Thursday, November 11, 2010

Committee Debacle #1

Grandy sits on several committees for large organizations, in her day job. She also participates on a personal level with many volunteer organizations too.

Between the corporate committees and the volunteer committees, which do you think Grandy struggles with the most? Yep...You guessed it...VOLUNTEER.

When you live in a small community, you tend to see the same parent involvement from one organization to the other. PTA, Scouts, 4H, you name it, it's all the same recycled parents. We try to do our part to make the most for our kids, and that is truly what it is for...the kids.

With some professional committees (still not necessarily "work" oriented) where you have people in the same industry that come together on a volunteer basis, to coordinate an event for other professionals. Common theme...throw the best conference ever, get people in the door, and let it shine. Getting all of these "professionals" on the same page, so see that they all have the same objective, is the biggest struggle.

Grandy is going to share a committee experience that was a pain in the ass challenging recently. Perhaps it might give you some perspective about the frustration some of us "outsiders with a sense of humor" are up against.

Committee #1: ALL MOMS, with a token spouse thrown in there but who never says a word. This has been my third meeting, and everybody has great things to contribute. Grandy looks around the room and realizes she has a new found respect for each of the board members, and the roles they've taken on, because there is just not enough hours in the day for Grandy to take on another leadership position. They all have a job to do, and they appear to do it well. My task, by being there, is to see where I can help take some of the pressure off them, and let them know there are those of us out there that want to SUPPORT them. Imagine my surprise when the following dialogue took place:

Committee: blah blah blah...snack bar...blah blah...can't make a decision until so and so is here...blah blah blah...harumph harumph...blah blah.
Me: Can we not table this discussion, you (committee chair) find out the information you need, email the update to the committee and get their general concensus for a vote? It seems to me that you need some sort of decision before our next meeting.
Chair: Well we tried email in the past, but there were too many decisions being made that not everybody knew about.
Me: I understand how that could be a problem, but it seems to me that perhaps you could just utilize it for just this one issue?
Chair: I see your point...but you wouldn't get to vote.
Me: I didn't ask to vote, I was just trying to keep the meeting going.
Chair: You don't get to vote.
Chair: You're not a board member, so you don't get to vote. We will have openings on the board next year. And you...(sizing me up and down) seem like you have some good thoughts. Yeah, you seem like a real "go getter". You could be on the board next year and get to vote then. But...THANKS FOR COMING!!

Grandy smiled, looked at girlfriend sitting next to her who was smiling with a WTF look on her face, and watched the room commence back in to the same dialogue that started the conversation. Blah blah blah...snack bar...blah blah.

After about 3 minutes, Grandy turned back to girlfriend knowing our boys were now done with football practice and waiting in the car, and said "Want me to get us out of here?"

She smiles big, and nods.

Me: We're outta here. I need to get my son home, and he's sitting in the car waiting for us. Good luck with your snack bar, your email, and your vote. See ya!! ::SMILING::

As we walk out the door, Grandy turns to see the expressions on some other friends faces. One reaction looked like, "PLEASE TAKE ME WITH YOU", one was laughing, and the "CHAIR" was shocked.

What I hadn't realized at the time was that my friend, who had driven there with me and was sitting next to me, was denied a copy of the minutes from the last meeting and the agenda by the same "Chair" because she too was not a "board member". She also received the "THANKS FOR COMING" comment.

Really people...we were the only ones there willing to help among all the parents of the Freshman class. Why do you want to alienate them?

For the rest of the week, Grandy received 2 emails, 3 phone calls, and 2 stops in town at the market from individuals in that meeting (none of which were the "CHAIR") sayin, SO SORRY about the meeting, and PLEASE COME BACK.

To which Grandy smiled and responded with, "I'll be year".

Stay tuned for next week's issue of the COMMITTEE DEBACLE.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Yeah, that's why I volunteered for ONE event in Chef's elementary school. I heard them piss and moan all week about the lousy return on the event and I offered suggestions on things that could make them more money in one afternoon.

The PTA prez was like that chair. Enough said...