“Come to a meeting”, they said.
“It will be fun”, they said.
Now, most people know better. I know better. Volunteering is great as long as you don’t have to be a part of the planning. Oh, they love to have you come to a meeting to recruit you because they always need help. However, sometimes you have to ask yourself why they always need help. Folks, I’m here to tell you that there’s always a reason.
First of all, they never need help with the planning. The group you are volunteering for has a core section of leaders that don’t want to lose their sense of power and control. Sometimes it’s one person holding several positions maintaining control of the entire enterprise. Sometimes it’s two trying to do the work of all so that the recipients of their charitable works will gush over them as return payment for their trials and tribulations. We’ll call these group A and group B.
Group A is part of a national organization instilling values in today’s youth. The local chapter has somehow managed to bypass their own set of bylaws and have one person maintaining complete control of an entire organization. However, this one almighty leader has a set of lackeys that don’t like newcomers interrupting their rise to that very same power. Do NOT ask a pertinent question regarding, well, anything. You will be asked, “Well, why are you just sitting here bitching about it when you could step up instead?”
Um… I’ve been sitting back scratching my head in wonder for two years. I thought that’s why I was here at this meeting you complain nobody seems to want to come to. I wonder why?
Group B is a PTO. Well, it sort of is. It has bylaws and regulations somewhere. They forgot where they put them. They have no charter, no dues, and no parent involvement. That’s right. Meetings are closed to all parents except for two royal figureheads and a couple of ladies in waiting willing to have their backs. They recruit you, but your opinion doesn’t matter. Your ideas suck. And, if bother voting, the powers that be find a reason to overturn the majority vote. One royal queen claims to be made stronger having been bullied by the previous establishment therefore justifying her own bully behavior. Um… she’s proud of that? At least she’s honest.
That’s all fine and dandy since I’ve never been in better mental or physical health since I walked away from group B. I thought I’d be sad or angry. I wasn’t. However, the school still has not addressed the threat extended to me and, unintentionally, my son. You see, the last time I saw them, they wanted me to run from them in fear and out the front door while forgetting my son was still somewhere inside of the school. And they thought the cops should come take me away? I wasn’t the one screaming and crying in front elementary school children. My son missed out on that after school event. He was the real victim that day.
My son is only one victim from group A’s problems. Unfortunately, there are many who are supposed to be taught about being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, etc. That’s hard to do when the leaders can’t abide by the very principles they teach. Maybe it would help to let more people volunteer for group A and B. That’s hard to do when you behave as these leaders do. It’s hard to want to help when you go to a 6:30 meeting, and find out they moved it up half an hour without telling you. Now you’re officially very late and didn’t even know it. I think maybe the people they wanted at that meeting were there at 6:00. Why would they want me there, after all? I’m only an eager volunteer doing my best to jump through their hoops just so I can enrich the lives of a few children and make them smile. I’m a dime a dozen, right?
It would be easier for me if I quit group A. I have way too much going on in my life right now to bother with the petty stuff. I haven’t even had time to publish a couple of blog posts I’ve been planning for weeks. However, I can’t just quit and take away an opportunity for my son. I just won’t stand for any man telling me I’m just bitching when I bring up a legitimate question. I wasn’t wrong, and he knows it.
Sir, I have several parents standing behind me. You haven’t seen bitching yet. Think about that for a moment.