I am an executive member of the course union for my program at my university. I love my course and I love being a part of the union. Unfortunately, one member of the executive board drives me up the wall. It might just be because he’s a pompous ass, but it comes off as mansplaining a lot of the time.
This year, I organised the majority of events on my own, simply because it was faster and more efficient to get things done and then bring everyone else up to speed. This, apparently, was not enough for me to earn This Guy’s trust, or respect.
I’ve started planning an event for next year as I’m the elected Events Coordinator. I contacted someone who is instrumental in getting this event off the ground and then sent a mass email to the other executive members letting them know what I had said, what my plans were and reassuring them that I would keep them in the loop with any further communications.
In this email, I also asked our treasurers to provide me with an approximation of how much money we have, for the dual purpose of beginning to plan, as well as having a number to show the other organisation in case they are planning to contribute money and would like to figure out how much to give.
Almost immediately, I received an email response from This Guy first of all, giving me an estimate of how much money we have (which was completely incorrect since he has never handled any of the finances, nor has he asked for numbers) and then chastising me for even asking for one.
He then proceeded to explain to me that it was insulting and unprofessional to have to inform the other organisation who will be partnering with us how much money we’re willing to spend on the event. He told me that if they ask, I am “required” to back out immediately and cancel the event.
I responded, as calmly as I could and explained my reasons for wanting to know a number and how I didn’t think it was ridiculous to have a number to share with our affiliates as they most likely will be kicking in money as well.
He responded by brushing off all of my responses and informing me that I “wasn’t allowed” to spend more than a certain amount of money on this event, and that he realised this would be “exceptionally difficult” for me. Irritated, I informed him that I wouldn’t spend that much, being inherently frugal, mostly just to placate him.
His responded, requesting that I forward him everyone else’s responses to my email because he “was unsure” that I was “taking the right approach” and wanted to see the others’ opinions. When I informed him that no one else had disagreed with me and that the only emails I had received had been positive, and forwarded them to him, he responded with a reluctant, “Well then, it seems like you’re on the right track.”
Thanks. I really needed that validation.
Our treasurers emailed me back, gave me the correct number (which was much higher than the number he had given me) and reaffirmed what I had initially thought, which was that all of the money was at my disposal as it was all surplus profit from an event I had organised.