I’ve been the chairperson of the Winter Carnival at my kids’ school for going on five years. Every year I get less and less help from the other parents. I have 20 people on my committee. Out of that 20 only about 6 are doing any real work and most of the time I have to look over their shoulder to make sure they’re doing their job right.
I’ll admit that I’m a little OCD and have a way I want things done, but that’s just because I want the Carnival to be amazing.
I’m so frustrated by the lack of help I want to scream. Do you have any wisdom for me?
Signed, Exhausted fundraiser
Time for some tough love. Maybe, just maybe the problem isn’t the other parents and it’s you. I have found that nothing kills the volunteer spirit faster than a chairperson constantly second-guessing you and redoing work you’ve already done. It’s okay to want things “just right” but there’s fine line between being just a tad OCD and entering the witch zone. To be a successful chairperson of anything means you’re going have to be fluent in sweet talking and a little bit of butt kissing.
Also, I have a rule that nobody should chair an event for more than two years – three years max. You need new blood. A new chairperson brings different people and fresh ideas. Perhaps after five years your crew of mom friends are just tuckered out.
I suggest you put on your best happy face, fake it if you have too, and attempt to recruit some new talent and then back off and let them do their job.
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