At 9.25am precisely my mobile began to blip. I was working so I ignored it for a while. A few minutes later it blipped again and again.
My curiosity got the better of me I went to check but before I could an email darted up on my screen.
“WHERE ARE YOU?” It was titled in loud shouty capitals.
You are rostered on and have not shown up. We need advance warning if you are not going to do as required. It is your responsibility to find a suitable replacement (who has completed all necessary paperwork). Could you please explain your absence. Call to discuss.
I’d forgotten. Shit shit shit. It had totally slipped my mind despite five emails, an electronic reminder and a new app I had been asked to download that had notified me three times.
I had missed my kid’s kindergarten reading group.
Twenty six-year-olds had to contend with only three “parent helpers” rather than four.
Twenty six-year-olds had to play sight word bingo without me.
20 six-year-olds had to play sight word bingo without me.Via Istock.
I’m not sure how I forgot.
We’d had training. (Yes training)
We’d completed the required paperwork, had more emails than Hillary Clinton and, as I mentioned, had been signed up to an app to ensure we all didn’t miss our "shifts."
And still I forgot.
The funny thing is that I KNEW the consequences. I knew the
CEO class parent would come down on me like a tonne of bricks. I knew there would be trouble.
I’d done it before.
I knew there would be trouble. Via IStock.
Look I’m not all bad. I try and help out. I ‘volunteer’ for various activities in my children’s lives when I can.
‘Parent helper’ at band, ‘parent committee’ at pre-school, ‘parent official’ at athletics.
‘Parent volunteer’ for raffles and fetes. I’ve turned sausages on the BBQ and covered books in the library. I’ve given time I don’t have much of and effort that I can’t spare and done my bit as best I could.
But what I have noticed more and more is that what you initially thought would be a pleasant experience is actually more like work than you ever imagined - right down to the unnecessary paperwork and the commander like bosses.
You wonder whether those who volunteer to run the parent committees and head up the P&C’s actually forget that when it come down to it this isn’t actually a real job.
Unbeknownst to them they aren't actually THE BOSS.
As a ‘parent helper’ your tasks can vary but they are mandatory and they come with booklets and emails and as much red tape as they could tie you up in.
You see it everywhere though don’t you? That one person on the P&C, those particular ‘officials’ that organise your kid’s soccer.
The parent who has forgotten that this isn’t their office. That you aren’t their employee.
The mother who thinks she's running PwC not the P&C.