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AIBU to want to escape PTA hell?

(166 Posts)
Pulluptothebumperbaby Mon 17-Oct-16 17:43:25

I helped on the PTA last year and didn't find it the most pleasurable of experiences but reminded myself it's for the benefit of the school blah, blah, blah.

The then-chair kept pestering me to take on the role of chair when she left. I didn't want to do it as I'm not really the PTA "type", DH threatened me with divorce if I did it and I have a very, very busy life anyway.

Come the week before the AGM, the chair cornered me and said there is absolutely no-one to take the role of chair. She said it's an easy role, there is lots of support from the committee, the events run themselves, every thing is already in place and it's just a matter of following the formula. I said I really wasn't the right person for the job but I'd give it a go as they're desperate.

You can probably tell where this is going. It's not even half-term and I'm already a stressed-out maniac. It's a full-time fucking job! The fucking events don't run themselves and no fucker is interested in helping. The previous chair pulled a fucking blinder on me.

There is no way I can carry on like this for the rest of the year but what do I do? As much as I hate it, leaving them in the lurch is a shit thing to do. Do I ask for a co-chair to help lighten the load (un-bloody-likely)?
Or do i resign and let some other poor fucker be roped into it.
I feel like a right fool for agreeing to it in the first place when deep down I knew it wasn't for me (and that was before the full-blown ordeal became apparent!). Fuck.

Sunnymeg Mon 17-Oct-16 18:04:29

Presumably there is a committee. I would get job descriptions drawn up, so everyone has a role and things can be delegated to others. I would also be honest with the committee about how much you can actually help with . If this means that some events don't happen then so be it. If parents complain then they can either get involved or suck it up.

Chottie Mon 17-Oct-16 18:09:27

I feel your pain. I had to leave the PTA at Christmas too, I just could not stand the endless meetings and wittering away.......

sorry not very helpful

I would delegate everything I could, look at all the events held in the previous year and be ruthless and only run the ones that brought in money.

rookiemere Mon 17-Oct-16 18:21:33

I feel your pain to some extent. Have just agreed to be secretary for scout exec. Was told it would involve taking minutes at 4 meetings a year. Hah. Previous lovely encumbent seemed to do everything including all room bookings, liability insurance etc. etc.

Try and work out what the worst bits are. Cut down on the meetings. Allocate roles. Insist on getting enough volunteers for things and not holding if you don't.

It seems to work well in our school because the chair is - for lack of a better term- a queen bee type person, and for some inexplicable reason lots of the other DMs are keen to follow her bidding. So it doesn't all fall down to her.

MatildaTheCat Mon 17-Oct-16 18:25:20

Just shows how even a nice person can stoop to low lies to get out of the PTA. Could you find someone to job share the post or feign illness?.

HughLauriesStubble Mon 17-Oct-16 18:27:07

Yanbu op in a previous job myself and colleague were roped into being secretary and chairperson of the social comittee. There was a large committee of members who only turned up to meetings when they wanted money or to shout at us that we weren't organising enough events. Guess who all the organisation fell to? Fucking muggings us indeed. Got nothing but dogs abuse for our efforts too hmm

I steer well clear of committees now.

swizzlestar Mon 17-Oct-16 18:30:47

I'm chair of our Pre-school, it's also a charity with all that entails.

I've cancelled events due to lack of volunteers. So don't hold back, stand firm. Also look to recruit a vice chairman so you can off load some of the responsibility.

I got blagged too, if it helps!

Ausernotanumber Mon 17-Oct-16 18:32:01

I still remember the PTA meeting that started at 7pm and ended at 12.45. Quarter to one in the fucking morning.


topcat2014 Mon 17-Oct-16 18:32:30

I appear to be vice chair of the governors now - as I didn't get my excuses in quick enough ;).

I have said that I am not thinking beyond next summer though - as, for governors, at least you get elected in and your term comes to an end (eventually).

I suggest you say you will leave at the end of term (presumably after a Christmas fayre etc).

I am also on a charity, which is on the skids a bit, and our chair has just resigned.

At the end of the day these things are not a sentence. I was on a professional committee, and resigned. The branch closed. Do you know what, the sky didn't fall in - and I don't give it a thought.

PiggyPlumPie Mon 17-Oct-16 18:34:07

I was railroaded into taking the chair at our PTA. After one memorable meeting when it took twenty minutes for someone to take a 15min job off me while I was in hospital I emailed the head and said that due to personal circumstances I felt I had to resign with immediate effect. It really can be a thankless task.

whattheseithakasmean Mon 17-Oct-16 18:35:07

Resign. Just get the fuck out of there. The world won't end, no one cares about the PTA, just walk.

jelliebelly Mon 17-Oct-16 18:39:32

Either rope in all your friends to help or quit now before you get roped in even further / life is too short.

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 17-Oct-16 18:43:33

Our pta has two co-chairs,seems to work well for them as they both play to their strengths, one is very very organised and revels in paperwork, the other is a bit more realistic and has a good idea on how to organise the logistics of it all. I would say at the next meeting that you can either have a Co chair or you're quitting,see what the outcome is wine

juneau Mon 17-Oct-16 18:45:35

I would resign. You didn't want to do it and the previous incumbent lied to you to get you to take over. She was probably desperate to get rid of it herself, but she's a cow for foisting it onto you - she should've had the balls to just resign too and let the committee worry about appointing someone.

I would write a formal resignation letter stating that the job is simply unworkable with your current commitments and that the stress and workload is impacting on your home life to an unacceptable degree. Say that you were strong-armed into taking it on, against your better judgement, that you were led to believe the workload was a fraction of what it is, and that you simply do not have the time to do it. Say that your resignation is with immediate effect and that as of half-term you're stepping down.

Seriously - it's the PTA or your marriage. Which one are you going to pick?

dodobookends Mon 17-Oct-16 18:48:24

Take all the paperwork into the school office, and leave it there for safekeeping. Write a 'To whom it may concern' resignation letter, attach it to the top of the pile and run for the hills! grin

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 17-Oct-16 18:48:53

Yes, no one cares about the pta, but woe betide you when there's no leavers tea towels, hallowe'en disco or summer fete
I've joined the pta this year. Yes, it's a pain in the ass, yes it's like a Victoria wood sketch show about a knitting circle, yes there is a type and most of them fit it. But they do good things for our school, in their own time, with little support from the 't' and the events they put on are purely for the children to enjoy.
If you don't want to be chair, don't be. Resign. Job share. But I do think that it's a good thing to have a pta and I think most parents don't realise the work it involves for those who run these events. More people should join, volunteer and support the schools and maybe there wouldn't be 'a type' that puts people off.
Our pta is hugely ineffective really, because it is run by well meaning but ineffective leaders who would be massively boosted by professional people who have business sense and brains. I've only done two meetings and one event and I already want to give them all a good shake!

PatButchersEarring Mon 17-Oct-16 18:52:06

Seriously, just resign. The world will not end. It will be tomorrow's chip paper.

I will never forget the PTA meeting I attended that centred around who was going to be the Father Xmas at the school fayre that year. It was all Drama Rama as apparently the bloke who usually did it had fallen out with someone and would no longer do it. I kid you not- this conversation went round and round for a good hour. All the while this was going on, there's me sat opposite this bloke- about 6 foot tall, long white beard, white hair, bit portly..fuck me, he could have been St Freakin' Nicholas himself! Finally, someone suggested that this bloke could maybe do it- which he was happy to do...and then another half hour was then spent discussing whether or not everyone one would be happy with this as it was different from last year...

Honestly, who has the time for this crap?

Peppapogstillonaloop Mon 17-Oct-16 18:52:36

Cancel the events that are lots of work if no one is prepared to help (send email threatening this first to hopefully get some)
Put on easy money makers-movie night was a doddle made lots and easy to organise.
It is a bit shit to just drop out but I can understand the desire too!

Pulluptothebumperbaby Mon 17-Oct-16 18:53:46

Thanks,everyone. I feel awful for walking away but as I actually considered moving DC to a different school to fucking escape, I think the time has come to get out.

You're right. No-one gives a fuck about the PTA and it will give the condescending, anal fuckwits on the committee something to put on the agenda and discuss. For four hours.

VladmirsPoutine Mon 17-Oct-16 19:03:41

Yanbu. This is quite frankly the 5th and 6th circle of hell combined.

Be ruthless where you can. Allocate jobs where you can and if that doesn't work out then walk away.

Ness1234 Mon 17-Oct-16 19:11:35

I'm not the PTA type, I hate seeing that, I've just stood down as Chair of my kids PTA and I would say there are all sorts of people that volunteer. I take it you're a parent of a child at the school, well do your bit and don't rely on others to do it. I was sick of parents who say they haven't got time and not the PTA type. Schools need money more than ever. Make sure you have vice chairs and other committee members so you can divide up the roles.

Sara107 Mon 17-Oct-16 19:11:51

Op, you have just confirmed my decision to avoid PTA 'open evening' tonight!!! I know they are desperate for committee members, but I just can't bring myself to get involved. My impression is that it is super cliquey, and they really only wanted their friends involved - I've been knocked back a few times when volunteering to help with events. But then when they've had enough it's all moaning about how nobody helps and nobody will take on the committee roles. Tough! Personally I would be happy to just write the school a cheque for £200 every year and be done with all the fundraising nonsense.

clam Mon 17-Oct-16 19:12:05


And I say this as a teacher.

Serialweightwatcher Mon 17-Oct-16 19:12:26

Resign most definitely and don't say 'yes' in future to something you're really not wanting to do - try to be more assertive wink

TeenAndTween Mon 17-Oct-16 19:18:31

Sara Personally I would be happy to just write the school a cheque for £200 every year and be done with all the fundraising nonsense.

Please do so. Tonight.

OP. Either resign, and say it was much more work than you realised. Or, in committee meetings say it is too much work and you will help arrange X,Y&Z, but someone else will need to arrange A,B&C.

The committee I have just left as my child has finished the school, has said this year no Christmas or Summer fair, as there aren't enough bodies to organise it.

Only give what time / effort you can. Then step back and breathe.

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