Past Treasurer Convinced I Am Incompetent (Long Vent/lol)

Lounge By margaretb Updated 18 Sep 2009 , 12:10am by margaretb

margaretb Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 9:28am
post #1 of 11

I live in a rural area and we have a community association -- runs the hall, has an annual picnic -- nothing huge -- we're talking a dozen and a half families kind of thing. The lady who had been the Secretary/Treasurer for the past ten years had been saying for a couple years that she wanted to be done. She is, umm, a bit of a control freak.

There has also been a little friction between the old people who have always run things and the "young" (let's face it, middle aged) people who are always being told we should be more involved, but lord help us if we suggest anything be done differently.

ANYWAY, we knew she was going to step down, so my neighbour asked me if I would take over. I said sure, if no one else wants to. So at the meeting, the lady (I'll call her Elle) announced she was stepping down and immediately, my friend nominated me for the position. Well, the look of mingled shock and horror on Elle's face would have been quite the blow to my self esteem if it hadn't been so comical. She kind of sputtered that she had been thinking of A, because "she works in the bank". Well, A is certainly a competent person and a strong volunteer in our community, and I offered to step aside if she wanted to do it, but she quickly declined. So I'm not saying I am better at this than she would have been, but I have three university degrees, so it's not exactly as if I am the village idiot. Everyone except Elle seemed fine with me taking over. My friend said something about how Margaret (me) can do the job, and Elle replies "No she can't, but she'll have to." Well whatever, we had a laugh about that later. I will also point out here that I have been both a treasurer and a secretary for other organizations and was at the time doing my third year as treasurer of a different non-profit society.

So Elle informed me that the best thing would be for her to keep everything and change the addresses over as she pays the next month's bills (we don't have our own box, everything just goes to the treasurer). I don't particularly care, since it's just one more job to do, and if she wants to do it a little longer, she can knock herself out.

She eventually gives me the books, but ONLY whatever is from 2009. Nothing from the past ten years -- no bank statements, no financial statement, no minutes. So now the other guys are after me about did she give the books, and what she gave me isn't everything (ummm, yes, I am aware of that). They seem sure that she is going to refuse to hand things over, but she told me she was just hanging on to things until she completed the bingo audit, and it's not worth making an issue over it.

Well, bingo audit is done, and still no books. We also need to apply for a grant, and I need a financial statement. And I've gotten this form about insurance, and I need to know what she sends with it. And there is an issue with another grant that apparently she sorted out last year. Most of this I figure I could do if I could see what was done the year before, BUT I HAVE NO RECORDS. So I keep calling her about these things. She is being very helpful with all of it, but EVERY TIME I ask her something, she makes a comment about how I can't be expected to know these things or how I obviously can't do this on my own for the first year. Okay, fair enough, there are some things that she did need to tell me, but on the other hand, a big part of the reason that I can't do things on my own is that SHE KEPT ALL THE FILES. It's not that I don't know what the 2008 financial statement is and how to attach it to a grant application, it's that I DO NOT HAVE THE STATEMENT. This is not a matter of my own incompetence! The last time I asked her something, she pretty much said that she was going to hang on to everything for another year so that she can help me do stuff. ARGH!!!! If she would hand it over, then maybe I wouldn't need help!!!

Sigh. I am meeting with her tomorrow night because I HAVE to get a copy of the financial statement to apply for a grant, and she is going to fill in the insurance form with me. I am going to put her on the spot about her keeping all the bank statements and minutes and the rest, and try to get her to commit to handing them over after we've had a year of doing this together. I would rather get it all now, but then again she has been helpful with some of the behind the scenes info on why things are a certain way, so if she wants me to come to her with all this for another year, I can live with that. Of course, her peers may decide enough of this controlling and go get the stuff themselves, but personally, I don't think it is worth a fight. Makes me glad that when I handed over my treasurer stuff, I had pages written about what needed to be done and when and how and copies of everything to use a precedents.

Margaret The Incompetent Apparent

10 replies
jaybug Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 10:40am
post #2 of 11

Hmmm....I wonder if she really feels you are incompetent or if she doen't want to hand over these records because she has something to hide. tapedshut.gif Something smells kinda fishy to me. icon_confused.gif

jaybug Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 10:41am
post #3 of 11

Hmmm....I wonder if she really feels you are incompetent or if she doen't want to hand over these records because she has something to hide. tapedshut.gif Something smells kinda fishy to me. icon_confused.gif

margaretb Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 11:04am
post #4 of 11

Oh, it's not something fishy. This is a small group and everybody pretty much knows what goes in and out (one county grant, profits from our picnic (~$200), profits from whist drives (~$100), the odd donation (under $100), hall rentals (about $200) and a grant from a company). It's a control issue disguised as helping me out. And she probably really does believe that I couldn't figure it out on my own. Right from the first meeting I had people telling me to make sure she gave me everything. She is well known for this behaviour -- e.g. last year my neighbour, who has lived here all her live and does TONS of volunteering for us, wanted the key so she could decorate the hall for the Christmas party, and Elle would not let her take the key for the afternoon -- she had to be there to open the door and lock up after. I have heard that her husband was and maybe is abusive, and this is how she takes some control in her life. I can handle it, but it is somewhat aggravating.

lardbutt Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 12:53pm
post #5 of 11

I hate rural, small town living! I have seen it over and over! She just doesn't want to let go of her control. She need to hand over everything!

margaretb Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 2:03pm
post #6 of 11

Good lord, I'd better go back and correct my spelling in those posts!

I love my small town living. Actually, if I get fed up, it's kind of handy because all the other oldies have known Elle for their whole lives, I suppose, so they can go and battle it out with her. Personally, although it is annoying (hence the vent), I plan on just waiting her out. I figure fighting with her over getting stuff would take just as long as going back to her over every little thing that comes up. And if I insist on getting the stuff now, I am pretty sure it wouldn't include any old copies of how she filled in some of these forms, and I don't think she'd be too anxious to answer any questions. At least this way, she does some of the work. Already she's done two jobs getting errors straightened out that would have been a pain in the butt for me. She enjoys giving "corrections". Here's another controlling example. When you change signing authority at the bank, they need a copy of the minutes showing the new executive. Every group I've been in just brings in the minutes. Not Elle. She went in and refused to give the minutes because none of the rest of it was their business. She only gave an excerpt showing the election of officers. Sounds like it was a big production getting the teller to get approval to accept just that part. And what was so secret about the rest of the minutes? Let's see, we set a date for our annual picnic, we paid two honourariums to the guys who do the lawnmowing at the hall and cemetary, and I think someone was authorized to buy some small item. Really, who spends half an hour arguing about that? Hand over the minutes and they can take a copy in twenty seconds.

Ha ha, the last time I spoke to her, she was explaining what she did about the mixed up grant, and in the very LONG explanation, she said, "to make a long story short" at least 5 times. Ah well, as far as I can tell the only other stuff I need to figure out happens at Christmas, so not much longer.

margaretb Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 2:42pm
post #7 of 11

She just phoned me this morning. I got a renewal application for our insurance, and it asks for a copy of our certificate of registration if not previously submitted in the past 12 months. I have asked her a couple of times about this, because I don't have the copy of cerfication, and also I don't know which of our groups is included in this insurance -- we have our association, our ladies association, and a registered charity for our cemetary fund. She told me that it would be just our association plus a restored historical building that we also have (see, this is one of those things I wouldn't have thought of), but she didn't seem to know what I was asking about re the certificate of registration. This is the form we were going to go over tonight. Anyway, she just phoned this morning and said she found the form she submitted last year, so if I would just fax over the form I have, she could fill in the blanks and read between the lines. This is exactly the kind of thing that I have been talking about. Handed just this form, I don't know everything I need to fill it out. Given the old copy, I could probably figure it out. It's probably a twenty minute job to fill out, and she is going to do it. So I have a combination of appreciation that she is going to do the tedious stuff, but annoyance that I can't just get it done myself.

Sigh again. Oh well, I am being very polite and appreciative and compliant, and I'm going to count my blessings that she didn't decide to just dump it all on my lap minus a few useful files and say, "good luck, figure it out." Actually, I am probably being the most appreciative of anyone she has dealt with in this group over the last ten years, which may be contributing to why she wants to "help" me so much. And really, she did do this for ten years and probably didn't get much in the way of thanks due to the control issues with people, when really, she did do an excellent job on all the paperwork type things.

Gosh, I actually feel better now that I have decided to be actually grateful at not having to deal with all this stuff myself, rather than just pretend grateful. Life lesson, I suppose.

lardbutt Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm
post #8 of 11

It's a touchy subject for me! icon_lol.gif I know all about the bank procedures too.....same rules for church authorization. My husband pastored a small rural church while in seminary. Some in the church got mad and left the church...including the treasurer. We handled getting a new treasurer and went to the bank to change hands. (yes we had all the minutes and paperwork) The disgruntled lady had already been to the bank and had the account frozen!! Hello???? How are my kids gonna eat without a paycheck for weeks???? She didn't care!

It's just the mentality that gets me. The treasurer in both cases (yours and mine) should have no authority. They are just to keep track of the money...not call the shots. I warned you LOL...It's a touchy subject!

I hope it all works out for you. It sounds like your're handling it well.

margaretb Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 3:11pm
post #9 of 11

I just spoke to her AGAIN to see if she had a few items of information that I need for a grant application I need to get done asap, and she said she didn't have it, but she's going to find out for me. Now that really is nice of her.

7yyrt Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 8:49pm
post #10 of 11

You will need to treat her like a customer who ordered a cake.

Give her a deadline; in writing, as well as in front of witnesses.cHave her sign it if you can. All papers to be handed over by such-and-such a date, or you cannot continue in that job.
Keep it businesslike.

If the papers don't show, hand it all back and to heck with it.

margaretb Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 12:10am
post #11 of 11

So I met with her this evening. She had done a bunch of paperwork that needed to be filed that is supposed to be my job to fill out, but she has all the old copies of things. Well, we went through them all, she explained what was going on with each thing, and she gave me copies to start my own files. After my crazy afternoon, I am grateful that it is all taken care of. And I said to her, "Okay, now just to be clear, all the minutes and bank statements and whatever from the last ten years..." and she just got her exasperated look and she told me that when she started, all she got was one binder with just a few bits of information, and no other records. She has told me this before. She has returned that binder to Ollie (not her name, but she is the lady who was secretary treasurer before Elle --- FOR FIFTY YEARS, so I guess I'm only the third one in 60 years). And then she told me that Ollie had specifically told her NOT to give me any of the old records, but to pass them back to Ollie, who keeps EVERYTHING that has to do with our association. So what is happening with that is Ollie wants all the books back, but Elle is holding on to them so that she can help me complete all the paperwork as it comes through this year, and when everything has come through and I have my own copies of everything, THEN she will pass on the records to Ollie. And Elle has told Ollie this several times, and Ollie must know that she asked for stuff to go to her instead of me, SO WHY HAS SHE BEEN ASKING ME??? Anyway, it is all cleared up, and I am really okay with this. My problem was that I didn't think she was going to give me anything, and if she filled in the forms, then I still wouldn't necessarily know what to do the next year. But I do have to laugh, because each of the ladies I am dealing with keeps saying about the other, "She just wants it all done her way", and it's true about both of them!!!

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