Another boundary update

As I posted earlier, I am volunteering on a professional committee to improve my resume to help get a job. There is this one lady I work with on a sub-committee that is toxic and emotionally I no longer can afford to be around her. So the chair has agreed that I give up that sub-committee and do other tasks. He understands she is hard to work with

So I emailed her and told her I would be stepping down from those duties. I basically said I was not getting any training of value, not being copied in on emails and a lot of time was wasted to do little amounts of work (ie the politically correct way of saying all she does is talk about irrelevant things)

She came back saying she did not know what I was talking about since we only had 2 meetings and casual conversations. The truth is, I can only remember one meeting for the sub-committee and seeing her at general meetings and trying to talk to her to get straight answers and she went on tangents and I never got anything answered

Then, she said gave a reason for not sending any emails but her grammar was so poor I have no idea what she meant. And then she said ‘this is a hard sub committee because we never get answers to our email’ :banghead: look who is calling the kettle black :rolleyes:

So I emailed her back and repeated that I was sorry for any inconvenience I had caused her and said that I needed to repeat any attempts I made to streamline the process was not well received and I can not work in disorganization. I then said ‘the reason I was to help you was to learn the position to take over next year. Since I am receiving no training of value there is no point staying on. You can still hand it to someone next year and I am open to taking it and starting from scratch’

I do NOT know how to proceed from here. I do NOT want to get into an argument over how the work is done for 2 reasons

1-) If I point out what I want to be done differently, I fear it will turn into a 45 minute argument where she gets defensive

2-) If we solve the work issues, then I will be forced to admit the real reason is she is toxic.

How should I proceed from here?

You sent her mixed messages: I’m stepping down but I’m willing to come back and work with you. Which is it? You muddied the waters this time, not her.

You have informed her of your decision to step down.

No further discussion or explanations are required on your part.

I would not respond to any future emails from her. If she does continue to email you, respond to her ONCE reminding her you have stepped down from this position. If she continues to email you, block her emails and inform the chair of her continual attempts to email you.

As others said on your previous thread, if there is any way possible to gain the professional and/or personal growth you are seeking from this organization anywhere else – GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND SHAKE THE DUST FROM THIS ORGANIZATION FROM YOUR SHOES!

Think about it, all the time you have spent agonizing over this could have been spent productively towards YOUR professional development.

You already quit. Just don’t respond to any more emails. You probably shouldn’t have even sent the second one. I seriously doubt she is interested in giving you her position at this point anyway. Write off this experience and look elsewhere for professional development :shrug:

That’s the end of the discussion.
IF you want to answer her one more time – and you are under no obligation to do so – merely point out that the chairperson has agreed to this.
After that, do not respond to her emails. If she tries to bring it up in person, just say “as you know, the chairperson agreed to this,” and find someplace else to be.

LOL. This is one of the things I get paid to handle. Committees, subcommittees, personalities, facilitating, organizing, fielding complaints, losing my appetite…

First of all, you resigned from the subcommittee. Were you/Are you involved with the full committee? Is there another subcommittee you can join?

Second, you mentioned “starting from scratch” next year. Is this woman leaving the subcommittee next year? Are you still taking over next year? Is there someone else on the subcommittee you can learn from?

Has the chair of the committee done anything to keep the subcommittee organized and moving along? Or is he/she ignoring the trouble in hopes it will resolve itself (which it did by your resignation)?

There really might be good cause to drop out of it now and return when she isn’t there anymore. Don’t think of it as quitting so much as realigning for a better opportunity.

Not necessarily. The issues can be solved for other reasons, like commitment to the mission of the subcommittee/committee, reorganization to fit with more effective strategies, refocused objectives, etc.

Why, if you have resigned from the subcommittee, did you email a response?

So my advice?


Imagine you are dealing with a child. One that doesn’t want to listen to you. DON’T give explanations. DON’T give reasons.

All you should have done is resigned. There was no reason to state this

I basically said I was not getting any training of value, not being copied in on emails and a lot of time was wasted to do little amounts of work (ie the politically correct way of saying all she does is talk about irrelevant things)

Honestly? It sounds like you had to get your digs in.

If you don’t want to get into an argument with her, don’t do things like that.

If you do, then don’t pretend that she is crossing boundaries because you are pulling her across.

Just to clarify, I did not say I would come back to work with her. I told her if she wants to give it up next year I will take it over and start from scrath

:blush: Excuse me for butting in here. I admit I don’t know exactly what you are talking about since I am not a professional anything. But whenever I have wanted to resign something I don’t say something like “you are impossible to work for” I say something like “I have an elderly mother who I need to care for,” “my work schedule has changed” or “I been having back problems.” Ahem. Trust me I have quit things because of people who were violating boundaries and common sense. They don’t know what they are doing or they probably wouldn’t be doing it. I have no idea why I have a reputation for having a bad back or a sickly mother. But Ms. Toxic will probably be there forever. :shrug:

I agree with what’s already been said.

Did she need to know you were stepping down? Yes. Did she need to know it from you? That depends on the company and how it’s handled. If so, did she need to know your personal reasons for stepping down? **No. **

So you already gave her more information than necessary for a simple resignation from the position, and some of it seemed solely intended to insult her, no matter how manipulatively you worded it. Well, okay, you made a mistake. Just don’t go any lower.

Don’t get into an argument about “how the work is done.” By your own choice, you are no longer part of the sub-committee, so it’s neither your problem* nor any of your business *how the work is done. You can’t control her, so stop trying. Let it go, and handle the work you have now with the energy and effort you’ve been wasting on her.

Forgive her, learn from this, and move on. :cool:

In future, consider any “toxic” co-workers to be strictly on a “need-to-know” basis.

This. Ignore her texts as she is no longer relevant to your experience.

That was your first mistake. You shouldn’t have engaged her at all. Let it go. I am starting to think you are enjoying this drama. :shrug:

You didn’t need to do this, it would have activated her all over again. :mad:

I agree.

Why would anyone stir the pot like that?

If the OP wanted to leave, just leave, you don’t have to take pot shots on the way out.

If those things are true, great (and I’m assuming they were). But if not, I want to clarify that I don’t think it’s necessary to lie.

A friend of mine likes to say, “Always tell the truth… but don’t always tell it.”

In other words, be truthful about the information you choose to give, but give only as much information as is truly necessary. It’s also *not *necessary to give a more detailed reply when someone asks for more information than they are entitled to have.

In addition, there is often more than one reason, and, depending on the situation and the person asking, you probably don’t need to give all of the reasons or even necessarily the main one. Usually, “personal reasons” is enough information for a co-worker, regardless of how nosy and pushy they are. :wink:


necessary to give a more detailed reply when someone asks for more information than they are entitled to have.


Yes I am the secretary of the full committee which means I will be seeing her at the general meetings

This woman has been running the sub-committee for years and she wants to had it over to someone else and take on a different role. She originally asked me if I wanted to learn it and take over since she wants to hand it off

I discussed with the chair. He agrees she is disorganized and every hard to be around. However, since she always manages to pull things off at the last minute, there is nothing concrete to hold against her. The chair is also of the opinion that with responsibility comes freedom and people can run their sub-committees the way they want.

The reason I told her I might take it over next year is because that is what I agreed to when I met with the chair

I have to humble myself and agree there is probably a lot of truth to what you are saying. Perhaps it stems from all the hurt I have inside because of all that has happened. Also, I am a bit fearful because I know I will be seeing her at general meetings. I will be polite and keep the conversation about the weather. Also, if she tries to ‘latch on to me’ and talk when the meeting is over I will have to firmly say ‘I need to go now’

But that is just the point. YOU do not have to tell her anything. Let the chairman tell her, if he wants to. Just smile, say hello, and then head in the other direction.

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