After reading this post by the lovely and talented Robyn of Hollow Tree Ventures, I was inspired to write my own take on this issue. It's one that I just had to deal with on a major scale and it pissed me off. It's something that has happened for the past 3 years, and for some reason, this year it just really churned my butter.
Let me 'splain it to you. I am the coordinator for our High School band's spring banquet. My first year (16's freshman year) I co-coordinated with my friend Mimzy (you can read her blog here, she's awesome). That year, her son graduated and she had one year off after that before her youngest was a freshman, so 16's Sophomore year, I took over the job. Confused yet? Good.
Here's how we do this every year. It's a potluck dinner that we hold in the cafeteria, and each class brings something: Freshman bring salads, Sophomores bring sides, Juniors bring main dishes and Seniors bring desserts/beverages. Are you with me? Good.
Now to the aggravating part. Every year we send out a blanket email invitation from the band director explaining the deal, asking for the folks to bring stuff and reminding them to RSVP to one of us (me or Mimzy, who is back in the HS in full swing with her youngest). This same message also goes out to all parents in the county's school portal, Livegrades. It's on the band's website. Every parent should see this in one way or another. The kids all talk about it. So explain to me WHY in the WORLD NO ONE RSVP's??? Yet they show up! And SOME show up EMPTY HANDED!!! Here's a little breakdown for you:
2012 - 125 kids in band, 59 families RSVP, 215 were expected, over 300 people showed up
2013 - 147 kids in band, 57 families RSVP, 220 were expected, over 350 people showed up
2014 - 155 kids in band, 64 families RSVP, 244 were expected, OVER 430 people showed up
This year, we ran out of chicken before the last table was sent up to the buffet (the band booster organization provides the chicken each year). We ran out of forks. We ran out of plates. Why? Because HOW can you POSSIBLY plan a banquet when you expect 250 people and almost 200 more show up? How hard is it to respond to an email? Make a phone call? Send a damn text? Shit, I see a great many of these folks at sporting events, concerts and even the grocery store! Couldn't you just say "Hey there will be 3 of us at the banquet, see you then!"???? Is that so friggin' hard?? I could scream!
I walked around that cafeteria saying hello to folks and under my breath I was whispering to myself: "You didn't RSVP, YOU didn't RSVP, and oh, there's ANOTHER family who didn't RSVP." Yes, I must have looked nuts.
Now, here is our big quandary. Next year's band will be the biggest we've ever had. We have 180 kids signed up. Our cafeteria seats 450 UNcomfortably. Seriously, this year at 430 attendees, we were packed in there like sardines. We are averaging about 41% of band families RSVP'ing to the event. Let me put it to you plainly: WE. ARE. SCREWED.
So I'm putting this question to you, my dear Snarklings: How do you get people to listen to an RSVP? And what measures should we take in the future to ensure we have enough room? Do we make it band kids only? Or only invite Senior parents? I like the Senior parents idea, and if you are a parent of a kid in another grade and want to attend, not only is RSVP MANDATORY, but you also have to come and help set up and stay for clean up. Damn right I'm bitchy about this subject.
Welcome to Snarkfest
Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!