Monday, January 24, 2011

Offputting: Redux

One has to have sympathy, and I do. This couple's son died from brain cancer not too long ago. And I live in a very small village. And I have yet to see another laser printer in anyone's house.

I have written of Elsie before here.

This is a verbatim conversation I just had with her on the telephone:

Me: Hello?

Elsie: You need to type up a letter for me right away.

Me: I can't do that, I have other commitments right now.

Elsie: This is important.

Me: So are my WORK commitments.

Elsie: Not as important as this, my post office box in Ontario is costing me $90 a year and I need it cancelled because.......blah blah blah.... full boring story of the history of the post office in Canada and how tenants blah blah...son's death.... she shouldn't have to pay.... blah blah blah......

Me (10 minutes have now gone by): Elsie, I have to go, other line is ringing (lie).

Elsie: I don't hear it, I don't even hear a beep, I don't hear anything.

Me: It's on hold (flustered, lying yet again.)

Elsie: Ha-ha. Now you should be finished sometime later on with your work, I'll be up at 9 tonight.

Me: That doesn't work for me Elsie.

Elsie (getting nastier): Heck! No one can be that busy, 10 tonight then but you're pushing it.

Me: It would have to be tomorrow.

Elsie, One of those awful sighs: Oh heck - I'll be there at 11 ayem right on the dot. And you'd better come up with some good wording for the hecky post office and put them in their place. I'll need 4 copies.

Me (weary, beaten down, angry with self): OK.

She hangs up the phone without another word. She never says thank you. Never does the courtesy how are yous, etc.

I just hate how she makes me feel. Small. Mean. Angry. Used. Childish.


  1. My ex always agreed to whatever unreasonable requests were made of him, he had a reputation for being very easygoing and obliging. But if he didn't feel like doing whatever it was, he just didn't. No excuses or explanations, he just didn't. So he also had a reputation for being quite unreliable. Everybody liked him but they'd shake their heads and say how nice but unreliable he was. He was well aware of it and it was deliberate on his part.

    When all else fails, just say yes and be unreliable. I think you should go on an extended shopping trip tomorrow, at oh say 10.30 am. Apologize later: it clean slipped yer mind!

  2. Oh, my, I find people like her the hardest to deal with. You had lots of advice with your last post on her, and Annie's suggestion here, so I'll just sympathize wholeheartedly.

  3. I find people like that just as hard to deal with. People who simply won't take no for an answer, they keep pushing and pushing. Totally infuriating. Easy to say just refuse to help her but that takes more steely determination and ruthlessness than most of us possess.

  4. Next time she calls, don't answer the phone...

  5. Holly Cow, thats all i have to say

  6. Pauline:
    That escalates the situation! She shows up at the door and then if I don't answer she calls the police.
    Answering is the only thing without involving the police.

  7. Annie:
    You (or your ex-hubbie) gave me a brilliant idea.
    I'll agree and then vanish and keep vanishing until it might penetrate her incredible brain neurons that I'm NOT going to do it.
    I've put in a lot of time for other people here and very gladly and joyfully but she really takes the cake for her unbeleivable interference and rudeness. I've never met anyone quite so extreme in her behaviour.


  8. You could tell her that as this is work to you she will be charged $50 up front.....then you could suggest that pen and paper work just as well.

  9. I realize it may be a challenge, but methinks you have to tell this user that her using days are over. Might start with a plain old "no" and repeat it as many times as it takes for her to hear it. Not sure if my philosophy is correct or not, but I think that users will continue as long as the usees let them get away with it. I'd suggest when she shows up to just tell her that you're unable to help her any further. There might be some screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes, but just like gas, that too will pass. :-)

    Bonne chance ma chere!

  10. I'm with Annie. Duck an run. I used to know a woman like her. All the imposing got very old, very fast, I just did the duck & run til she found another to do her bidding.
    Be strong.

  11. What a control freak!

    Stick a note on the door for her saying something urgent came up and you had to go deal with it. Tell her you will get in touch when the crisis is over, then wait a week!

    I have an 84 year old aunt and on occasion she has called Elly (at work) and my brother to know if I was lying unconscious on the floor. All three of them live in Dublin - 128 miles away! I was here each time, the phone only gave three rings for each call. Why did I not answer? I was sitting on the loo!

  12. She sounds completely unreasonable, and in dire need of a reality check. Somehow.

  13. I'd simply put the telephone down in the midst of her demands. Don't answer the door if she visits (or as others suggest be out - but why should you inconvenience yourself by going out unless you want to?)

    You'll have to be as rude as she is for her to get the message. People like her don't understand any other language.

  14. I have someone like that living with me. I can relate to your angst. Within a home or in a small community, it can be very trying. More so, if they are also captious.

  15. I have a close male friend worryingly like that.

    He can come across as the most childish petulant demanding so and so, and often displays no tact or consideration at all, albeit not as rude as your neighbour.

    On the other hand when he is on form (ie not drinking), he can be the most charming, erudite, witty, generous-spirited man.

    A double-edged sword, but luckily he is now getting help to overcome the demons which make him behave so badly and has a good level of self-awareness and also guilt and shame.

    I don't see what you owe this woman though. It seems to be all take and no give in her case. Think I'd be tempted to tell her she should go employ a servant to do her bidding.

  16. I'm sorry I don't have any answers, because I cannot deal with people who are imposing like that. Why is she so demanding I wonder? And is there no family who can get to the bottom of it? Hope things get easier as the weather gets better and she can get out.

  17. Did you manage to avoid her? I think in this situation rudeness is completely called for and justified.

  18. Well, that just makes me want to give Elsie a hard kick in the pants!

    It is not easy to stand up for yourself. Doing so is a constant challenge, in this world.

    But doing so also strengthens your will and builds your self-esteem. This is why we need to do it, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

    Stand up to her. She is a bully.

    And good luck.


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