I don’t think I’ve actually got up on my soapbox yet this blog. Well, guess what. Today’s the day.
I had a teensy bit of a dummy spit* at the netball courts today so I’m thinking maybe I need an outlet. [*Not sure how I go translating into “North American” – do you guys have ‘soother-spits’ or ‘pacifier spits’ ?] I have no chocolate in the house, and I can’t drink as I have to drive into town a bit later on tonight, and I’ve already drunk far too much coffee. And there’s only so much ranting one’s other half can take.
At our small town netball association we’re suffering a bit from the old ‘handful of people do most the work’ syndrome. It’s not atypical, I know. Just, every now and then it wears a bit thin, and this year seems worse as the mainstays are getting worn out and jaded. Especially when it’s accompanied by the usual bitching you get from people who sit on their backsides and don’t do a thing.
We’ve had two age carnivals to organise teams for – one last Sunday, one tomorrow. I’ve done a specific carnival handout for every player, it’s been in a newsletter to all players, and tomorrow’s carnival was on the bottom of another general handout last week. And it’s been on the website. (And it was in the Handbook given out to everyone at the beginning of the season.)
And still we’ve had people saying “But I didn’t know about them!” Far out.
One of these was a little “Princess/Drama Queen” who strutted along last week insisting that she was going to the carnival the next day. But she hadn’t put her name down. I informed her, and her mother, that we already had 10 players for that age team, so unfortunately she’d missed out. The girl says “But I didn’t know about them Mummy” . I explain the situation to Mummy, who then promptly goes into the clubhouse to ask someone else (I then get a call “Hey Tracey, are there any spots left for the carnival tomorrow?”).
Now the excuse I get fed from others who know them is that the mother probably didn’t know, because of the communication between her and her ex, Princess’s Daddy.
And here’s my first soapbox spiel.
To those of you parents in split family situations. I’m sorry. I know it can be hard. I know sometimes you have issues with communication with your ex when you are sharing custody in some way. But! It’s not MY problem! It is NOT your kid’s sport club’s responsibility to work out which kid might have this issue and to give you special treatment! I’m not really sure what you want? A personal visit to your house, with a hand-delivered invitation? So, ok, you might miss out on stuff occasionally because you can’t get the information flow working. I understand. Just don’t carry on like a prima donna about it and blame us. We are just volunteers – we don’t have time to work out who wants special treatment. Deal with it. Work around it. But don’t carry on like royalty.
And so I’m organising teams for this second carnival this week, and was told last week by a usually reliable volunteer that she can umpire tomorrow, so I’m all ‘sweet’, and I’ve got the umpiring situation sorted – and then today she says she was assuming she probably wasn’t needed because (even though I’d said ‘great! thanks!) she was assuming I’d have let her know I definitely needed her, and now she has visitors, and….
Long story short, I tried all day to find someone else, but I need her to come. She’s coming, but I don’t need the guilt. (I shall probably end up buying her a bunch of flowers or something… )
Meanwhile I’m having to organise lifts for kids whose parents aren’t interested in taking them. (Or who “can’t” because they “work” – and I confess I have a real sensitive spot about that *ouch* because whenever I get the “I work” line about other mums *ouch* I instantly feel inferior because I don’t “work” *ouch* , and I know that I shouldn’t feel like that (and Marc points out that some people have no choice) but it still fires me up every now and then when I have to get up earlier to go pick up their kids… (but I do it so that my kids have a team to play in!!!)
But my actual little dummy spit today came about something else. One of the courts is used first thing on Saturdays for NetSetGo, which is a modified netball programme for the littlies. The rings are lower for them – and they need to be raised for the junior game that follows half an hour later on that court.
Do you think once, in the whole season, any parent that has had a team scheduled on that court has EVER taken it on themselves to grab the ladder and put the rings up?
I’ve noticed before at a couple of minutes to game time that the rings are still low, and I’ve grabbed the ladder myself, and said “Hey, you guys playing with NetSetGo rings?!!” (Hint Hint!)
Today I’m in the clubhouse, and a kid whose mother is coaching one of those teams comes up (obviously sent by Mum.) “Someone needs to put the rings up.”
Oh boy. Red rag to a bull. Veeery poor choice of words. (Correct words would have been “Do you know where the ladder is so we can put the rings up.”)
I was doing some VERY LOUD muttering as I stomped around, found the ladder, and asked my husband to take it down there and to tell the lazy sods of parents that they could get off their fat arses and put the rings up, you know!
It’s not like those of us on the committe GET PAID!
Needless to say he was telling me to calm down, and then I saw that he was putting the rings up (at about 30 seconds till game time)… and I know for sure he didn’t pass on what I said! (LOL)
One last carnival, and only a few more weeks till the end of the season. Won’t I be glad.