Has this ever happened to you? It happened to me today. Twice. Someone offers to help you out with something. You gratefully take them up on their offer, only to find out later that they were actually angry about helping. Why? I didn’t ASK for anything. If you didn’t really want to help me, then don’t make the offer.
I know I’m being a little cryptic, but some of the players in one of the scenarios (or at least someone that knows them and might tell on me!) reads this blog occasionally. The second case happened at work. Yesterday, a fellow employee OFFERED to help me out by writing a particular letter that needed to be written. This employee is out on maternity leave, but had stopped by the office to meet with a carpenter about some work we need to have done this summer. We got to talking about the particular letter, mainly because I had some questions about the content – it was something that she had been working on prior to going out on leave, and in all honesty *should* have finished before she went. While discussing it, she made the offer to compile the information for me so that I could distribute it to the proper parties. Since I am currently the only person in the office (2 are on maternity leave, and 2 are on vacation for at least a month) and am therefore *quite* busy, I gratefully accepted her offer.
Today, while discussing things that needed to be done, my boss mentioned the letter. I said that I had already talked about it with the other employee, and that it was being taken care of. That was when my boss informed me that in fact the employee would not be writing the letter, and that she had been very upset about having to do it, feeling that we should not disturb her while on leave. What??? I did not ASK, she OFFERED. Why make an offer if you really don’t want to follow through?
So I spent the afternoon vacillating between feeling like I had done something wrong and being angry that this employee had seemingly stabbed me in the back and made it sound to my boss (who, incidentally is also her mother) like I had disturbed her mother-child bonding time. I tried to blow it off and continue with my work, but it kept bothering me. A little while later, I checked my email, only to find…..the employee had written the letter and mailed it to me. HUH???