12 May 2009

What? The Hell.

Last Wednesday, the HOA bully didn't attend our monthly meeting and the remaining four of us decided I would take him on. E-mail, face-to-face, phone, whatever. Anytime he became confrontational or overly emotional? I was on it. And I'm fine with that whole "sergeant-at-arms" thing because I'm absolutely tired of being treated like a second-class citizen when I've done nothing to deserve it. I even volunteered for the job.

We celebrated J-man's birthday on Saturday and as I was sweeping up the kitchen post-toddlers-with-lampshades-on-heads, I see this in my Inbox:

I understand each Director got a packet with information from DPM Wed night at the meeting which I could not attend. I would like to know why I wasn't told about this and why I have not received mine or someone who has it didn't tell me about it and make arrangements to get it to me. I want it.

I don't know. To me? That's confrontational. In my face. A smidge douchebaggy. And so I called him on it:

If you want an answer regarding your packet from me or anyone else on the Board, please change the tone of this e-mail as it is very confrontational and uncalled for.

And for the next 48 hours, I endured a never-ending diatribe of which the following is just a glimpse:
  • You don't tell me to do anything at any time do you understand me.
  • You are doing no more than trying to bait me into another confrontational e-mail and I will not play to YOUR CHILDISH antics.
  • Your outlandish, derogatory, slanderous, cut throat and down right nasty and sarcastic e-mails towards me, and the cursing towards me, and me alone, have been sent to the other members of the Board.
  • I feel that your demeanor, your constant harassment and baiting towards me, your sarcastic e-mails to start a constant e-mail flaming war towards me, is in no way a good thing for the other two Board members and I think you should resign and let someone who really cares about our community take your place.
  • You need to resign from this HOA Board for your outlandish, child like antics.
  • This constant harassment towards me has got to stop.
I. Swear. To. God.

Was I cussing at him? Showing up at his doorstep, taunting him with cruel words and lewd gestures? Was I running around the neighborhood, shouting The HOA VP is a total wanker!? Was I leaving flaming dog poo in the front seat of his car? Was I standing on a balcony, shouting Rise, my fellow bloggers, and fill his Inbox with Viagra spam! Mwhahahahahah!?

(Hrm. That last one isn't a bad idea.)

No, actually. For every e-mail I received from him over a 48 hour period (10 in all), every single response from me read as follows:

I will be glad to answer your question regarding your DPM packet if you will please rephrase the question in an non-confrontational and unemotional manner.

Cut throat? Slanderous? Childish? Harassment? Baiting? I should resign?

Seriously, people. I'm not making this up.

And on top of all of this, the HOA Treasurer (who just five days ago was completely behind me calling out the VP on his bullish antics) called the President and informed the President that I'm the one being childish and that the President needs to tell me to stop. Isn't that request right there rather, um, dare I say it...

Childish? (Not to mention passive-aggressive?)

I'm surrounded by infantile bullshit and I'm not even talking about the three well-behaved toddlers currently sleeping 10 feet away from me.

Please, all of you reading this, give me your thoughts. I'd appreciate it.


HEATHER said...

Print them out and have them as proof. I am sorry that you have to live with this in your neighborhood. Really makes the "home as sanctuary" difficult to say the least.
I will add you to my prayers.

Denise said...

You're getting grief from this other HOA chick because most people are motivated by bullies. Plus she probably figures that after 10 emails, you should just back down. Remember, never argue with an idiot, after a while people don't know who is the idiot. That is what happened here - because it went on so long, she is now gonna brand you the idiot. It's the reason why accomplices go to jail just like the perpetrator - sorry. So, no more entertaining this guy - it can't escalate if you never respond. Plus it REALLLLLY ticks off a bully when they are ranting to thin air.

So, my two cents to resolve this: Send him the packet, and be as neutral and nice sounding as you can be in the message that accompanies it (to contrast his belligerent tone) underscoring the fact that despite his efforts to expose an imaginary conspiracy against him, the only reason he didn't get it is because he failed to attend the meeting. Then use the same approach you use with the toddlers: Make it clear that his tone is unacceptable, that you cannot and will not deal with him when he is confrontational/upset, etc., but only after he has calmed down (and learns how to "use his words" hee hee) and that in order for him to have greater success in future dealings he needs to treat you the way he would like to be treated.

I actually did this recently after being screamed and cursed at for about 10 mins. in front of my son. I never lost my cool, but said basically what I wrote above. The person was sooooooo shamed, that they avoided me for 3 days and then apologized all over the place. If it doesn't work, then you have the precedent set for ignoring him in all future encounters: "I told you that I will not engage with you if you can't calm down." or something of the sort.

You go get 'em girl! Don't get sucked into a back and forth emailing with him again. Say your peace and leave it at that - let him keep digging.

Hang in there, sweetie. And be sure to let me know if it doesn't work - we can institute the Viagara email idea . . . .

Molly's Mom said...

Suckage. You did the right thing - keep it up.
How close is your house to this toolbag? Hopefully not *too* close.

Liz Hill said...

how did this all get started? I've been swamped and not able to make blog rounds much but I've seen tidbits on this before.

With folks like this i always just get calm and then calmer still. it enrages them past the point of gibberish. And then I smile.

Was it your job to give him the packet? Why? He sounds very much the dick.

Unknown said...

I have no words, only letters... OMGWTFBBQ!!!!! He sounds like the ex, Psycho McDouche. Unfortunately, people who are that irrational can't be reasoned with. Just ignore him when you can. And when you can't, kill him with kindness...then take a scalding hot shower to clean the ick off you. If that doesn't work, you can count me in too for the Viagra emails. I think Treasurer needs them as well.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I'm with Heather. Print out the emails. Make sure the president sees it and the dumbass treasurer, too. If you capitulate now, his attitude and disrespect with grow exponentially.

That One said...

Hang in there, Heather. Standing up for yourself is usually hard. But you can do it -- I've got faith.

.:| Melissa.Mizladytaz |:. said...

Dear Lord ... Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill today, because they pissed me off ... Amen

Just Sayin ...

I agree with Heather too, print all the emails. It's YOUR proof!! Bullies are often STUPID, and don't realize they're leaving a "trail", nor, do they think that shit will come back to bite them in the ass!

Got'cha in my thoughts!!

sybil law said...

I do exactly what Turnbaby does - it confuses the douchebags to no end!
Print them out, hang on to them. It's not surprising to me that someone is now waffling - I hate people who do it, but someone does, all the time.
Just inform him that now he knows how YOU feel when he talks to you like a drooling toddler.
What an ass.

Patois42 said...

Don't cower like the treasurer clearly is. You've got proof positive that you've done everything totally aboveboard. (Well, except for giving me his email address for the Viagra and nymph spam.)

Seriously, you were copying the others on all the emails, yes? If not, definitely print them out and give them to them.

Robin said...

I'm with the "print them out" crowd. And then go kick him in the sac.

Avitable said...

I would have just not replied. It could wait until the next meeting. You replying with the exact same response every time could be seen as childish, as well, but he's obviously the one with the huge issue.

Faiqa said...

Yeah, print the e-mails. But, wait, do you get PAID to take this crap? I thought this was a service to the community?

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

Rise above it. You can't force someone to use manners. You can only lead by example. And...poking at an angry dog only makes the dog angrier.

Don't get me wrong. I think you're right and he's an asshat. But perhaps after the first 3 emails from him, maybe you should have stopped responding with the same words - it was obvious that he wasn't understanding your expectation.

Kinda the same w/kids. If you have to ask them to do the same thing 10 times, perhaps your approach needs to change in order to get their attention.

Miss Britt said...

Tell me this is the pilot for some kind of suburban sitcom. Seriously. No freaking WAY you are dealing with an actual adult.

Military Mom said...

As one who HATES homeowners associations, my advice to you would be to tell the lot of them to please SUCK IT and remove yourself from the whole situation. With 3 kids you've got enough to deal with. Why have the aggravation?

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Everyone - The last 48 hours have been quiet with no more e-mails. Luckily, other board members were copied on all the e-mails as they happened so they all knew. I have taken your advice, Avitable and MommyCosm, about being too in his face. In the future, I'll let him know the first couple of times that the behavior isn't acceptable and then? I'll just ignore him. Or kill him. I haven't decided. Thanks for all the advice! Love you guys!