Thursday, June 14, 2007


I try not to get annoyed.

But I do anyway. It's just about manners - or common courtesy.

Back at the beginning of the netball season, the mother of a kid in #2's team rang me to ask if I could take her daughter to training on Thursday afternoons because she works. I didn't know her (yet) but I said fine, while trying to shrug off a slight feeling of irritation that I tend to get in these situations. I'm happy to car pool anytime, but I can be a bit hypersensitive when parents who work 'use' me because I don't. (Yet I very often feel inferior because I don't have a job.) The kids go to the same school - this kid is a couple of years below Alison - and I only have to go a block or so out of my way. And this mother reckoned she could drop Alison home. AND, as is inevitable, I found out just recently that she's a single mum, so, yeah, she doesn't really have a choice about work... so I felt guilty for feeling annoyed. Not everyone has the luxury of choice to stay home and taxi my kids around that I have.

After one week of training we were away for a week on the Big Ride, and first Thursday back I got just about to training with Alison before we realised we'd forgotten to pick up this kid! I drove the 5 km back to get her, then back again, because I would have felt guilty about not taking her as I'd committed to!

A few weeks later we turned up to pick her up one afternoon, and she wasn't there. Her older sister didn't have a clue where she was. The next week when I picked her up I asked where she was. She said she forgot about training. And her mother apparently went crook on her for forgetting. I did think it was a bit odd that her mother never rang to apologise - as I would have in the reverse situation. OR made the kid ring. That's what I would have done with my kid in the same situation! Just manners. Common courtesy.

The first few weeks of training I'd stayed - mainly to help the new coach find her way around - plus I got gasbagging to people, so I'd never taken her up on the offer to bring Alison home. When I saw her she insisted she could, so since then I had let her. May as well take up the offer.

Then a few weeks back Ali was really late getting home. The kid had babbled something about her mother possibly being late, but I did think it would have made sense for her to ring me if she was going to be delayed. Instead the poor volunteer coach had to wait in the dark and cold for this woman to come! I rang the coach myself to apologise (even though it wasn't my fault!) And I left a message on this mother's answering machine to say to not hesitate to call me if she's having difficulty getting away from work. Never heard from her.

Hmmm. Oh well.

But today! I turned up to pick the kid up, and the older sister said she'd been taken to training with her Nanna!! Gee, thanks for letting me know!

When I got to training I said to her 'Where were you, M?...I came to pick you up!'.

"Oh, my Nana brought me."

"OK, but I didn't know that! Perhaps you could have let me know you didn't need a lift!"

"We didn't have your phone number."

"Huh?.. I meant Mum could have let me know." (as her mum does have my number!)

"Mum didn't know Nanna was taking me."


So, yeah, not the Mum's fault. BUT. If I don't get a phone call from her to apologise, I am going to STAY annoyed. And very tempted to just not turn up to pick the kid up next week.

Or am I just being over sensitive?

[Actually, I found out that the mum DID know.. the older sister told Alison that the kid was supposed to tell Alison at school. Also, I do know that they have to move house in a week or so, and that the mother was pretty stressed about it I suppose that should constitute mitigating circumstances...]


Okay - you have a right to be annoyed - but sometimes people need the frying pan applied - I know it is not your fault (and I am ducking your frying pan now) BUT some people do not get those subtle courtesy hints.

Put it on the line to her. Obviously the fact that the Nana just took her rather than considered someone was coming to collect means that this blindness to social niceties is multi-generational and therefore she may never have been taught to apologise for stuffing people around.

It took therapy for me to get over the fact that I was requesting things or wanting certain actions from others when I was obliquely referring to them, as that is the way that my family did it. Sometimes what comes natural to some because that is what they were told to do is not so easy for others who have never learned.

That being said, you have a right to be darned annoyed - but tell it to her straight (practice in front of the mirror if necessary) so that she can realise the error of her ways. It doesn't have to be "aggressive" (hence the mirror practice) but she should know that it is not acceptable to take you for granted.
yep tell her upfront that you need to know whether her child will be there to be collected for netball every week because while you are happy to help, you aren't happy about being inconvenienced

or you could play it cool and not pick the kid up one week and see what reaction that brings. tell her that you thought her Nanna was taking her from now on.

it shits me when people ask for your help but obviously don't appreciate it because they abuse it.
I'd feel used. Courtesy seems to be forgotten here both by the mother and child.
Yay! They're moving? I see this as a solution. Please let them move to a suitable location, that is one in which it is inconvenient for you to pick her up at all. *fingers crossed for you*

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?