Thursday, November 5, 2009

S.A.H.M. Laborers Union, Local 185

MEETING MINUTES, November 4, 2009

We got a late start because Sally O., our president, was trying to park her Odyssey out in front of the meeting hall. God knows Sally's got a good heart, but that woman cannot parallel park to save her life and I think she'd be the first to admit that.

When we finally did get underway we discovered that once again we didn’t have a quorum because more than 75 percent of union members’ kids were sick and they had to cancel at the last minute. This being the case we were not able to vote on some of the more pressing issues on our agenda, namely our wages, benefits and compensation packages for FY 2010, which is probably just as well because management hadn’t responded to the previous four proffers anyway. This of course means we’ll be working without a contract for the seventh straight year. Normally we might be able to kick this issue to the next meeting for fuller discussion but our next meeting is already cancelled because it conflicts with something. The school Winter Festival? The Soccer Banquet? Something like that. We couldn’t remember but it’s on the calendar. So suffice to say, wages, vacation and sick leave will remain unchanged in the coming year as they have for the last sixteen centuries.

The eight of us in attendance then moved on to old business. Plans for the New Year’s Sweatpants Ball were in full swing until Emily T., the chief organizer of the ball, said there was no way she was going to be able to get a babysitter since the high school girl who used to babysit for her now has a boyfriend. As a result, she said, she was doubtful about her own attendance on New Year’s. She then said bitterly that every time she called her, the stupid girl says she’s busy but Emily T. says she knows full well the two of them are just making out somewhere or playing Wii. We briefly and jocularly offered suggestions for ways to split the young couple up (cruel Facebooks postings? Anonymous phone calls to the girl’s parents about the boy’s immoral intentions? Spike his Axe body spray with sulfur?). Our ball organizer laughed a little too hard and then said, ‘Do you seriously think that might work?’ More than one of us raised our eyebrows and observed that perhaps it might be time for Emily T. to step back and reassess her priorities or perhaps discuss this with her therapist, which at least two of us already knew she had been seeing off and on for the last year although it doesn’t seem to be helping. It was suggested that the simple answer was that another babysitter be found as a substitute. No one else was willing to share the name of her sitter, however, and after an uncomfortable silence, we cancelled the Sweatpants Ball and moved onto new business.

Before we could continue, the meeting was interrupted three times by phone calls from two husbands. One couldn’t find matching pajama tops and bottoms and was told, rather harshly, to improvise. The other husband wanted to know what time the kids normally went to bed and then expressed dismay that he was expected to actually bathe the children before putting them to bed. The first husband then called back and said that one of the kids was now clutching the union member’s nightgown, crying hysterically, and running around on the furniture. He asked when she would be coming home. When that was finally resolved by pretending to lose the cell phone connection, another member was rebuked for reading her email during the meeting (she always does that, by the way; that woman would read emails at a funeral). Rather than put her Blackberry away, she sighed and asked when things would be wrapping up because she was still hoping to meet up for a Girl’s Night Out event with a few other moms who had allegedly had sick kids and couldn’t attend tonight’s union meeting. After an uncomfortable silence, we moved onto the budget report.

Although dues have not been collected in more than four months because our Treasurer Laureen B., remains on bed rest in anticipation of her fourth child, assets for the Local 185 were steady at $1988.67, less the cost of tonight’s donuts, which everyone claimed they couldn’t possibly touch because they were all on a diet, although curiously enough all the donuts were gone when it was time to clean up. One union member asked if our membership director Janet W. had attended any meetings in recent memory and perhaps should be replaced but Sally, our president (who if you ask me is way too quick to cut people slack) said that Janet really meant well even if she got herself overextended from time to time, but that she would talk to her about it when she saw her at spinning class on Thursday morning. With that, we moved onto announcements, which led to an outbreak of inward groaning.

One mom -- you know the one -- used this opportunity to promote her home-based business selling luxury bath products from MoFaux because "who needs pampering more than moms" (trademark protected). She passed out cards and urged us to attend her next bath product selling party the day before Thanksgiving, a day she thoughtfully picked because she knew everyone would be totally stressed out in preparation for the holidays. She mentioned that some of the stocking stuffers were only $35, and there were candles on sale for $48. One member then fell to the floor, her hand pressed to her left eye. She asked that someone call 911 because she was certain she had just suffered an ocular aneurysm. In the flurry of activity surrounding the arrival of the EMS workers, two union members slipped away unnoticed after depositing their MoFaux business cards discreetly in the garbage can. After ascertaining that the union member in distress had no known allergies and could receive a shot of Demerol (lucky her), three other members asked the paramedics if mercury was used as a preservative in the injection. Emergency responders said the stricken union member in all likelihood had had a muscle spasm, probably caused by rolling her eyes back into her head too often. She was transported to the hospital, where she was treated and released.

There were no other announcements.

**I want to give a shout out to Denise L., SAHM Union Organizer, El Cerrito Chapter.**