Question: When an officer keeps money.

We had a flower sale and if people wanted the flowers delivered to their homes; the cost was an extra $5.00. The rest of the board/officers assumed everything was going to the PTO. We found out that this person kept the $25.00 (5 deliveries) for herself for gas. We only found out about this becasue someone asked her. The spreadsheet for this sale didn't include the deliveries. This individual is very toxic to the group. She's a hard worker but has to have her hands in everything and never completes the tasks in a timely manor. Please help we don't know what to do. Do we ask her to step down? Do we give her the benfit of the doubt thinking she didn't know better (even though she knows the bylaws up and down).

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
You have an issue of fairness. It's not simply that she gets to keep the money for gas. It's that everyone who made the deliveries should be treated the same. You certainly should confront her privately. Use Stephen Covey's habit number 5: Seek first to understand...then to be understood. Let her know that the money was supposed to go the PTO. Listen to her explanation and show that you understand her issue/explanation -- probably that she needs money to cover her expenses, she didn't know, etc. Don't interrupt or respond quickly. Make sure she gets out all of her points and you understand them. Then explain your points -- everyone must be treated the same, the expense to the PTO is significant, etc. Your goal is to find an acceptable solution and enforce it. Either she pays back the money or you accept her contention that people should be reimbursed and you distribute the same reimbursement (say $10, or base it on mileage) to everyone. Regarding the broader question of what to do about her, you need to continue to confront her when she's disruptive. Do it in a reasoned but firm way, and let her have her say. The article How To Deal With Difficult People has more detailed advice that I think you'll find helpful.

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