Meetings

Meetings! It seems like my working life has been nothing but a series of meetings.

Meetings in the morning, meetings in the evening, meetings all afternoon. Because of them, it’s always amazed me that any work gets done at all. Especially in a timely manner.

The meeting tomorrow, however, only happens once a year. That’s about the best kind of meeting ever, don’t you think? I suppose some, perhaps many, of you think it’s OK to have non-stop meetings because they allow foster teamwork and, when held during lunch, result in a free sandwich. I actually didn’t mind those at all. I love my sandwiches.

Tomorrow’s meeting is for our church during which we present the condition of our finances, plead for more money, and beg congregates to volunteer to help out on council. That’s a tough nut to crack with these folks, however. No one volunteers any more. So, as the volunteer council president, I’ve decided to exert my tremendous powers and will start appointing people to positions that need to be filled. If they decline, they’ll have to do so in front of everyone else, not during a one-on-one conversation. This will be public. I’m going to push the envelope a little. I’m not worried about reprisals because I’m a volunteer. It’s kind of one of those situations where people will start to complain then suddenly quit because they realize the alternative is for them to volunteer instead. That’s a bit like a story my Dad used to tell … he was a cowboy, sheep herder, carpenter, electrician plumber, and mechanic.

He told us about the chuck wagon cook for cattle drives. I suppose the chuck wagon for a sheep drive would be a little smaller, and the wheels would turn faster, but the concept is the same … the cook is always the last guy who complained about the food. Cooking for a while was OK, but it gets tiring after a while and the cook misses going out on his horse, chasing cattle, or sheep, so he starts messing with the food to encourage someone to make a complaint.

As the story goes the cook had had enough and decided to make his move. After gooking a great meal, he stepped way out of bounds by putting cow patties in his nicely backed crust, covering it with another fine example of his mastery of pastery.

Everyone raved about how good the main course was, then it came time for pie. One cowboy took his dessert back to his place by the fire, took a big bite and involuntarily blurted out, “This tastes just like cow crap!” Then he saw the cook smiling at him and added, “but it’s good.” There was never any mention of whether or not the dessert was finished, but I think the point was made. The cook retained his position.

That’s what it’s like to be on council. Folks complain about how things are handled, but they don’t want to see how they can help. At least it seems that way in our little country church. And, that’s OK. I’ll just keep doing it, probably until I die.

The council meets once a month throughout the year. Sometimes we have things to actually vote on. Sometimes we even have a quorum so the votes can be made official. That doesn’t always happen, however. Since I’m president, I’ve made it OK for council members to vote via email. The only ones who complain about that are those who staunchly refuse to move into the electronic age by shunning computers. I find that interesting, but don’t worry about it because I can easily obtain a quorum online. The non-electronically inclined council members find out what’s going on through gossip, or at the next council meeting, 2nd Tuesday of every month. Everyone is welcome, but normally attendees are only council members. Sometimes all of them show up. Those are festive meetings.

Diane is feeling much, much better. Probably good enough to go to church tomorrow and provide support for the meeting that I must facilitate. I think she’s really going to ensure I follow all the rules and don’t say anything that will embarass her. I’ve been known to do that.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

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