Friday, March 30, 2007

Sucked into a Jerry Springer Episode (VERY LONG)

The past week has been chock a block with scouting drama. Truth is certainly stranger than fiction and I've got plenty of strange truth to share, folks.

When last you heard from me, it was the night of the Order of the Arrow ceremony and the revelation "Oops, sorry, you are NOT going to be the leader" from the pissy leader to be. I was furious, and vented my anger at the Cubmaster, . He told me that he really needed people like me and Ed and requested that one of us take on the den that he had led (he can't do both). I blogged about that part. I also sent him an email right after blogging to apologize for my behavior.

Tuesday night, Pack Meeting. Committee Chair makes an announcement that there will be a meeting for all the leaders after the pack meeting. The meeting starts with her crying, stating that she's been told people were saying she's lazy and disorganized and she was upset, because she pours her heart and soul into what she does (I agree with this assessment-she loves scouting and it shows). Her son has just moved up into Boy Scouts and she will stay on one more year. She doesn't have to, but she didn't want the person who will replace her to experience what she did-the job was dumped in her lap. She also says she will leave NOW if the infighting doesn't stop.

She also goes around the room, asking what roles each person will have in the pack next year, conveniently skipping over the role I was asked to take. She then turns to me and asks (a little snippy, but I digress) "What are YOU doing next year?". I reply that I'd been asked to be the Webelos 1 leader, however, had I known that she was seeking someone to take over Committee Chair, I would have waited, as I feel that job is something I could do very well and would like to do. Cubmaster looks at me and very excitedly says "You would?"

The meeting continues with her asking people to speak about what's bothering them-no one really does. She adjourns it and Ed and Cubmaster leave to take flags back to the storage room. She is pounced by all the other leaders at a table on the other side of the meeting room. It was as if I wasn't sitting in the room. Snippets were overheard "If she's committee chair, I'm leaving" and things of that nature. Okay, I can take my butt somewhere else.

I decide I have had enough of the Suzanne bashfest and go outside and wait for Ed and cubmaster. I tell the cubmaster that I am sorry to be the cause of so much drama and that I will leave. I don't want him to lose leaders because they don't want me around. He tells me adamantly that he needs good people like me and Ed.

Do I stick around and do the job, knowing that people are going to leave, but not knowing why? For the life of me, I cannot fathom what the heck is going on. I get home and write another apology email. This time, it's to the Committee Chair. In it, I say that I'm sorry she's getting a lot of grief over me and that I am sorry that even after she said she didn't want to hear any complaining, it's obvious they pounced her to complain some more. (Good listening skills on their part, eh?)

I tell her what happened last Friday night and why I was pissed, that I was asked to be LEADER and common courtesy should have been to email me when they'd changed their minds. I thought that was the issue. I told her that I probably should leave and I gather the door wouldn't hit me in the ass on the way out.

Wednesday evening, I get home and find this email. The ONLY EDITS I have made to this thing are to star out the names, this is it exactly as written:

Well sue I just wanted to tell you a far things that I heard from others that you feel **** and I are unorganized and you running your moth to other is unacceptable because is your son not passing over and you did not do that **** and I did and one of the rule of the pack is loyalty and you do not have that so as far as am concern you have no business beaning a den leader or are committee leader am not sure who you think your dealing with but I well not stand by and let this happen if you have something to say bad about me **** or are troop you need to come to use not outsiders. are troop works as a family and if you can not agree maybe you might went to look in too another den

love *****

Holy runon email, Batman! Yes, she had the audacity to put 'love' at the end!

Things become crystal clear. Remember that training class I blogged about? The one that I was so excited about, because I got so many good ideas? Well, another member of the pack was also in that training class, her son is a year younger than my son. In talking to the trainer, I'd mentioned that I was excited that get things organized before the year begins, because we had a disorganized den with the leaders not being there the first two months. God's honest truth-they were more concerned about going with their son to football practice than leading the den. It WAS disorganized, because it'd be me and another parent and our sons and we'd be asking what the heck we were supposed to do.

So, this other leader twisted my words into me bashing them and that's why she was all pissy with me last Friday night. She also apparently said that I bashed our committee chair. So, here I was, devastated and crying. I called a neutral party (another leader) and got his input. He felt I should ignore them and that my first draft of a reply was too inflammatory. This is the final draft and what I sent-with a BCC to the cubmaster.


*****,

I have a hard time reading an email such as yours and finding love at the bottom.

You complain of me talking to others, however, until this email you have said nothing to me.

The facts: I commented in leadership training that for the first two months of this year, my son's den did not have consistant leadership and that led to it being disorganized at the beginning of the year. My son is the only child to have been there all year-he has only missed one week, when we were on vacation. I have been there all but three meetings the entire year. There were times when it'd be two boys, two parents and no leader-and no idea of what we were supposed to be doing.

If there are no leaders for the first two months, how organized are things going to be? I was not trash talking you. I never even mentioned your names or who I was talking about, I was stating my opinion, In fact, the only person in the room who would know who I was talking about was ****. At that, I never was nasty or snide-I was merely stating the fact that there was no organization because no one was there! When you and/or **** WERE there, things were fine. When you weren't, no one knew what we were supposed to be doing.

If you don't believe me about what was said, feel free to email the trainer who ran the class-I am sure he'd be happy to tell you his opinion of what I said. If you'd like his email, I'll give it to you. **** also has it, it's in the materials he gave out. .

Loyalty means that when you have an issue with someone, you address it with them. I had no problems with you or ****, other the lack of appearances at the beginning of the year. If I had, I assure you, I would have said something to you. We're also supposed to be teaching our kids about keeping our promises, so how was I supposed to answer my 7 year old's questions on why he was there but his leader wasn't?

The reason why I got so mad on Friday is because you and **** had a conversation about what was going to happen next year and you didn't contact me, nor did you come to me when you heard that I supposedly was trashing the two of you. How hard is it to call or email me? If you really would not stand by and let this happen, then come to the source. Friday night was the perfect time to speak to me if you had a problem. Why didn't you?

Yes, I am thinking of going to another pack, but ***** has asked me and Ed to stick around. Why have I considered leaving? Because I heard the snide comments made at that table while I sat IN the room. Why do I consider staying? Because ***** says he needs me and Ed-and he's always impressed me with his honesty. At this time, I have decided to do whatever ***** asks me to do.

I agree 100% with the comment you made that you need to come to us, not outsiders. It works both ways-you should have come to me with your concerns.

Suzanne


I sent it out, slept poorly and was troubled by it all day yesterday. I can't change the way I am, and I really care about what others think of me. The diatribe she sent me was CCed to the Committee Chair, so I wondered whether my apology email had been passed on to her, prompting the vitriol at me.

Yesterday was report card pickup day at school. We went to meet with older son's teacher first. He has made some incredible strides and won three awards this quarter. After meeting with her, we stopped in at the school book fair that was about to close, so he could pick out his reward for his report card. We ran into the Cubmaster. We talked about that oh so lovely email and he repeats that he wants me and Ed. I asked if he's prepared to lose half of the leadership over it. He was of the mind that if he's going to lose them, they weren't worth having. He repeated that he needs good people, and that's what he thinks we are (Awwww). Okay, I feel better about this whole thing.

It gets better. I get home and find an email from the Committee Chair in reply to my apology. She's been away from the computer for a few days because she was dealing with a family crisis. She apologizes to ME for the behavior of the others (as if she had anything to do with it) and says the same thing the cubmaster has-that the pack needs me.

So, I'm staying. Part of what upset me so was that these are the people I liked and enjoyed being around-and it looks like I will. The Jerry Springer participants? That remains to be seen. I suspect we'll lose the two who were leading younger son's den, because the one who sent the email is petty and spiteful like that. Her companion will leave because she'll make home life hard for her if she doesn't.

The one who started all this up? If she sticks around I will be sure that I don't say diddly with her in earshot-good OR bad.

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