Just When You Need A Rapture

I may have mentioned in a previous post that the yakuin gods had found me, my number had come up, sort of, and I had found myself signed up for a year of school duties.

To recap a moment.
My name didn’t come out of the hat, someone else’s did. She found she was unable to do it and I felt she had really valid reasons for this. I told her I couldn’t do anything that involved reading and writing Japanese or relaying important information to others. I could offer a sturdy pair of hands, I could chip in my two cents and I could do the grunt work no one else wanted to do. I also could not attend all the meetings because they tend to be on weekday afternoons and I work most weekday afternoons.
She went back to the powers that be, and said they agreed to those terms, that they had in fact said, anything I could do to help would be appreciated.
Well okay, game on.
I decided that I would embrace this opportunity. A small part of me (a really stupid, needs to be shot in the head part of me) thought I would see it as something new, something that might lift me out of my current stagnation and apathy, new people and whole new pool of vocabulary to lift me to fluency and total domination of the Japanese language.
This will be engraved on my final list of ‘bloody stupid ideas’.

So 3 weeks in, here’s where we are with this wonderful new experience.
Last Monday was the first meeting, which as suspected I was unable to attend. So I filled out the form saying I would not be attending and put it in the special envelope and sent it off with Doris.
THAT NIGHT, at 9 pm I get a phone call. The woman says, did I know there was a meeting, I said I did. She said, you have to come to all the meetings. I said, no I don’t, I said in the beginning I couldn’t attend weekday afternoon meetings. I have to work.
She said, almost everyone has to work; you have to change your work schedule.
I said I can’t, it would involve rescheduling over 20 kids who are already scheduled to the max, there’s be no other available time I could get them to come.
She said, you’ll have to do ‘something’.
Then she said, at today’s meeting we assigned everyone to groups and responsibilities, you are on the Culture Festival (one of the biggest events of the school year) team and you have been assigned their leader.

I’ll refrain from saying exactly what word popped into my mind here, because my friend said her 12 yr old reads this.

So I tried to stay calm and I said, no, no no no no no, that isn’t going to happen. That can’t happen; I cannot possibly take on that role. I was very clear in the beginning about what I was capable of, and leading the group is not within my realms of possibility.
She said, well your name came out of the hat and now it’s all down on paper, your name is on it as leader, so……
I said, well you have to take my name off as leader, I cannot possibly do it, I might just as well try to grow taller for what you’re asking of me ( I owe that to the good Dr Phil), sorry but no no no and no again.
I pointed out that when I fail miserably at my duties, someone else will have to do them which will cause me to be bad mouthed and generally reviled, that would not be my happy place, I’m trying to stay within the confines of my happy place.
She said she’d talk to the other super powers and get back to me.

Next day she calls again.
She said the super powers have suggested that I stay on ‘in name only’ but I won’t really be responsible.
I said that I would not be happy with that scenario either, I had by this time sought outside counsel, and said counsel told me, whatever you do don’t let them keep you on with the ‘in name only’ crap. She said, they’ll try that and no one will actually have any responsibility but your name will be mud and you’ll get blamed for everything.
So, again I said, no, no no no no. She told me that this role is not difficult anyway; I simply had to manage a team of 16 women, delegate the responsibilities, and liaise with the head and deputy head and the 9th grade homeroom teachers. ???? No, no no no no.
I said, if I can’t read all the paperwork it’ll be impossible,
so she suggested I ask my children to read it for me.
(aside from the fact that’ll lengthen the entire process by 4, and they don’t get in from school until 7pm as it is…)
So I said “it’s not their job”!
She said, but it’s YOUR job to know what the papers say.

So I said, look it’s the 21st century now might be a good time to make a move into the bilingual arena as so many Japanese companies are doing now, please give me all the papers and information in English.
She said, I can’t, my English isn’t up to it.
So I said, maybe you could ask your children to help??

A rather aggressive tone entered things from here…..

Upshot is, she will send out a letter saying that I ‘refused’ the position and at the next meeting they will draw names again…that’s going to be a real fun meeting to be at, when someone else gets their workload quadrupled because of me, can’t wait……what to wear what to wear….

Too bad that whole rapture thing didn’t come to pass, would have been good timing….

14 thoughts on “Just When You Need A Rapture

  1. Oh. My. God.

    Sounds horrendous and mafia-like. I think I would have told them that stress brings on horrific epileptic fits and if I had one at one of these meeting I would sue.

    P.S. It’s quite easy to fake a fit.


  2. Oooh,I am raging on your behalf .Unbelievable, but you handled it beautifully may I say,and I LOVE the dig about getting the info translated into English .Brilliant!I shall be mentally vibing that Evil Woman with all the bad karma I can muster up .Honestly,why can’t people take no for an answer?

    • I KNOW!! and it’s not like I was pussyfooting around a ‘no’ ( chotto..chotto muzukashi..) I said zettai muri, akan, zettai akan… thanks for the solidarity.
      See you soon. xxxx

    • Please find me a rapture. xx

      @ Sherry, I think my best tack here is to refuse to be able to understand anything and then if that doesn’t work go with the ‘ fake my own death’ plan.

      @Janina, Exactly I was thinking about that shit yesterday.
      It’s just too many levels of ridiculous and all for nought, all for nought, it’s not like they’re assembling a team to cure cancer, this will be about selling melon pan.

  3. Hum. You tried to reason with the unreasonable again, didnt you, you eternal optimist you?! I believe I would have just hung up the first time when she called to demand to know why I wasn’t there. Good luck! Why don’t you just assign responsibilities and all that crap in English? Their kids can help them.

  4. You had me on the edge of my seat. Oooh ugh ack… Stay strong, sister. You know your name did not really come out of that hat . They did it to pay you back for not coming. Why is it that working women can change their work schedules to come to PTA meetings, but men – oh no – they can’t change their schedules if their children are sick, their wives are in hospital, they have had a baby… Oh, but they can if some random person in their office’s mother has died. Then they can take the whole day off to go to the funeral of someone they have never met. Sorry, I’m ranting… Change your address, seal up the mailboxes, change your telephone number… Grrrrrrr….

  5. I reckon that ‘hat’ had a stash of your name and only your name in it!
    Reminds me of when I was elected to be the monthly newsletter editor – haha, I couldn’t tell one Kanji from the other but in the end I got away with writing a monthly proverb column in English (how useful!)
    Stick to your guns and book your holiday for next year’s election!

  6. I’ve just signed you up to be on the committee at my kids school to help fundraise for an all weather earthquake proof sports field, I have got some pretty important phone numbers for you to ring and these will be faxed to you ASAP. No pressure but we need this finalised by Tuesday our time. Thank you, and good night.

  7. ok. this is what I think you do. Go the next meeting in a large hat and large dark glasses, have a lot of cleavage on show, or fake cleavage (maybe with bronzing powder and a highlighter pen – I hear it can be done). Wear a full length frock.
    Put a rumour around that you potentially have a part in Hollywood block buster and are already living the dream or/and that really you are a man/transvestite and would be no good on a committee. Your kids won’t thank you, but the whole ensemble may detract from the resignation thing??? what do you think?

  8. Do it my way. Never go to a meeting. Never send back a paper, if it says PTA it’s automatically garbage. Never answer the phone if you dont recognize the phone number.

  9. Oh god. I have all of this to look forward to.

    I hope by the time I have to get involved in this crap they are distributing the papers in English. My Japanese has gone down the toilet in recent years……

    LOL at Ditoh`s comment. This is the exact advice she has given me in the past already. MUST REMEMBER!

    ps: What is the Tokyo/kanto dialect word for “akan” I wonder? Maji muri?

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