Bng-an-Officer-art - 7/26/02
"On Being an SCA Officer" by HL Annes Clotilde von Bamburg.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: D. Vandever [hlannes at ev1.net]
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 6:41 PM
To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Ansteorra] Corporate America vs. The Dream (was) Non-member
Damaris of Green hill wrote:
AAaaacckkkk!!!!! Corporate America invades the "dream". That's why I do
this. To have time to get away from the &*# at corporation. If corporate CYA
and insurance issues are so prevalent; itŐs going to be a challenge to find
M'lady, I beg to differ with you. Unless you are an officer, an autocrat
(who is a deputy seneschal for the event), the troll gate (who will be
responsible for keeping track of all this and getting it to the treasurer,
seneschal and autocrat of the event) or the non-member being charged the
higher fee, I highly doubt that the rest of the populace will even notice
much of a difference. Those who write and file the reports, yes, they will
be aware of the difference, but believe me, when as an officer you are
dealing with society "business" there is very little of "The Dream"
involved. I have been a hospitalier, seneschal (twice), A & S minister,
treasurer, deputy-at-large, presently deputy to the kingdom treasurer
(stock clerk)and now a herald. It is mostly just mind-numbing and very
boring reports. I have never once in all the years and years of holding
office been thrilled over the prospect of yet another report to file.
However, "The Dream" does come alive and thrill me to the core when I hear
an incredible, stirring bardic piece-either new or old. It thrills me when
some fighter on the field in the swirling dust, performs some wonderful act
of chivalry and for a moment, I truely am in the castle yard watching that
tournament unfold. It happens when I watch a youngster's face as they are
chosen to be someoneŐs page or when the queen gives them some largess.
None of the above will stop because some one of us who file the reports and
keep tabs on the membership have to be a bit more careful in those things
that we already do.
But....and here's the big one and I hope everyone has managed to get this
Much, nay, all of the above can, might and probably will stop if people who
can deal with the "corporate CYA and insurance" stuff fail to do so. All
it would take to bankrupt our little organization is one solid lawsuit. We
are not McDonald's folks....we can't afford it.
As for us being a "volunteer" organization, here is something more to chew
on. I posit that we are *not* a volunteer organization but that we are and
have been for some time an organization of *unpaid professionals*.
Especially. our officer positions. If you have not held offices (and I
don't care what level you are at but believe me, it just gets more intense
the higher you go) then you may not know what I mean. Officers really need
to know their stuff. If they don't, it really gets screwed up and then the
folks who are in it to "live The Dream" can't do that. Which really sucks
but there you are.
So...If being an officer is a thankless, boring, unpaid, nit-picky sort of
job (and I count it as a job because every office I've held has taken a
large chunk of my time, energy, and even my money to perform it properly)
then why do people do it????
Because its got to be done and some of us are better and more willing to do
it than others. Because of officers (all levels) "The Dream" and those who
are "the dreamers" can continue to blissfully wile away the hours in a
fantasy of medieval courtesy and chivalry. Because we get a great deal of
satisfaction from being sort of a wall against the intrusion of the real
world into the world we would love to find ourselves in 24/7.
Some advice I always give new officers is "Protect your people. They don't
want to know all the politics and dirt. They just want to enjoy one of the
best hobby's around with some of the best people on earth. Fight for them,
fight cleanly if you can, fight dirty if you must but fight to protect that
"dream" that brings them in and fills their eyes with awe and delight. Keep
as much of your worries to yourself as you can. Don't lay it on them. You
took up this burden to be their bastion. You deal with the paperwork and
the bureaucracy. You get those reports in so your group has a good standing.
Remember those who did this for you when you stood where they are now."
There are many books we love to read that has the unsung few who brave the
edges of the wild to keep back the Great Dark. The rangers in Lord of the
Rings come to mind. ThatŐs what your officers do.....from the *unpaid
professionals* on the BoD to the *unpaid professionals of the Great
Council to the *unpaid professionals* who are your local officers. We deal
with the muck and the dreck so you don't have to.
And frankly, I wouldn't want it any other way.
One last thing....Remember that in order to enjoy this place of peril
between a member (paid or not paid) and "Corporate America", they have to
pay for the privilege because to be an officer you *must* be a paid member
of the SCA!
Getting off my Large and very Long Soapbox