Yesterday I was out delivering fliers to get the word out about this new community blog. There was a good chance many people wouldn’t be home but I decided to knock on doors and introduce myself, to show people I am earnest and real.
I found out there are some real, honest and forthcoming people living here. I would also like to address this underlying current. Nobody belongs to a community more than, or deserves more consideration than anybody else. I don’t care if you are blue with pink dots, can’t rub 2 cents or put two words together. Everybody is equally important and everybody contributes. Everybody deserves to feel welcome and their concerns addressed seriously (if you object to this, have the courage to comment).
I’m ashamed to admit it takes me a while to evaluate some of the games people have been recently playing with me (too uncomfortably long). I’m a grown, middle-aged woman and have never spent adequate time to equip myself against sabotage or manipulation, especially for a volunteering gig. I didn’t even consider there would be malicious motives.
This was all too apparent when I knocked on the door of another middle-aged woman who obviously knew about me. She peppered me with questions, packed with as much condescension as her little frame could muster. The attitude was very reminiscent of a mother scolding the child down the street. Her head was tellingly tilted back as to peer down her nose at me. “What horrible thing happened to you that made you do this” she asked, followed by “Do you belong to a committee” and “what are you trying to accomplish here”. One of her last questions was “Do you own a business downtown?” The biggest question I couldn’t answer was what happened when I tried to join a committee. Finally she decided to inform me where I went wrong – “You didn’t keep quiet for the first couple of meetings – you know – so everybody could get to know you first.” I’m sure she just thought she was being assertive, showing her strength, I have other words to describe it.
She already had her mind made up when I tried to explain that before promoting Blissfield, we should fix a few things first. She told me that Blissfield is working just fine the way it is…THANK you very much. I pointed out where my email was listed on the flyer and told her this is where she can send the hate mail. A short throaty laugh signaled an erupting smile as she turned and looked down, she then said “I wouldn’t do that”.
I walked away from that discussion interrogation, although ill prepared for it, I found a few more pieces to the puzzle. Stay tuned, I will amazingly transform this little puzzle into a couple of valuable do’s and don’t lists. Here, you will be able to know if you are the perpetrator (as if you don’t know already) or the one needing tips for early protection against a barrage of subtleties and innuendo that end up screaming in your face.