Last week, I attended my first babysitting co-op meeting. It was quite an experience. Although I was the only new member and the other six people in attendance ostensibly knew each other, the group had a somewhat clinical feel to it. The entire meeting felt very forced, very prescribed. There was a chair and a secretary – the chair ran the meeting and the secretary documented everything. Had I been a member of the Babysitters’ Club (anyone? reference? did I just date myself?), I imagine Kristy Thomas would have conducted a similarly effective meeting. (On a side note, I always fancied myself more of a Claudia Kishi – artsy, creative, sporting fancy shoes. Though, I was much better at spelling. But, I digress…)
The meeting started by handing out a sheet of paper with each member’s points. Then, the chair read this sheet, line-by-line, aloud. She read each of the twenty-five members names and their respective points, while the rest of us followed along, as though we were somehow unable to read the sheet of paper for ourselves. After the reading of the points was complete, we discussed ideas for social events. Among the suggestions were: playgroup and get-together at the park. I had to wonder how many times these social events had been suggested before, as they seemed rather obvious. Didn’t the group already have such activities on a regular basis?
Then, the icing on the cake. The old secretary (who had completed her two-month term) handed The Book over to the new secretary. The Book was a 3-inch binder that contained all the sittings that had occurred in the co-op. When a member completed a sit, she/he called the secretary and reported it. Then, the secretary recorded the sit and the points in The Book. The Book was the official source of record.
I was flabbergasted that none of this -save coordinating sits, on occasion – occurred online. How antiquated and archaic the methods for what otherwise would be such a great idea. Granted, I have not yet coordinated a sit myself and I am looking forward to doing so and to finding out how this process works, firsthand.