Tuesday, March 06, 2007

work and writing

I was immediately presented with a crisis upon entering my office yesterday. It was in the form of a leader who is often the source of such crisises. She is my best leader, but also my biggest thorn. She's had it in for another parent for quite a while and has recently been handed more fuel by her own teenage daughter (who I think was only too happy to do so). I suspect she thought she'd finally found something that would force me to make her problem (as she perceives it) go away. I couldn't as the issue did not arise while the parent in question was working with the youth from my organization. My stating this to this leader only made her angry.

I was more direct than usual with her when she called back today to complain that neither the school nor DFS would do anything without more solid information than she was giving them (funny thing--neither of them is willing to take third-handed reports as gospel-truth). She still wanted me to act on it. I was on the edge of losing patience with it and told her that "I am not the morality police and I can't run around behind my volunteers making sure they uphold the standards of the organization as I perceive them. I can only deal with those activities that directly affect our members while the volunteer is wearing our 'hat'." I'm pretty sure I made her mad(der). I knew at that point that nothing I said was going to help anyway and I was sorely tempted to tell her please go get a life. Quite frankly, she spends far more time thinking about my job than I do.

Substitute teaching is looking better and better . . . All I've got to do is hang on until July, but that sure seems like a long way away right now.

Meanwhile, the weekend family crisis has produced more than one story idea which I'm exploring in a right brained manner. My sixteen year old (the other "writer" in the house) told me over dinner tonight- "You know Mom, you've been given some great story fodder here. It would be a huge sin to let it get away from you."

I agreed and assured him that I've been thinking a lot about rosebushes and karma lately.

"What? The real life story isn't strange enough for you?" he asked.

Not me. I see women who can make it rain when they cry, and middle-aged men who fall in love with young kindergarten teachers who happen to be mermaids. Oh. And villains who use books to transport themselves into their victims' homes.


Scotty said...

Aaaah, they drive ya crazy at times, don't they, people like that?

One phrase I like to use when those kind of folks get bothersome is;

A lack of planning/patience/compassion/understanding on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

Insert other word of choice as the occasion warrants it...


Mary O. Paddock said...

Thanks Scotty.

"Lack of planning . . . etc " was one of my mother's frequently used lines when we were growing up. I use it with my boys some too.

I think I might borrow it in some version and post it on my office wall where other people can see it. Unfortunately this particular person will never apply it to herself.