So I’ve been going through a little bit of a problem since a few weeks into the school year, and I neglected to tell y’all about it for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. I hadn’t resolved it or even had any real idea about how I wanted to resolve it, so I was kind of just ignoring the entire situation, talking shit to my friends about how I “couldn’t even be bothered.” Then, about a week ago, it dawned on me that I didn’t know whether I had just had enough of the foolishness (in which case choosing to ignore the situation was enough of a resolution in and of itself) or if I had effectively given up. And not being sure which side of that line I fell on made me realize I had more invested in this situation than I had previously wanted to admit, and so something had to be done.
It came to my attention during the last week of September that one of the organizations I’m on the executive board of on campus–one that I have, in fact, been on the exec board of since my freshman year, which is a long-ass time to be devoted to anything in that capacity–had had an executive board meeting without including me on any emails or informing me of the meeting at all. I only found out about it when some friends who are also on the board asked me why I’d missed the meeting, and they were as shocked as I was when I replied, “WHAT meeting?”
At first, I was sure I had just been overlooked, and that someone would realize their mistake and send me the meeting notes in the next couple days or so. *waits a few days* Well, that seems to not be the case. Interesting. Then I get to reminiscing about how I was less than committed to this board last semester due to my increasing responsibilities to my eating club and the groups’ tendencies to have events that conflict with each other. And on top of that, we got a wave of freshmen to join the board last year, and while I absolutely love them, a lot of things started to change when it was me, the last member of the “Old Board”, and them, the newbies with ideas that went against tradition. I often felt that me-versus-them tension last semester, and I thought that if this was their these-bitches-think-they-slick method of telling me they didn’t want my input anymore, then later for them and I could refocus my attention elsewhere.
But then members of this organization’s demographics kept coming up to me asking what was up with the organization, why it hadn’t had a general meeting yet, why there were no emails to the list, why it seemed like the other organization our president presided over was stealing all the thunder. The only thing I could tell these people was that I didn’t know, and the more I had to say that, the angrier I got that I wasn’t being included. Everyone I told agreed that it was wrong of them to do me like that, and “Mmm”ed in an I-see-but-do-not-necessarily-agree-with-your-point-like manner when I told them I hadn’t done anything because I didn’t need this kind of drama in my already stressful enough life.
Then a few days ago it was the president of this organization’s birthday, and I thought about not even writing on her wall, but then I realized I could use this as a passive-aggressive means through which to confront her (in the most pleasant of manners, of course) about my exclusion from the exec board. My message went something like, “Happy Birthday, [name redacted]! You know, I’ve heard the board has had a couple of meetings, but I haven’t been getting any emails or anything. Don’t forget about me, please!” Y’all know that’s a little kiss-ass-y for my tastes, but I meant what I said when I brought up not needing drama in my life.
I then saw her at a meeting for a different organization on Wednesday, and she apologized that I hadn’t been on the email list, and that she’d instantly emailed the secretary and told her to ensure that I was added to the appropriate mailing lists. She told me about upcoming projects and when the weekly board meetings were, and I was really glad I never did any sort of serious WTF ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW kind of confrontation. The meeting was this evening, and I went and found myself directly contributing, having good ideas, being asked questions…I felt like they’d missed me. My fellow board members were even impressed when I remembered our organizations student account number–they don’t remember, I’ve been doing this shit for three years. It felt really good to be back and feel needed.
So I guess the moral of this story is, sometimes we try to convince ourselves that “washing our hands” of a situation is better than talking it out, but occasionally what seems like a hot-ass mess is just a misunderstanding in disguise. Always know what side of the line you’re on: it’s fine if you’ve had enough, but giving up just isn’t a good look.