Potato, Potahto? Baked Potato, Mashed Potato?
When I can’t sleep, I write. What I write usually upsets people, because it's brutally honest, and much like A Few Good Men, some people can't handle the truth. Recently, I've felt ambushed from some who used to be in power (and who are at least 30 years older than me) in a Masonic organization, because I wasn't giving them every detail of a fundraising activity (a bingo). I wasn't asking for help, because I had help from others, and I knew from past experience that the help I might receive would be lacking. I was duly summoned to a meeting, as was Mac. We were told it would be to discuss the future of the organization, and instead, it was to discuss fundraising.
Now, as I thought it was to discuss the future of the organization, I didn't bring any of the fundraising stuff with me. When we started talking about it, because I was ambushed, and a little rusty on my Toastmasters Table Topics skills, I wasn't able to answer all of their questions. So, those who used to be in charge decided they knew better than me, and decided to plan a dinner instead.
We hammered out details, even though I knew we wouldn't make nearly as much with the dinner, but since it was obvious they didn't want a bingo, I worked with them. A few days later, the person in charge of the baked potatoes cancelled. So, I adapted and overcame, because that's what I do. It served me well in monitoring, and in my job, and why wouldn't it serve me well here?
I opted to have mashed potatoes instead of baked potatoes, only to have my decision changed, and me reprimanded by one of the women because I didn't consult the group on my change. We went from baked potatoes to mashed potatoes. Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! Gasp! I ask you, does it really matter? As far as I'm concerned, when someone who says they'll be in charge of something and then backs out of it loses the right to have any say on what goes on with what used to be her responsibility.
I've had some other issues with the organization, like feeling that no one is listening to me, because well, they've demonstrated time and again they aren't. I ask for a check for $225, what do I get? A check for $250. I ask for the grand pooh-bah to come to a banquet, what do I get? The grand pooh-bah will be at a regular meeting. I outline a specific procedure to obtain a fundraising item early, what do I get? Someone goes rogue and gets the item a different way, ignoring that I have other people waiting to get the items early too. I ask about a lease agreement, and say I've talked to the building management, and what happens? Someone else takes it upon herself to contact building management. Those are just the recent times I've realized that no one is listening to me in the organization.
I've been fighting a good fight with the organization, trying to make suggestions on how to attract a younger crowd. It's tough to interest people to show up for a 2.5 hour meeting, where all that is accomplished is introducing a bunch of people with "titles" even though others know who they are and their titles, some fancy footwork, and some motions to pay bills, accept reports, etc. It is even tougher to convince people to take a role in the organization when they must get dressed up in white gowns, white shoes, and, as it was so not-so-nicely pointed out to me, white stockings.
It becomes even tougher still when the ladies participating are not very tolerant of others who don't fit their traditional mold. If you have multi-colored hair, or tattoos, or if you are openly bisexual or lesbian, good luck. They may let you join, to take your dues money, but they won't embrace you like some would. I generally fit into their "norms" and they barely tolerate me. I think they tolerate me only because I'm a warm body filling an officer role. If I wasn't doing that, I think they wouldn't tolerate me due to my age and my views.
Of all things, they lament that the organization is dying, and they need new members. Considering that they aren't very tolerant, that eliminates most of my friends. Of the others, well, they don't have the time or the desire to sit through a 2.5 hour meeting. Ask others who might have a Masonic connection, like from Mac's lodge? Definitely not. I don't want the lack of tolerance to reflect poorly on his lodge.
Is the hill of baked potatoes vs. mashed potatoes the hill upon which you wish to die? It isn't for me, but for some, the type of potato is a battle worth fighting.