It’s not supposed to be personal

I hope it’s officially Springtime here in the northern tundra because I’m getting tired of being cold all the time. The snows are finally melting, and I saw two robins last Saturday. Maybe that’s a true sign that Spring is finally here.

Another sign of Spring is at our school- the upcoming Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) elections. I’ve been president for the past year, and we had a very interesting year this year. We gave back the concessions to the middle school/high school atheltics because we were losing money, we’ve had very little cooperations with the middle school/high school atheltics department in the first place. Now it’s election time again, and it looked like at first that we would not have a slate of officers at all. Our vice president and treasurer can’t run again because of term limits. So it’s down to just the secretary and me. I decided at one PTO meeting that I was done. I wanted to get back into finishing my schoolwork for my Masters’ degrees, and go from there.

The secretary came up to me and talked to me about the future of PTO. If there are no officers for next year, the PTO dissolves and we’re done. She said that it would be good if I held on for just one more year since that would give the PTO continuity in leadership, and we would have the PTO still viable for the school. I didn’t think about the continuity in leadership aspect since the president can hold office for 2 years, but honestly, I wanted to be done. Since I didn’t want the PTO to be completely finished, I wrote my name on the nominations form.

Later on, I heard through the grapevine that the secretary has aspirations of running for president. Yup. You read that right. After talking to me about how I should stay on, she wants to run for the position. To tell the truth, I was hurt. I felt like I wasn’t wanted.

Then another bombshell erupted. Another mom wants to run for president, but she hasn’t been to the three required meetings during the school year. I checked our bylaws, and we changed that requirement only for president, but if someone wants to run for president he/she has to have held a previous position. I don’t know if this mom has or hasn’t, so I need to dig and find out.

At our last PTO meeting, the fur was starting to fly between the secretary and myself. I stated that if we don’t have a full slate of officers for next year, then we can’t do our annual silent basket auction. She comes out with “well, I feel confident that we will have a full slate, and if we don’t, then we should just have the auction anyway, and give the money directly to the school. I think we should amend the bylaws for that.”

I was groaning inside, but I stated, “We can’t do that. In order to amend bylaws, we need to have a first reading of the amendment, which would be at the next meeting. Then, at the second reading, we’d vote. By then, it would be too late.”

Then she was talking while I was talking, and I stopped. I said, “I’m waiting until the side conversations are stopped.” She stopped talking, looked around and made this “Oooh” sound that only she can make.

Things like this make me remember my old days in grade school- all the popularity contests, the cattiness, the infighting. I thought that serving on the PTO wasn’t supposed to be personal; it was supposed to be serving your school and helping out.

Sigh.

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6 responses

  1. Let’s think about Michelle. You want to be done with it, you want more time for your Masters. The PTO will survive. Don’t get caught up in a competition with these twits. Don’t *make* it personal.

    Take care, hon xx

  2. Politics (the negative connotation) are horrible (and draining and tiring and all that) at any level of ‘governing’. Stupid question (considering were talking about human beings here) but why does it always come down to someone’s personal ambitions always messing it up/overwhelming the basic purpose of the organization in the first place? (sort of a “why can’t we all just get along” thing).

    It’s wonderful that you care so much, I know how hard it is to get out when there’s “wrong” going on, despite the toll it will take on you. Please take care – you’re far too important to too many people to be knocked down by all this.

  3. I have been through a situation where I wanted to be done with something and had to be very strong against several people asking me over and over to stay. There were a couple of personality conflicts, but mainly I just was doing too much and wanted to focus elsewhere.

    It was hard to keep saying no, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is not your personal responsibility to keep the PTO running, and it sounds like you have very good reasons for stopping.

  4. Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. I’ve decided that I’m stepping down after this school year. I had a heart-to-heart talk with a good friend. Your comments helped me, too, to make this decision.

    Hugs to all of you!

  5. Pingback: Coming out of the den, once again « The BearTwinsMom’s Den

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