Am I being set up?(13 Posts)
I work for a company which has a yearly event open to the public with proceeds which go to charity. The success of the event relies on various factors: namely advertising, the weather and the economic climate. I ran it (as a favour - not part of my contract, nor paid) for the first time this year, as the woman who normally does it was away on compassionate leave.
I went to her house for the handover under the impression she was going to tell me how she ran it all the previous years, but she was not able to give me any information about it, so I had to start from scratch, creating my own mailing list, advertising and marketing contacts. It's for charity, so none of this was competitive information and she had no reason not to give it to me.
I pulled off the event on top of my normal work hours and various family issues of my own, with a load of blood sweat and tears over 6 months of preparation. I figured as it was for charity, I was happy to do all the extra work and that we were all in it together and trying to help each other out.
There was about 10% less money made through attendance than there was last year for the event. This is bearing in mind that the other woman had been doing it for ten years so had got it down to an art, apparently, but sadly failed to pass on any of that "art". My superiors seem happy, have thanked me for organising and acknowledged my hard work.
The only trouble is, straight after the event and in the weeks since, I have received what I can only describe as dozens of complaints from polite to bordering on absolutely horrible via phone and email about how disappointing the event was this year and how low the attendance was and how much less money was made. They are from members of the public who attended - not from the charity. Long, rambling voicemails about wanting refunds and wanting their complaints to be forwarded on to the charity and to my bosses.
I had given my personal phone and email address due to the woman who'd run it previously "forgetting" the charity email address login and being unable to give it to me. So these people are calling my personal mobile and leaving messages.
Fair enough, you might think, it was 10% lower than last year, so they might be justified, but what I find odd is that they are all-bar-two, naming this other woman and saying that her events over the last ten years were better. It's so unlikely they would have this kind of information. After looking up a few of the people who complained, I have seen (on Facebook and other social media) that they are all friends with her.
AIU to find this odd? If I was a random member of the public making a complaint it would be generalised comparison of the two events, and not aimed at the person behind the email address I had access to, because I would know nothing about the inner workings and responsibilities of the company and who did what. For all they knew I could've just been a monkey at a computer typing out dictated emails from other people. I would certainly not make it a personal comparison to the woman who did it a year before. For context - it's like calling a catering company with no public face and telling them that Carole who made the egg sandwiches on Monday was better than Sue who made the egg sandwiches on Wednesday.
I am perfectly happy to accept that I didn't do it as well as her, but AIBU to feel that I am being set up? What should I do? My bosses seem happy with it, but I feel that I am in danger of this affecting my reputation at work and I am so frustrated that I worked so hard on this with so little access to information and am receiving these horrible complaints.
Have you spoken to your superiors at work about this? It sounds like the other woman is a loony tunes if she is getting people to complain about the event you organised with such specific detail.
It does sound odd. I would let your bosses know, ask them how/ if you should respond to the complainers, and put together a lessons learned list for next year and give it to the woman who did the handover, and copy your bosses in. Include 'proper documentation' and 'dedicated email address'!
I want to speak to them, but can you advise me how to word it subtly so I don't sound like a looney tunes too, or paranoid that I am being attacked?
I thought because this was a charity event we were all working together to make it a success! Not so!
You need to catalogue your evidence.
Keep a spreadsheet of every complaint, their phrasing, and their link to this woman.
She is trying to set you up, and whatever personal issues that are making her behave like this (as horrid as it is, clearly she isn't well or in a good place) you need to ensure that you're documenting the craziness.
I came on this thread, with the idea that people are rarely set up to fail, I know it happens, but it's not the norm. But having read through, it appears that you were indeed, you see, I would of run to my boss at the first hurdle when she would not part with the information, but you soldiered on and pulled it off.Id now meet with my boss and explain what's happened because I'd be worried that there was another element to this woman's master plan.
Make sure you keep all the emails and voicemails and present them to your bosses. Say that you are concerned and upset and have done some investigation (quite justifiable) and have discovered that all of these people are connected to the original organiser. If this woman was on compassionate leave, is she now back at work?
Honestly, whatever you say, if you present it as you have done here, you're not going to come across as a loon. She is. How strange.
Maybe present it as being worried about get erratic behavior considering she's on compassionate leave. Actually you might be concerned she may be acting out of character depending on what's going on in her life
I would definitely put together your evidence and present to your bosses. Sounds like she is setting you up, yes.
Yes, it does sound like a set up.
As others have already said, I would document the complaints and see if you can tie each person back to her. I would then make a list of all the difficulties you had with the event and have a meeting with your bosses.
It sounds like you managed to pull it off despite the lack of help from her. I would be very disappointed if she was a member of my staff so you should raise it. These type of things have a habit of coming back and biting people on the bum!
If it's going to your personal phone, how would anyone even know that these emails exist?
You can either keep quiet, and if anyone asks about them (how would they know? Is she also telling other people at work?) say that as they are all personal friends of hers and named her explicitly you, you decided not to embarrass her by bring this up.
Or no-one will ever know.
BUT - do keep records of who these people are, so that you have some proof to back up what you're saying.
TBH - when she first didn't give you the info I'd have been straight onto the charity to find out more. Never give your number out for a public event.
Have you had a chance to speak to your manager OP?
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