Thursday, 21 May 2009

The gentle power of persuasion...

Business bods are always harping on about 'networking'. This is something I've always been particularly good at: whether because I can (in the words of my University tutor) "talk the hind legs off a horse" (is that good, or bad?), whether it's because I'm quite an opportunist at heart (aren't we all?), or whether just because I simply do love meeting people - different people, nice people, interesting people, or just plain people (you can learn from anyone) - I don't know. Anyway, I seem to have either networked (or made a name for myself) sufficiently to have been today nominated without opposition for the post of 'Chairman (-woman?) of the (School) Fund-raising Committee.' I must have done something right to market myself correctly. Which, tell you a secret, is pretty good going, as here's the reality:

Example 1: Yesterday - (rushing my son into school at the last possible moment), his teacher looks at me in that benignly concerned manner: "Are you all right, Mrs. Romeo?"

I blinked. Wanted to say: "what, apart from the week of migraines due to this awful high/low pressure weather; the inability to sleep well (worrying about paying the school fees); the having had to organise a birthday party for 32 children (cakes at school break, family cake at home and cakes at the party included - how many cakes?!); the skin breakouts and sluggish feeling from over-consumption of said cakes; the constant nagging in order to get children ready for school on these between-season days which start shrouded in heavy sleepiness and cloud; my recent feeling of complete disorganisation and resulting dip in motivation; and, lastly, lack of any redeeming physical exercise over two weeks, gym and marital acrobatics included..? What, the fact that I'm a total mess?!". But I just replied: "Ummm. Yes. I suppose so..."

Teacher looked at me again, indulgent smile - as you would to a five-year-old, not normally to a forty-year-old mum - "well, it's just were absent last night, and I wondered if everything was OK?" (OH god! I think. What the hell was last night? Some sort of parent's evening?) "Ummm. So sorry. Ummm. Sorry, but what WAS on last night, if you don't mind me asking? I'm not sure I was ever made aware of it..." (blatantly, I haven't been reading either my emails nor those silly crunched-up bits of paper they shove in the school bags, in fact..)

"The parent's evening in preparation for moving up into Form 1 next year. We looked at all the children's work and what they've achieved over the past year, and parents had individual meetings with the new teacher for next year to ask questions and so on."

(Oh Christ! Well, wouldn't have been able to make it as hubby arrived back from work at 10pm anyway. Bloody hell. And isn't this sort of thing an end-of-term thing anyway?)

I apologised and slinked away.

Example 2: Woke up today at 08.10. We have, as a rule, to leave at 08.30 in order to get both children to school on time. Somehow got dressed, teeth cleaned, faces washed, hair done, shoes and coats on, and breakfast eaten in 20 minutes flat. And two pack-lunches made. Although this may be seen as an example of astute and timely organisational ability, I view it more as complete chaos.

All I can deduce from the above, is that if my over-sleeping-, migraine-prone-, nagging ad infinitum-, disorganised-, out-of-control-, and totally unaware of important dates-persona has made enough of an impression to be nominated as chief fundraiser for Posh-Private-School, I think there may yet be hope for me to go work for the government in spin instead! However...I haven't as yet informed the scholastic powers-that-be that, before I fund-raise for anyone else, I should really be fund-raising for myself: or I won't exist at the school next term to chair those all-important meetings after all! (How to put it?...Hmmmm.... let me think....sure I can put a spin on it...)

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