I’m sitting here, so annoyed.
And it’s not even at my job!
It’s actually at my volunteer organization. It’s something I’ve been doing for a couple of years now. I do it because I enjoy it, because I think our mission (such as it is) matters, and because it exposes me to a lot of great things of the literary variety. We’re not well known, we’re not huge, and we probably won’t ever be, but it’s been fun.
I took over the reigns of a particular aspect of the operation in mid-June. I lead a team and am supposed to work in conjunction with another team to get stuff posted to our website. But the leader of this other team thinks that she has ultimate say and authority over what I do. It is infuriating.
For starters, we’re all volunteers. It’s common knowledge that her job doesn’t tax her very much. But it’s also common knowledge (because I told all staff at a meeting) that I have a new job and that my time during the week would be limited as I adjusted into my new role. This was acknowledged and supposedly understood.
It’s assumed that my team’s role is easy, but I’ve explained that, since we’re the last line of defense before anything goes up on website, we ultimately answer to the president of the org and have to act accordingly. She thinks we’re just glorified formatters, apparently.
My entire team hold day jobs; they do their volunteer duties mostly on the weekends. We keep up with every piece and, since I brought on new volunteers for my team, have been in a position where we’re consistently clearing our inbox. I work very closely with the person who schedules the content; when something’s needed, I make sure it’s there, ready for upload. But no, I’m constantly getting emails from this person about how I need to “get on the ball” with my role. Part of it is that she doesn’t understand how we work; I haven’t had an opportunity to report back on exactly how our team flows, so I understand there’s miscommunication here. But instead of asking me what’s going on, this person:
- Emails to the entire senior group with callouts saying that I need to step it up.
- When I volunteer to take on an extra job (like setting up a social media account), I get snark about how, since I don’t allow other people access to my team’s inbox, the social media account should be linked to another email address (never you mind that I set her up as an admin and I don’t have access to her team’s inbox, either).
- When she could log into my inbox, I’d get emails about “how behind” my team was. Um, at that point, I had just started my new job, was seeking new volunteers, and had a grand total of two other people helping me out. So yes, we were behind. Thanks for pointing it out. I then revoked her access, explaining that I wanted to give my new members some time to get adjusted to the flow of the work.
Why she thinks she should have access to my team’s inbox is beyond me. Why she thinks I report to her is beyond me. Why she thinks that throwing me under the bus in front of the entire team is a good way to get me to respond is beyond me. I’ve tried to be responsive in situations where it was merited: quick turnarounds, things that may have gone missing. But in working the day to day, my team is doing so much better than this past spring and winter. What the fuck is up with all the passive aggressive snark?
The person who was in my position before me tells me that she’s had run-ins with this person all the time, too. Sigh.
We’re supposed to have a team meeting soon in which I said I wanted to update the staff on how my team operates now that I better understand the role. I do plan on saying to this person that her approach is not productive and that she is stepping on toes (though I will find a better way to say it).
Today was the latest in her snark attacks. Our boss sent us both a private email saying that the public shaming had to stop, and that issues of communication had to be discussed. However, he told me that he realized that I was getting dogged for no good reason.
So we’ll see how this ends up. But my patience is wearing thin.