NOT the Alien Encounter

I’ve been sitting here, trying very hard to tell you about my alien encounter.  But it seems that I’m all worked up about something else, so I’m going to give you my first ever vent.

As a mom, I feel it is important to be in contact with what’s going on with my girls.  For that reason, I have been an active member of the PTA ever since they started school.  I loved doing things such as Classic Books (leading an age-appropriate  book club) and Art Docent (teaching about the great artists and providing a project to reinforce what they learned.)  Basically anything that had me in there with the kids was the way to go. 

When the girls moved up to Junior High, I figured that I didn’t really need to be as involved.  There really wasn’t as much to do with the kids (other than supervise a dance…UGH!) and I wasn’t interested in dealing with the adult side of the PTA.   Then someone that I admired and respected asked me to be a part of the board.   I hesitated a long time.  I didn’t really want to have anything to do with it.   Finally, I accepted the position of “Volunteer Coordinator” .  Mostly because I didn’t want to be pestered anymore and the only options were that or to be president.  (and I really, really didn’t want to be president!)

 I don’t care for the position, although it isn’t that hard.   Mostly it involves a lot of tedious computer work.  And even more tedious meetings.  It astounds me how some of these woman can go on and on about…oh…nothing.  They always go longer than they are scheduled.  I’m not sure what it is about the woman that are attracted to the PTA…but we don’t seem to click. 

I’m not sure why I am still here for a second year, but I am having a major conflict with one of the other board members.   Because of  I want to throttle her resign my post, but it seems wrong to do so.  Shaun, who is used to the office politics game, thinks I should confront this woman, but I don’t like conflict and really don’t even want anything to do with her.   I guess I will be calling her soon, although it’s quite possible that she is oblivious  to how my stomach gets all tied  up in knots whenever I think about the situation. 

Maybe I will be having another alien encounter soon…  (and maybe now, after my lame first ever venting session I can tell you about the first one.)


Bit O Life


Speaking of irritations, this is the main reason I don’t usually like going to the fair!

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18 Responses to NOT the Alien Encounter

  1. Mojokat says:

    Oh man! That sucks. I am in the middle of a conflict like that here at work, but I don’t think the other person realizes how much she has frustrated me. I keep getting the same advise, just tell her how you feel and have it out, otherwise it’ll eat away at you, but she has no idea. I, too, though…HATE conflict and confrontations…EEEEWWWWWWWWaa!

    Sigh, I don’t like being a responsible adult! Good luck to you with your situation…I do wish you the best!

    Oh, and I’ve very looking forward to your alien encounter adventure!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Jay says:

    Most volunteer organizations are dysfunctional because of all the infighting. There is also often a lack of communication. Go ahead and give the woman a call and work it out. It’s possible that she really is oblivious to the whole thing.

    Anyway, volunteering is hard work for a lot of different reasons.

  3. says:

    Not a good situation. I am so sorry.
    But Mojokat advice sounds oke to try…

    Hope the best for you.

  4. Kari says:

    Hey! You need me to drive up there (or over there or whatever – not sure just where you are in relation to me) and put that woman in headlock and smack her around a little? I’m not just menopausal – I’m MILITANTLY menopausal. That means I dont’ mind doing totally outrageous and violent things if I’m promised an ice cold drink and an air conditioned room for my troubles. lol

    I know, I know…violence is NEVER the answer, yadda, yadda, yadda. Just trying to help….

  5. JennieBoo says:

    “Volunteer Coordinator”? Are you TRYING to be masocistic?

    Anyway, Some women get into PTA so they can boss others around or build themselves up……It’s like “Club Med” for housewives, I guess.

    I don’t like confrontations either, so I can’t give advice….sorry!

    Wow! Our fair is NEVER that crowded!

    Happy weekend!

  6. Tink says:

    That was your vent?! You’re much too nice. What’s this chick’s number? I’ll give her my one-two verbal punch. 😉

  7. Ugh!!! I hate being in crowds like that at any time or place.

    As for your PTA dilemma….you’ve gotten some good advice. I don’t like confrontations though I will confront someone if I’ve had enough! I have two little reminders taped by my desk. One says: Confront the problem. The other says: Never complain about what you permit. I think about the second reminder a lot because I tend to complain about something or someone without ever having tried to change or solve the problem.

  8. Cazzie says:

    Looking at that image, I have onething to say, “Baaaa..Baaaaaa” (yes, I am a sheep being herded and following the leader) LOL

  9. awriterinthedesert says:

    I really feel for you on this issue, as I’ve been there myself. I get anxiety attacks at the thought of those long boring meetings. I just read an excellent new book called The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team by Patrick Lencioni that may help you figure out what’s going on with these people, and it’ll help you on the confrontation issue. It’s an easy, fun read (there’s even suspense!) and can be applied to any situation where you’re working with a group of people. Good luck!

  10. lynn says:

    At the risk of sounding like a creepy stalker… I avoid being on the PTA board for the same reason you do. And I’m talking about the EXACT same PTA board. You did a great job as volunteer coordinator last year- talked me into a few things. 🙂

  11. Susan says:

    Kat~Well, we had the talk. She *said* she was unaware of the tensions. But she didn’t really care. I think it’s worse…

    Jay~I don’t get why it has to be like that. Sigh…

    Pretty~Thank you.

    Kari~I think you are my hero. Someone who would share her prize winnings and beat up someone that was bothering me…I’ve got an ice cold drink and a fan for ya! Come on up! (I’m assuming up because pretty much all of the other states are below)

    Jennie~you crack me up!

    Tink~Sorry…I said it was a lame vent! I’m just no good at being mean. (even if the words are true)

    Songbird~”Never complain about what you permit.” Perfect. Thank you.

    Cazzie~Shaun always “mmmmoooooos” through crowds like that. It used to embarrass me, but now I barely notice it.

    Writer~I’ll have to go look that one up. Although right now I’m more partial to the head-lock idea…

    Lynn~My very first creepy stalker!!! 😀

  12. Laane says:

    I have been the chairman for many many many years. The only way to survive and have others survive is to be efficient in the first place.
    So no meetings that last as long that you can see people turn grey and wrinkled, no debates outside the meeting, and always available when things go wrong.
    I jate conflict myself.

    You are a volunteer and unless you have signed some agreement you’ll stay on for so many years, you can just resign.
    Especially as you were not choosen but stept into an empty chair you have a right to resign.

    The next meeting you’ll inform the person who sets the agenda and have the resignation put on the agenda.

    Tell them you can’t invest the energy in the job anymore because you’re needed in the family. That it’s a pity you have to balance where you’re needed more, but you are sure that if you wanted to do the job they will be able to attract someone else.

    Then you thank them it’s effective immediately.
    hand over any paperwork immediately if that’s possible and tell them it will add to the burden when they’re trying to keep you here. Your decision is final.

    Be firm.

    Thanks for participating in the august-give-away.

  13. Lynne says:

    okay, no one but me and mojokat seem to be intrigued about you “alien encounter.” Do tell, Susan! Were they from outer space or just aliens from earth? I know a few of that kind …

    I don’t know anything about PTA’s since I don’t have children but it sounds A LOT like the people in our dog club 😉

  14. Peggy says:

    Dearest Susan, I know just exactly what you’re going through. People in those groups can sometimes become Little Napoleons. They are always set to transmit and never EVER on recieve. They are so fond of their own voice and will drone on and on despite everybody else in the room falling asleep. Arguments are usually won by them because the other party has lost interest or the will to live.

    If you’ve got the courage, go ahead and blast them. If you do, you will find that the criticism bounces right off them as they will have the skin of a rhino! If you don’t have the courage to tell them what needs to be said, just quit. Its not worth shortening your life over.

  15. Kell says:

    Oh, I’ve been on so many committees and I feel your pain. But I think you’re right, the woman probably doesn’t think there’s a problem. Committees tend to attract women (I say women because that’s my experience) who like to be in control and feel important. Then there are us! We just can’t figure out a good way to get out of it, so we suffer and try to do the best we can. Hope it either gets better soon or you can bow out gracefully.

  16. lavidaboca says:

    Regarding the PTA Board Member: Don’t let your character be compromised by the weak character of others. Good advice isn’t it? I can’t take credit for it though…I got it from the pastor at church this Sunday. We should consider it often! Keep doing what you’re doing with PTA – for all the right reasons.

  17. giveitatry says:

    I totally understand the woes of PTA – I don’t like the adult side either….

  18. Susan says:

    Thank you all so much for your support and your advise. It really means a lot to me. You can’t imagine how torn up I am about this. And it really isn’t that important at all in the grand scheme of life. Sigh…

    What is it they say, don’t let the little things get you down? I’ve been letting this situation affect me too much.

    Once again, thank you.

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