Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Not You, It's Me

I have the jitters, and I don’t know if they're from the pot of coffee I absentmindedly drank yesterday while stuck inside or from the prospect of dealing with a few “mean über-volunteer moms” at a gathering next week. Past dealings with one in particular have been very confrontational, but I’m comforted that I’m not the only one to have incurred her wrath. As parents talk (and we do, admit it!), it’s common knowledge that others have had similar run-ins with this person, leading us to believe her “it’s not me, it’s you” altercations stem from her own lack of interpersonal skills.

Because we’re all on a particular committee, this person and her crony requested the pleasure of my company for an offsite private meeting. Just the three of us. Cozy, huh? I nicely declined their invitation, asking why they need to meet with me as I’m either at work or have small children in tow. Their response? No further information, but they ask again what other times I’m free. Free? Are you kidding? Did you not understand my response? I don't have free time until September 2026, when the last child will HOPEFULLY be at college. And if I did have free time, I’d rather schedule a bikini wax than meet alone with these two!

DH thinks I should take the meeting to get them to stop but keep my guard up in preparation of the potential argument. He also thinks I'm being too pessimistic and might be pleasantly surprised. DM’s advice was to not meet them in private, period, since they’ve already ambushed me at a meeting once this year, and "leopards don't change their spots". She thinks I should speak with them at the gathering next week with witnesses present. A few of the other parents think I should either wait to talk to them at the gathering or email them a very direct question – what do you want to discuss? and see if they reply.

Every time their names appear in my email box, my BP goes through the roof. I’m driving up the stock value for whatever company makes Rolaids thanks to the churning stomach acid that rises when I think about dealing with them. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?


SuperMomdel said...

I might go to the meeting, but invite a friend of your own along as a witness, possibly wearing a wire or with a hidden tape recorder (LOL). Don't let them know in advance you will have company with you. This way, whatever goes down will have a friendly witness. I'll volunteer to go, as I don't know any of you involved (at least, I don't think I do). I'd also try to make them pay for margaritas or sangria in the deal.

Michelle said...

Hmmm....tough. I say, to truly show your indifference to the petty arguments that arise when working with people who have different interests than you, you politely decline and leave it at that. If you are already fired up about these women, nothing good will come from meeting with them in person, especially if you already have a feeling of what they want to talk - or bash - you about.

If it comes to a head again, ask them directly what it is they need to speak with you privately about.

Writer Bug said...

Aww. It's awful that this is causing you so much stress! Can you call one of them and ask her what she wants to talk about? That way it's harder to evade the question, and it's more one on one. Otherwise I would ask, "What is it you want to talk about?" at the next big group meeting you're at.