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Alum Who Create Drama... What to do about it?

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 06/19/12 10:06 AM Views: 1466 Replies: 16
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Hey Class Creator Webmasters,

I am fishing for advice on how to handle ONE alum who has produced DRAMA at every step of the way in the planning process of our reunion. This person has spread rumor and gossip with the effect of alienating many classmates. She has tried to divide people into US and THEM. Some are asking what she'll do at the reunion and are even thinking about not attending because of this person. How would you handle a person like this? BTW, this alum happens to be ADHD.

Also, how have you dealt with someone who was immature and irrational and looking to cause trouble at your reunion event? Did you hire security at the event to tamp down any potential problems? I find it very hard to believe that I would have to ask these questions at the age of 53.

Being the committee chair for the planning of our 35th has been hard enough but dealing with this person has been extra stress with added work. I have served on 3 Little League boards in the past and have never dealt with anything like this before.


Thanks for responding.

Regards,

Mike

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM - Response #1

Mike,

We did have one person on our site who caused some problems. We gave him a warning and told him we'd block him from the site. He didn't listen, we blocked him, he apologized, added him back and there haven't been any problems since.

As far as "drama causers" at reunions... yes, I can think of one or two. We did hire security at our last reunion, even though it was for other reasons. You may actually have someone in your class who's in that line of work... or someone who knows someone else.

After seeing how people can be at reunions, I've learned that many times age doesn't matter. Confused

Hope everything works out okay!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM - Response #2

Thanks for the quick response Roberta. I appreciate your insight and suggestions. I will take all responses to the committee and we will discuss how to plan accordingly.

Thanks again!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM - Response #3

In one instance of this (have had several) we were lucky to have a family member also attending who could keep tabs on his brother. Frank, direct but sensitive communication helps but doesn't always take care of it. Often the person knows, on some level, that they're doing it and need to be called on it. Tap resources of alumns in social/psych professions? Classmates who are friends of theirs?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM - Response #4

Have the problem vetted by responsible Classmates (a few) and get their evaluation. Keep in mind that as a chair person, you cannot degrade your own self respect by going one on one with someone who is totally incompatable with the majority of your Classmates. I have always worked in high profile positions where people always beat on the door and make an extraordinary amount of noise. A lady came to my office once to curse me out, the louder and the more she cursed, the more intense I read a nearby newspaper, when her voice dropped waiting for a response, I stopped reading, when she started up again, I began to read again, in frustration, she left my office. We talked about it many years later. I could have called the Police and alleged threats and asserted my rights to peace quiet and enjoyment in my own office space. Sometimes if you do not buy into and ignore problems, they will cure themselves and go away. If put on notice regarding the site and they do not respond, lock them out temporarily and they will get the message. If a person does not have respect for themselves, they will never have respect for you.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM - Response #5

Mike,

We have almost a decade on you & have removed 2 classmates permanently & 2 more off/back on. One of the former 2 has PTSD after serving in Vietnam. I wouldn't let PTSD/ADHD, etc. skew your thinking.

The Us/Them thing ruled through the planning of the 40th reunion & beyond. "The straw that broke the camel's back" came 21 months after the 40th reunion when we planned a get-together to celebrate 2 years of the launch of the website.

My advise would be to "nip it in the bud." And I mean, really nip it. Our root admin tried the nice approach. It didn't work.

Most of your classmates will appreciate not having to deal with "TOO MUCH DRAMER," as my husband calls it.

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Edited 06/19/12 12:46 PM
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM - Response #6

Wow, if it is as bad as it sounds, I think a well-written letter from the "Reunion Committee" should be sent to this person explaining that " . . . the committee is responsible for promoting and pulling off the reunion as an event full of reconnecting, fun, laughter, reminiscing, etc., etc. for all classmates. We want to remind you that our upcoming reunion is not a place for drama or discord among classmates. At this time the committee has some concerns and with that said, we are kindly informing you that any type of action (verbal or physical)deemed harmful, by the committee, to the spirit of the reunion will be cause for exclusion from the website and participation at the reunion event.

BTW, I don't believe a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is an excusee for this type of behavior. There are other disorders such as bipolar that could cause this person to behave the way he/she is acting and that may complicate the situation you're dealing with.

Good luck!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:13 PM - Response #7

I agree with Rhonda. I think her idea is the most direct and to the point. No sense beating around the bush because people like that never except their own short comings.

We had trouble with a classmate from three years (59) before us. He was harassing one of our girls (his former girlfriend).
She dumped him because he was violent back in the late 50's.
I blocked him from our site. He then went to other classmates and older classmates (other years) and got them to send her e-mails through the site. Then I had to send him a letter telling him he was permanently banned and copied every other class (59-60-61)administrator. They put the word out. Finally peace.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 2:04 PM - Response #8

We had a bona fide nutcase in our class who created a bizzare profile and sent threats to me and the reunion committee. If it is bad enough for your classmates to complain, the only way to stop it so you can move on and feel truly safe about attending your own event without the possibility of being a "target" is to ban the person from the website and event. A letter from the reunion committee explaining why the person is being banned should be your first step and should do the trick. We also included in the letter, because we felt we had to, notification that we would notify the police if it didn't stop and if she didn't cease and desist. It was that bad. Hopefully you won't have to go that far in dealing with your situation. We got one more nasty email back but then it stopped and everything was ok afterwards and our event was wildly successful. Also, don't forget that you are the webmaster and although concensus is always a nice goal with other committee members, you have the ultimate authority to ban anyone you feel you need to for the safety and comfort of others on your site.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 2:14 PM - Response #9

I need to add my take on this from the viewpoint of a retired elementary school teacher/librarian.

This is just plain "bullying." Cyber or otherwise.

We didn't allow it at school. It shouldn't be allowed anywhere else, no matter what age we are.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM - Response #10

Mike,
Rea; peopl grow up out of the way they acted in HS most mature while some have deep rooted bad drama baggage that they can;t seem to get over...

I would email the individual that their being on the site as an earned privilidge and honor of respect, if this does not work, then forward all these suggestions to show others care. If he/she persist delete their acces from your site and reunion

I hope this helps... 'but we are all plagued wuth a bad apple sometimes!!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM - Response #11

I completely agree with Anita -- from my viewpoint as a retired Director of Technology for a large school district!

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Edited 06/19/12 2:46 PM
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM - Response #12

OMG...I thought I was the only one dealing with stuff!! When I would read other posts thruout CC..I would think how harmonious everyone elses reunions seem to be!! This makes me feel better in a way!

I will be discussing this with other committe members and working this thru. Thank you for sharing!!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM - Response #13

Dear Mary, phs9161, Anita, Rhonda, Arlene, Elaine, Terry and Meg...

Thanks for responding to my initial post about DRAMA and how to contain it. This has been the most difficult situation for me and our committee members. I have served on 3 Little League boards in the past and never have I faced a recurring situation like the one we are currently in. Part of our backstory is that we haven't have a high school reunion in 25 years so I thought participating in this event planning would be fun... instead this woman has been a nightmare of drama since the beginning. I appreciate all the advise & feedback with our delicate situation. It is somehow reassuring that other reunion committees are dealing with this as well.

Our committee is drafting a stern letter to her as I write this. Hopefully she will take our letter to heart and back down at the possibility of being removed from the website and banned from the reunion, but I doubt it. One can only hope.

Regards,

Mike

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM - Response #14

Do you know if its possible to prevent someone from posting in the Message Forum? This person who I've described is treating the forums like a personal blog. What can we do?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:26 PM - Response #15

I read the forum regarding Alum who create Drama and thought to myself I hope that does not happen to us. Well it has been several weeks and it is now happening to us. Can someone tell me how to block a person from the website. She is an unhappy women putting messages on her website that we ( the committee)are spreading rumors about her ( NOT) and has sent two threats... "Now You need to worry!"..."You are messing with the wrong person" A notice has already been sent to her and our next stop is to block her from the site. I just need to know how to do it.

Julie Brown
Sammamish62

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 9:08 PM - Response #16

Julie,

Sorry this is happening to you. Hopefully your notice will work but if not, here's how to remove her from your website.

#1. Click on the 'Manage Classmates' button in the left hand navigation.

#2. Click on the top button called 'Enter/Edit Classmates'.

#3.In the 'Search by Name/Email text box, enter the person's last name.

#4. Once the member name comes up, you will see DETAILS/PROFILE/PHOTOS... on the far right side you will see a heading called 'Delete' which is in red. Once you click on that link all files associated with the person & profile will be removed.

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