I never thought that volunteering could be such a nightmare. Somehow I had the distinct impression that I graduated high school nearly twenty years ago and that the games ended at graduation. In fact, I have made a conscious effort to maintain a circle of friends that are above childish antics. However, sometimes no matter how much you protect yourself, one little sniveling idiot gets through. Sometimes two.
My issue is this: I volunteered to be an assistant leader for a Girl Scout troop. At the time of our initial parent meeting, our leader stood up and took control of everything and I had no complaints. However, by the fourth meeting, she had attended only one and had done nothing to help with the planning. In fact, ten minutes before our first meeting began, she called to say she could not attend. Due to the rule of two adults at every meeting, I had to call one of the parents and ask her to stay to help. Two meetings later, she didn’t even bother to call until after the meeting. I told her I had it covered, but that she needed to at least show up for meetings. A couple of weeks later, I emailed her about our Service Unit Meeting and the Cookie Sales meeting. The day before the meetings, she let me know she could not attend either meeting. At that point, I realized she had no intentions of doing anything, so I emailed her about my frustrations. Was my wording completely appropriate? Probably not. When I received an email back, I returned that email with an apology not for what I said, but how I said it.
So, today my assistant leader, as I am now the official leader, calls me to tell me that one of the moms was badmouthing my efforts to her at the school. Keep in mind that this mother cannot help our troop because she is too busy with her younger daughter’s troop although she gives lip service to the idea of helping. She puts her children in after school care until their father can oick them up. Oh yeah, she’s a stay at home person. I won’t call her a mom because she fails miserably at it. Anyway, my assistant leader stands up for me and explains that original leader left me high and dry and that she has stepped up or we would have had to dissolve the troop.
Well, when the original leader came to the meeting, she was obviously rude to me. I threw my hands up in the air and walked away. The assistant leader was walking towards the door at that moment with young child in arm, and the OL turned and asked her, “Is there something we need to talk about? I’ve heard through the grapevine that you’ve been dogging me and it stops now!” The last part was said in a threatening tone and quite loudly. The AL walked away because her daughter started to cry.
Then we have our parent meeting tonight and the mother that badmouthed me kept going and going. She kept trying to come up with ways I was failing the troop and I had an answer and example for every question. She asked if we could have two hour meetings and I explained that I do not have the help with my children. At this point, she began to literally yell at me in front of the other parents and scouts about how she had told me she’d help at every meeting and that I had never ever called on her. (Two meetings from now we are meeting at her house. I arranged this a month ago. Nope, never call her for help). So one of the other mothers steps up and says, ” I believe she said she doesn’t have care for her children.” No apology was made. She just decided to be quiet.
After the meeting, one of the other moms stayed to ask why there was so much tension and what the issue was with that mom. When I explained how it all began, this mother was quite upset. See, we haven’t been eligible for service unit projects or events because the OL never turned in our paperwork to register the troop. Yes, I’ve already handled that as well.
My point in all of my whining here is to say that if you agree to do something, especially when someone is counting on you, make certain you can handle the agreement first. Secondly, the old adage “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” should be a law once you hit the age of 25.
PS Sorrow- the snooty moms live in the new housing addition, so you know they are true Stepford Wives. I feel your pain from the holiday function. May they all lose their hair and speak like Mickey Mouse. Okay, that was wrong, but it’s funny!!