Thursday, January 20, 2011

Talk or walk? Which is the right thing?

Yesterday I took the girls to one of our local play centers, which is owned by someone I know. We have been there before and I have always gotten along well with the owners and felt very welcome there. This play center is a new business owned by two young mothers, so I like to go there every once in awhile to support them even though it is a nearly 30 minute drive for me to get there.

I have always had a good experience whenever I have been there in the past, but yesterday was different. There was just a weird vibe going on. The owner was sitting at a table with three other moms talking and gossiping and seeming very exclusionary to the rest of us who were visiting.  Then, the owner started talking about her sister's personal business (read: drama) with all of us. And on top of everything else, she was constantly complaining about having hurt her back that morning. The two times that I had a direct conversation with her, she ended up essentially insulting my intelligence: "That's crazy talk" and "And you told her (Lil' B) that getting up at 5:45am was okay?"

So, I don't know what to do now. This is a woman with whom I have tried to help with the marketing side of her business. I have brainstormed and written press releases for her. I have honestly been a huge advocate of this place, and today I am feeling unwelcome there. I had a pass for 6 visits of play, and that pass was fulfilled yesterday. We are in fact moving in just over four months, so I think we'll just avoid going during the spring.

I feel bad though. I truly want her business to succeed, and I feel like I owe it to her to give her my feedback. But I hate confrontations, and I don't want it to sound like, "You hurt my feelings, so apologize." Don't get me wrong, an apology would be nice, but I am more concerned about the other patrons of this play center feeling the way that I am right now, and not going back.

So, what do you think I should do? Talk or walk?



blueviolet said...

I'd probably be inclined to gradually pull away and start distancing myself from her. I'm so sorry she turned out to be someone like that. :(

Jess said...

It doesn't sound like she really meant to insult your intelligence... but gossiping & excluding some of the moms is not cool, especially at work where you are the owner! Honestly, in reality I would probably "walk". I would ignore it and move on. But, in my dream world, I would I would tell her that she wasn't acting very professional.

Shell said...

Yikes. I'd probably just want to pull away from her.

But, if it could really help her...I'd also think about telling her.

I sent an email to the leader of my Bible Study at my church with some suggestions today. I'm cringing as I wait for a response, but I also feel like they need to change things or they will lose new members...kind of the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I DON'T do confrontations, so if it were me, I would walk. It's her own fault if she looses customers for behaving unprofessionally...

Fellow Dream Team member!

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to say I would walk, only because I try to avoid confrontation, plus I see the cup half full sometimes, if you say something to her, she may think you are just trying to be mean. Then again, depending on how close the two of you are she may welcome the knowledge, because she genuinely may not have realized she was doing something wrong. Still, I'd just gradually walk away.

Kmama said...

I'm not very confrontational, so I would walk. Honestly though, I don't really see how telling her how you felt (though totally justified) would change her behavior in the long run. It might be a wake up call for her, but as a "friend", she might not take your suggestions/feedback as seriously as she should and that could cause a whole lot of drama.

Sorry sweetie!