From time to time, one of my friends will post a request for blog topics on Facebook. Among my list of weird suggestions is something like “Releasing Your Inner Muppet.” One of my pals suggested that I use that topic for my own blog. At the time, my blog was hosted on my webpage and starred my crazy parrot, so Muppets just didn’t fit. Now, though, I can play! So, I’m going to start with Kermit.
Kermit was the Muppet’s ringleader. In some ways, his job was the hardest. Not only did he perform, but he also kept the whole show running. The task of wrangling all those weird personalities fell on him. Here, check out a Kermit clip … with Fozzie:
Leadership is Kermit’s best skill. He’s in charge, which is a difficult thing to do.
My own experience with leadership involved volunteering as the team leader for four years in one school district where I worked. The hardest part was coordinating events.
I was not enamored of field trips, and one year a comedy of errors demonstrated exactly why. I called a museum well in advance to schedule the date. As we got closer, I set up the bus request and prepared the bilingual permission slips, but when I contacted the museum to confirm the date, they hadn’t heard of me, my school, or the trip we had planned. Naturally, the date I thought we’d set a couple months before wasn’t available, but they had space the day before so I nabbed that one and went through the rigamarole of changing the date on the form and contacting the bus barn to correct the bus request.
The day came, and we waited for the buses. After thirty minutes, I contacted the bus barn. They hadn’t processed my request for the date change. In fact, they had no record of the field trip at all, even on the original date. Fortunately, the lady who ran the bus barn scrambled and got drivers and buses to take us to the trip. We still arrived before our scheduled event, barely.
While a docent got everyone organized, I went to the ticket booth to pay. I expected to be told that they had no record of our impending visit, but I was wrong. They knew we were coming, or at least, they knew 12 of the 120 kids and 12 chaperones were coming. Somewhere, someone dropped a zero. Processing the right number of tickets took a while, and I handled that while the other teachers and chaperones stayed with the kids. This took so long that they missed the IMAX movie we were supposed to see, but I was able to get them into a later one.
New itinerary in hand, I passed out tickets to chaperones, teachers, and kids. Then the bus drivers approached and wanted to know where their tickets were. I told them I wasn’t aware they were being chaperones on this trip and let them know what the cost was for a chaperone. They’d expected to get in for free, and wandered off in a huff to a small cafe on the grounds.
The rest of the trip would have gone fine, except that the gift store later accused one of the kids of shoplifting. The museum security officer agreed not to press charges if the stuff was returned undamaged. The stolen widget was intact, so once the boy admitted the theft, he returned the souvenir. After that, we made it back to campus in one piece.
The next year, I let someone else plan the dumb field trip.
What are some ways you release your inner Muppet and take charge of a situation?