At the end of 2009, a friend & I made a solemn, pinkie promise VOW to never, ever join another committee. Ever. Our first foray had seen tumult the likes of which I had only seen on Jerry Springer. Presidential autocrats, staff walk outs, drug scandals (OK, I may have made a bit of that up, but just for dramatic effect, you understand) were the meet in the AGM sandwich. By the end of that year, my cohort & I were of the opinion that we had to take the helm the following year and right the darn ship before we lost more lives…and by lives, I mean social death.
Nominating myself for an executive role, I was all revved up with the view that I was going to assist the committee in what our Julia would term an “Education Revolution”. In short, I was going to sort out the filing cabinet, get some decent shelving for the office, and put an end to bitching in the car park via open and transparent leadership. In what can only be described as a quirk of nature, I became what locals term “Knocked Up”. With this development, all that Bolshy enthusiasm was puked out of me via all day barfing and the air headed affliction that tends to characterise my pregnancies. I could barely form a sentence let alone bring order to an organisation, already nursing bruises from the trauma of the previous year. Let’s just say my position was vacant, without me actually vacating the role. I offered my resignation during rare moments of clarity, however my co representatives on the committee must have lost their minds too, and refused to accept it. Damn fool kids.
During the end of year AGM, my friend & I made our vow, after deep thought and some getting of wisdom. Looking back, it was all a little Rumpelstiltskin.
Fast forward through a year of childbirth, sleep deprivation and milk engorged jubblies. I now nursed not only a gorgeous female munchkin, but a hankering to return to the world in a guise other than life support to a baby and wailing wall to the Groom and two small lads. Hearing the occasional rumbling regarding the committee to which I did not belong, I sensed again a need for my insightful observations and ability to oil the social cohesion among my peers. Yes, it was time to start attending the local committee, tell some fart jokes and sink some Sem Sav Blanc. This would also enable me to get out of the house away from all three delightfully demanding cherubs and their father. Two birds, one Stone (geddit?!), happy days.
Knowing this may be my only means of escape without lecture or guilt, I began working on my friend. What if he joined me? It could be great, better than the last two times. No really. Wearing him down over subsequent months took cunning, skill and more that a few sessions on the lattes down at the local cafe.
As the AGM approached, I sensed I was close to successfully convincing him to again be my partner in crime. I even embarked on a campaign to have his spouse get in his shell like. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit on the committee together as husband and wife? Mwahahahaha! Crunch time came and although my friend was absent from the AGM, the opportunity was wide open when nobody else among the parent body volunteered for the role intended for my now powerless–to-resist buddy. I nominated him on the spot, garnered the support of his Mrs and sealed the deal. Success was mine.
Looking forward as we were to enjoying a scandal free term on the committee, we waxed lyrical about the potential for bonding with fellow representatives, our much loved staff, several varieties of ale, vino and perchance branching out to spirits at meetings. The world was our oyster, so long as we could achieve quorum of course.
Days after our committee was formed, the bomb dropped that made both of our previous dramatic terms appear fun and festive. Yes, the director and senior staff member submitted her resignation after 14 years at the helm. My brain imploded. Here was all the proof I needed that my previous two terms had been disasters, not due to the noxious personal conflicts of other representatives and staff, but because I had lent my involvement to the process. In short, any committee to which I became a member was doomed to experience dramatic upheaval. Yes folks, it IS indeed all about me. Putting this notion to the resigning member of staff was met with denial all round. I am still not convinced.
As for my poor, manipulated friend, now charged with finding a suitable replacement for our much loved outgoing leader…I am hoping my role in convincing him to come back with me to the committee fold will be viewed only as that of complicit negotiator, rather than the carefully planned project that it was, in truth. Now that he is knee deep in CV’s from graduates around the state, he will not have time to view this blog and discover that I was the mastermind behind the greatest turn about our community has seen…since the last time someone changed their mind, anyway. Guess I’ll be providing the booze for next 12 meetings then…red or white ladies? Beer anyone? I’m hearing good things about vodka and gin…