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AIBU to let this woman bother me so much (and to ask for comebacks)

(42 Posts)
Anonynony Sun 25-May-14 08:22:58

This might be a bit ranty but I really need help dealing with this woman!

I volunteer every Saturday in a charity shop and for the most part I love it and get a lot from it. I'm mid twenties (because somehow I think that's relevant here) and have a nearly 3 year old and she's in her 60s.
This woman that I work with winds me up so much sometimes I feel like just walking out, it's ruining an otherwise brilliant experience for me.

For example, I've lost nearly 4st but have still got quite a bit to go but when we get new stock in, she'll hold up a lovely dress for instance and say in front of the whole shop "one day!" and similar remarks, when someone's offering biscuits etc she'll say really loudly "Oh don't offer any to Anon, she's not allowed". Yesterday a friend of hers who was in had lost a stone and a half and she called me over and told her friend to tell me how she did it, I had to listen to this woman giving me (frankly awful) weight loss tips for half an hour.

I've become very friendly with an older woman who comes in every Saturday and is a fellow book worm, when it's not busy we chat (by the way the charity shop is very over staffed so it's not like things aren't getting done) but she's bustle over and make up ridiculous things for me to do, embarrassing the lady I speak to because she makes it so clear she doesn't want us chatting.

I've been single for almost a year after coming out of a long term relationship with DDs dad and have started dating again in the last few months, just two guys in all but when I was telling them about the second guy and how on our third date we went to dinner, a waterfall and back to him house to walk his dogs she was saying Oh imagine what the neighbours thought and imagine if you were found dead everybody would be saying sure she was seeing a different fella a few weeks ago (3 dates with the previous guy too). I'm only giving specifics to get across what type of person she is, she's always making the same stupid jokes about sex and talking about "big dicks" but somehow she always finds a way to pass comment on my life. When I started there I had no life and THAT was her running joke!

I'm bringing my daughter away to Majorca in 2 days and she's made a few comments about staying about from men and because I'll have the poor child with me shock as if I'd dream of it!

AIBU to be so annoyed by all this? I usually get along with everyone but jeeesus she drives me mad! How do I deal with it?

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 25-May-14 08:25:52

Find another charity shop to volunteer in.

treaclesoda Sun 25-May-14 08:26:26

She sounds horrible.

Your two options are to either pretend that it doesn't bother you and be sickly sweet to her at all times. Or else to challenge her on it every time she says something, making sure everyone can see what an arse she is.

bubblegun Sun 25-May-14 08:32:00

My last job had someone like this. I stuck it out for years but people don't change. She's still there and still awful. I would say find another place to volunteer if you can.

PixieofCatan Sun 25-May-14 08:32:18

If leave and tell them why. Find another charity shop nearby and let your bookworm friend know about it. I've volunteered in a charity shop in the past and ended up not working on certain days to avoid one of the managers as she was similar to your woman.

Motherinlawsdung Sun 25-May-14 08:36:39

She is very rude. I think you should challenge her on the rudest things she says, especially about your weight. Take her aside and tell her that it's rude to make constant personal comments. If she then does it again challenge it right away "see, Hortensia, that's what I meant when I said I didn't want you to keep commenting on my appearance, please stop it" . Do this even if there are others there.
The other remarks about your personal life are trickier; perhaps you shouldn't offer her so much information about yourself? It's just giving her fuel.

Peekingduck Sun 25-May-14 08:36:47

I've been dealing with similar at work recently. I didn't want to be too full-on, but found these sort of comments seem to have worked:
"Wow! That sounded quite rude!"
"Ouch! Good job I'm not easily offended".
"I wish my love life was as exciting as you seem to think it is".
And - "With your imagination you should be writing novels".
As I started these gentle come-backs others at work started to notice what was happening and pick her up on the comments as well. She seems to have backed off, touch wood.

claig Sun 25-May-14 08:38:25

She sounds awful. She is a bully. I think you have to confront her by embarrassing her back. Everytime she says anything, just say "what is eating you?", "why are you so bitter?", "are you jealous or something?" etc etc

Don't back down from it, just keep repeating it loudly. She will get embarrassed that you have got her number and that other people hear it.

Then she will treat you with respect.

Catmint Sun 25-May-14 08:39:21

" it is unprofessional to talk about big dicks when we are volunteering, lets stick to the task in hand"

Greyhound Sun 25-May-14 08:48:01

What a stupid, evil old biddy. It would be a shame to leave the shop just because of her. I think you need to tell her that you won't put up with rudeness and that, if it continues, you will make a complaint.

Anonynony Sun 25-May-14 08:52:21

Peekingduck they are perfect, gentle enough that I won't be afraid to use them!

I wouldn't mind but she had to creep up to me at the end and be all nice asking me to get her cigarettes when I'm away angry, of course being the fool that I am I agreed!!

She's just so dog ignorant though, she can't seem to understand anybody living a different lifestyle to her. I'd hate to leave though as it's got such a great atmosphere apart from her, the charity benefits her family directly though so she will never leave. I'll start off with the gentle retorts. Any way of dealing with her pushing my little bookworm friend out? It's mortifying and rude and she doesn't stay half as long chatting as some of our other regulars!

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Sun 25-May-14 09:01:06

You could have a word next time she does it and say that it's not very charitable to make a customer feel awkward?

She sounds vile.

Or, you could see if book worm friend wants to go for a coffee on your break?

KatieKaye Sun 25-May-14 09:09:13

Could bookworm friend say to interfering colleague, "excuse me, I'm talking to this lady?"

If she continues to make catty remarks, say "it is rude to make personal comments." She is from the generation (as am I!) where that was absolutely the case.

The old MN standby of "did you mean to be so rude?" Would work too, along with "I beg your pardon?"' Said in icy tones and delivered with a hard stare.

Do not let her get away with this behaviour. Call her on it each and every time. She is trying to assert her authority over you, so demonstrate how ill founded this notion is by refusing to let her away with any rudeness.

vrtra Sun 25-May-14 09:11:14

Ooh don't get her cigarettes, when you get back tell her they are more expensive over there due to a new law. Really get into it :D

KatieKaye Sun 25-May-14 09:12:34

Do not get her the cigarettes!
You "forgot". Perhaps she has forgotten what it is like to have a small child? (Said Ian tone that implies she is very old indeed)

A useful technique is to use "dear" a lot when you are talking to her. It sounds perfectly pleasant, but...!

Eliza22 Sun 25-May-14 09:13:52

She sounds utterly vile. Presumably, you are volunteering in the shop? How is she in charge of everyone? She is narrow minded and judgemental and worse, voices her every thought without consideration for anyone. I'd speak to whoever is in charge and make it very plain that you don't give up your time to do a good deed to be treated in this intimidating way. It's a form of bullying. You are an adult. Her equal.

You could of course, just leave and work elsewhere. If you do, I'd still voice your opinions to "the organisation/whichever charity" because she'll probably do the same to the next volunteer.

I've volunteered and had to leave because they had me sat at a computer screen for 4+ hours, checking bank account numbers against donation standing order amounts (it was an international Aid project). I'd told them, categorically that I struggle with numbers (in the way a person with dyslexia does with words/letters) and have dyscalculia. I left, but not before I told them that they'd put me to work in the most inappropriate way possible!

Anonynony Sun 25-May-14 09:15:58

Really appreciate the replies, they're preparing me!

Bookworm friend was great actually she did say "Oh it'd be a shame if charity shops were to get too business like and lose the friendly atmosphere and chat", that left HorribleWoman bumbling.

The weight thing really bothers me though as she does it in such a jovial way it'd be hard to outwardly take offense if you know what I mean? It's so embarrassing though and she brings it up at least six times a day!

OwlCapone Sun 25-May-14 09:19:45

She is socially inept but I think your relative ages are irrelevant.

I not convinced she is being deliberate rude, I get the impression that she feels she's being friendly but has got it wrong. For that reason, Peekingduck's suggestions are perfect.

Anonynony Sun 25-May-14 09:20:33

Yeah I'm raging I agreed to get the cigarettes now, I hate even being responsible for her money (she did pay me for them)

She's not even a manager but because she has family links to the charity she seems to think she is, the manager is lovely and has pulled her up a few times on making me do stupid things for the sake of it. I might have a little casual word with her if it continues!

ilovelamp82 Sun 25-May-14 09:21:08

Every time she says something I would be so tempted to say something like. "I understand that people back I in your generation or when they get to your age can be a bit blunt, but actually I find it really offensive/upsetting. I just thought I should tell youbecause I can't imagine that it's your intention to be so rude or hurtful" A little taste of her own medicine to make your point clearly.

Spherical Sun 25-May-14 09:21:09

Just say you will do it when you are finished with this customer.

Also agree that you don't get the cigarettes - say you didn't have time or forgot or that you decided it would be wrong for you to buy cigarettes when your daughter was with you.

winkywinkola Sun 25-May-14 09:24:22

I wouldn't be revealing anything about my personal life to such a creature. She will only use it against you over and over.

I would leave. There's little point in staying as it's not going to get any better. I would definitely make it clear why I am leaving though.

WhereTheWildlingsAre Sun 25-May-14 09:25:55

Tell her out right that you have changed your mind about the cigarettes. No more beating about the bush with this woman!! She sounds properly nasty and you owe no pleasantries

Peekingduck Sun 25-May-14 09:32:17

Simple and short responses are the key. Anything too involved and, I don't know about you, but I start to lose my way half way through. The weight comments are hurtful, so tell her.
"I wish you wouldn't keep on about my weight, you're starting to hurt my feelings".
"Hang on, I've lost 4 stone, I can have the odd biscuit now and then". Or "I'll decide what I can and can't eat thanks very much".
Holding up dresses - "Please don't do that, it's starting to get on my nerves".
When she barges in on you and bookworm friend talking stop, listen, then "I'll do that when we're finished here". Or even just say OK and resume your conversation.
Is she in charge? Is she actually in a position to dole out work to you?
As for the inappropriate comments I'd just vote with my feet and walk away every time she starts.

OwlCapone Sun 25-May-14 09:32:43

Yeah I'm raging I agreed to get the cigarettes now,

Give her the money back and say "I'm really sorry, I've thought about this I his and I don't want my DD seeing me buying cigarettes. They are SO impressionable at that age."

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