Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Can't Please Everybody


There is an old saying out there that says something about no good deed goes unpunished. That certainly has felt true today.

Each year, we provide a really nice meal for the faculty (at no cost to them). Since my husband has a catering service, I've been able to get him to sell us the food at cost and donate his time to cook, set up, serve, and clean. We don't have a lot of money in this hellish economy so our options are limited.

For the same price, I could serve the faculty sub sandwiches or chicken nuggets with chips instead of the fancier menu of chicken cordon bleu, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, tea, and raspberry trifle.

Today, I received an anonymous complaint about the school using my husband's catering service.

Is it wrong of me to want to just cancel the whole damn luncheon?

38 comments:

expateek said...

Wow. What a jerk that complainer is!

Probably has no idea what's going on behind the scenes, but still.

I say, put a note in the end of year parent newsletter, resigning from your "donor" spot. Invite the ungrateful ones to step up to the plate for next year.

Gosh, the gall of some people. Pretty outrageous.

Missy said...

WOW! That is so bad! Ungrateful people! That is just SO wrong! Don't cancel, just burn the chicken! LOL

Not The Rockefellers said...

Serve them anyway, because although the food is important, the act that they represent is the bigger point. It's a pity that they were not able to recognize that.

I'll have some...yummy ! :)

Peace - Rene

lakeviewer said...

There are so many things that can cause us problems,I'm never surprised. My suggestion: publish the facts, emphasize there are no profits made by anyone, and underline who is doing work for free.

There is always someone who will complain, no matter what.

carma said...

I agree with lakeviewer- put the facts out there so they feel really crappy about themselves for complaining- assuming they have a conscience, that is. Which is a pretty big assumption!

ROW said...

I agree with some of the comments. You're right, you can't please everyone! That's just the way it is. As nice as it would be to turn it over to somebody who THINKS they can do a better job, it is the staff that will pay. Don't sweat the unhappy people that will never be pleased, as one other person suggested inform the staff that a great deal of the meal is donated and the cost that is spent otherwise would get them a fastfood meal. Good luck with your lunch.

only a movie said...

When you serve it, I would post a little card that says thank you to your husband's company for DONATING. Just a small little placard or something.

Some people aren't happy unless they have stuff to complain about...

otin said...

I am pissed for you, serve the f'ers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hope they choke on them!!! People suck!

Ann's Rants said...

Don't let one butthead ruin it for the bunch. But do find someway of acknowledging the incident publicly in your classy, firm manner.

darsden said...

It is amazing how rude people can be. Eventially this person is just a miserable individual and probably had NO friends and only joy they get is putting others down for no reason.
I would be so pissed off I might cancel it. but then I might go ahead and do it any way and like one other said..drop a note in the bulletin and put red all over this annonymus person face when everybody else freaks out by the rudeness and the fear they won't have it again..betcha the person is revealed within the next week due to the fact people will be running their mouths about this person..one whos says nothing..there ya go! Tough though I can't imagine the expense you are saving them getting the discounts let alone footing the whole bill.
Post a note and tell them to stay the F**k home!
Have a better evening Beth big {hugs} for your kindness to others..even a jerk!

Beth said...

expateek - I would love for someone else to organize the end of the year luncheon. Great idea! Although I don't think there will be any takers...

Missy - Funny! Burned chicken. They'd probably miss the point.

Not the Rockefellers - I'm still going to feed them. I promise. And I wish I could feed you, too!

lakeviewer - I actually did publish the facts to the faculty. There are a few teachers up in arms because of the anonymous complaint. Some people just have to complain. And sadly, I wish the teacher who was so unhappy had requested a transfer to another school (although I suspect that teacher will be unhappy anywhere).

carma - I really don't think some folks have a conscience.

ROW - I usually don't sweat the unhappy people and I can't really fully explain why this complaint really got to me. It had to do with the manner of airing the dirty laundry.

Erin - Great idea about the sign. And you are right about some people just have to complain.

Otin - I love PB&J! It would be fun to serve that up. I could just throw out some loaves of bread and a couple of jars of peanut butter and jam.

Ann - You are right! One big complaint really got to me today. But I did confront the entire faculty. I've gotten a ton of support from most of my faculty. I guess the guilty party will be eerily silent.

Beth said...

darsden - Actually, I like the wording of your note...

beth said...

for real? people can be such assholes. i ma feeling pretty much the same way about good deeds today!

Deb said...

listen, i know exactly how you feel. and the phrase is so true. now what you should do, is find out who complained (use the fingerprint id kit, if you have to), and tell them that THEY get to plan the luncheon next year.

i get this kind of BS all the time as part of the administration of our summer swim team. everyone loves to complain, but no one wants to step up and help. grrr...

Laura said...

One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl!

Mrs. K said...

why don't you call a meeting, explain what the budget is and let them have at it? see who comes up with a better bid, better meal and let them do it? that way it's off your back and really your husband doesn't have to worry about putting himself out for this event.
ungrateful wenches.

Comedy Goddess said...

What a shame! And for what it's worth, the anonymous cloak is really just something an over dramatic chicken wears.

If they weren't so immature they would not be afraid to engage in a conversation with you.

I think it's extremely generous of your husband to offer his time and energy!!

anymommy said...

I think I would have canceled it - not thought about it. So, see, you are a saint.

Kulio said...

SO dumb!

So SO dumb.

How about:

"Dear Faculty and Staff,
I want to publicly thank my husband for providing our luncheon at cost for many years. I also want to apologize to those who have been offended by the use of his service. His donated time was a gift to me, and an effort at providing a nicer meal than our budget could otherwise afford. Asking him to donate his services in this way was an error in judgment on my part and has been called to my attention by a concerned individual. The proper course of action, I believe, is to use school meal services from now on. Although it will not save money, it will allow you to maintain complete trust in my integrity. I am sure that the school lunch staff will provide an excellent meal as always, in lieu of the catered dinner we have enjoyed in the past. Thank you for your understanding."

Viva la chicken nuggets!!!

Midwest Mommy said...

Maybe you should share how much you SAVED by using your own husband. People can be jerks!

darsden said...

Letter is a lot nicer than I would have been. Kudos to you and I think that should be distributed. Cut their nose off dispite their face kinda thing..! Looking a gift horse in the mouth kinda thing too. Thank you for the gift but wished you would have gotten me this instead..RUDE ass people. Beth you still get a whole bunch of brownie points in my eyes. (I can imagine how mad and upset your husband is)

sun lover said...

Anyone who does not have the balls to leave their name on any piece of paper does not even merit your concern. My number one rule as a coach, former teacher and parent is that if you are going to form a written complaint you better sign it or I will never read it. As tempeting as it would be to tell that person to go to HELL, I would take the high road and turn the other cheek. 95% of the people probably deserve this awesome meal so why let the 5% ruin it for them. ~This person is a true idiot to not realize what an awesome administator you are, this dinner is just another example of how you go above and beyond the call of duty. Keep up the good work Beth- you are one of a kind! :)

Shangrila said...

I heart Kulio's proposed letter! Go on with the dinner as planned this year, and then get a couple subs and call it a day next year. Any free meal is a nice expression of your appreciation! Some people's children, I tell ya...

mo.stoneskin said...

No. You should state that some "anonymous jerk" made a complaint as your reason! Or you need to find out the caller and then throw and egg at them...

lisa said...

Maybe the next time, you could ask them to bring their own happy meals instead of a thoughtful & well planned luncheon.

Selaen said...

I like the idea of having a bidding war for a luncheon of the same quality, where EVERYBODY just HAS TO take part in. This'll show all those involved exactly what they're getting and how cheap you're getting it for. The complainer as well. OR you could just get a different caterer yourself and get everybody to pay for it! I bet next time there won't be any complaints about your husband doing it!

It's horrible how one disgruntled poo-poo head can almost ruin something nice for everybody. Don't cancel it, because while 1 person is unhappy, you're making a lot of people smile!

Gaston Studio said...

Can't please all of the people all of the time but you got some really good advice here! And I do know from experience that you can't change a person's perspective so I'd do almost all of the above and concern yourself only with the 1-2% of the ass...... weirdos.

Anonymous said...

first of all ,I get paid ,just not in cash.Second I must always remember two thing my father use to say "try and be nice and see what happens " and "if you are looking for sympathy it is between shit and syphilis in the dictionary " Mr Strong

M.J. said...

Do you have rules about competition in contracts? If so and you did not get bids from other companies, then your complainer, no matter how annoying, has a point. Even if you know that your husband's company is the best way to go, you have to be sensitive to appearances.

Dee-Zigns Handcrafted Jewelry said...

You go Mr. Strong!
Hold your head up high, serve the dinner but address it in the bulletin or however you feel appropriate.

Elisa said...

Either let the lunch ladies fix it or tell them they will get a free lunch from the lunch room. Maybe whoever sent it will come forward and say something.Of course this punishes everyone else.Not really fair either way for you or the others.Why people have to nit pick is beyond me, enjoy the gesture, and take it in the gift it was intended.

Reinvent Dad said...

Take a year off from organizing your school luncheon. See where the cards fall and if anyone else takes the initiative, and if so can even come close to providing quality at a good price. Don't let one complaint sour you on the goodness you do for your colleagues.

Jan said...

Why the HELL would someone complain about that? And what a COWARD to do it anonymously!

marathoner81 said...

Give the complainer a plate of chicken nuggets and tell him/her that you used another caterer. Geez...some people.

Beth said...

Sheesh! There are a lot of comments!

I appreciate all the advice. We have the situation worked out but I truly wish I could have used Kulio's letter. It was AWESOME!

As for the bids, we only have to get bids if the amount is more than $1000. And who has $1000 to spend on food?

Crazy Charm said...

This kind of stuff really infuriates me. You try to do something generous and nice for people and they STILL bitch and moan. I think you should bring it up at your next faculty meeting that you were surprised to hear that some staff members were dissatisfied with your plans for the faculty meal and you would LOVE suggestions for next year that stay within the current cost.

Then put the people who offer suggestions in charge of all of the plans. Ha!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm with Movie - some people always have to complain about something and look at all things from a negative point of view.

Deb said...

Wow. I can't believe someone would do that.