Thursday, July 19, 2012

Committee Time!

Well, the Women's Group at our church -of which I am the lovely President (I'm being a bit cynical there, in case you needed an explanation) is undergoing some changes right now.

First off, at our last meeting, the lady who had pretty much single-handedly managed several different areas of work that function under our group header, announced she wanted to step down from these jobs!

I understand her desire to do this as she moved back to this area oh, about 10-12 years ago now and when she did that, she also returned to being a member of our church -of which she had been a member as a baby, child, teen and probably until she moved away from here or got married. And finding someone to take on the things she did -well, let me put it this way -my first thoughts were that it was going to be mighty big shoes to fill there!

She and another former member of our parish had organized and ran the "Candy Shoppe" that we have had as part of our Fall Bazaar -and trust me, it's one of the biggest draws to our bazaar too -for about 10 years now. I figured this would probably be the most difficult area to get someone to come in and take it  over. I was pondering the other evening about who I might be able to get to run this and finally happened to remember a lady, formerly one of my old Avon customers 20 plus years back who -with a girlfriend of hers -had begun making specialty candies in their homes. So, I got brave, called her and asked her if she would consider managing this "shoppe" at our Bazaar. After giving her a brief description of what was basically involved, to my surprise, she agreed to take on the task!

Wow! One call, one taker, one area resolved!

I was on a roll!

Handling the maintenance of the coffee maker, ordering coffee, the little nitty-gritty piddling things that come along with that job, we got a lady willing to take that job when she volunteered to do it at the meeting.

 Then there was the job of running the Rada Shoppe at the bazaar and another lady spoke up then that she thought she could manage that without too much disruption.

It appeared to me then that left only one area to find someone who could and would take over and run it and that's the task of taking care of securing, preparing and serving (and of course, also the cleanup afterward) of Funeral Dinners!

Now this area is one that is a very important deal -to be able to find out what the family of the deceased wants served, what kind of meal, how many people they would expect our group would have to feed and a kazillion little tiny things that also come into play and the person who handles the organization of a funeral dinner has to know all these little, bitty extra things that all come together to make this meal one that is nourishing on several levels for the family.

I thought that we had sort of resolved that at the meeting but unbeknownst to me, the next day one lady who hadn't been present at the meeting took it on herself to start doing what she felt needed to be done to get this all under control right away.

And the first thing she did was call several members and announce to them that she and the lady I thought was going to take the bulk of the responsibility for this job (based on what she'd said at the meeting) well, she and the telephone call woman would be co-chairs for this committee.

She made several calls (none to me at that point though) and it wasn't until she talked to one of the other older members of the group that that lady asked if she had spoken to me about all this organizational stuff she was doing. When she had replied "No" the other older member suggested that perhaps I should at least be made aware of what she was trying to do.

And that's when she finally got around to calling me and telling me, pretty much what had been said at our last meeting, stating it all to me in a way that almost sounded as if I hadn't even been present at that meeting at all!

Hmmm. Now, I do know this is pretty much this woman's modus operandi and while she is usually very organized, very thorough about all kinds of stuff along these lines, she also has a reputation for being a bit on, shall we say, the brusque side? Because she is very straight-forward, and blunt too, she often steps on a lot of toes when she gets on a roll. Not that I am "Miss Innocence" exactly because I've been known to tick a few people off here and there too, but I'm trying really, really hard to toe a fine line so I can keep peace within the women in this little group. Suffice it to say, I run the meetings a bit (some might say that's "a lot") on the loose side as it is such a small group that comes to the meetings, I don't get overly carried away with the way I preside over the meetings. Where one woman -the telephoner person -is quite adamant that all meetings are to be run using Robert''s Rules of Order, I use my own set of much looser Rules by good old Robert!

Anyway, it seems the thing this woman wants most is to have a committee to handle each little tidbit our group manages and frankly, with our membership (meaning those who actually take the time to attend our meetings) being so small -generally only consisting of 8-10 women who show up that doesn't leave many people to serve on upteen committees, does it?

But anyway, she's rocking and rolling away, calling everyone and their brother to come serve on the Funeral Dinner Committee so we can then get a list (from the lady stepping down) of everything she handles for one Funeral Dinner, putting it in writing and then, I have made it known that I want at least 3 copies of this directive when it is completed. I want one for in the President's guide book so the person who follows me in this office has a guide; I want a copy in the Church Secretary's office -in case the President's copy gets misplaced and I also want a third copy placed inside one of the cabinets in the kitchen area where anyone working in that area for a Funeral Dinner can look and do a check list to be assured that every little detail has been taken into consideration and done!

I have mentioned this several times in the past so many months but now, all of a sudden, the way this "telephone lady" is going on about this, you'd swear I'd never suggested anything at all, much less this set of directives!

So now, she has pretty much taken charge of this and I think -unless this has since changed -next Tuesday evening some of us from our group will be meeting to begin laying out plans for at least two menus from which a family in need of being served a funeral dinner can select what they want us to serve. We'll be deciding if we will offer trays of sliced cold cuts and cheeses along with maybe some pasta or potato salad type dishes and a dessert or, if the family wants some type of cooked meal, will we buy a big old beef roast, make meatballs in gravy, meatloaf or perhaps continue with what we generally have served which usually was a spiral ham!

For the most part, I really don't mind terribly that this woman is trying to get these directives in writing and so forth, but I do resent at times the way she is insinuating or implying that this is all something totally new and also, that no one but her has ever thought of doing things this way!

So, I'm sitting back, trying to keep a rather low profile on all of this and most of all, trying to keep a little bit of an eye on exactly who she is contacting too lest she call someone whose toes have previously been maybe only lightly bruised or, heaven forbid, really mashed!

It's all about playing my own little version of "Rodney King" ya know and soothing people a bit, saying "Can't we all just get along?"

 And that pretty much sums up the hunt for lots of committees and lots of prayers that things proceed as friendly as is humanly possible!

Wish me luck, will ya?

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