As you may or may not know, I’m the President of a local Chapter of an International Organization for stay-at-home mothers. The reasons I took on this role a year ago were clear and justifiable, and I’d already served as Secretary for this organization, so I knew what I was getting myself into.
The duties weren’t hard and were things I enjoyed anyway: writing a monthly letter, finding monthly speakers, hosting “events” (playdates), etc. I knew there was an end-date to my role, so I was able to work through whatever challenges arose.
Unfortunately, we’ve had a big issue come up that needs to be resolved, and because this is an International Organization, my board has been forced to deal with other boards. (We knew about this issue going in, and we knew that it may not be solved nicely. The other board members and I have been working to alleviate this…to no avail.)
Without getting into details, this situation needs to be resolved by June 30th, because on July 1st, I’m free. I’m free from that organization. I’m running away and never looking back. None of my current board members will be continuing in their roles, and we have not found people to take these positions.
FREEDOM IS IN SIGHT, BABY!
Anyway, we’ve been working diligently on this situation since January…officially…unofficially, much longer.
Do the math.
That’s a long time.
We’ve thought it was resolved on numerous occasions only to have it turned on its head…more than once.
The last few months have been extremely stressful for me (for all of us), but I’ve been trying to let it go. MY Board is awesome, and this situation has really pulled us together. We do not need this organization to keep us close.
To give you a little taste of what we’ve been dealing with, I’ll give you the synopsis of a conversation we had with members of the International level:
Us: “We NEED to have this resolved by June 30th for these various reasons.”
Them: “We COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND…will a vote about this on July 15th work for you?”
Uhhh, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say, “NO…??”
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sparing you the gory details that wouldn’t make sense to you anyway and would probably just prove me to be a crazy person for even engaging in these conversations in the first place.
So, from this, what have I learned?
Besides the fact that if something that SHOULD be SIMPLE is entangled in a mess of bureaucratic tape (regardless of the color of it), it’s best to run away from it?
I’ve learned that I will never be an Executive Board Member of a volunteer organization again. No, really. Never again. For real this time. At this point, I will give up my need to be in control of anything, and I’ll be happy to just be a member. (Honestly I’m not sure I even want to be a member of another organization for a LONG time.)
In fact, the other members of my board and I have made a pact granting each of us permission to commit physical violence to the one who thinks she CAN be on a board again. (I’m still unclear on the details, but smacking, shaking and physical restraint were tossed around.)
Oh, that reminds me…I need to ask them how we should divvy up those roles. I know! I could be President. I’ve got a lot of experience with that, and come July 1st, and I’ll have a lot more time on my hands.
Do you think they’ll agree to take on the other roles?
In the meantime, I’m bookmarking this post. When I find myself part of a volunteer organization and feel the need to step it up and take on a more important role, I’ll try my hardest to remember how I’m feeling right now. Because it won’t be different. It will end exactly the same way. And even if it doesn’t, I have to assume it will. I’m not sure I could survive another round of this with my sanity intact.