Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lost in Translation

So even though my head seems to contain some sort of hard, painful balloon that never stops inflating, I am still going to write a post because I am pissed off. Oh, well Gina, we have never really seen you pissed off before, what could possibly be wrong? (har har)

Well I'll tell you.

People that don't bother to listen to what you actually said, and then jump to conclusions based on what they wanted to hear.

Without going into too much detail, I belong to a Club, which is a group of SAHM's that gets together for various activities, playgroups, and the like. This year I was pressured into becoming the Playgroup Coordinator. I say pressured because they were whining that no one was volunteering and they had originally wanted me to be Treasurer, which I declined.

I was assured that Playgroup Coordinator was a piece of cake. All I had to do was simply add or remove people as they joined or left playgroups. Admittedly, I was looking for a lower end of the spectrum responsiblity position, because I don't do all that much with this club.

Or that is what was supposed to happen.

Instead, it turns out that the playgroups, which are a vital part of the success of the chapter, were dead in the water. My playgroup was the only functioning one in the entire chapter. We have over 30 women in this chapter, so that is fairly pathetic. It seems that the former coordinator had no clue of what was going on, and was operating as if everything was peachy-keen.

The president of the club calls and says that I need to personally call each and every woman and ask them if they want to join up in playgroup, yadda yadda. A grass-roots "Get Out the Playgroup" campaign to be conducted by yours truly. Now I am not one to shirk these types of things, but I asked her for an updated roster so that I would not be calling people that no longer even belonged to the club, as I knew that quite a few people had recently dropped out.

Shortbook on that is- it took forever for her to get me an updated roster, and then only two weeks after, my back problem hit. To be fair, I did have the two weeks, but I was in the crunch period for my grandparents anniversary party, and the calling up of a bunch of unwilling and unmotivated women was low on my list, ok?

The president called me right in the thick of it, pressuring me about having not called anyone yet. I will quote myself exactly:

"Well, L, I am having some serious back problems right now, and between the pain and the side effects of the drugs, I am not comfortable with calling people right now. If you want this task to be done ASAP, I am not your person."

Translation: I am in a shitload of pain and the drugs are making me weird and crazy. If you want these women called this week, it isn't going to happen. I will do it when I am feeling better."

What she heard:

"I am apparently a big loser who can't even make up a decent excuse to avoid calling these women, even stooping to mutter some nonsense about some supposed back pain. As if a little back pain could keep me off the phone, I mean, I'm talking on it right now, aren't I? And the drug thing, even more ludicrous! I am obviously a horrible liar and I'm hoping you won't spot it. But anyway, I quit!"

Yes, she interpreted what I said to mean that I quit the position, without ever even clarifying it once.

I learned this in a secondhand way, which makes me even more angry. A friend called after the club's general meeting. She asked me why I had quit the position. I expressed complete ignorance of what she was talking about. She said that on the newsletter, my position was listed as "OPEN! Please contact L if you are interested!"

It seems that L has a history of "misinterpreting" things, usually in the most negative way possible. My initial reaction was to call her and explain the misunderstanding. I was concerned that someone out there thinks I am not a very responsible person, which couldn't be further from the truth. I would use my most soothing and rational voice, claiming to want to do this position with every fibre of my being.

Then I thought, to hell with it, life is too short to be dealing with crazies like this.

Maybe I'll feel different tomorrow.

But I doubt it.


Beth said...

Hey! I stumbled upon your blog by searching for some other people's take on the MOMS Club. I've belonged to the chapter in my town for almost two years and I am so irritated with it. My husband was right - no group run by women will ever stay strong. Our group is one big popularity contest complete with back stabbing and bad mouthing. Sorry to hear about your dilemma, but its nice to know that ours is not the only group out there that has zero participation and the president is a b-.

Gina said...

Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by. Oh, the chills that went up my spine when I saw you had found my post from a search engine! I changed it so that no one should be able to find me the way that you did. :)

As for the Club, I'm sorry that yours is dysfunctional as well. I joined with high anticipations, and perhaps it was my fault for wanting them to be something they weren't.

My husband works a non-traditional schedule, so most of the time, I can't participate without sacrificing time away from him, which is little as it is.

Well, I seem to have written another post, so I think I'll leave it at that.

Suzanne said...

I think your experience, and that of others I have heard, plus my own lone-wolf nature, is why I have avoided joining a mom's group.

I don't think groups run by women are destined to be felled by petty concerns, but I am wary of volunteer organizations in general.

Have you read the blog Suburban Bliss? That blogger has had a battle with her chapter of that organization and was actually threatened with legal action if she continued to mention and link to the group by name on her blog.

Pamela Aaralyn said...

Sometimes in this world, Gina, you have to decide what is worth your time..and what is not. This particular scenario just might not be worth your time and efforts. But, if it is, try emailing her your response. It's easier than calling. And perhaps try emailing some of these moms, too, instead.

Piece of Work said...

I think you are right--you don't have time for that craziness. I was going to join the Moms club in my area when Vivian was a newborn--but I had all sorts of difficulty even getting a schedule of events, and then when I got it, it turned out I was unable to attend many of the new member activities because I was visiting my family. When I returned, I had a really nasty email from the head of the group saying I shouldn't have bugged her about the schedule if I wasn't even going to bother attending. At which point I decided I didn't need the craziness either!