AIBU to think she is being manipulative?(4 Posts)
I am early 30s, and taking some time out from work to care for DCs. I'm currently volunteering for quite an important charity that is very relevant to my previous work and keeps up my professional skills allowing me to enter back more easily into the job market when I do. The charity is very small and it is just me and the head of the charity working at the moment. I am doing about 20 hours a week volunteering but can do it on my own time so easier to fit around DC. It was a competitive volunteer role, so I feel very chuffed to have the opportunity to do it.
The reason it was me and not someone else is because one of my old bosses from work recommended me and put me forward, as she is a trustee of the charity. She is wealthy, connected and quite powerful. We are friends but there is often a tricky undercurrent, and she will occasionally come out with some things which indicate she thinks women who "sell out to marriage and kids" are no good in the work place. She is highly competitive and I (and several of my female colleagues) have been made to feel that she looks down on us taking time off to bring up children. She is in her late 50s and unmarried and has not had any children.
I met up with her for coffee the other day and she wanted to complain to me about the head of the charity, who is a little old fashioned in his ideas. I thought she was just venting, and I agreed that he appeared a bit old fashioned and that I thought there were many parts of my work which I had tried to make more efficient for the good of the charity, but had come up against benign resistance. I also fully admitted that there were probably aspects of funding and relationships that I had no idea about, so I was in no position to troubleshoot or start diagnosing the problem. It was not a nasty conversation at all and was filled with a lot of positivity about the head of the charity and what great things he has done. But I thought we were just brainstorming ways we could gently improve the processes. If he had heard a recording of at least my side of the conversation, he would not have been offended at all.
She then said she had, had a great a idea, and that the solution was to complain about me and the quality of my work to the head of the charity and the board of trustees, in order to provoke the head to "ask himself" whether he is doing anything to hold me back. I was shocked and said absolutely no, I don't want you to do that, it will jeopardise my connection to this charity. She said but your work is so good that he will know immediately that the problem is him and not you.
AIBU to think she is being manipulative? Am I just being used as a pawn in this? What should I do?
I don't know if she's being manipulative (to what end?) or just plain bonkers. And I'm not even sure I understand exactly what she wants to do - complain about you in order to get someone else to look at themselves? If it is manipulation, then she's not very good at it, as it's pretty unlikely to achieve anything, except cause ill-feeling and waste everyone's time.
I would do nothing. Just get on with the role, and distance yourself from her as much as possible. Nothing may happen. But if it does, cross that bridge when you come to it.
Yep, stay away from her and do not say anything that could be construed as bitching whilst she is in earshot. She sounds at best odd.
That is a very weird plan, and only you will suffer from it.
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