Travelling Through Life…making changes as I go

Working with dysfunctional groups

on January 9, 2015

Last year in April I joined the board of my alumni chapter for my university. I was excited and thought that this would be a good group of people to work with when I first met the group.

Over time I have realized that many don’t do their fair share of the work or hold their weight. Meetings get cancelled all the time. People talk big but provide very little in regards to actions.

So in August we had a big event that someone was working on. She seemed to wanted to do it all by herself to make herself look good. When I offered to help she flipped out and acted like I was stepping on her toes. I got ripped a new one when all this went down. See we were also susposto be planning a picnic for Alumni that was going to take place in October but you can’t start planning in mid September and think magically it will all come together. You don’t even want to know how many arguments there were regarding making a reservation at the park! So here were needing to get started on the picnic and all the focus was on the big event in August. I won’t even complain on 1/2 the stuff that happened with that event in August such as the parking fiasco that happened just hours before the event that very day that should have been worked out before.

When I mentioned in a meeting that we 1 need to all work together as we’re all on the committee working towards a common goal and that we should and can work on more than 1 task at a time. After I got Ripped a new on in late October/ early November I became less dedicated to the group.

At our last meeting in November they wanted to plan a General Meeting for all Alumni to attend in January. I did what was asked and reserved a conference room at campus. However more crap went down because someone on our board got kicked off because he was a registered sex offender and I found it on the internet. Despite my bringing it up to 2 other board members again I got ripped a new one by 1 member for not mentioning it sooner. Well actually I did why are you mad at me when I told 2 others? This is from the same person who doesn’t really do much for the chapter. I was excluded (intentionally or unintentionally) from emails that took place around this time about the person we got kicked off. Being questioned and attacked by this member at a restaurant where were meeting didn’t sit well with me. This individual leads the community service part of the alumni chapter. He stated that he was doing something and needed help but would never say when, where and what for because he didn’t know. Than he emailed me 2 days before asking for help which was during most peoples working hours. Hard to plan for.

We had a meeting in December and the next one on the books got cancelled and I guess I knew that it would either be a shit pile of planning at the last minute for this general meeting or be cancelled. So other than reserving the conference room, I never planned anything on the groups Facebook page or sent out an invite. I’ve seen history repeat itself and made my own executive decision that it would be best to leave the general public of the Alumni out of our disfunction.

On January 2nd we get an email saying lets meet but no time or date was provided and if there were replies I never saw one. So today I receive a text to cancel the conference room reservation and 20 minutes later when I reply that I will do it the person says don’t bother I already did it. Well good for you, why did you ask me to do it if you didn’t even give me time to do it?

I’ve reached a point that I want to walk away from this group because working with these people is adding stress and frustration but I don’t want to walk away because I don’t want to give up and I like the cause. However I have honestly never worked with such a dysfunctional group before.

What would you do? Have you dealt with this before? Would love to hear.


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