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Bng-an-Officer-art - 7/26/02


"On Being an SCA Officer" by HL Annes Clotilde von Bamburg.


NOTE: See also the files: 2b-Chirurgeon-art, Baronial-Lead-art, SCA-meetings-msg, sprd-out-grps-msg, Confrontation-art, Guid-f-Barons-art, Award-Rec-Let-art.





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).


Thank you,

   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

the fun.



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



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org