I've been feeling very upset all this week.
Several days ago I had an e-mail from our writing group tutor, G, saying that after a lot of heart-searching, she had decided that she would have to give it up at the end of term. I was devastated, because I really love this woman and I love her work, and the way she teaches, her spirituality and everything else about her.
Shortly afterwards, I had an e-mail from the Treasurer saying that she was going to have to give up being Treasurer because she needs to spend time supporting her husband who is having a hard time with illness of his own and a near relative.
On Thursday, G told the whole group that she wouldn't be teaching again next term and when I asked what exactly was the problem, she said that she didn't feel supported and that as the Secretary had had to resign a few weeks earlier (immediately replaced by another person who has been working her socks off) and the Chair had had to take a term off owing to being sent on a course by her employers (she being replaced by a combination of me and J) she felt that people weren't taking the whole thing seriously.
W, acting Secretary, was very upset indeed, and really had a right to feel betrayed because she has been doing an excellent job standing in for G while she was off sick, the Chair wasn't at the meeting, but although G asked that no-one repeat what she had said to her, it's evident from subsequent events that someone has told her.
G also had a go at the Secretary who had resigned some weeks earlier and it all got very emotional. I was sitting there feeling as though the floor had collapsed beneath me.
At the break we got together and decided to have a meeting of all members next Thursday, asking G to come in an hour later.
I was still hoping that we would be able to retrieve the situation, because I couldn't see that G needs to worry about support being available till next term, and we already have the room booked and paid for for next term. We had only known for a few days that the Treasurer couldn't continue next term, and we already had a good and efficient pro tem Secretary in place, but I assumed that the Committee would meet and agree on someone being asked to act as Treasurer between the end of term and our AGM, when a new one could be elected along with a new Secretary. This is, after all, normal practice. Right from the start I felt that I couldn't be Treasurer, although I'm probably the best qualified to do it, but I was afraid that my various illnesses would make me less reliable than the Treasurer needs to be. I'd already missed three days of the course this term. I had already offered to help the existing Treasurer and have done various things for her; I had agreed to monitor the accounts and do bank reconciliations for her as well, although I haven't been asked to do any of that yet.
I was really upset about it all, and aghast that G could have been so critical of people who had already done a great deal of good work setting up the group but had perfectly valid reasons for being unable to continue. I also couldn't understand what support G felt was missing, since everything is arranged for the rest of the term and the room is booked and paid for for next term. She has only to do her lesson plans and turn up for classes, because one way or another, the Committee will sort out what needs to be sorted and she only needs to tell us what that is. She's had a lot of illness this term and a couple of bereavements last year, so I think she probably wasn't thinking straight. I felt we should try to reassure her and have a committee meeting as soon as possible to find out what needs to be done and distribute the tasks out amongst ourselves.
The Chair returned from holiday yesterday and had lots of e-mail waiting for her about what had happened (none from me) and she phoned me to ask what I thought. I made it clear that I was hopeful that we would be able to reassure G sufficiently for her to continue, but that if she really didn't feel able to continue, we could probably run the group ourselves for the rest of the term and maybe indefinitely as there are several members who are writing tutors in their own right. At the AGM we could find out what the rest of the members wanted to do, whether we should disband, hire another tutor or do it ourselves for a while. We decided to have a committee meeting after the class on Thursday afternoon.
I had been stewing over this all night on Thursday, and had already had a previous sleepless night worrying about it. Yesterday I went to the gym and joined the cardiac rehab class; I had a great time and felt soooo much better. It's certainly true that exercise is a great mood lifter. I woke this morning feeling great except for aching leg muscles - Boy! I must have been even more unfit than I'd realised.
This evening, however, I've turned on my PC to find several e-mails waiting for me about the situation and what seems like a fait accompli in the form of an e-mail from the Chair to G accepting her resignation and asking whether or not she wants to continue to the end of term. There's another from the pro tem Secretary, refusing to have any more to do with it if G does stay as tutor.
I feel as though I want to crawl under the duvet and never come out again. How can this have happened? One minute we're a happy group writing away and enjoying ourselves and what seems like the next minute, everyone is at each other's throat. I expected this kind of thing from the Allotment Society when I was Secretary and then Treasurer, but I never thought I would see it among this supportive group of women who kept me going all through my mastectomy and chemotherapy.
I have too much emotional investment in the whole situation, and I don't know what to do.