Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Burnout: I Has It.

Well, this morning I got "scolded" by the lady from the foundation that's working with our neighborhood association.

She doesn't know it yet, and it may take awhile (if ever) before she finds out, but that was NOT the right approach.

There's an event coming up in a few days that someone else planned, and someone decided that I would be in charge of.

I have never planned an event like this, so there was no way I was going to assume the leadership of it. It's become clearer and clearer over the last few months that I got in WAY over my head without even realizing, back in January when I consented to be on this committee. I AM the committee. And now I'm being told that in order not to be on the committee any more, I have to go and find some other people to be on the committee..


I have only lived in this neighborhood for 2 years (exactly two years, as of today). I have a passing acquaintance with the people who come to the meetings and events, but that's quite different from those who grew up here and see a lot of each other. I don't mind getting involved, but there are limits, and I have reached mine. I am not going door to door, especially in order to ASK people to do work that I am unwilling to do. I don't feel like I know these folks well enough. Throwing me into the deep end of the pool and expecting Diana Nyad to emerge just isn't going to happen. I'm fine with taking the minutes of the meetings, making a few phone calls, filling out forms, stuff like that, but no more. And I will not be scolded and told I'm "not doing enough" when I do a lot more than many people in this group. For one thing, I remember what frickin day it is and show up at meetings. I know how to use "reply all" so that when person A sends me an e-mail with a cc: to person B, they both get my response. This is better than a lot of people do. Over the last month or two, I've hosted several members of the committee at my workplace; I've met 3 different times with the group doing this event (though a bunch of them never showed for the first meeting). The pattern I see is, the second I do something that isn't quite up to par (like not reminding everyone of the executive committee meeting), I hear it loud and clear that I fucked up. And despite my presence at the planning sessions, my inability to attend the actual event (which takes place mid-day) has me in the doghouse again.

I work full-time. I cannot do the kind of community work that SAHM's do. It just isn't going to happen.

I took this position purely from a sense of obligation. They sent me on a nice weekend outing with a large group;I feel I contributed very nicely, and thought it would be a decent gesture to agree to this position. But I think (nearly) everyone would agree that I have been fulfilling my obligation as well as possible and should not be asked to do more. Especially if I'm going to get scolded.

I do my best work for those who pay me. My job comes first; the church comes (a distant) second. And this group is something I do in my "spare time," whatever that is.

I am so tempted right now to dash off an indignant e-mail, but I've decided to respond with silence. It will be as if I never got that phone call.

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