Thursday, September 23, 2010

Conflict Resolution

Dear Grace,
I have accepted an invitation for an event that, under normal circ's, I would be happy to attend. Unfortunately, I learned today that it conflicts with another event that I really, really want and need to attend. The first is a small gathering at a friend's house followed by an art opening. The second is a charity ball for a historic neighborhood landmark--a neighborhood where I recently moved, where I own a small business, and many of my customers are on the benefit committee.

I don't want to punk out on my friend; I did accept the invite. But I know my absence will be noted at the benefit and I don't want to offend my clients. Help.

Grace Says:

This is a problem with the Graces and Grants of the world--we are in demand.

You have several options:

1. Make a donation to the benefit but keep your plans as they are. If any of the fundraisers ask, tell them that you had a prior engagement.

2. Extricate yourself from the current commitment. Call your hostess friend and say, "Anna, I am terribly sorry to do this to you but I goofed on the calendar. The night of your party is the same night as the Charity Ball and I feel really obliged to go. Since my business is located in the neighborhood I think it would be frowned upon if I did not make an appearance. The last thing I can afford to do is upset my customers. Can I take you out to lunch next week instead?"

3. Do both. Explain the situation to your friend and let her know that you are in a bit of a bind. Tell her that you don't want to back out on her but you are equally obliged to attend the fundraiser. Stop by her house for a drink on the way to the fete, and leave in plenty of time to see and be seen at the par-tay. (Make sure you bring her a nice hostess gift--scented candle, bottle of wine, decorative cocktail napkins or gourmet coffee beans.)

In case you are wondering, I would go for option 3, but all are perfectly acceptable.

PS: Steer clear of sherbet colored tuxedoes.

No comments: