Sunday, 14 August 2011

Z is a pullover?

It's generally believed that I'm a pushover and that I can't say 'no' to anything.  That isn't quite true, actually, there are various jobs I've been asked to take on that I've refused, or ones that I could have become involved with that I made sure I steered well clear of (such as the Parish Council), although it's quite true that there were others that I would not have chosen.  When I first became a school governor, I used it as a reason to turn down everything else for several years and I was right to do so - although the job wasn't nearly as much work as it is now, I became clerk to the governors at the same time and had to learn everything from scratch.

It was about this time of year that it happened, probably the beginning of August, and the then Rector phoned me and asked if I'd consider being nominated as a governor at the village school where Ro was due to start in the coming year.  His birthday being in summer, he didn't start until after Easter - nowadays, schools normally take all children at the start of the school year in which they are five, then it was the term of their birthday.  I was quite pleased to be asked, naive little thing that I was, and agreed.  Then he asked if I'd be clerk (secretary) as well.  I could have said no, but it hardly seemed fair - that he'd asked the questions that way round and risked getting a governor but not a clerk was good of him, I thought.

I not only offered to become a governor at the high school, I actually stood for election, when Ro was in his second year there.  I'd never been a governor at the middle school, although I'd been secretary of the PTA - I'd been daft enough to go along to the AGM and had been nominated by a (slightly false) friend. So that was one thing I hadn't intended to do, but I didn't really mind, and there would be a time limit on it anyway, as Ro would only be at the school for four years.  I was still at the primary school, I was far too fond of it to leave at that stage.

The other thing I did get manoeuvered into was the PCC, the management committee of the church.  I had volunteered to play the organ, against my better judgement, but they were without an organist and the Rector had bought some ghastly taped music and I couldn't put up with it.  Several years later, I received a phone call from the Rector (not the same one; the first one was John, this was Sam).  He was quite anxious and asked to come and see me.  He said he had something to say to me, he didn't want to say it, he knew I wouldn't be happy but he had to do it.  I said, come straight round, but I was bewildered.  The only thing I could think of was that my pathetically bad organ playing had received so many complaints that he was going to give me the sack.  Sadly not - the secretary of the PCC had resigned and no one else could type.  I was so concerned about his anxiety that it was quite natural to say, reassuringly, that I didn't mind at all, of course I'd help.  Sucker.

Having written all this, I can see that I am rather a pushover after all.  However, I have learned one thing, and that is to quit when things are going well.  If the organisation, whatever it is, is struggling, then I feel mean to leave them in the lurch.  It's when I don't really want to go, because it's a pleasure and it's all running smoothly that I won't be missed at all and I can slip away and feel I've completed my job.  And, as inevitably happens, things start to hot up again after a while, I can feel relieved that I'm well away from it.

9 comments:

lx said...

I foolishly volunteered to be historian for my Navy ship's veterans organization. It was a worse than thankless job.

Tim said...

You are too nice.

mig said...

I was going to say without pullovers like you Z, the country would probably collapse in a shivering heap but then I read the post below and thought maybe that doesn't sound much like a compliment after all. But it is meant to be one.

Dave said...

In my working life I've always changed jobs after 3-5 years (8 was the maximum in one post, but that was because of my children's education). Mainly, I must admit, because I needed new challenges. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with retirement.

Roses said...

I don't think you're a pullover, though you are warm and comfy, I think you just hate to say no and are a roll-your-sleeves-up and get stuck in kind of woman.

It's one of the things I admire about you. You don't whinge or moan, you just sort the bugger out.

Pat said...

With the best will in the world - and I take my hat off to you - one has to cut down as time progresses.
I have always maintained that every ten years is a good time to rethink one's modus operandi.

Christopher said...

You don't think forthcoming grandmaternal duties will/could eclipse other demands?

I've seen all this governorship/PTA sec. etc. from the other side and know all it entails. As Tim so wisely said...

Z said...

Well, thank you, I wasn't asking for praise.

And no, Chris, I just nip more cannily between the spinning plates.

I'm coming back to this, I think - writing it down helps clarify thought.

Sam R said...

We saw you at Pleasurewood Hills last Friday!