Posts Tagged ‘budget’
Given how my dad stressed the importance of unerring, militant frugality, I always assumed that living within a strict, barebones budget was responsible.
That’s why, when the time came, I really didn’t want to buy a floor lamp at Target. Floor lamps that don’t fall apart after college are rather mightily expensive, and my financial status is not so secure that I can afford a mightily expensive floor lamp that doesn’t fall apart.
Not like that changed anything: I had to buy a lamp. Despite my personal misgivings, and my cherished personal reputation as a bit of a Scrooge, I knew I had no other choice. I broke a friend’s lamp, and now I had to replace it.
I could’ve hidden behind my excuses. I can’t afford it — that’s the truth. I’m helping you move, so cut me a little slack — I was, and they could have. It looks like it’s working fine, it’s just that the head is wobbly — it did; that’s all seemed wrong with it, even if I know better now.
I could have gone cheap — that lamp looked tacky, cheap and nothing at all like the lamp I was supposed to replace. I would have gained very little goodwill. Most likely, I’d have lost some, and nearly a friend in the process.
Sometimes, I’ve only recently learned, it’s in the best interests of even the thrifty to bite the bullet. That’s going to be a tough bullet to swallow.
I received the following forwarded message, from my high school band director. As soon as I read it, it worried me:
This Thursday, the school board members will be seeking input and discussing a list of proposed budget cuts. On the list of proposed cuts for next year is all elementary music and 6th to 8th grade band.
If the cuts are approved the only band in the school district will be the high school band which will last only a couple of years as it dies away with the lack of lower grade participation. Please come to this meeting and voice your support for the music programs.
Please make every effort to attend. If you cannot, feel free to email or call any of the school board members.
We need to let the board know that the community feels music is an essential part of a child’s education and nothing less. I know we can muster support from board members, but they need to see that the community believes music is a priority.
I sent each of the board members an e-mail praising them for their judgment. The letter, of course, assumes that they don’t drop elementary and middle school band. I didn’t just say that carte blanche, though. I promised to send them a nasty e-mail if they did drop music.
To think I had thought my school district immune to this sort of short-sightedness. Alas, no more.
It’s a nasty word, but why don’t a few administrative types volunteer a temporary pay cut? It worked for Steve Jobs.
Something makes me think that ain’t gonna fly.
Moral of the story? In such situations, defer to Mel Brooks. “Hope for the best, expect the worst.”