Knitting Group Relationship Filter
November 21, 2010 11:18 AM Subscribe
Help me figure out how to convey to the new head of my knitting group that I am really too busy until January to help with events.
posted by miss-lapin to human relations (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I joined a knitting group in January of this year. The organizer was trying to buy a house and the meetups were very infrequent, something that frustrated members. Long story short, in October after 3 months with no meetups, she realized she could no longer be our organizer. She asked for volunteers to step in. I said I would help organize if no one else would BUT there were several issues including my unavailability until the beginning of January. She wrote back saying that another member with more availability had volunteered, but she would make me the assistant organizer. This seemed like a good compromise.
In October I met with the new Organizer, let's call her L. I explained to L my current availability issues. I'm an English professor so during some times of the year, I'm fairly free and could easily host events every other week. Unfortunately, at certain times of the year, I'm insanely busy and really unavailable. On top of dealing with the usual end of semester drama, my mother's boyfriend died in July so I need to spend time with her during the holidays as she is not coping well with the loss.I explained this at dinne,r and she seemed to understand.
Or so it seemed, as dinner moved on she suggested that it would be OK if I just stopped by for 15 minutes or so every other meetup. I said I would try, but that honestly, I could only make it to two of the proposed Meetups in the next two months and even then I couldn't make it for the full time.
Last week was one of the meetups. I was able to attend for the whole time, but was distracted thinking about work issues. At the end of the meetup, L said "Oh so I'll see you at the Thanksgiving meetup on Tuesday." I explained over dinner that I would be traveling that day. In that moment she said, "Oh then we'll have it Monday." Feeling put on the spot I said OK thinking that I could stop by for a while. Then I had the work week from Hell. I've spent this entire weekend working, and I have a huge project due on Tuesday. I emailed her on Saturday to tell her I might not be able to come or if I did that I would only be there briefly. She acted put out as she had "changed the meetup" just so I could attend even though I never asked her to do so and then tried to pressure to me come "For an hour." I explained that I wasn't sure I had an hour to spare, literally, but I would try my best. I also reinforced that until January 1, my work schedule is really intense.
Today, I received notification that she has selected me as host for the holiday party on December 5. While someone else is literally hosting (ie having them over), this means I have to stay for the entire time, bring food, and help coordinate the event. I honestly do not have time to do all of that. I agreed at the original dinner to stop by for a while, not be a co-host. As an assistant organizer, I can manually remove myself as a host, but I'm worried about the potential fall out of such a choice.
How do I convey to this person without upsetting her that I really do not have the time to be a co-host at this time, and she needs to understand that I'm really not available until January?