Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Begin As You Mean To Go On.

I recently agreed to be on a committee, and am second-guessing my decision, because I'm already being inundated with emails. My inbox is being stuffed with emails about minutiae, with seventeen  people all sending me an email stating their point of view, and then 289 emails responding to the first 17 points of view....eeeek!

I talked to another member this evening, and he supported me in my decision to write a blanket email saying: "Please do NOT send me this nonsense. (More politely stated, of course.) I will discuss committee matters at committee meetings, and no other time."

I don't want to hear what this person thinks about what that person wrote - it's enough to make my ears bleed. My serenity requires that I not get involved in triangle politics. I'd forgotten how tedious committees can be, when you have a few large egos all bashing into each other like bumper cars.

In my new spirit of absolutely no more people-pleasing, I have decided that if I'm going to be on this committee, I am going to honor myself first and foremost. This message I sent out was in service to that. In the past, I'd have just accepted the zillion blathering emails, read them all, and felt the need to reply. No more. I'm done. I'm going to say what I think. And what I think, is: Get up from your computer, and go talk to a friend or family member, take the dog for a walk, stop writing so many emails back and forth about such ridiculously tiny points!

I'd like to say that, but that sounds rude even to my exasperated self. So I sent out my milder version, which for me, is still pretty tough. I'm starting from the very beginning, to teach these people how to treat me. Respect my boundaries, and don't email me unless you are rescheduling a previously-set meeting. Other than that, you can argue amongst yourselves as much as you like, I'll be in the garden. Or painting. Or playing soccer with the dogs.


  1. I'm starting from the very beginning, to teach these people how to treat me.

    Awesome! :)

  2. After being in program for a year, people started pushing me to "be of service" and volunteer for committees, etc. I did, because I had committed to throwing myself into program with both arms and legs. But I find that often these committees are run by those in program who still want to be in control of the universe and for once in my life, I DON'T want to do that. I'm still struggling with it, but I could really relate to your post. Thanks for sharing and keep those fence lines clear....

  3. I understand this totally. I have been on many committees where minutia is the norm. But at the end of the day, I prefer to spend my time studying science and how to be a better bureaucrat.