Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Think of All the Free Time!
Okay, Bitch Session Time. When this happened, I Googled for other bloggers who'd gone through something like it but couldn't find many, so in the interest of letting other moms (and dads) know they're not alone, I'm posting this. If you find it, make a comment - we'll share stories from the PTO/PTA front lines.
I alluded in earlier posts to some crap that went on this year between me and a couple of "Mean Moms". When I say "crap", I mean nasty back-stabbing bully tactics from one in particular, tactics that resulted in my seeking legal counsel to resign as Treasurer from this group while protecting myself from fallout if a government agency conducts an audit (if anyone works for the IRS, please contact me!!!!), all because MeanMom spent money without the group’s approval.
How bad was it? When the attorney you’ve just presented everything to, including your report listing the basketful of issues that exist with the previous TWO years’ financial records, asks when you’d like to file a whistle-blower lawsuit against them (once he stops laughing at the mess he sees in front of him), you know you’re in the right. But that only helps a little when you’re dealing with rumors swirling that you must have screwed with the books because why else would the PTO head be telling you you’re “fired” from your volunteer position (even though her screwing with the books is the issue).
The simplest way to describe the situation? Without realizing how similar she was to a rabid pit bull, MeanMom was allowed to gain control of our PTO two years ago, and now she’s figured a way to retain her position as Dictator. How? No one ever paid attention to the original bylaws put in place almost 10 years ago, a very generic set never approved by our group. Add to that no corporate minutes, no noted certificate of votes, no records, period, for these past 10 years. In the Real World, companies that behave like this end up with their executives being led into courtrooms in handcuffs.
It hit the fan last year. MeanMom spent over $5K on a project without PTO approval (the majority were against the project when discussed). She was called out at the first meeting and came back at us like a bat out of Hell, telling us we approved it (at a meeting at a private home after three hours and four bottles of wine). Of course, there’s no record of any vote, no attendance… you get my drift, right?
A month later, both MeanMom and I finally get a copy of the bylaws from the accountant and former Treasurer of our group (talk about a conflict of interest!); he had done the original filing. MeanMom starts using the bylaws to gain absolute control of everything including the PTO checkbook. The year ended with my resigning and her announcing to the group that she will decide the future course of our PTO.
Now, since every cloud has a silver lining, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, yahdah-yahdah-yahdah… the majority of committee chairs and worker bees have resigned rather than work with MeanMom. Some who still want to raise money for the school are considering forming their own non-profit group. Shots continue from MeanMom and her new BFF, Checkbook Girl, but they’ve already spent more money without approval this summer, repeating what started the eruption in the first place. And look at all the free time I've gained NOT having to be at meetings and events!
Time will tell if the rats go down with the ship. I can only hope that what goes around truly comes around, and that Karma, the Bitch that she can be, is on my side this time.