Karma, God, the Universe — whatever you want to call that higher being. She is sending me someone to teach or remind me of a life lesson. I have to keep this in mind as I deal with this person for the next year.
I am sitting on a committee this year for a professional organization. I refused to be the chair because I can’t be working that hard for free these days. But it’s a committee that I enjoy, so I said I would sit on it.
I’m new to this group, so I am reminding myself to hang back, BUT… it’s really HARD!! Why, you ask? Why thank you for asking, I’ll tell you why:
We just had an event. The food took AN HOUR to come out. The whole luncheon was basically over and the entrees were coming out. They had to hand out containers so folks could take it with them. The room was too small and claustrophobic. In other words, it was a disaster. Would you go back to an organization with such a chaotic event?
On the committee phone call, I asked about changing the venue. I suggested that we take a look at the member’s zip codes to confirm that our meetings are held in the most convenient location for the majority of the members. Crickets.
They said the president doesn’t want to change the venue. Well, upgrading the venue is how we are going to grow the organization. If we have outgrown the venue, then we gotta go. The chair needs to take the president aside and have that conversation. Nope, not doing it. OK, OK I didn’t say this, but it was on my mind….
Then I asked if anyone called the event manager. They had spoken to the event planner who promised us a free happy hour. Nope, that needs to go further up the food chain. Besides this was the SECOND time it had happened. Others on the committee agreed with me.
Plus we did this committee meeting on a conference call. I had to dial in due to a scheduling conflict and then some of them were assembled at someone’s office. I was basically a fly on the wall. My input was futile, so I ended up just listening and when I got home, I hung up. I had done some leg work on one of the events and had to bellow to get their attention. Note to self: either attend in person or don’t participate at all.
She wants top-notch speakers, but is constantly re-arranging the calendar so I don’t want to extend an ask unless the date is really locked in. I observed an attorney ask a very high profile client, get a yes only to see that the date was pushed back a month. Now he has to re-ask. I don’t want to be THAT person. Plus she forgets what the asks that people have already made and it makes us look sloppy for duplicating efforts. This almost happened with one of my asks, but I nipped in the bud. I have told her on four separate occasions and twice in writing that I had this person. She still forgot.
The program announcements are sloppy. The admin can only create so much. For the program I put together for February, the announcement had a title — no substance. I collaborated with the admin to update it and make it much more appealing. Oh, and she didn’t price it right, so the organization is losing money instead of making money. WTF?!
I have realized one of my unofficial duties will be to write the blurbs for the program. I’m cool with that. I wrote March’s because once again, it’s one of my peeps doing the program. I wanted to make sure she got the exposure she is due because she is a bad-ass and the topic is very trendy. It should have a high turnout — too many for our current cramped venue.
Sigh. I emailed the president asking her out for a drink. She’s game and will be sending me dates. I want to talk to her about her strategic plan for the organization for this year and how programs make those goals a reality. Then I am stepping back. Really, I am! I have already provided speakers for 25% of the year. Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t I allow others to work their connections?
I can’t help it. I see the potential of this organization (a local chapter of a national one). The programs chair doesn’t think big. She doesn’t get it. She just wants to fill slots and that’s not how you use programs to grow the chapter. I grew a chapter by 15% one year due to my programs. Attendance increased by over 30% because my topics were so damn good. I can rock this, but …..
This is why Karma has put me on this committee. To learn to sit back. I don’t need to be the driver. I can be a passenger.