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I never would have thought as much, but I’m seriously beginning to wonder!

Putting together this Support Group has really opened my eyes. I recently encountered another set-back that really made me question what the hell is wrong with people!

I had spent 3 hours on the phone with a woman who works for a ‘statewide’ organization, listening to her talk about how my Support Group could partner with her and meet the needs of all the folks we could potentially reach.

She explained how she provides training regarding Intellectual Disability Services and has a hard time getting parents to attend, often having to cancel scheduled trainings. I shared that I would like to provide trainings to the parents in my group, therefore perhaps we could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

She told me there were at least 4 topics she could present that would be appropriate for my group.

I explained more about my group, that I was just getting started and we were struggling to find a location to meet. She made a bunch of suggestions and I explained to her what I’d tried thus far. I told her what day of the week and what time we wanted to meet and that that seemed to be part of the problem in finding a location.

I told her I’d be interested in having her speak in November, to my group. She was very excited and enthusiastic at the prospect of being able to fulfill her contract for trainings and partner with me to reach more people.

This past week, I emailed her, wanting to firm up details as to her being a guest speaker in November. I received a troubling email that brought with it a flood of tears, emotion and what has become an ongoing feeling of betrayal by the people who volunteer to be part of this group but recant or simply don’t follow through.

She scolded me that she only works Monday through Thursday, so a Saturday meeting was out of the question. She went on to tell me that the time I would be able to allot for her presentation was inadequate because to get ‘credit’ for a training, from the agency she worked for, it needed to be 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours long. She then told me she wouldn’t come here because she lives 4 and a 1/2 hours from this area (she’d told me she gave 2 presentations here last year, one at our local library and one at an agency in the city). She went on to tell me she brought her daughter home on weekends and wanted to spend that time with her husband and daughter so no exceptions would be made.

She suggested that I hold my meeting on a different night during the week so she could attend, or provide some means to either teleconference or video conference so she could present to my parents from home. She said there were numerous possibilities for how we could resolve the conflict.

I sent her a very diplomatic response, being very careful about every word I chose, thanking her for the offer and ideas about mitigating the conflict, but suggested that I would wait until a later time, once my group was more established and I had some idea what topics were of greater concern to the parents of the group. I told her I’d keep it in mind and was sorry for the misunderstanding that had apparently taken place.

She responded back telling me no misunderstanding had occurred, I had never told her a day or time of my meeting because if that had been discussed she’d have never offered to speak.

I’ve been dealing with this sort of nonsense now for months. One individual sponsoring my group had offered numerous times to organize childcare for my group, telling me that was something she could and would happily do to help me with the ‘start-up’ process. At least four times I’ve asked her how she’s making out with that and her response has been, “oh, you want me to do that for you then?” I finally just told her it was okay, I’d decided against providing childcare due to the increased liability and added distraction involved.

Securing a location for us to meet included this sort of ridiculousness as well, as the facility was told we were looking for a free space, space to be donated. They said sometimes there is a donation made by organizations, but it’s ‘optional’. They approved our application then told us they had set a donation amount for us to pay monthly. When I asked if that was a deal breaker because we were looking for a donated space they said it might be. They did offer to let us use the space for 4 months free of charge, but will then expect us to begin paying a ‘donation’ for the space in January.

The individual sponsoring my group offered to print some brochures and flyers for me to use when I speak at a local provider agency about the group. I emailed them to her on July 19. I waited, watching the mail, as she had promised to mail them to me, some of them I needed to then mail to a parent in another county so she could post them. Yesterday I received an email from the individual asking me to mail her the brochure and flyer so she could have them printed before she leaves for vacation. She then sent a second email indicating I might have sent them and they were ‘lost in a pile of emails’. I emailed them to her a second time.

How can people who call themselves ‘professionals’ behave this way?

When I try to act with integrity and diligence I am ridiculed for it… when I try to be thorough and efficient I’m accused of trying to make other people feel inferior… because I strive to do the best I can possibly do I’m accused of thinking I’m perfect.

What I want to know is, instead of condemning me for having a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, why don’t these people get their own shit together?

Being competent seems to be looked upon as a character flaw.

A friend reminded me of a Chinese Proverb she’d shared with me a couple of years ago… “The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it.”

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