Reality check

I continue to have my share of ups and downs working with this woman that I have vented about in a couple of previous posts. I’ve reached the conclusion that she not only has ADD but possibly also Borderline Personality Disorder. I am not being facetious or snarky, either. I know BPD when I see it, and I think I am seeing it. She is very very difficult, and it has fallen to me to be the one to run interference and keep her out of everyone else’s hair. Which for the most part is okay with me. I am pretty phlegmatic and not easily fazed by craziness. But my god this woman is relentless. To the point where I can’t help questioning my own abilities. I ask her to do something in language that (I think) could not possibly be any clearer. Simple short declarative sentences. Subject verb object. And she always ends up misunderstanding, misinterpreting, or just downright ignoring me. Maybe I’m not being as clear as I think I am?

The other day I emailed her: “I will be responsible for XYZ . . . So please strike that off your to-do list.” I mean, that is pretty clear, isn’t it? That isn’t really open to interpretation is it?

She emailed back: “ok,” and I thought, phew! Great! She got it.

And then a day later she sent me another email full of questions, suggestions, and a progress report on what she’s done about XYZ.

This isn’t about me, or my “management style” — is it? If your boss sent you an email saying “I will be responsible for this task” would you then go ahead and keep working on it?

Confession

There are several people close to me who I believe have inattentive-type ADD and I know I should feel sorry for them but frankly I am sick and tired of dealing with it. One of them is my mother-in-law, a sweet pink-cheeked white-haired 70-something who is so scatter-brained you wouldn’t believe.

We had plans this afternoon, involving me, my daughter, my MIL, my BIL and his two daughters. BIL was going to pick us all up in his van at 4. We were going to go to the park and get in line for tickets to an outdoor show that will be sold out if we don’t get there early. We were going to bring picnic dinners and frisbees and have fun hanging out while we waited. I spent the earlier part of the day rushing around trying to get all the things done that I need to get done before we go, whipping together a picnic dinner (thank you honey for hard boiling some eggs this morning), making sure violins were practiced and showers were taken, figuring out father’s day stuff for my father and my honey, yadda yadda yadda. Only to have MIL come over a little after four: “Oh, I changed the plan,” she said airily. “I’m going to go ahead now and get the tix. BIL will pick you up in about an hour. That way the girls won’t have to wait so long.”

Um, okay.

“I checked the website,” she continued. “It turns out the tickets go on sale later than I thought.”

“Oh really,” I said. “Not at 5:00, like I told you?”

“Oh yes, they go on sale at 5:00. I know that’s what you said but I had it in my mind that they went on sale at 4:30 and even though I know you said 5:00 I didn’t really hear it.” (This is a nearly word-for-word quote.)

<sigh> It actually does make it easier to go at five instead of four, but I wish it had occurred to her to tell me in advance. This is exactly the kind of thing she sucks at: planning, time management, considering the possible consequences of a decision.

“Okay,” I said. “I guess I’ll go put our picnic dinner into the fridge for now.”

“Good idea,” she said. “Could you put mine in your fridge too?”