Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sucker

At the end of daughter's kindergarten year I went to the monthly Parent Teacher Organization meeting (when you spend all day every day with a 5 year old and two 4 year olds you get your ass to as many evening meetings like this that you can because it means ADULT COMPANY and you get to leave the kids at home) and they were looking for someone to be the chairperson of the School Carnival the next year.  This was in May and the next School Carnival would be one year away.  A whole year.  Enough time to plan forty-eleven carnivals!  

I volunteered.

There was a very good reason I chose to volunteer for this job, I didn't know anyone.  I figured if I signed up to chair this humongous event then I would meet everyone, make lots of new (GROWN-UP!) friends and get to know the staff at the kids school better.  It worked like a charm.  I met every parent of every kid at the school.  (Mostly because I called all of them looking for people to sign up to work shifts at the different games.)  I had a lot of fun, made some friends I'll have for life, and earned a label that has stuck to this day.

SUCKER.

After that I chaired the carnival - with a lot of help from several people who are now dear friends - I signed up to be on the board of the P.T.O., I signed up to go to the Parent Council meetings at the district office once a month, I helped at dances, teacher-appreciation luncheons and every other school function known to man.  I'm on the email list of every volunteer coordinator in our school district and the Superintendent knows my name and suggests it if another parent is looking for help with a carnival, a volunteer for an event or notes from something we've done in the past.

It's gotten more complicated as the kids have gotten older.  Now I have daughter at the high school, Thing 1 at one middle school and Thing 2 at another middle school.  Three parent groups, three meetings a month, three "opportunities" to help out whenever something is going on.  I managed to distance myself for two years.  Well, by distance I mean that I wasn't on the board of any of the parent groups.  Until now.

Wednesday was the parent group meeting for the high school.  I had told them I would be the co-secretary for next year.  Secretary is easy, you just go to the meetings and take notes.  Now that I have a laptop it would be even easier because I could take the minutes on my computer and not have to type them up later.  Another Mom who has been Secretary for a year was staying on so we could take turns, share the responsibility!  Awesome!

At the meeting it turned out that they had two people for every position except President.  For that position they had nobody.  And before I knew what happened I was elected President of the high school parent group for the 2009-2010 school year.

SHIT!

But there is a silver lining.  I will get to know the Principal.  I'll get to know the staff, the Vice-Principal who is the GOD OF DISCIPLINE and all the secretaries who everyone knows really run the school.  In a student body of 2000 this is a very good thing.  I'll have one whole year to kiss up to everyone before Thing 1 and Thing 2 enter the school as Freshmen and wreak havoc and destruction upon the school's hallowed halls.

Bribery via hours and hours of volunteer time is a very good thing...

8 comments:

EmBee said...

I remember those years in the PTA with all the fondness one might have of dragging their ass across broken glass.

You know, I just couldn't stand it when it was announced a volunteer was needed and the room would get so deathly quiet you could hear a pin drop.

That makin' new friends thing and gettin' out of the house was a lot like selling my soul to the devil.

MOM #1 said...

When did PTA become PTO? I've always wondered that.

You're so much braver than I ever was . . . I have a secret confession . . . I pretty much despise other people's children. So no in-school volunteering for me. I know. I suck. I can't help it.

Shelly... said...

Ha ha Mom #1 YOU ROCK!! That's my secret confession as well. Although that's not a surprise to Katy! And Katy, I think you are fucking nuts to volunteer with all of your other responsibilities but you do have a good point about being able to kiss up for a whole year before Thing 1 and Thing 2 show up...

Kate said...

I gave you an award on my blog. Check it out. :o)

Nana said...

A volunteer's darkest secret? You get more out of it than you put in. Don't tell anyone...

The Hotfessional said...

I so wish I would have read this 4 years ago. I know it would have come in handy.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

(I came via Christy)
I wish I was as outgoing as you...I have helped out as much as I can...trying to get "in" at our new school...and other than the secretary, and my kids teachers, I haven't made one more friend...and I've been to everything...

You are brave...although I have to admit, it's nice NOT having to do all that stuff...most of the mom's I've met are real asses...oh well...Good for you on the bribes..

Christy said...

That's awesome! See? The busiest people take on ALL the stuff! You're going to school--what the hell?! I know you'll be great at it--and your kids? They will be amazed by you (if not now, at some point in the distant future!)