Archive for July 23rd, 2008

Surviving The Party Planning Committee (And Bertha Bulldozer)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

My wife Gina served a 2-year sentence as President of our son’s elementary school PTA (and some of you know exactly what I mean.)

During that time, she became aware of the “90/10 Rule,” which states that – in any organization or committee – 10% of the people do 90% of all the work.

Committees that plan gala events often see a similar ratio of actual workers to members. But over the years, I’ve also identified a few specific personality types you are likely to encounter.

First is Bertha Bulldozer. To Bertha, there are two kinds of ideas: her brilliant ones, and everyone else’s stupid ones. Molly Motormouth has strong opinions on every subject – lots and lots of opinions. Agreeable Agnes validates everything you say, as well as everything everyone else says. Silent Sam and Invisible Van add nothing at all to the proceedings. They are so inconspicuous that you may forget they are even there (and they would be okay with that.) Finally, Useless Sue is the committee member who promises the world, then delivers nothing (but always has really creative excuses why she failed to come through for you.) Complicating matters further, some of the personality types listed above combine into cliques – voting blocs that pursue their personal agenda, rather than what is simplest, least expensive, or best for the group.

That leaves the real worker bees – the 10% which will, no doubt, include you. To you will fall the actual business of planning the party. It may seem like a thankless job. At times, you’ll want to quit. But I hope you will take heart in simply knowing that many of those who attend your party, and ALL of the professional vendors who work with you, will know who really made it come together.

And that will be you – one of the few, the proud, the 10%. So let us give praise where it is due. On behalf of all of us who depend on 10 percent-ers like you for our livelihood, thank you! There literally wouldn’t be a party without you.

And you can tell Bertha I said so.