Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Ever the Diplomat...

I've been asked to consider taking on the position of Chairperson of the school Friends Committee. I was slightly ever so flabberghasted by this and could only squeak: "I'm not sure I'm sensible enough".
I don't know the new Head, the Bursar scares me and what if I say something stupid out loud?
The Vampire told me to go for it, "I mean what can be so bad about it?"
Me: "I might say something stupid"
The Vampire "Yes, true...you'll have to learn to be diplomatic"

Yes, that's all very well, but this is me, and I'm not so sure I'm really capable.
Here's an example, (click here) and this was cut and pasted from genuine emails.

I asked a friend what she thought..."Don't do it, it'll be a disaster"

I asked my bag lady with whom I have an excellent working relationship..."You'll be brilliant, I've never met anyone with so much....."...I've no idea what she said now because I was a bit shocked, again, but she thought I'd be fine.

I asked Darling Husband what he thought.
"Friends? Pah! You should have sat in on my bloody village meeting last night, we should call it enemies...so negative! you just wouldn't believe the moaning...mutter, mutter"

I decided to try my best, "I'll do it", I told the present Chairperson, I'll try really hard to behave myself".
"Great! Thanks" he said.

So today I sat here,at my desk working diligently preparing for the hard slog of Christmas Trade that starts in 6 weeks and the phone rang.
It was from a lovely company I have worked hard with this summer preparing their new range of party bags and we are just waiting on the web page...have been waiting on the web page for around 6 weeks. We chatted, finalised matters, and then she said:
"By the way, Kevin (geek of slow speed) can read every email you send to us"


"Oh, I'm so sorry, I had no idea, if only I'd known I'd never have..."
The phone signal was lost and I felt rather undiplomatic in the highest order.
Here's what I'd written:

"Have you seen what he's done?

What's he playing at? He got the new photos the other day, but has just changed the order and resized the crap pics!!
Do I have permission to go and slap him?
Don't forward this email to him......I know what you're like (Ha Ha!)"

Oh the shame!
What are my chances of getting a book deal on the Title "How to make friends & influence people"

ps. He shaped up pretty quickly after he saw that though!


Mel said...

I am sure you will do a brilliant job, the key to these things is sense of humour!
PS check out youwriteon.com for your very own instant book deal! (Free!!)

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

DON'T DO IT!!!!!!! THEY WILL SUCK YOU IN AND YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE YOUR OWN AGAIN!!!! Phew! I feel better for that ....I'm the bloody chair for the second year and HATE IT. Being a good citizen and all-round wuss, I was easy prey. And my sister has been suckered too - she spent her birthday making potato print Christmas cards WITH OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN to sell for the PTA coffers. There, I rest my case.


Potty Mummy said...

I would say your chances of that book deal are the same as mine of getting a book deal on how to control your children...

Lindsay said...

Husband was chairman of our last village parish council and I was clerk. It was an awful job - there were too many moaners that tended to drag us down and I think we ended up concentrating on the wrong issues.

However, you sound a very cheerful person and I am sure you will be an asset to the school.

valley girl said...

Hee hee. But do you think Kevin, 'geek of slow speed', reads your blog too?

Sure you will be fab on committee....

Mud in the City said...

Serving on any of these committees is a lesson in patience and diplomacy. Either that or making an awful lot of enemies very, very quickly!

I hope you've said yes, mainly because then we'll get to hear all about it on your blog!

Frog in the Field said...

Thank you Mel...have I got a book deal??Have I, Have I??

What Happened, chill! Friends don't 'do' so much as delegate. There will be no potato printing going on I assure you.
Actually, that's a worrying thought, if the vampire is potato printing I'm wasting my money on her education...no, seriously, it's senior school so it's really nicely organised and sensible...well it was until I came along....

Potty Mummy, what can I say? It was a fine moment....I may blackmail you for more chocolate slabs or I'll tell....(still laughing uncontrollably, sorry).

Thank you Lindsay, I do fear my sense of humour is my downfall on the diplomacy front...I shall do my best. But I never get involved with the same issues as my husband...we would be thrown out for laughing, without question. I fear we need a good role model.

Dear Valley Girl (are you sure you're not from the Rhondda?), Kevin may indeed be reading this...(I'm so sorry I was so rude, Kevin, and Geek is an affectionate term for computer literate peoples - of which I am not).

Mud...you're not helping..not one little bit!

Adventure Mother said...

Frog, Couldn't believe it when I read your post as I (for my sins) have just agreed to the same role on our school friends association. Do you think it's a case of "If you want something done, give it to a busy person?"

Frog in the Field said...

Is yours for senior school too?

Tattie Weasle said...

I'm with Mud you've got to do it! I'll be able to laugh and yell at the computer when I read your blog all about it - such fun. Moving the easy chair up from the sittingroom to the office as we speak preparing for a glorious autumn of entertainment...bliss....

Adventure Mother said...

No, Infants, but thats hard enough!
I have just linked my most recent post to this, as we're on the same wavelength! Fancy some Cheese & Wine next Tuesday?

Kitschen Pink said...

Ok honey. Stand up straight, tummy in shoulders down, tits out and repeat after me "Oh how very kind of you to ask. I'm really quite flattered. But really I couldn't possibly dedicate the time it must take to do a super job as you yourself have been doing. I am a farmer's wife, with a young family to care for and I run a really quite successful business alongside a popular and moderately famous blog. So you see, whilst I admire you enormously I really do feel it would be quite beyond me to make any such committment." mwah! I know. I'm too late. Oh woe and doom. You're plain scuppered! t.x (I was asked and metioned to hubby that I thought he'd do a far far better job of it - so he did! Hurrah!)

Bush Mummy said...

Frog I'm with you, when I was 40 weeks and a day pregnant with Mini I sent an email to a friend, being not very 'diplomatic' about my sister in law.. and inadvertently copied my sister in law in on it.

My brother didn't speak to me for nearly a year.


Go for it. You only live once.

BM x

Mom/Mum said...

Oh give it a go - bet you'll brighten up their meetings!
Your emails being read by Kevin made me laugh, as did your excahnge with the UPS-esque guys. We are moulded from the same stuff methinks...
Though I am clearly going to get a book deal, entitled, 'Getting Children to Sleep and Eat Green Beans...'

Expat mum said...

Too late - I was going to say NOOOOOO!. You would have been able to hear me over the Atlantic. I was President of our nursery school Board for two years and it was the worst two years of my life. Because it's voluntary, people think they can do and say whatever the hell they like.
However, from a purely personal viewpoint, I will enjoy your blogs and I know you'll be perfect at it. :-)

nappy valley girl said...


First you asked me to change the pram picture, now you ask me to change my name! And it worked - are you Paul Mckenna or something?

But I have been thinking about doing it for a while, and you have simply spurred me on. So I am now Nappy Valley Girl - from Southwest London - rather than Valley Girl, which implies either South Wales or Southern California!

Frog in the Field said...

Nappy Valley Girl...thank goodness you've seen sense. (Indeed you've blown my cover!!)

Tattie, you're laughing at me...again!

Adventure Mother I have given up drinking, otherwise I would be delighted!

Kitschen Pink, why thank you for admiring me enormously...were you refering to my stomach?

Oouch Bush Mummy, that's very dreadful... that's a blog we all want to read now.

Mom/Mum how lovely to hear from you!
My children beg me to buy cabbage and broccolli..'tis true! But sleeping? Pah!!

Expat Mum, now I'm worried I'll disappoint you, it's terribly civilised at Friends you know, everyone is lovely, it's just me I'm worried about...that and making a bit of an ass of myself at Open Days when I have to stand up and speak, I think I may start drinking again...Adventure Mother, get that cork out!!

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

You'll join the committee and you'll sit there and survey everyone around you and feel like the only sane person in the room.
Take from that what you will!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Do the meetings sozzled...that will sort the wheat from the chaff! You could always record them and play them back here. (Can't wait!)

UrbanVox said...

you'll do just fine!
Just be yourself!!! ;)

Millennium Housewife said...

Oh dear Froggy, I urge you to take up the position if only for our sakes. We want to hear every tiny gaff...

Mean Mom said...

I'm not so sure about this! You don't sound as if you have much time to spare! Will you have time to blog, if you decide to sit on this committee? I would look forward to the stories, like everyone else, though, if you decide to take it on.

About the Kevin chap seeing the email - we can sometimes be so polite that the meaning doesn't get through. There was no mistaking what you meant in that one and it probably saved a bit of time! Perhaps Kevin lacks a sense of humour, but I would have laughed if I'd been in his position!

The Dotterel said...

You've got all the skills - just make your you cc all e-mails that you send.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey, things like that always make me nervous as I tend to be a bit silly and never feel like I'm grown up enough. You might be the breath of fresh air they need though??

blogthatmama said...

Oooh frog, too late, too late! I've been roped into being Chair of Playgroup (didn't realise that meant you were technically financially responsible for the organisation, as well as all other aspects of staff appraisals, recruiting, policy making etc etc, what a living nightmare), School Governor - 'only 1 meeting every few months, not much work etc, etc' said Headteacher who left 2 months later = 3 solid days of interviewing. Parents phoning night and day to involve you in every aspect of their children's lives. Bonne chance and hope you enjoy it, at the very least it's great experience!

Frog in the Field said...

Oh Dear I fear I have really given the wrong impression now....
Friends is like PTA's but it's in a private school.
Each year parents can opt-out of a small contribution towards it.
We meet once or so a term to discuss any applications for funds from within the school, such as for a wind-turbine or something, and also discuss fundraising events during the forthcoming twelve months.
We aren't responsible for any staff or anything, no no!! Gosh, that's for the Governors and Company of Haberdashers I should think.
But, it's lovely to have the advantage of a maintenance team being around to 'borrow' and having chefs working 7 days a week to call on instead of wondering who's bringing the coleslaw.

You see, there we go, straight away I've caused a scandal and a fuss and I haven't even started yet...oh deary deary me, I am a bear of very little brain.....has anyone got any honey?

Sparx said...

Oh, you are very very brave... however I wouldn't feel guilty in the slighest about the geek email - whatever gets things done, hey? I'm sure you'll be brilliant and can't wait to hear about it all!