My Funny Audience. First, I’d like to send out a big thanks, once again, to all my new friends at MASBO, a.k.a. the Montana Association of School Business Officials, a.k.a. the stressed out and under-appreciated multi-taskers at this past summer’s gathering in Billings, Montana. It was a blast and an honor to attempt to bring humorous motivation and inspiration through laughter to my MASBO friends.
And thanks for motivating me, and for raising my spirits and bringing to me laughter and insights into your world as I also continually attempt to figure out how to manage the stressors in my own TMI TMC TMS TMA world. We’re a team. But I do have a unique advantage… As one who frequently thinks about—but fails regularly at—self-motivation, humor and inspiration, there’s an enormous built-in perk to every engagement. You want to guess? Time’s up. After I present, I also get a boost. I get an automatic “Life is Still Good” reboot… and then I get paid! How that’s fair is a debate for another day, but what’s not debatable is why this feeling stood out more at this event because of a lady named Bunky. That’s right, Bunky (a.k.a LaVerle “Bunky” Wirtz, for the person in charge of accurate credits and bylines).
Before we can delve deeply into the power of Bunky, we need to first understand what MASBO is. They are the budgetary task-masters who ensure that schools run by the numbers, so to speak… By the way, High School Budgets just might rank tops among some of the greatest oxymorons of our time, right next to Working Vacation, Exact Estimate and Accordion Music.
So that’s who they are, but why are they so stressed? Well, without going into great detail, think of your own high school, or your child’s high school, and how things get done. Is your brain hurting yet? Now imagine those people in charge of tracking and assigning the flow of all funds to anything, anytime anywhere, that make that school tick. BONGO! Wait, “HEY! This kid needs a bandage… if you're not too busy with those budgets!” And now you are in the mind of your average MASBO-ite.
Now, along with acting as substitute-nurse/part time counselor and full time accountant, these talented and skillful people are also regularly placed in the crosshairs of digital improvements to older data systems that sometimes are, and sometimes are not, "Uh, like, you know… improvements.” Their profession revolves around figuring out how to keep the financial flow in tow while operating within, and for, the school they honorably serve. So this group should righteously have a collective response to the oft-asked question from a random teacher, principle, or bloody nosed eight-year-old: “Excuse me, if you’re not too busy, could you please…?” and until the end of time the answer should be, “YES! I’m too busy, but what do you need?!” said with clenched teeth and various levels of stress and sarcasm.
But they don’t; they just do... and do and do and do. And so by now you can certainly understand why these folks are stressed out and over-worked. And I suddenly realize that while brain science has declared it impossible to do—or even think of—two things at once, this group of high school business officials from Montana must have a Super-Power Multi-Tasking Gene yet to be discovered.
[Side note to the bio-engineers at the Genome Project: Get back to work! There's one more out there!]
Just Funny, or Inspirational? You make the call.
So what’s with the Bunky Power? Well, as with most things, it’s startling simple.
In my search to bring humorous motivation, a few insights and perhaps a deeper appreciation to this group’s deus ex machina, I stumbled upon a link to an article/book that I promised my new friends at MASBO I’d blog about (in JUNE—hello Procrastination Poster Child, thy name is TIM), and they in turn vowed to give it a good skim. (And I’m okay with skimming; they’re busy, and besides, it’s one of their super powers.) But for us mere mortals, here’s a CliffsNotes link highlighting the four traits of the aforementioned highly under-valued invisible workforce.
And for those other over-worked masters-of-task (as opposed to task-masters—different thing) who want to feel better about their own super powers, and also seek a great summer read, here’s the whole enchilada.
What Motivates and Inspires Me + Laughs?
Bunky = Educational Obi-Wan Kenobi. Finally, I did actually meet someone (and dare I say, the unofficial mascot of MASBO), named Bunky Wirtz. This meeting occurred as I asked members of MASBO to "stand up and remain standing" if their name was unusual or funny. Bunky was of course the last person standing and de facto “winner.” I don’t think you can even have a name like Bunky and not know you bring light and smiles to whomever you meet. (Bunky agreed and told me she took her Bunky Powers very seriously.)
So there it is.
Wake up, think “Bunky Wirtz,” and start your day right. Say it now, right now, and know your day won’t go as planned, but at the very least it will begin with a smile at a quirky name; I swear it helps. I’m on Day 96 of Bunky Power and highly recommend it.