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Handling daily contact with someone who has it in for you

(78 Posts)
HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 18:19:01

I wondered if anyone might know a way properly to handle this type of situation...I'm not sure whether to call it bullying, as such, but it's definitey very uncomfortable and keeping me up at night.

It's the head at ds's school.

Basically I have to see this person most days if only briefly. I've had enough contact with her over the last year to be aware (I am almost certain) that she operates by intimidation and implication. That is, she will make underhand remarks, subtle attacks, imply that you are 'one to watch' and a threat to the school system, infer things that are not true (later admitted in person but not on paper) and will continually try to approach me in order to make what appear at first to be 'friendly' comments, but which are anything but.

I have managed it today by responding with a set smile and a 'mmm' or a 'oh, mm!' to her attempts to speak to me. I don't know what else to do.

Our last meeting in the summer term was a farce, following a written exchange (I tried to keep everything in writing) during which she accused me of a suspicious pattern of absence regarding ds, which I refuted as above. It ended with her comment 'well we'll just keep an eye on him/it next year' which was, coming from this woman, practically a threat.

She is angling for some other issue to attack me with. I probably sound like a paranoid loon but most of the parents I've spoken to actively dislike her, my mother has met her and finds her obnoxious too.
Any suggestions much appreciated - ds likes his new teacher, but I am struggling to go there twice a day because the HT will be lurking in the playground and seek me out.

Help blush

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:03:58

I really need some help with this...have been googling to find articles on subtle bullying eg from a boss at work, but it isn't helping much. The things she does are so subtle that they'd look stupid if I took it higher - not that there is a higher to take it to. sad

I'm dreading every pick up, I need to figure out a way to handle it or make her pick on someone esle.

Is it better to somehow stand up to it? If so how do I do this?

I really appreciate any help, thanks for reading sad

AnyFucker Mon 07-Sep-09 20:07:33

can you change your dc's school ?

Hormonesnomore Mon 07-Sep-09 20:14:23

Can you tell us why you need to see the head teacher every time you drop off & pick up your DS?

I haven't had the same experience but have worked with someone who sounds similar to her and found that the less contact I had with her the better.

The responses you are making to her comments are good - the less you react, the less she can pick on.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Sep-09 20:15:49

we never see our headteacher from one week to the next

are you saying she deliberatly lies in wait for you, and you alone ??

I am a bit confused, tbh

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:19:17

Funnily enough, this is his second school. We left the last one due to a flexi-schooling-situation which unfortunately they decided not to support any more, and revoked their offer of a full time place in yr1...I felt bullied out of that establishment, actually, and the HT here knows I am slightly less pro school than she would like me to be - in that I am less concerned about ds's academic talents than his emotional wellbeing. I hope that doesn't sound simplistic but her position from the very start was 'what can he DO' and I think the first school 'tipped her off' that I was trouble, as it were - when actually the part time was agreed and they initially were very happy to hold the place for yr1.

I think she finds me a threat, somehow - though ds has never had a day off for anything other than health reasons at this school, in almost a year, he did get a lot of bugs last year and attendance was 86%. I was careful after the previous school situation but she still doesn't trust me, clearly. I don't knowhow much longer i can keep up the breezy nonchalant honest approach,(knowing I have done nothing wrong) when inside I am terrified of her.

Do you think she wants me to like her? It's just beyond my understanding the way she is acting.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Sep-09 20:21:44

I get the impression you are overthinking this

Just carry on as if everything is ok

Then it will be

cocolepew Mon 07-Sep-09 20:21:50

She mustn't do much if she has time to lie in wait for for. I dislike my DDs Hm I just ignore her.

cocolepew Mon 07-Sep-09 20:22:09

for you.

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:22:17

Sorry, x posts.
She lurks in the playgroudn most mornings and afternoons.

She will often walk right past behind me, if I a talking to other parents etc in a subtle 'I am watching you and will find a moment to speak to you' way, and she does find me alone usually at some point and will corner me - sometimes when ds2 has run off and is on the forbidden climbing frame thing, which all the toddlers love and isn't fenced off - and start talking to me there.

She tries to make sure nobody else can hear her.

Seriously - it sounds bizarre but she is determined to find a way to - I don't know what, blacken my name somehow, make me leave?

Sorry sounds so melodramatic. It feels horrible.

CybilLiberty Mon 07-Sep-09 20:23:24

But what could she actually do to you? Is she nasty to your child?

As you are literally only on the premises for minutes a day, surely avoidance is the best option.

You do sound a little paranoid I'm afraid. I'm sure she has more important issues than a parent whose ideas on education don't match hers.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Sep-09 20:24:19

It does sound melodramatic, tbh

Has anyone else noticed or commented on this strange behaviour?

Are you sure you are not just projecting some of your anxiety from the problems you had with the last school?

nellie12 Mon 07-Sep-09 20:25:02

what is she saying to you though? is she chatting in general or is it issues to do with ds and if so how often is she raising issues?

cocolepew Mon 07-Sep-09 20:25:54

Why would she want you to leave though? IGNORE her, walk off.

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:26:43

last term it was insisting on a meeting about ds's attendance (nobody else had a meeting and I know people who are late every single day)

She said it was because of a suspicious pattern of absence, when pressed - then at the meeting and after I'd written a letter stating the pattern she mentioned was wholly inaccurate - she retracted that, then went on to ask leading questions until I mentioned keeping him off one day because he had literally coughed all night and was echausted. She went mad about that, as though that in itself was meeting worthy and obviously indicated that all his absences were due to 'tiredness' hmm

which was bullshit really. She then ended the meeting saying about keeping an eye next year.

If you knew her you would understand it as the threat it was. She's so nasty - I've heard many stories about her picking on other parents.

Pannacotta Mon 07-Sep-09 20:27:14

If you are really concerned and this feeling carries on then how about meeting up with another mother en route to pick up or trying to make sure you are busy chatting and occupied when you collect your DS, which would should help you feel in a stronger position.

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Mon 07-Sep-09 20:27:36

It sounds AWFUL sad

Some people are just barking though. She sounds power-hungry and objectionable - I bet loads of other parents think she has it in for them too.

Avoid eye contact - if she targets you, just be non-committal and vague

I don't think you're being melodramatic or paranoid btw

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:28:00

I'm not being melodramatic - really I'm not. There are plenty of us that hate her. She's just clever at it so we can't do anything.

CybilLiberty Mon 07-Sep-09 20:28:15

She probably has attendance targets to meet so is focussing on those with low figures. And at 86%, you fall into that category. I'm still not sure how she can drive you out of school TBH.

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:30:20

Thanks Greeny, and Panna - I do keep busy chatting etc but she waits, seriously. For some reason she hates some of us.

The things she's done to another mum are worse but I can't recall the details now. It was very personal afaik.

I am afraid she will trip me up and use it to get rid, or just continue to exert psychological pressure. It's really unpleasant, even if it isn't a literal threat - which it could become, as she is in a position of power.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Sep-09 20:31:16

I am not excusing her approach, but 86% attendance is very poor unless your son has a chronic illness of some kind

CybilLiberty Mon 07-Sep-09 20:31:21

But she's not your boss. She can't sack you

HelenaBonhamCarter Mon 07-Sep-09 20:34:28

AF - I can give you the exact rundown of why he was off in every instance. It was his first full year at school. He caught everything available smile

I ran through it all in my letters and the meeting, again. I asked her if she wanted him abck the day after a vomiting bug and she did say no at that point...

Fizzylemonade Mon 07-Sep-09 20:34:48

If you see her making her way over to you pretend your mobile phone has just rang. I am aware that you can't constantly be on the phone grin

Walk away toward your ds2 and the climbing frame.

I sadly totally understand where you are coming from with daily encounters from someone who tries to make you feel small. It does sound crazy and an over-reaction to anyone who hasn't been through this.

She is in a position where you can't just tell her to go shaft herself (mine was the same) so it means you are unable to fight back so to speak.

It is easy for everyone to say ignore her but I have experienced that creeping dread of meeting a particular person. You don't really have a need to talk to her so see if you can chat to someone or face the other direction to the one she comes from.

I ignored the person who tried to belittle me and it went on for over a year with me just pretending like she didn't exist.

CybilLiberty Mon 07-Sep-09 20:36:16

Yes I think you either should ignore at all costs where possible or have a meeting and face her head on.

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