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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gee, is this too harsh?

Here is the first draft of my latest "manifesto". I draft these elaborate scathing letters or emails to purge myself of overwhelming rage . . . then on a good day I edit it down to the bare bones (here, only the final paragraph) before I send them. Still, I hate to waste all my brilliant and heart-felt words by deleting them for nobody to see. And hey - they are my honest feelings!


"to the treasurer:

I was stunned and shocked at yesterday's meeting, that after several months of requests you were still unprepared to work on the treasurer's report as planned. More than anything, I am disappointed in myself for not calling you to the mat on that task! When school was cancelled December 10th, I spent half of my day - time which should been spent with my daughter and elderly mother - making up a spreadsheet to make your job easier and asking for only FOUR numbers from you - itemizations that you should have had ready at hand. Answers to these questions would have gained us much ground on meeting what should be our combined goal of answering [concerned parent's] very simple questions. To date, only one of these questions was answered - and that by [PTO President]!

Yesterday, when I pointed out that we had accomplished nothing at the meeting other than listening - again - to your plans for procedures and once again agreeing to them, you flatly indicated that it was not the purpose of the meeting. As the person who called the December 10th meeting in the first place, I clearly remember that it was in response to the threat of cutting off spending until we get the matter settled. That was my wake-up call that I needed to get involved, despite the fact that it is not my job to be involved with finances. At that time, I promised [concerned parent] and the others present that we would be able to iron out the budget and ledgers to answer his very simple and basic questions by the next Parents Club meeting. That meeting is 9:15 a.m. on January 3rd. The purpose of our meeting in the meantime was to help you to do your job and put the proper items where they belonged in the budget. Now you are telling me that you are planning on sorting that out "over the holidays". I am hereby telling you that I am not available during school vacation to help you with that project. It is not fair to our teachers, our school, our students, and the other members of our parents club that has not been done the past few months. We cannot make any plans for spending without knowing how much we have to spend.

Also, it is unfair and insulting to past administrations that you continually imply that (1) no mentoring has been offered to you and (2) no procedures were in place for treasury in past years. I know for a fact that [last year's treassurer] and [last year's president] had several times attempted to meet with you at the end of last school year and beginning of this to "pass the torch", so to speak. I know from being involved in projects last year that there were procedures in place for counting money and forms to fill out with submission to money. Not only had I seen it done myself, but I was often the 2nd "counter" for pizza or book fair money. I chose not to interfere with the way you are doing your "job" as treasurer for far too long and let you go on your time-consuming rants too many times. Help has been offered to you and offered again. It seems the only voice you want to hear is your own, and it makes enough noise to drown out any rational conversation that may be taking place!

By the way, it is also disrespectful to your family - especially your son who attends our school - to talk about your should-be private family matters at a PTO meeting. Especially when some of his school mates are present and people who care for him are there hearing you describe his most private confessions and worst of all - you calling him "bad" and "trouble" when we know he is a GOOD boy who is going through a lot. And who wouldn't have struggles at his age with his life so exposed? Besides that, your language at school is unquestionably inapropriate and unprofessional. It is one thing to use "locker room" talk with friends and siblings and something totally different to express yourself that way in public.

I was available on Monday the 17th. It wasn't convenient for me to accomplish that availability. In fact, I got outside at 7 a.m. and scraped a half inch of ice off of my car in order to meet with you at 9:30 as planned. I had no other reason to be at school that early on a Monday morning. At what time did you know that you had to drive for [your daughter's]carpool that morning and that her Charter school was delayed? I guarantee it was before you sauntered into the library at 9:40 with her in tow to inform us that you would (again) be unable to attend that meeting. Again, I attempted to be gracious and understanding of circumstances, but looking back after the fact there was no reason you could not have called me at home before sending [your son] off to school that day. Being repeatedly and admittedly late for meetings shows not only your self-importance but extreme disrespect for others who attend our meetings.

I have bent over backwards to accommodate you and be friendly to you despite many opportunities for me to act otherwise. That's over,[ ]. I have taken your part and tried to smooth over any frictions that occur. I have tried to be friendly and compassionate but all I get in return is arrogance and lack of consideration. When you talk, I find myself staring at you like a deer in the headlights wondering what the "heck" is happening. I have been supportive of you for years and stuck up for you when others denigrated your personality or history or experiences. All this despite the fact that the only way I even know who you are,is because you sold me a house - a house which you knew had heating and a/c problems, poor windows, almost no insulation, a bucket under a plumbing leak in the crawl space, humid air vented directly into the space between the ceiling of the basement and the main floor, moisture in the basement, and countless other problems. How you can look me in the eye is a mystery to me.

Bottom line is that if you do not have a clear, concise, understandable and type-written treasurer's report ready to distribute at 9:15 a.m. January 3rd, 2008 - it will be wholeheartedly recommended that you step down from your post and relinquish your duties to somebody who is more suited to the position. Not everybody is suited for every job. You have shown that you can contribute a lot to the kids and the school, but this may not be your forte and there is no shame "quitting" when what you are doing is not helping the school, the kids, the staff, or the parents."

3 comments:

Mandy said...

All sounds good to me! Even the part about the house issues!

Lanie Painie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lanie Painie said...

Here is what I ACTUALLY sent to the poor guy, after I settled down. Unfortunately, I screwed up the subject line of the email so I still look like an idiot, but ah well. I should be getting used to it by now

"Not everybody is suited for every job. You have shown that you can contribute a lot to the kids and the school, but finance is clearly and admittedly not your forte. There is no shame "quitting" when what you are doing is not helping the school, the kids, the staff, or the parents.I am taking this opportunity to let you know that if you do not have a clear, concise, understandable and type-written treasurer's report ready to distribute at our next Parent's Club Meeting at 9:15 a.m. on Thurdsay January 3rd, 2008 - it will be wholeheartedly recommended that you step down from your post and relinquish your duties to somebody who is more suited to the position. "