“Social Committees” = “Us versus Them”

My buddy Bill just tweaked my “bitch bone”.  I’ve been meaning to write my next rant about this issue for some time, but when I read Bill’s post about reacting to others’ comments, it sent me into a froth. Ironic, huh?

The subject of this rant is:  obligatory office/school/work parties. I can’t stand those things. These are the parties where some young, annoyingly, chirpy bubble headed “life of the party” chick comes up to you and says: “Hey! Wanna donate to the social committee fund? Only 40 bucks for the whole year!”

Social committee, my ass. This is just one more way to suck money out of my wallet while making me realize how much of an invisible person I really am where I work. Let me give you an example (names have been removed to protect the obnoxious).

At the start of the last year (yes, I am in education), a staffer put a sign out that said “Social Committee: 40 dollars , sign up here”. Well, I was part time and worried more about paying my electricity bill and feeding my hungry children than contributing to a “social” committee. (So, I never bothered to sign up, nor did I ask what exactly the “social committee” was in charge of doing.) Allegedly, the committee was “created to raise funds to purchase cards and a candy bar for birthday celebrants, and generally any other occasion that requires buying a cake.” Oh, yea, sure. I just call it one more way to shake down people for money.

Not being on the committee, I didn’t think anything of it, until IT happened. My big day. Okay, I admit I didn’t TELL anyone it was my birthday before it came, but my birthday date was posted in the staff room. And, the sparkly tiara I was wearing all day should have been a big clue that “something” was going on with me (Yes, I DO have a tiara I wear on my big day, I’ve been doing this for 5 years now.) I wasn’t expecting a card or chocolate bar. After all, I never DID pay my money so that wouldn’t have been fair. I’m the kinda gal who doesn’t expect special treatment or feel I am above following the rules.

BUT, not one single person on said “social committee” even offered a “Happy Birthday” to me. The entire day went unnoticed, unspoken, unacknowledged. If it hadn’t been for my team worker bringing her kids into my classroom to sing “Happy Birthday” at the end of the day, the issue would have never been mentioned (my team worker is GREAT!!!) Meanwhile, “Chirpy Shirley” and her crony “Psycho Bitch” were showered in praise, chocolate bars, cards and a cake for their birthdays. And that pisses me off. It became nothing more than another “popular crowd versus the nobodies” event.

Yes, I know this sounds like I’m whining and begging for attention, but that is not what this rant is all about (is it ever really about the story?)

I am sick and tired of being asked to participate in “work parties” where I know I am not wanted. I don’t care that so and so is having a bridal shower or a baby shower. If I don’t hang out with them on a personal basis outside of the work place, then I don’t feel like I should have to fork over much needed cash to purchase them a gift. (Conversely, I wouldn’t expect them to do the same for me).

And the bad part is, if I don’t get involved, then I become the “snob”. If I do get involved, then I am giving away hard earned cash for NOTHING in return — not so much as an invitation to go to the local bar for after-work drinks. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

I’m pretty sure this whole issue started back when I first entered the workforce. I have always been “the odd woman out”. Very few women “get” my sense of humor or are willing to accept the fact that I don’t give a damn about shoes, purses, shopping, designer labels, vapid conversation, Cosmopolitans, Brad Pitt, etc. I also don’t have the time, desire or energy to sit around bitching about men. I love the way men think — it’s the bitchy women who sit around bitching about men who annoy the crap out of me.

I’m not a cold-hearted, uncaring bitch. I can be very generous when the situation calls for it. One of my colleagues has been battling breast cancer. She has a “meals on wheels” deal set up for co-workers to bring her and her family pre-cooked meals so she doesn’t have to worry about that while she undergoes the fight for her life. I eagerly and willingly volunteered my hubby to cook up a big ol’ pot of homemade chili (he’s the chili expert, I just delivered the food) and even included a bag of cheddar cheese with that.

But, my generosity should end there, guilt-free.  So please, folks, stop with the incessant “obligatory office parties” shit. It makes me want to join the post office just so I can go postal on some unsuspecting, chirpy, bubble headed woman.

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2 Responses to “Social Committees” = “Us versus Them”

  1. Bill Reed says:

    My opinion, for what little it is worth, is that you waste too much of your emotional energy worrying about these clowns. Nothing says “you are beneath my notice, cockroach” like facing them with a smile on your face. IMHO 🙂

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