Thursday, October 15, 2009

Here's where Cameron goes berserk. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm in charge of the Snack Shack for the boy's little league football team. Basically, it's a concession stand. We sell pop, chips, nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, candy, walking tacos, hot chocolate, coffee, etc... It really is a shack that we sell out of. It is a building that is about 10X20 in size with no hot water and no heat. Because of all of the small appliances plugged into the electrical system of this ramshackle shack, the breakers often trip rendering us without power for a moment. The ground all around the shack is mud so the floor of the shack is covered in mud. The turkey boiling pot that we use to cook the hot dogs in malfunctions and requires that in order to light it you must burn off all of the hair on your hands and arms in the process. In addition to the primitive conditions that I must work with, not many parents sign up to assist me in the process. There are four games on game day. I arrive 2 hours before the first game to set up and make hot chocolate and coffee. I work through all 4 games-that's 8 hours. Then I stay to clean up after for another 2-3 hours. For those of you adding up the time it's 12-13 hours. It's a really long day. To have not much help makes it even longer.

I have been working hard on this job for several months. It's really a hard job. It takes a lot of coordinating of the food, buying the food, cooking the food and selling the food. Seriously, it is the hardest volunteer job I've ever done and I've done some hard volunteer jobs. There are four home games and so far we've had two of them. During one game, one of the water valves of the coolers was open and water from the melting ice was all over the floor. It was like a slippery mud pit all day long. Turned out the valve was broken. We removed the cooler and things got better. The second game was even better because it was raining almost the whole day. The floor was muddy and slippery again. I have not seen my boys play a minute of football this season yet because of my responsibilities in the Shack.

You know, I really don't mind doing it. I like to help out. I like to feel like I am making a contribution. I was voted onto the Steeler board of directors this week. At the meeting, several comments were made about how the Shack is under budget and is making money this year. I left feeling pretty good about the job I'm doing. You know pride goeth before a fall though...

I got a phone call yesterday from someone who let me know that she has been inundated with complaints about the Snack Shack. The hot chocolate is not good, we serve too much variety of food, the Shack isn't clean enough, the homemade baked goods weren't wrapped up, service isn't fast enough, hamburgers weren't hot enough... She suggested we overhaul the entire system. As she was talking I was feeling so angry and embarrassed and angry and disappointed and angry. Did I mention angry?

First of all, its not the Ritz's the Snack Shack. Emphasis on the Shack. We wear gloves and do everything we can to keep it clean but give me a break, what do you expect?? Second of all, why don't you help out instead of running your mouth in complaints? There is nothing I hate more than a bunch a complainers who haven't lifted a finger to help the situation.
Third of all, do you know how hard it is to be cooking hamburgers on the grill, hotdogs in a boiling pan, nachos and walking tacos in crockpots and keep it all piping hot? It's not easy, let me tell you.

My first Blair Ballard inclination is to not open the Snack Shack on Saturday. Just leave it closed and let them fend for themselves. Bun 'em.

But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to open it and do my best for another week and then another week. I'm going to do a good job and feel good about it and try to let the complaints roll off my back. But it really won't be easy for me. I have really thin skin. I wish we all had to walk a mile in each other's shoes before we could complain about each other.


Angie said...

Wow! If I didn't think so before, I definitely do now: You are a SAINT!! Holy cow, people need to keep their traps shut sometimes. I cannot believe the time and effort you put into this, pretty amazing. I will stop asking when you can visit teach or I can bring the ladder back, lol! You have much more on your plate than I ever knew!

Jennifer said...

Silly! I have time for vt anytime (almost). Sorry we have not been home to get ladder. You could leave it by garage. No problem!

Brette said...

I am mad with you. I hope the person who called is going to be helping you. There really is no excuse for complaining if they're not going to help. Remind yourself of the compliments. Even though I don't get to try to hot chocolate, I'm with you in spirit, which I know really doesn't help in this situation.

GramMO said...

Seems to me you hit it right on the head only the whole thing needs to be overhauled starting with the part where you become the Supervisor instead of the servant. Since you're on the board you can tell them how it's going to be: Every family that has a child playing is REQUIRED to work or is responsible for a certain number of hours during the season. then they can work it or find an auntie, grandma or neighbor to fill in their equal share of hours. Take the total number of hours required working the Shack divided by the number of players. NO parent should have to miss EVERY game!!! That's just not OK. If the Shack being successful is a part of the success of the "Team" then working the shack is a required part of being on the Team. This must be family supported. Sounds to me your job of ordering and getting stuff around is a big enough job. Obviously no one else wants it or they would step up. You've been successful at it. Now go and supervise. Each parent can be responsible for a certain number of hours. Since there are four games they can work a game their kids don't play. As far as that person who had the nerve to complain...they can be the first to sign up. If the spots aren't filled then I guess their kids don't play, or they pay. Since earning money for the teams is the purpose of running the snack shack. The board needs to determine how important the snack shack is. People don't just need to keep their traps shut they need to pull up their own britches and get in there and do THEIR part!!!! One person can not be the only one working 10-12 hours every Saturday. Is anyone else taking that amount of time away from their families?) That's undue hard ship for your whole family week after week!!!! Call a parent meeting and set them straight! You are a terrific person, Jennifer, and are always going the extra mile. This time it's time for the other parents to play their part. It's not a question of parents "helping or not helping" it's their responsibility to work it as part of the team family. If not then I say to them "get off the team". With all those kids in 4 different games. that's a lot of parents, aunties, uncles, neighbors etc. There's no glory in running your self ragged! I love you, demand it from those around you. Whew!

Sara said...

Grammo is right! When we played t-ball, every child had to sell $40 worth of candy bars to participate on the team. That's what they did to raise money instead of a snack shack. If you didn't sell them, you had to pay the $40 anyway in fees. So I just bought the box and used it for halloween and Christmas! And I ate some, too, but I was too busy to sell it. So the point is - EVERY BOY'S family has to contribute - whether it's in time, or money. But it all has to be equal or it's not a team effort. You'll make a GREAT supervisor.

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