I seem to have some synchronistic karma going on when it comes to crazymakers. The Universe, G.O.D, something, wants me to learn something about them. Or DO something to show I’ve learned. So, my writer’s workshop is full of great people. As I learned between last week and this week, most of these awesome people have showed up for the first time in the past month. It’s like a bunch of us got an internal tug after looking at our work and hopped on a local networking site under some creative-social astral influence.
Just as this happens, the current coordinator seems to have hit burnout. So what we’re left with is a bunch of new people in the room who aren’t really clear what’s going on, and a few old-timers who don’t really want to take over – and one old-timer who actively and openly resents all the new people. “This group was closed,” she whined. “What happened?” Not a one of us knew, and the original coordinator isn’t answering those questions. I suspect she is moved by Good Orderly Direction and already knows not to explain that to this person, but I have no way of knowing her motivations. I’m a stranger to her, I haven’t demonstrated my trustworthiness, and it’s fair not to share in that case. Add Minnesota to the equation and it could be more than ten years before I’m fully trusted by anyone around here.
Crazymaker especially honed in on me. First, she tried to force me to agree that a small, closed group was better (and thus I should go away.) I refused. I’m guessing that she thought it would work on me because I was the youngest. My face belies my years – I’m realizing that I’m much older than I look, one of the bizarre upsides of life as a fat chick. She then tried to persuade everyone we should just get off the site we all met on (because it costs), attempted to accuse me of being at the workshop for the wrong reasons (one of the old-timers and the other newbies pointed out they were there for the same reasons I was) and then tried to imply when I recommended we get an administrator to track room reservations and workshop schedules that I was trying to undo the egalitarian structure of the workshop, which also did not fly.
I used to work with a college office-admin who also actively resented change and would openly harass the agents of change. Color me unsurprised to find out that this person was college admin support. If you want to get away with crap, it’s best to employ those who resent change because they will support vivisection if “it’s the way it’s always been done.”
I’ve also been involved in organizations where leadership has had to recede for delicate private reasons, trusting/hoping that the membership itself would work it out. In the old scenario they didn’t, not really, but in this one…they did, and I’m quite impressed.
I guess I’m surprised because I usually don’t encounter my repetitive karmic issues so early in a group involvement. I’m also trying out a combination of old management skills I picked up with new drama-reducing measures. I’ve already told leadership early that this person has gotten verbally aggressive with me in private. And I’m employing a new system, one I call “dunk the grudge” where I put time limits on how long I stay mad. I can dislike someone and NOT be mad at them, thus taking away any power the person I dislike may have.
So, I stay mad for about 12 hours and then I dunk it. Next week will be a new week. This isn’t to say I’m discounting her behavior – clearly, there’s a behavior pattern going on, especially given how nasty she was to someone workshopping a first draft this week. I’m tempted to do the 90s hippy compassion/understand her motivations thing, but that practice, while making me think highly of myself, has never done me any good in these situations. Maybe she’ll get active with the closed club she’s starting and go away.
That’s the one negative to an otherwise fantastic group, and I realize that “one thing” is some sort of law. Jobs that would be great, except for a dickhead boss. Apartments that would be perfect, except for an invasive apartment manager. Clubs that would be perfect except for that one member lacking tact. It’s the Law of One Thing.
And now, I try that new thing where I focus on the positive.