Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I hate PTO

I don't hate PTA. I love PTA. It's PTO I despise. Some unaccountable organization that collects (I should say mercilessly hounds parents for) donations, with little or no accountability. No time-tested proven organization with fantastic programs providing opportunities to interact on a local, state and national level. No system of  working checks & balances.....just a bunch of mom's who could run off with the money and buy a new washer/dryer with our funds (wait - actually, maybe I could be treasurer for a little bit? I do need a new dryer, actually). And they come up with the most incredibly insane ideas for unrealistic fundraisers.

I was deeply involved in PTA at the other elementary school across town, where we lived until the year Luke Skywalker started Kindergarten. I helped out with everything, organized activities, and was always around to do the grunt work. They even threatened to make me PTA President one year. We had great fundraisers with good value exchanged for donations when we organized silent auctions and the like. We asked for donations from local businesses to take the pressure off of parents as well.

Eclair brought home the flyer for the "Old Fashioned Country Carnival" fundraising activity that is to be held this coming weekend. I swear to you that I am quoting this verbatim (with one obvious exception) and not altering it in any way. THIS WAS ACTUALLY PRINTED AND SENT HOME WITH EVERY CHILD. I can only assume they intend to carry out this plan:

To make donations fun1, we're selling candy cow-tails for $10 each2. When you buy a cow-tail, you get to pick a square on the (I'm afraid to mention the actual name of the school because my poor Eclair has to go there) field. On the night of the carnival we'll let a cow onto the field3. The square where she leaves her "pie" will be the grand winner4. The prizes for the grand winner will be......(etc. etc. etc.)....we will sell 5 cow-tails for $45 or 10 cow-tails for $90.

This is so wrong on so many levels.

1. There is nothing "fun" about poop.  I have potty trained five children. And cleaned up after one dog and two cats. And seen the monkeys at the zoo. I am here to assure you that excrement in any form is not "fun."

2. $10 for one cow tail. $45 for 5 cow tails. $90 for 10 cow tails. Wow. It's a good thing I'm a millionaire and have nothing better to spend my money on in this present horrid economy. Wouldn't want to waste my money feeding and dressing my child when there are activities like "Westerly Precipice Elementary Idol" to be funded. Or the ballroom dancing for fourth graders - Eclair would be truly deprived if that happy activity met the chopping block.  ***addendum: I have discovered that the prize for the "grand winner" is valued at $45. So why would I want to spend $90 trying to win it?

3. Cow. On the field. Where children play. And more children gather for 489 soccer games on Saturdays. And  -- the cow is being brought there for the express purpose of making a "pie!"  In order for this to be truly "fair" the cow would have to be turned loose in order to select the "square" in which she will choose to deposit her "pie."  Loose cow. That could mean anything from "wild cow roaming the field out of control" to "belligerent stubborn cow who refuses to move and commences pooping in the parking lot." 

4. I'm curious to know what they are going to feed this cow in order to ensure that the will be only one pie. Or is our devoted PTO President (now in her sixth year in that capacity) going to be standing ready with some kind of plug to prevent excess pie dispersal?

Seriously folks, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Anybody got the number for the Health Department? They just might be interested in this. Maybe they'll make a donation!

Okay okay! Lots of you like PTO! I just liked PTA soooo much better, and the PTO at Westerly Precipice Elementary couldn't care less if I lived or died and cow pooping as a fundraiser is a stupid idea. That's all. No more angry comments because I'm an idiot. You already knew I was an idiot, right?


Debbie said...

Well, not to start something here, but...I served as our elementary school's PTO treasurer for 2 years and now am serving as the Autitor. We have a budget that has to be approved at before the year ever starts and it has to be approved by the parents at a PTO meeting. Each month at subsequent meetings the budget is discussed and everyone is entitled to a copy. Sounds to me like you need to attend the meetings and have your voice heard!
Just add it to the 'list' of things you have to do today!

Avima said...

Does the cow have a time limit? What if it gets shy and can't go while people are standing around, watching and waiting? Do you think that the people in charge of this event will have little side bets going on? What if an overly involved party tries to coax the poor cow to his/her special area? Is the "winner" required to clean it up?

This is such a fascinatingly disturbing concept.

Steverino said...

Oh, but didn't you know that the PTA is just a "front" for the large libero-labor-union-special interests in Washington, whereas PTO is a nice, family-value, locally-owned-and-operated organization that won't use your money to fund dangerous political candidates?

OK, you don't have to post this. Just feelin' cranky.

Aubrey said...

hahahahahahah...loved it. I still can't believe I was ever a PTA president...that should tell you how desperate they were ;)