Monday, October 24, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Being in charge

I'm in charge. OK, not of everything. Though sometimes I know feel like I am. I can be a little bossy. I know, I know comes as a shock to those who know me personally...(shut up).

I guess it comes from my genes, my mother is a little bossy...(hi mom...love you!!!), or my birth order...being the oldest of two I may have bossed Linus around a little (we call each other Lucy and Linus that kinda says it all).

But I had a great 5th grade teacher, who "noticed" my bossiness. It may have been the day that she was trying to rearrange the desks in the classroom and I was trying to tell her how she should arrange them, (frustrated interior designer remember too!) and she yelled at me. Of course I was appalled (I may be bossy, but I am a rule follower). Later on that day she took me aside and apologized for yelling at me, but explained to me although I meant well, I have a the "gift" of leadership, but since I was just 11, I would need some time to develop it the right way, so as not to offend the world or come off too bossy. I must say that really hit home with me. I can remember that day so vividly, where I was, what Mrs. Harrow had on even.

Since that day I have tried to be aware of my "gift". I much prefer to refer to it as that rather than a bad quality. (sorry, it's my story!!) So when I am put in the position of leadership, be it in my home with my kids, or PTA President I remember to be respectful first.

I think one of the reasons my kids are pretty good is that I respect them. Believe you me, they know who is in charge. But things like knocking before I come in their rooms, or not opening their mail, or not criticizing anything about their (very neat by the way) dorm room are things I do. They are mine, but the are people who have more than earned my respect. They help out around the house (and don't get paid to do it) because they live here. End of story. Respect is a two way street thank you very much. And they get "everything they need and everything most of what they want" anyway.

When I am put into a leadership role like PTA President, I dont think that gives me the freedom to boss everyone around. It's an equal playing field as far as I am concerned. My job is President, yours may be Secretary, but we are equally working towards the same goal. I dont tell you what to do, I may guide you in how to do it, but I don't bark orders, or think I am any better than you.

So this is why when I volunteered to help at the little kid football game concession stand, I went in quietly ready to be directed in what I had to do. (although, let's be real here... I could have walked in and took over the show and did it all without direction, but I am not bossy remember?) Well I was met with disdain, annoyance (like what are you doing here?) no one spoke to me or told me what to do... Really? I am here two hours before my kid's game cause I think everyone should help out a little..and this is how you treat someone?

I took the nonsense for about 15 minutes...when they did talk to me..."yes i know how to count change..thank you" "yes I am aware that Gatorade comes in different colors". But no, I didn't know the referees got food for free, and when I took his $2 and Troll ripped it out of my hand and gave it back to him that gave me pause. My initial reaction well, was not nice. But being that I was in a sea of Mayberry's fine citizens, and I am a mom, not a truck driver,I looked Troll in the eye, said "bye" and turned on my heel and left.

I went to help the mom who really is in charge, and a nice lady as well, sell sweatshirts for the remainder of my sentence volunteering time.

Those women were the poster children for how not to treat people that are volunteering their time to help you. God, I hope I have never treated anyone like that. I don't think I have. But you can be sure I will be extra on my respectful game going forward.  And you can also be sure I will never be on the other side of that concession stand fetching you a pretzel EVER again.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yay, you!

Anonymous said...

People behave like that,territorial, when they have NOTHING else in their life to call their own...so when nice,normal, Moms venture into their domain (they wouldn't pull this with Dads), they respond in the only way they know, classless and ignorant. I've worked with many people as a leader (I too am a Leo so I too have the "gift") and many as the new comer and have met the same type behavior. Maybe that's why it's so hard to get volunteers...maybe they've met a troll or two?

Anonymous said...

Good one Cara! You sports Mom you lol...hope we can lunch soon :) -Lizzy Liz

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