September 9, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
I may or may not have mentioned this before but this year I took the helm of Home and School at Bug Boy’s school (Bugaboo’s school is next year). Which is why I’ve basically been incognito. Because I am VOLUNTEERING and it is pretty much a FULL TIME JOB. Basically, our Home and School Association raises money to enhance or enrich the curriculum at Bug Boy’s school (read: Whatever the SD is too cheap to provide, we try to do). I’ve only officially been co-president since June and BOY HOWDY, it’s a learning curve. You learn quite a bit about the true nature of folks doing this sort of thing. You figure out who is sincere and who couldn’t give a sh*t. You also learn quite a bit about politics. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- You can’t please all of the people all of the time, you can only go out for pitchers of Sangria when meetings go sour.
- Some of the people involved have personal agendas and think their committee or idea is most important and will push it and push it until you want to just give it to them to SHUT THE EFF UP. What they don’t realize is that despite your feelings towards table cloths and curtains in the “dining room” or what the status of our after-school foreign language program is, you have to be fair and impartial and treat everyone like they have great ideas. Or treat everyone like they are speaking Greek, one of the two.
- We are NOT a bunch of micro-managing control freaks! Well, most of THEM are. I just like to make lists and be in charge. So there.
- Make lists. Lots of ’em. And do the stuff on the lists, in a timely matter. This way, things actually get done. Do NOT wait until the last minute to do them. Procrastinating sucks in Home and School because then you don’t have enough people to help do things or you over plan and end up with stacks of leftover paper. Which is why we’re going paperless next year. IT’S 2010, PEOPLE, GET E-MAIL ALREADY.
- If the previous administration convinces you to ALSO take on the website because it’s simple and so easy a caveman could do it, realize they hired someone to do it for them and have no clue how time-consuming it is and then RUN THE OTHER WAY.
- Helicopter parents. ’nuff said.
- Despite the fact that someone tells you they are over their personal budget and can’t possibly send in a pack of napkins for a party, you WILL see them going into the most $$$$ tennis and swimming club in town, so don’t believe them when they cry poor.
- No matter how positive you try to be someone will always try to ruin it with sour grapes. Just because they can. So keep that smile plastered on your face and repeat this mantra: You attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And if the flies go to the vinegar anyway? FLY SWATTER.
- Drink caffeine every day. WHAT JITTERS? I’m not jittery, I’m like this naturally!
- When in doubt, refer to number one. And then go out and get another pitcher of sangria. Except this time? When gesturing wildly and telling a story? Don’t knock over a glass of that precious life’s blood on someone else’s lap, mmkay?