I saw her standing there…a smile plastered on her face, her lips barely opening to contain her seething rage—she was trying to communicate to a volunteer mom who does not work outside the home. “Just an e-mail message sent to ALL the parents would be huge help especially to us with very tight schedules.” she was kindly trying explain to the woman, but only getting a blank stare in return.
I was that woman last year. But this year—it was Ms. Churchlady, my favorite Super Mom. History repeating itself.
I still find it hard to stop myself. I see waste, the lack of organization, the petty squabbling and my desire to step in with an excel spreadsheet and a few merged e-mail messages is overwhelming. I can taste the success of a concisely worded, witty e-mail to mothers who want to help, but no one has given them instruction.
When you reach this point—at this exact moment—you must step away. Take a deep breath and cleanse your body of the urge to volunteer out of sheer frustration.
Do not take on one more job because you can do it better. Of course you can do it better—that is why you are making the big bucks. But keep in mind—you can’t do everything and it is not even wise—this event will come and go and no one will remember or care about the lame coordination leading up to it.
Standing in the auditorium lobby of the school during the spring play intermission I spied Ms. Churchlady. Still shell-shocked she was mumbling her mantra—“a form for everyone’s e-mail address, one big list of addresses, a few e-mail notes—that is all it would take. I can do it easily… “ I walked her back to our seats. One more performance—then we are free and clear until next year. I will talk to her later—try to get her to see the light in the Art of NOT Volunteering.
Big Cleansing Breath Everyone