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VENT - Why do people make things difficult?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 16th 05, 07:33 PM
bizby40
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Default VENT - Why do people make things difficult?


Our Girl Scout leaders are retiring after 5 years. All I wanted to do was
to get a little gift, show a little appreciation. After all, we haven't
given them anything as a group *ever*.

So I send out e-mail and ask for ideas - "Great idea! Thanks! Whatever you
want to do is fine!"

Grrr.

So I decide to give them a framed picture of the girls, and have the girls
sign the matte. I also decided to get a little brass plate to go on the
picture frame. I asked the parents to have their girls wear their uniforms
to school tomorrow (regular meeting day) so I could get the picture. I also
asked for donations to pay for the framing, with whatever is left over to be
put into gift certificates for the leaders.

"How much should we donate?"

"Oh, I don't know, how about $10"

"$10 is too much!"

"Okay, well whatever you want is fine."

"My daughter doesn't have a uniform!"

"I only meant her sash or vest -- most of the girls don't have full
uniforms."

"Well, *my* daughter doesn't have a sash or vest!"

Grrr.

"Look, wear whatever you want -- show up or don't show up -- donate or don't
donate -- I *don't* care anymore! Why did I ever get into this???"

Okay, I didn't actually send out that last one, but the others all went back
and forth. Now I know why I'm not the one to try to organize anything from
a group. Too much hassle. You know, I didn't expect every parent to
donate, but this isn't a collection for the co-worker you didn't really like
in the first place, these two women have put in countless hours over the
course of 5 long years for *our* children! There are ~15 regular meetings
during the year, plus field trips, camping and so forth. It's a tremendous
amount of work, and I'm personally ashamed that we've never done anything as
a group to show our appreciation. I've given them token thank you gifts in
the past, as have a few others, but the bulk of the parents have not.

So I'm a bit surprised at how few people have responded at all. And rather
frustrated by those being difficult about it. And honestly, I didn't know
what to say to the woman whose daughter doesn't have a sash or vest. I know
her well enough to know money isn't the issue. Her son has a full scout
uniform, and both kids are well equipped for the many sports they play. I
mean, obviously she doesn't need to have the vest to be in the picture, but
why the heck doesn't she have it? It's not even the girl's first year in
scouts!

Anyway, I do have one question. If the bulk of the parents donated, then I
was planning to give the pictures from the "troop". However, if only 4 or 5
out of 23 help out, what should I do? Should I give only the people that
donated a chance to sign the card? Would you feel cheated if everyone who
did nothing was given the same "credit" as you if you donated?

Bizby


  #2  
Old March 16th 05, 07:45 PM
Beth Kevles
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Default


Hi --

The gift should not be seen a from the parents, but as from the girls.
THe girls sign the matte, the girls are responsible for showing up to
get photographed ... and EVERY girl should see herself as helping to
give the gift. (Isn't this part of what scouting is about?)

Regardless of whether or not the families give (and you can certainly do
your best to make them feel guilty :-) no girl should feel left out from
the gift giving.

My two cents,
--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #3  
Old March 16th 05, 07:52 PM
Jeff
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I understand your feelings.

Please remember why you are doing this: To thank the troop leaders who put
in so much time.

A lot of the parents from whom you didn't hear may just have their money and
thier girls in uniforms at the appointed time. And some probably didn't get
your email.

I would take the best picture you can, with the girls however they are
dressed.

Have ALL the girls sign the card. It is not thier if their parents weren't
as helpful in this.

If only a few parents donate, you might say, special thanks to Sarah, Joan,
Millie and Susie who helped pay for this. But you probably shouldn't. That
would be too tactless.

You also have to think of it from the other parents' perspective: Gee, I get
my kid to the meetings, make sure we bring snacks and whatever. And now you
want MORE money. What do you thing? We don;t have rent, food to buy or
college to save for? Because of this and the cost of equipment for sports
(which they girls all have), and other things, you can't assume that parents
just have money laying around the house.

Jeff


  #4  
Old March 16th 05, 08:22 PM
bizby40
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Default


"Jeff" wrote in message
...
I understand your feelings.

Please remember why you are doing this: To thank the troop leaders who put
in so much time.

A lot of the parents from whom you didn't hear may just have their money
and thier girls in uniforms at the appointed time. And some probably
didn't get your email.


People that don't read their e-mail is another peeve of mine. :-) I
get your point, and I hope so. I *hate* asking for money, which
is why I don't usually get involved in this kind of thing.

I would take the best picture you can, with the girls however they are
dressed.


Well, of course.

Have ALL the girls sign the card. It is not thier if their parents weren't
as helpful in this.


All the girls will be in the picture and sign the matte. I had thought of
having the parents sign the card.

If only a few parents donate, you might say, special thanks to Sarah,
Joan, Millie and Susie who helped pay for this. But you probably
shouldn't. That would be too tactless.


As the organizer and presenter, I'm not worried myself about getting
"credit," I just wasn't sure what would be fair to the other parents
involved.

You also have to think of it from the other parents' perspective: Gee, I
get my kid to the meetings, make sure we bring snacks and whatever. And
now you


Ah, well, the meetings are immediately after school and in the school
building. And one of the leaders brings a home-baked snack every
week. Some of the parents do have to pick their child up, but many
of them go directly to after school care, also in the building.

want MORE money. What do you thing? We don;t have rent, food to buy or
college to save for? Because of this and the cost of equipment for sports
(which they girls all have), and other things, you can't assume that
parents just have money laying around the house.


LOL, well you'll just have to take my word for it that in this school
district there are *very* few people suffering hardship. But like I said,
I wouldn't have expected something from everyone. That's why it was
a vent -- I'm *frustrated* that more people aren't being enthusiastic
and helpful.

Bizby

Jeff





  #5  
Old March 16th 05, 08:25 PM
bizby40
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Beth Kevles" wrote in message
...

Hi --

The gift should not be seen a from the parents, but as from the girls.
THe girls sign the matte, the girls are responsible for showing up to
get photographed ... and EVERY girl should see herself as helping to
give the gift. (Isn't this part of what scouting is about?)

Regardless of whether or not the families give (and you can certainly do
your best to make them feel guilty :-) no girl should feel left out from
the gift giving.


No, certainly I wouldn't want the girls to feel left out. But I'm not
good at trying to make people feel guilty. I'll just have to hope a few
more step up. Enough at least that I don't have too big of an out of
pocket expense myself. I already ended up paying the lion's share
of the cost for the fruit and veggie trays that we took to the Cub
Scout Blue and Gold dinner because the other parents didn't all
step up and give their share.

Bizby

My two cents,
--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.



  #6  
Old March 16th 05, 09:01 PM
Sue
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Posts: n/a
Default

"bizby40" wrote in message
People that don't read their e-mail is another peeve of mine. :-)


Are you sure people who have email know how to use it? Many of the parents
in the girls' troops don't know how to use their email. Send correspondance
through the child at school, mail it or call.

Personally, I get tired of all the nickel and diming that gets asked of us
for different projects, field trips, gifts for teachers and with three kids
it starts to add up. I do think $10 is a bit much. I would lower it to $5.
Many people are busy and forget to hand in their money (which is something I
am very guilty of) and a simple phone call or note of reminder home with the
girls would be called for. Our troop leader, bless her heart, sends us many
reminders because she knows that sometimes people get busy with other things
and knows we tend to forget.
--
Sue (mom to three girls)


  #7  
Old March 16th 05, 09:22 PM
Stephanie
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Posts: n/a
Default


"bizby40" wrote in message
...

Our Girl Scout leaders are retiring after 5 years. All I wanted to do was
to get a little gift, show a little appreciation. After all, we haven't
given them anything as a group *ever*.

So I send out e-mail and ask for ideas - "Great idea! Thanks! Whatever

you
want to do is fine!"

Grrr.

So I decide to give them a framed picture of the girls, and have the girls
sign the matte. I also decided to get a little brass plate to go on the
picture frame. I asked the parents to have their girls wear their

uniforms
to school tomorrow (regular meeting day) so I could get the picture. I

also
asked for donations to pay for the framing, with whatever is left over to

be
put into gift certificates for the leaders.

"How much should we donate?"

"Oh, I don't know, how about $10"

"$10 is too much!"

"Okay, well whatever you want is fine."

"My daughter doesn't have a uniform!"

"I only meant her sash or vest -- most of the girls don't have full
uniforms."

"Well, *my* daughter doesn't have a sash or vest!"

Grrr.

"Look, wear whatever you want -- show up or don't show up -- donate or

don't
donate -- I *don't* care anymore! Why did I ever get into this???"

Okay, I didn't actually send out that last one, but the others all went

back
and forth. Now I know why I'm not the one to try to organize anything

from
a group. Too much hassle. You know, I didn't expect every parent to
donate, but this isn't a collection for the co-worker you didn't really

like
in the first place, these two women have put in countless hours over the
course of 5 long years for *our* children! There are ~15 regular

meetings
during the year, plus field trips, camping and so forth. It's a

tremendous
amount of work, and I'm personally ashamed that we've never done anything

as
a group to show our appreciation. I've given them token thank you gifts

in
the past, as have a few others, but the bulk of the parents have not.

So I'm a bit surprised at how few people have responded at all. And

rather
frustrated by those being difficult about it. And honestly, I didn't know
what to say to the woman whose daughter doesn't have a sash or vest. I

know
her well enough to know money isn't the issue. Her son has a full scout
uniform, and both kids are well equipped for the many sports they play. I
mean, obviously she doesn't need to have the vest to be in the picture,

but
why the heck doesn't she have it? It's not even the girl's first year in
scouts!

Anyway, I do have one question. If the bulk of the parents donated, then

I
was planning to give the pictures from the "troop". However, if only 4 or

5
out of 23 help out, what should I do? Should I give only the people that
donated a chance to sign the card? Would you feel cheated if everyone who
did nothing was given the same "credit" as you if you donated?

Bizby



You should first -- hear me say I'm sorry this is such a bummer! Then
second, IMO, you should be larger and more gracious than the other parents
and give from the troup. I think all the girls should sign the card. It is
not their fault if their parents are ... whatever they are. I don't hink
giving is about "credit," it is about the feelings of the recipients. And in
this case, it may also be about the feelings of the girls.

Anyway, that's my opinion. Good luck.

Stephanie


  #8  
Old March 16th 05, 09:44 PM
jojo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"bizby40" wrote in message
...

Our Girl Scout leaders are retiring after 5 years. All I wanted to do was
to get a little gift, show a little appreciation. After all, we haven't
given them anything as a group *ever*.

So I send out e-mail and ask for ideas - "Great idea! Thanks! Whatever

you
want to do is fine!"

Grrr.

So I decide to give them a framed picture of the girls, and have the girls
sign the matte. I also decided to get a little brass plate to go on the
picture frame. I asked the parents to have their girls wear their

uniforms
to school tomorrow (regular meeting day) so I could get the picture. I

also
asked for donations to pay for the framing, with whatever is left over to

be
put into gift certificates for the leaders.

"How much should we donate?"

"Oh, I don't know, how about $10"

"$10 is too much!"

"Okay, well whatever you want is fine."

"My daughter doesn't have a uniform!"

"I only meant her sash or vest -- most of the girls don't have full
uniforms."

"Well, *my* daughter doesn't have a sash or vest!"

Grrr.

"Look, wear whatever you want -- show up or don't show up -- donate or

don't
donate -- I *don't* care anymore! Why did I ever get into this???"

Okay, I didn't actually send out that last one, but the others all went

back
and forth. Now I know why I'm not the one to try to organize anything

from
a group. Too much hassle. You know, I didn't expect every parent to
donate, but this isn't a collection for the co-worker you didn't really

like
in the first place, these two women have put in countless hours over the
course of 5 long years for *our* children! There are ~15 regular

meetings
during the year, plus field trips, camping and so forth. It's a

tremendous
amount of work, and I'm personally ashamed that we've never done anything

as
a group to show our appreciation. I've given them token thank you gifts

in
the past, as have a few others, but the bulk of the parents have not.

So I'm a bit surprised at how few people have responded at all. And

rather
frustrated by those being difficult about it. And honestly, I didn't know
what to say to the woman whose daughter doesn't have a sash or vest. I

know
her well enough to know money isn't the issue. Her son has a full scout
uniform, and both kids are well equipped for the many sports they play. I
mean, obviously she doesn't need to have the vest to be in the picture,

but
why the heck doesn't she have it? It's not even the girl's first year in
scouts!

Anyway, I do have one question. If the bulk of the parents donated, then

I
was planning to give the pictures from the "troop". However, if only 4 or

5
out of 23 help out, what should I do? Should I give only the people that
donated a chance to sign the card? Would you feel cheated if everyone who
did nothing was given the same "credit" as you if you donated?

Bizby



here goes:
How old are the girls? I'm assuming 10 years old or older?
Do the girls get allowances? Can the children not contribute on their own?
1st. I understand your vent, but blow off worrying about what they are
wearing. It won't matter to the scout leader
2nd. call a local frame shop to find out approx. what your idea will
cost...you will be surprised to
find it may be over $100.00 if the frame shop does the matting and
framing.
3rd. If you are going to do the work yourself, figure out what it's going to
cost.
4th. Set a dollar amount for each child to donate based on your approx. cost
and call all the parents to get a
firm yes or no for that amount.

a: only photograph the girls that contribute
b: photograph all the girls, but only the girls that contribute sign the
matte
c: all the girls sign the matte, but only contributing parents sign the card

thoughts....
If you want this present to be from the entire troop, the entire troop needs
to pitch in.
If only a few parents are interested, then take a picture of only those
girls, they sign the matte and
the card reads: Happy retirement from your friends in troop 2014.

If get fed up and want to give this as a give from your family, don't sign
the matte, but sign the card from your family
only.

The initial way I would approach it is this.
Call ALL the parents. Hi, many of us thought it would be a god idea to bla
bla bla.
The gift will cost approx. ?? per child. If you would like to contribute and
have your child in the picture I need this much money from you. If you
cannot convince them to contribute, drop them. It obviously is not that
important to them.

jojo


  #9  
Old March 16th 05, 10:00 PM
bizby40
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Sue" wrote in message
...
"bizby40" wrote in message
People that don't read their e-mail is another peeve of mine. :-)


Are you sure people who have email know how to use it? Many of the parents
in the girls' troops don't know how to use their email. Send
correspondance
through the child at school, mail it or call.


Okay, people who have e-mail and don't learn to use it is a *third* peeve of
mine! :-)

Personally, I get tired of all the nickel and diming that gets asked of us
for different projects, field trips, gifts for teachers and with three
kids
it starts to add up. I do think $10 is a bit much. I would lower it to $5.


Well, I didn't intend to give an amount at all, until a couple different
people asked. To *me*, $10 split between two people isn't much
at all. So that's what I said. I don't think I worded it in such a way
that people should have taken it as an obligation to give that much,
or to give any at all. I guess that's one reason why I'm so annoyed.
I'm just trying to do something nice for a couple of people who deserve
it, and now I have to worry about exactly how everything I say is
worded so that everyone is happy.

Many people are busy and forget to hand in their money (which is something
I
am very guilty of) and a simple phone call or note of reminder home with
the
girls would be called for.


No such thing as a simple phone call. It's up to 20 phone calls first
of all. And trying to get in touch with the cub scout parents (and there
are only 7 of them) has already been a nightmare. One parent moved
and suddenly some stranger was answering her phone. Another's phone
was *always* busy. She said later that she used it for her internet
connection and used her cell phone for calls, but didn't explain why she
keeps giving out her home phone number for contact information. A
third never answered and didn't have an answering machine.

And what if I do get them on the phone? Suddenly they're on the
spot. No, I'm very shy, and talking to people is not my strength.

As for a note home. It doesn't seem to work well with this age. The
teachers handle the folders for the younger kids, but by 4th grade,
the girls are supposed to be doing it themselves. Often as not, the
notes just get shoved into their backpacks and forgotten.

Our troop leader, bless her heart, sends us many
reminders because she knows that sometimes people get busy with other
things
and knows we tend to forget.


Just make sure she knows how much you appreciate her! :-)

Bizby

Sue (mom to three girls)




  #10  
Old March 16th 05, 10:08 PM
Banty
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Posts: n/a
Default

In article , bizby40 says...


"Beth Kevles" wrote in message
...

Hi --

The gift should not be seen a from the parents, but as from the girls.
THe girls sign the matte, the girls are responsible for showing up to
get photographed ... and EVERY girl should see herself as helping to
give the gift. (Isn't this part of what scouting is about?)

Regardless of whether or not the families give (and you can certainly do
your best to make them feel guilty :-) no girl should feel left out from
the gift giving.


No, certainly I wouldn't want the girls to feel left out. But I'm not
good at trying to make people feel guilty. I'll just have to hope a few
more step up. Enough at least that I don't have too big of an out of
pocket expense myself. I already ended up paying the lion's share
of the cost for the fruit and veggie trays that we took to the Cub
Scout Blue and Gold dinner because the other parents didn't all
step up and give their share.


I've volunteered in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (just gave a set of seminars and
activities for the Weather Badge for my troop), and you know what? This has
gotten to be my credo:

If it ain't already explicitly accounted for in the budget (like the newsletter
stamps were explicity accounted for) - I just pay for it. No, I ain't rich, but
I just pay for it.

The 'extra' stamps for the Cub Scout newsletters so that it can go to some
grandmas and both of shared-custody households as well as to the 'main'
households? I just paid for it.

The copying to produce the newsletter so that it woudn't be crooked, white, and
half-smudged copies some eager volunteer offered to get off the school copiers
in the afternoon (I tried that option *once*)? I just paid for it.

The pre-printed weather maps, erasible synoptic weather poster, materials for
the cloud experiments? I paid for it all.

Why??

I'm a chump :-)

No, really - to my mind, it's my *time* that by far the more valuable chunk of
my giving anyway, some money too is a nit. And far and away outweighs the
hassle of explaining why I don't want Mrs. Smith's barely-in-time and
barely-readable, though free, newsletter copies, why Mr. Jones should get a
newsletter as well as Mrs. Jones, why the weather maps stuff is really really
cool, etc .etc.

It's not the right answer for everybody, but there it is..

I also avoid all the organizing type of stuff, frankly, so I can't help you
there. With volunteer work, you really gotta hang loose about what other people
do as far as their committments. A lot of people are just flakes.

If *I* were doing your thing, I'd work with the girls only, talk to the parents
about the uniforms for the picture day and that's it. And have it be a totally
girls' thing. And eat the costs. Not saying that's the answer for you..

I've seen a lot of really neat ideas go by the wayside because money came up.
But I'm not the only chump - in our Cub Scout pack our Secretary srpung for
individual family photo albums with camp photos. Must have been at least a good
hundred dollars.

Cheers,
Banty

 




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