Passive-agressive problems call for passive-agressive solutions

The new president of the flying club has been a member since Orville and Wilbur signed him off for his license. And like a lot of old-fart pilots, he seems to resent any attempt to get him to use more computer technology than just the bare minimum to get a weather briefing. (I should mention in passing that he also seems baffled by the concept of a period (full-stop for you UK readers), and seems to randomly sprinkle the gaps between his sentences with anywhere from 3 to 5 of them. It’s like reading somebody from somebody who mumbles and just trails away to nothing at the end of every sentence.)

Because of some big decisions that have to be made in the club, and the fact that with the shrinkage in pilot numbers probably nearly half the club are either on the Board of Directors or are club officers, I decided to open up the officers mailing list to BoD and asked all the officers and BoD who were not currently on the mailing list to join. When that didn’t work, I used the mailman “send an invitation” function to invite them all, including the new President.

His first response is two fold:

  1. to question why anybody would need a mailing list when he has a perfectly good list of email addresses in his address book, forgetting that a couple of days ago he sent a massively cc’ed email where two of the addresses were wrong, so some people were left out of the discussion.
  2. and to launch into a massive digression about how we don’t have a list of current and former members that he can send email to, as if it’s somehow my fault that I didn’t keep a list of former members, and not the fault of the people who would have any reason to keep lists of members, such as either the VP of Membership or the Receiving Treasurer. And also to suggest that I was somehow hindering his efforts to get this list created by “putting much too much time in trying to solve administrative problems”.

I tried to explain the advantages of the mailing list, such as the members not having to ask you to change your Address Book every time they want to recieve their email at a different address, and no danger of you getting an address wrong and leaving people out of a conversation.

I also tried to explain my lack of ability to help with his pet project, and how improving communications between the officers and board is generally considered a good thing.

His response was classic passive agression. He grudgingly agreed to sign up for hte list because it may be helpful to others if he did, but “for my convenience will continue using my address book group listings”. And he once again held me at least partially to blame for not having “an effective process in place for maintaining member information”.

Fine. He wants to play it that way? I can play too. Now I have to figure out about a bazillion excuses why at least once a week I need to switch my email to another address, so I can change my subscription to the mailing list and then email him to have him update his address book. We’ll see how much he likes his “convenience” after that.

4 thoughts on “Passive-agressive problems call for passive-agressive solutions”

  1. Ask him to cc in the list email address, so everyone will get two copies. They will then ask him to stop using their direct email addresses and use only the list email address instead.

    I don’t know if this would work; it depends on what the other flying club members are like.

  2. Heheh. Do post the results, I love the idea.

    In other news, I’m a prime offender on the trailing periods situation…

  3. Actually, privacy is a great reason to use a mailing list because the addresses of the individual list recipients aren’t available to other people on the list. It’s that or bcc’ing everyone, which makes it impossible to carry on the conversation.

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