unfortunately was the one I had to ask these types of things for, and in spite of me needing a simple yes or no, he'd then take it upon himself to find it himself, calling and emailing people he thought MIGHT be able to help, and so on, which was completley unnecesary, and a waste of time. It drove me nuts.

I have another CW who does the same thing; she's a bit paranoid and one who thinks no stone must go unturned, when my view is yes, sometimes, but other times, if something isn't available, or I'm not specifically ASKED to do a certain task, then I'm not going to, as its not "an efficient use" aka waste of my time. 

She will then go on about it, and take it upon herself to do whatever it is SHE thinks needs to be done, when its not even her responsiblity.  She's so afraid someone in her group, aka her boss, will come down on HER for not having this info, when many times, its not even necessary.  Where I am more laid back, and know what needs to be done, and must be done, vs. what would be nice, but not a requirement.


AzaleaBloom

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 11:07:14 AM »
I love my mom dearly.  I really do.  However, my brother and I have nicknamed her "The Well Meaning Pitbull", based on the myth that a pitbulls jaws "lock" and can't be released.  When she gets hold of something, it can be next to impossible to get her to drop it.  One such thing is when she decides she has to "help" us with something.

My brother - pretty much up until he became a father, much to the sometimes annoyance of his wife - was always happy to let her do so.  Me, not so much. 

One such example is when I was still living with them.  I am the member of a greek organization, and am active in an alumnae chapter.  I had agreed to host a meeting.  (with my parents knowledge and okay, of course.)  Leading up to the meeting, I had cleaned the rooms we would be meeting in and purchased snacks/drinks - all that is really required for hosting.

Then mom decided to help.

Her helping meant harping on me incessently about how to present food, how to present the drinks, and how almighty IMPORTANT appearances are when it comes to hosting.  I tried to point out to her that most sisters in this group live in apartments and we had several meetings in common areas - where appearances couldn't be controlled - and no one cared.  That wasn't good enough for her.  Then she started getting worked up because the cooler the sodas were in didn't match the decor of the room.  I again told her that *I had things under control* and did not need her to tell me how to host - in fact, I had hosted meetings of my college chapter in my apartment and knew what to do.  She continued to "help" by moving chairs, moving snacks, and basically getting in the way of me - who knew how meetings were run and how things needed to be set up.  I told her again that I had things under control, and she again ignored me.

She went outside momentarily, and I broke down in tears.  The whole thing was supposed to be my project, and her help meant that she had taken it over.  My dad came in the room and asked me what was wrong.  I told him.  When my mom came back in, he gently took her arm and told her that they needed to go.  (they had already planned to run errands during the meeting - which they needed to do anyway.)  She tried to say that it was too early.  He a bit more firmly said that they should leave at that moment, and they did.  I was able to get things set up the way I wanted them, and the meeting went smoothly.

I don't know what my dad said to her once they got in the car, but the subject never came up again.

This was back in 2009, and like I said, she has gotten MUCH better in the years since.  She was fantastic when it came to helping with my wedding - and backing off when need be.  It also didn't hurt that I put her in sole responsibility of things I didn't care about/have no knowledge in - such as flowers, centerpieces, church decorations, and favors - and let her go nuts.


RegionMom

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 11:26:40 AM »
sounds like Marie, in Everybody Loves Raymond, esp. the episode where the wife was throwing a party of some sort and had to leave early because she was SO frustrated!! with Marie's help.  She went to the car and took a nap, an then got arrested because she was "operating a motor vehicle under the influence."  (she had had a drink, and had the keys in the ignition to play the radio)

No current stories, unless you count a child's "helping" as you work, that then takes twice as long to do, and then you have to re-do it later.   ::)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Thipu1

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 11:30:41 AM »
The library had a volunteer like that.  Whatever she was asked to do she had a 'better' way to do it.  Her better ways wound up making more work for everyone else. 

She constantly talked about the extensive library they had at home. Very nice, but what works in your home library isn't necessarily going to work here.  Because we were a very specialized library we had our own system for call numbers.  We did not use Dewey so don't tell me our numbering system is 'wrong'.  Our system worked because it suited the needs of researchers in our profession. 

This was back in the days of the card catalog and one of the tasks for volunteers was filing cards.  We always asked them to file above the bar so the cards could be checked for accurate filing before being dropped.  She consistently refused to do this and unfortunately, despite having several advanced degrees in literature, she couldn't alphabetize properly.

  A classic example was an article we'll call 'If the Johnson House Could Talk'.  Most rational people would have filed the title card under 'I'.  Not this one.  She filed it under 'J' for 'Johnson' and dropped the bar.  Her rationale was that you ignore 'the' when filing anything and 'if' was too small a word to count. Checking her work turned into an exercise resembling 'Where's Waldo'.  It was exasperating but entertaining because you had to figure out how her mind worked.   

My boss was reluctant to terminate her because 'We need volunteers.'.

The lady eventually left on her own because she didn't feel 'properly appreciated'.  Everyone,
including the other volunteers, breathed a sigh of relief.  They couldn't stand her either.

   

2littlemonkeys

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 11:48:11 AM »
Oh yes.  My PIL live with us and sometimes I want to scream, "STOP HELPING!  BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT!"

Some of the 'helping' that goes on...

turns off preheating oven ("It was on!")

drained sink right after I filled it up with bleach water to clean it.   ("It was full!)  I thought at first FIL needed to use it and apologized, as it was late and I thought everyone was done needing the kitchen.  Nope.  It was just full of water and it shouldn't be.  The end.

When I cook, I like to use and reuse as many utensils as possible.  If I have to measure water, milk and beat an egg, I use the same measuring cup.  I use the same measuring spoons whenever possible.  I also like to use the mise en place method of cooking - I measure everything out and/or set it out before I cook so I know I have everything and to speed things along. 

I can't tell you how many times I'll turn around to use a utensil only to find it in the sink.  Or to grab the garlic and find it back in the cupboard.  See, MIL likes to 'help' when I cook by cleaning up the kitchen.  And if I say, "Oh, I'll take care of it!" then I'm not appreciative and thus the bad guy.   ::)  (And yes, I've tried explaining the method to my madness but she doesn't get why I'd go to all that trouble.)


Lynn2000

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 12:05:07 PM »
My dad happily drives me and my mom around to go shopping, and will wait in the car when he doesn't want to come in. Which is super-nice of him. But when we're done he'll try to come pick us up, even when he's parked the car right there. Rather than let us cross the drive path to get to the parked car, he will back out, drive all the way around the lot, and pull up in front of us going the right way. Or in trying to maneuver the car so we don't step out into a puddle, or over a puddle trying to get back in, he will move the car back and around a few feet. While we're standing there hoping to get in, because it's cold or raining. I just want to scream, "STOP MOVING THE CAR!" I see the car, I want to get in the car, I don't want to hold up traffic, just put on the brake already. Oh Dad.
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StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 12:17:47 PM »
My MIL is notorious for this.  She will get an idea of how she can help and will not deviate, no matter how much we tell her we have it under control. 

Examples:

- When we were in the middle of moving, she insisted that the nail holes needed to be filled RIGHT THEN.  So she went out and bought putty and was filling in nail holes while we were trying to move everything else out.

- She bought us a new set of knives because of the one time that we had to wash a knife to use it.  We lived in a small apartment and had no room for another set of knives. 

- Baby was crying, and we were in the middle of soothing him.  She insisted on "helping" by banging pots and pans, which made the baby cry even more.

I can go on and on.  There's a reason we don't tell her anything and prefer to do everything ourselves without her "help."

RegionMom

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 12:31:04 PM »
Ok, I could see how she could try to justify the other things, but banging pots and pans to calm a baby??!?  What??

Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

MyFamily

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 12:36:46 PM »
Ok, I could see how she could try to justify the other things, but banging pots and pans to calm a baby??!?  What??

Obviously, not the MIL in the above situation and I'd never do that, but I bet her thought process was along the lines of distracting the baby from their crying.  It is a theory I've heard, and even used, but never for a baby.  It works very well with my 4 year old - she'll be upset about something and not willing to be consoled, and as soon as I can distract her, she is fine.  Granted I do it by talking to my husband or one of the other kids about something that interests her and then ask a question that she'd know the answer to, and that does it.  I don't see how banging pots and pans will help a baby though.


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 12:51:32 PM »
One that sticks out in my mind, and is of the helicopter parent variety. 

Second grade we were assigned a book report project, to make one of those shoebox dioramas where you look through a hole in one end to see a scene from the book. I'd read Linea in Monet's Garden and decided to use the scene depicted on the cover for my project.  I did it mostly myself...at first, drawing it as well as a second grader would be expected to do, I think, but my dad decided it was not good enough.

So basically he did it all and I think my only contribution was to color in the picture of Linnea that he drew before she was put on the little bridge he'd made over the cellophane water with the lily pads he'd drawn.  You get the idea.

Granted the project got an "A" but as it was glaringly obvious it was NOT the work of an 8 year old, my classmates accused me of cheating and told me I didn't deserve the "A" since I didn't do any of the work. Thankfully my lovely teacher understood and comforted me as I sobbed with frustration when my classmates refused to listen to me or believe me when I tried to say my dad insisted on doing it and didn't really give me a choice in the matter.

I don't remember him helping with future assignments, or at least not taking over in the same way, so I guess someone spoke to him about it.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

siamesecat2965

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 12:59:43 PM »
I forgot about my mom and cooking.  She is an admitted not-great cook, beacuse she has no interest in it, so puts as little effort into it as she can. Which is fine, she lives alone, no biggie. She can however, if she wants to or needs to.  But when I'm visiting, I normally do most of the cooking, and I admit to being a bit controlling when in the kitchen, and have been known to take over when people aren't doing things the way I think they should be done. I'm working on that :)

My mom will: turn the heat down on something if she thinks its up too high, regardless of whether or not it should be up and regardless of me watching it! It drives me nuts, since I'll turn it up, to bring something to a boil, and go get something, and come back, thinking whatever should have happened has, only to find, its on low, and barely warm. GRRR.

She also has a terrible sense of timing. One year at Thanksgiving, we had barely put the turkey breast IN the oven, when she was making noises about starting to boil the mashed potatoes. um no, too early, let it go and I'll start them when it gets closer to being done, as if you do them NOW, they won't be warm when dinner is ready. I know you can keep them warm, but I don't want to do that; i want to time my cooking.  She was also ready to put the rolls in the oven to warm, where they'd be hard and dry by the time the turkey was done.

She will also "get underfoot" when I'm trying to cook, or clean up, and I've finally had to tell her back off, and I'll let you know when things are ready.  I love my mom, and we get along well, but our cooking styles just don't mesh. and I find myself tripping over her a lot too!

cattlekid

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 01:17:07 PM »
My SIL was "helping" by weeding my front flower bed while visiting with DH while I was away from home. 

She pulled up all of the newly-planted periwinkle that my mother and aunt planted earlier that spring. 

If you don't know a plant from a weed, stay out of someone else's flowerbeds!

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 01:23:58 PM »
I suspect a neighbor uprooted my lilies I'd planted in my front bed.  When she and her partner moved in about 2 years or so ago, she said she liked to garden and offered to help weed our front bed.  Since I don't really enjoy weeding, I said "Oh sure, go ahead" thinking that if she liked to garden she'd recognize weeds from flowers.  Ah, apparently not so well.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Lynn2000

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Re: Stop helping me! (Share your stories)
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 02:02:37 PM »
My friend got a gift of tulip bulbs in a cute container. When they stopped blooming, her sister "helped" her by completely emptying out the container and washing it, and tossing the dirt and bulbs in the garbage. She didn't realize you could keep them and they would bloom again next year.
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