The one where Shawn's head explodes

I used to plan field trips and I still do volunteer work that requires I send out information and could receive questions back.  You know what drives an introvert to not volunteer to do such things? Stupid emails.  They are an intrusion into my life to which I am required to respond.  Yes, many of the emails are completely valid.  Questions where the information is not in the email/flyer I sent out.  Or a special case that is really warranted - an allergy or something of that nature.  But soooo many are people who don't pay attention or want special treatment.

This is the type of email I might send out if I was planning a field trip.  It would read something like:

Here are the details for our FunLandSuperFun trip! Can't wait to see everyone there.

  • Date: Tuesday, September 5th
  • Time: 8:50am.  Our tour starts at 9am sharp! It takes 30 minutes to get there from OurTown, please plan on that.  If you are going to be late, please call xxx.xxxx and we'll let you know where in the tour to meet us.
  • What to bring: Lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, sweatshirt/light jacket
  • Cost: $5/kid, $10/adult, <5yrs old/free

  • Apple Family (3)
  • Ball Family (4)
  • Cougar-Dalmation Family (2)
  • etc

It's a simple, straight-forward, all the info is there and nothing else email.  Could there be questions? Sure.  But here will be the typical responses I will receive:

  • We can't make it until 9:30am, could you back the start time up a bit?
  • Tuesday's aren't good for us, because of blahblahblah and they aren't good for FamilyX either and FamilyY does thisotherthing on Tuesdays.  Can you set up another trip for Wednesday?
  • What day is it on again?
  • We didn't RSVP and I know registration closed 3 weeks ago, but can we come?
  •  How much does it cost?
  • I can't go to from my phone, could you just email me the instructions, preferably written in Sanskrit, on how to get there.  I don't have time to get on the computer at home.
  • My kid isn't allergic to anything but we're avoiding peaches because it might help with something.  Can you be sure that no one brings peaches on the trip.  I don't want my 10 year old to accidentally get a hold of one.  Plus she hates it when other people eat peaches and she can't. [note: real allergy concerns, totally valid.  And if you want to avoid foods, go for it.  I've done it myself w/my kids.  But totally NOT the organizer's issue.]
  • Can you arrange carpooling? I can't possibly do it myself, I'm too busy and I don't understand email.
  • Should I bring a lunch or is that provided? If it's not, can you see if we can have a lunch provided? Of course it goes without saying that it would need to be organic vegan sushi.
  • whatt ime does itstart? 
  • I'd really like it better if we planned this as an overnight trip.  Why don't you do that.
  • i never got the original email about this trip because i don't read my emails so i didn't know about it and i want to come can i come please pretty please
  • Why doesn't it cost $4.75 for kids? My cousin's brother's girlfriend's friend's grocer's kid went here as a school trip 3 years ago and they said they totally got in for that price.  You need to call.
  • I don't know if we can make it, but if we can, can we just show up that morning?
  • I don't think we'll make it because our hamster misses us too much.
  • I can't read this email attachment because the format is .doc and I can only read reallyolddocumentformateveryonehasforgottenusedtoexist.  Could you print it off and mail it to me?
  • I don't like to give out my email address or phone number but I will need a reminder the day before so I don't forget to come :) [told to you in person and you have no idea who they are]

In order to not be one of the people above you just have to follow a few simple rules.  Really, they are s.i.m.p.l.e.
  • Read your email.  Yes, I know, I skim stuff.  But if there is an email with information about a trip, class, etc, etc, I go back and re-read it thoroughly before asking a question.  I also check previous emails from that person.  I should NOT bother them because I failed to pay attention.  That is my fault, not theirs.
  • Realize that the world does not revolve around you. This means that the organizer didn't plan it on a day you couldn't come, she planned it on a day that worked for her - not about you.  Also, it's not the organizer's job to arrange extra things or alternatives that you want.  You may think you are a specialsnowflake.  You're not.  You are being a douchecanoe.
  • If you say you'll come, then dammit, you come.  There are a few acceptable excuses - the kind of things that would keep your kid out of school if they went to public school.  And even if you do have a valid excuse, you should still call and let someone know you won't be there.  Very few reasons that call couldn't happen..
  • Realize that everyone is busy, not just you. 
  • If your computer is a million years old, have a backup plan.  Maybe your spouse could print things at their work or you could make a trip to the library.  I realize not everyone is up to date on the newest technology, but if you are still in 2001, it's not everyone else's job to make sure things work for you.  Same if you aren't computer literate, find someone to help or teach you.

And I have to say many thanks to those who are considerate.  To those who thank people.  Those who may occasionally have a conflict, but they work it out.  You are the people who keep me going as I deal with the others.  I love you guys!!!   [and by others I just mean others.  Not like The Others on Lost.  They are freaky BAD people! They kill and kidnap people.  To my knowledge, no one I know or associate with kills and/or kidnaps people.  Some of them are just asshats at times.  Not nearly as bad as killing and/or kidnapping people.]

This is your friendly reminder to vote. All you do is click, which takes you to the website where you then do nothing. Or you can do something, but you don't have to do something. It's easy. Thanks :)


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