Friday, October 5, 2007

Just Saying "No"

How prophetic that my last post should be about the work I was doing as Registrar for our Intown Youth Soccer Program. Our big fundraiser, a Jamboree of sorts, was held last Saturday. Over 350 kids and their families participated; we’re talking over 1,000 people, folks. And by the end of it, I had had it with one little prick of a Board member and resigned my position!

The Jamboree planning sucked. It shouldn’t have been rocket science. We did it last year, and I had all the notes to go by. It should have been a cakewalk. But last year, the Director and I did most of the detail work, while these schmucks moved nets the night before. This year, our Jamboree Committee, or, as I like to refer to us, the five doing all the work, ended up being next year’s Director, his wife, their best friends whose daughter is on their daughter’s team, and me. I’ll refer to the two other women as “the two wives” from here on in.

As always, the Director and some of the Board members just wouldn’t let go, even though they had no plans on being there for the event anyway. Four of them came to one meeting, promised to get a bunch of donations for our raffle, and never delivered. Even our Director had told everyone at our Coaches’ Meeting at the start of September that she wouldn’t even be there for the actual Jamboree because she had a wedding for the same day. Of course, she is also my oldest son’s coach, and then asked my DH, who had worked a comp day to get that Saturday off to help me out, to coach in her place. She also named next year’s Director as Jamboree Coordinator, but then wouldn’t give total control over to him, complicating a number of things. She kept delegating things out to members of the Board who everyone knew 1) wouldn’t be there for most of the day, and 2) couldn’t bring themselves to raise a finger to help, just like last year. She also included them in on the last meeting, held at the Jamboree Coordinator’s house, where they all sat in front of the TV watching the Red Sox game, drinking beer, and arguing with me and the two wives who were doing all the typing, schedules, flyers, etc. They were, as my father likes to say, as useless as tits on a bull.

On the day of the actual Jamboree, we had the Treasurer and two other Board members helping out most of the day, in addition to a small group of parent volunteers who did a great amount of work. The rest of the Board showed up late in the afternoon and proceeded to stand around gabbing, as all the heavy lifting was being done in front of their eyes by the volunteers.

Now comes the good part. The U10/12 Boys Coordinator had set up one of the most asinine playoff schedules I’ve ever seen, with brackets such as “Loser Game #1/2/3 with 2nd highest score vs. Loser Game #1/2/3 with 3rd best score”. I mean, no one could figure out what the Hell he’d done. When we tried to have him explain it at our last meeting, he snarled at us. Oh, and with all these Board members being League Coordinators, the rule at our Jamboree is that, if you can’t be there to run your League (age group), then you need to have someone else in charge (usually another coach from that league). Well, the guy who was going to sub for him ended up pulling his back, and could barely coach his own games, let alone run the League.

Well, Mr. U10/12 shows up at 12:30ish. Stands around gabbing with two other Board members. While his bracket system is screwing up the works. Because of a 0-0 tie, the third to last game was allowed to go to triple overtime. Kids were on the field for over an hour, when these games were supposed to be 25 minutes long. Parents were complaining to, among others, me, my DH (as coach), and the Jamboree Coordinator, that either their game was now an hour behind schedule or their kid had been playing for 65 minutes. I finally had had it, and went over towards the little huddle. When I approached him, I told him that he needed to do something about the situation. He turned on me, snarling “What is your problem?” I said, “We have a number of parents complaining. Go handle your league and do something about it!” His response was to snarl back that I didn’t know what I was talking about, at which point I lost it. My next comment was “X, you haven’t been here all day, so shut the
F@$$% up!” His response? “You know, you have a real attitude and the entire Board is sick of it!”

Keep in mind, I was up until midnight that Tuesday night, working on details with the other two wives, then up until 10:00 p.m. the night before the Jamboree putting together the last-minute donations that we had obtained because the others had not delivered on their promises. Then I was up at 5:45 a.m. the day of the Jamboree, and at the field at 7:00 a.m. I was tired, hungry, sunburned, hadn't gotten to see either of DS#2's games and only one or two plays of DS#1's first game, and, on top of all that, I'm five months pregnant. Needless to say, I was not too willing to "suffer fools gladly" at this point.

Have you ever had an opportunity open up right in front of your eyes? I saw it, and before I knew what I was saying, I responded, “Fine, I’m done. I hereby resign. Get yourself another Registrar. I don’t need this from anyone!”

Short rest of the story: the Director kept phoning me from the wedding reception to find out how her team was doing. I told her to get a new Registrar, that I quit, and the details. She told me we’d talk the next day, which she didn’t do. My DH was so upset, he was going to pound this little jackass into the ground, but I convinced him not to. I wanted to call the cops, because at the end of the Jamboree, those same Board members who couldn’t be bothered to help out all through this process were toasting themselves on the town field, where no alcohol is allowed (our League has the same rule) with beer, while the volunteers finished cleaning up. We didn't. But I can guarantee that DH will, somehow, some day, get his revenge. To start with, this jerk is always at CCD on Sunday mornings to pick up his kids. DH was planning on approaching him and saying, "Don't you ever speak to my wife again. Cross the street if she's coming. Don't say a word, don't look at her, nothing." Jerk-Boy wasn't there the next morning, so DH did one better. The guy who lives next door to Jerk-Boy grew up with my DH in a city closer to Boston than our town. He has a day job and is a reasonably successful comedian on weekends. DH filled him in on Jerk-Boy's antics the day before. Guy was amazed, because where they come from, speaking to someone's pregnant wife like that, regardless of the situation, would earn you a beating. Guy will most certainly point this fact out to Jerk-Boy when he speaks to him, only it will probably be something along the lines of "You got a death wish? He's got 7 older brothers, and if you were in our hometown, they would all be over here kicking your ass! You should count your lucky stars!"

After my resignation, I watched my oldest son's second game, then picked up my table that I had brought for the day, and my family left. After we got home, I got a call from one of the wives, and ended up with the two wives at the Jamboree Coordinator’s house, and we had a great bitch session. They were both upset with how I got treated, especially in light of how much work I had done, and were very vocal both at the fields after I left and when their husbands and one of the other Board members got to the house afterwards.

Hearing nothing from the director, I sent an email on Monday morning to everyone on the Board, quoting X and officially resigning. I followed it up with a recap of all the loose ends that I was aware of for the Fall 2007 season, including the late registration I was HANDED AT THE JAMBOREE, and the other late registration I was TOLD WAS COMING. I turned all of it over to the Director Monday night, leaving the paperwork with a copy of the email at her house.

So I am done, and here’s why I know that, in the end, it was the right thing to do: when asked how they would feel if I wasn’t Registrar any more, both my kids responded with “Yeah! So, no more meetings, right?!?” Also, the next morning I woke up and felt as if a huge amount of pressure and weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

I did tell the wife of next year’s Director that, if there was turnover in the Board and her husband needed help, I would be willing to help. But, as the Board currently stands, I want nothing to do with that dysfunctional lot. The best part? For the most part, I was the word-processing form-making data-entry person for the entire Board. The registration forms? I created those. Notes to the League Coordinators re: missing kids, issues, etc.? Me. And I also, due to lack of response from those same Coordinators, was the primary contact for a number of the parents who had questions. DH has sworn me to do no more for the League, even for my friend, the Director. I’m not even making sure my name comes off the contact list. So the Spring 2008 season should be very interesting, as I have resolved to not respond to any emails for a 20-day period. After that, I’ll simply respond with “I’m so sorry. I am no longer the Registrar for our Intown Youth Soccer Program.” No directions, no nothing. I know it sounds vengeful, but it really is no longer my problem to address, and I am finally learning to say “No”.

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