Friday, November 04, 2005

My First Genuine Online Rant

I promised at the beginning there would be some occasional ranting. So far I've only whined a bit, but now I'm ready. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH ALL THE LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDRAISING???? It feels like Fundraiser Of The Week at my house because it is. My kids have sold magazines, pizzas, t-shirts, more t-shirts, still goddamed more t-shirts, wrapping paper & candy, etc. (Please feel free to leave comments of any I've forgotten.) Oh, there's also the grocery store cards, which I participate in, btw. Plus we've eaten at Max & Irma's and Chunky Cheese, although I have to say, HND was there and he crawled around in the tunnels with his kids, so that was pretty nice... but anyway.

Now THIS. Emily has brought home a magnet that she colored her very own self. And it's kind of cute. If I'd like to purchase it I can send in five bucks. But if I don't want to purchase it? Then I have to send it back, within five days and clearly labeled so they either know who did not participate in the fundraiser du jour or so they will know who to harass to get their stupid fucking magnet back. I HATE THIS.

I don't want to get started on how much I pay in taxes for the priviledge of living here BECASUE IT'S A LOT. And yes, I support quality education, and they are building a new high school, and there was that messy business with the substitute teachers a few years back whereby they lost millions of dollars in a lawsuit, and I might as well toss Proposal A in there (or are we not pissed about that anymore?) and maybe all of that has absolutely nothing to do with ANY of this, and maybe if I could stomach going to PTO meetings I'd have a better idea of what's going on...

Maybe they really need the money and really need to have the kids sell all this shit. But I can't be the only one sick and tired of being hit up every few days! (That's to say nothing of the constant car washes all summer long and the little boys in front of Busch's with popcorn, and the little girls pretty soon with the cookies, etc.) The worst part is how the school is now pimping my kid, worse than usual, by getting her emotionally involved "creating" this thing, so she feels attached to it, genuinely cares about it and then goes about applying her big, brown-eyed pressure to try and get me to buy a magnet I don't want. When I don't want pizza or cookie dough I just recycle the order form, but this has now gotten personal. And that's what elevates the magnet sale beyond irritating & annoying to WRONG.

Besides, isn't it illegal to send something to a person unbidden and then insist that thay pay for it or arrange its return? Or is that only when the postal service is involved? Or does there have to be some kind of threat too? Is this extortion? Or a form of it? Harassment? Or some other illegal thing? LAR! Are you there, sweetheart? Surely you have a magnet, too. IS THIS LEGAL?


Susan, of course said...

Lisa, so glad to hear your rant. I've been quite close to a rant myself but don't have a blog!

You did forget the new fundraising "event"--the auction. Not only do we have to donate an item to the baskets to be auctioned off, but we also have to go to the event and bid on them and spend money on other things. I'm boycotting that one!
I was really mad about the Chuck E Cheese one because Aaron cryed all night when I wouldn't take him. Too bad I missed out on HND.

Anyway, I believe the secret to the whole thing is a certain over acheiving mom that we can discuss later! I was thinking about emailing Mrs. Manley and Chris Berry-PTO Pres. about the ridiculous overkill of fundraising...I don't believe Thurston needs all that money.

OK that ranting felt good!

Shelby's Mum said...

Sue, I can see that you're pretty darned cheesed, although not quite stinking mad since you didn't use the 's' word. Anyhow, I like your idea & I'll email Ms. Berry too. Let me know what you find out & I'll do the same.

Jane said...

You know, the more I think about this, the madder I get. This semester at EMU, both of my profs are pressuring their students to do community service FOR GRADES, regardless of our outside lives, commitments, beliefs, etc. In one case, the project for which a bunch of extra credit is being offered is with the Salavation Army, which has, shall we say, a certain OUTLOOK under which it operates that some donors and clients have found problematic. It's like being back in grade school having to say "no" with the prof and fellow students looking at me like I personally killed Santa or something. Meanwhile several classmates have had to do the same sort of thing in a third class and dunned us for money for their charity. And yes, I gave them several dollars--but the pressure and guilt takes away my CHOICE of how, how much and to whom I will contribute. Add this on top of these public school fundraisers for things that are "frosting" rather than necessities (and believe me, frosting is yummy but my body needs way more fruits, vegetables and whole grains first...)and I just feel accosted at every turn. Today Sarah was complaining about the poor quality of the so-called prizes she "won" for selling overpriced magazines to family members who are all hurting in this economy. One of her friends spent an entire academic class hour (yes, folks, that's right) trying to destroy and therefore silence a sealed, battery operated pen that started beeping like a car alarm and would not stop. She ended up placing it under a desk leg and having a heavy set classmate plop down on the desk before the relevant plastic parts finally cracked open. Please, God,if my "field trip fundraising money" is going to that shit, just let me write a goddamn check for a sum that goes directly to the REAL cause and we'll be DONE with it. Geez!!!

Shelby's Mum said...

Oh, Jane. The Salvation Army? Ugh. I feel your pain, really I do...

Wouldn't it be extraordinarily honest and real and funny if the school did what you suggest and write us a note saying...

Dear Parents,
We need field trip money. Please just write a goddamn check for this sum, which will go directly to the REAL cause and we will be DONE with it. Geez!

Anonymous said... I assume this would not be a good time to ask if you want to buy a school t-shirt.

LAR said...

Sorry I was AWOL for a while. Other stuff was taking up my time. I'm not going to tell you what the "other stuff" was. Let's just say if you watch "Desperate Housewives," you know. BTW, my whip and chains have gone missing... Anyway, about the fundraising. I don't know if sending the stuff home and then making you return it if you don't want it is illegal, BUT, I do believe that they can't MAKE you pay if you don't return it. I do think that is illegal. What are they going to do - take you to court? I know you hate all the fundraising crap. The thing that bugs me is that the fruitless, pointless fundraising takes away from the useful, meaningful kind. As a "swim mom," I can tell you that I pay big bucks for my kids to be on the team. I don't mind paying because I think it's very worthwhile, but if there is a small way to help that keeps the rates I pay down, and lets those who can't afford to participate a chance to, I will do it. This usually doesn't involve hitting other people up during a fundraiser, but occasionally it does. I'm sorry if I pissed you off by asking if you wanted to buy a poinsettia or a wreath. I just know that a lot of people buy those anyway. And if my son can save me $100 or more by selling pizza kits, I have to say, I'm all for it. I'm not even going to get into the GS cookie thing except to say that it does teach things about business and budgeting. The "certain person" at our school has definitely gone way overboard raising money for an organization that doesn't need it. She has turned off a lot of people to fundraising in general and that is a real shame.

Shelby's Mum said...

Now all I can think about it what "other stuff" must be. You're having a flirtation, but not actual affair, with a pharmacist? Or are you keeping a guy locked in your basement? I hope that's it... because running down the street sobbing in a wedding dress is so not cool.

About the fundraising... yes. I agree with everything you said. I think the main thing is the "certain person" who is now running amok, instigating excessive & pointless fundraisers. I didn't know about her before. It makes a lot more sense now! I realize how one very pushy person can take over with something like this, especially with a volunteer organization like PTO. And no, I wasn't pissed about the wreaths, etc. I just don't usually buy them. Now, if you'd brought one over to my house and left it on the porch with a note saying I had to either pay for it or safely return it by a certain day, then I'd be pissed.

I'll keep an eye out for your chains & whip, btw.