I'm frustrated by a couple of folks in the drum corps. The staff--that's the director and me--puts in untold hours planning and reviewing what we've done and adjusting to problems the corps encounters and have improved our operations a great deal over time. We've had one man grouse about most everything we've changed along the way, just because it was a change.
He just recently volunteered for the job of music librarian, which involves printing copies of all of the music and having them available for rehearsal. That means that every time a new tune is ready, he has to print copies. If the music changes for any reason, he has to print copies. It's what the job entails and was explained to him explicitly when he asked for it. Now he's complaining about having to print all the music.
Corps change shows every year, meaning new music to be learned--and printed. We're keeping the same show theme for '10 that we had this year, because the events we planned to attend got cancelled on us and we never actually got to put the show on the field. So, I wrote a new show, rearranging the tunes--rewriting one entirely--based on our experience with the '09 show (what we had troubles playing, what just sounded flat, changes in membership, etc.)
He posts to the corps list, bitching about having to learn and print new show music--I guess because we're not supposed to have a new show each year to keep him happy. Now, I could have a little sympathy about him having to learn a new show when we hadn't gotten to field the old one (though we did play some of the music at other appearances) if he had learned the entirety of the previous show and spent time polishing it. That wasn't the case. We had learned the opening number and begun polishing it when we learned of the event cancellations, and numbers at rehearsal dropped off significantly (a couple of our monthly rehearsals had just the staff showing up).
I figure any issue raised on the list should be addressed on the list, as we're transparent about corps operations. I responded to his messages in a matter-of-fact fashion on the list. Well, I get email off-list from another man berating us for squabbling in public and airing the dirty laundry. WTF?
Now, the most frustrating part of this is that both of them--the man complaining and the man fussing at us for discussing the complaints--are board members. We have a board with four people on it--the director, me, and these two guys.
Sheesh! One bitching because we change music from year to year (and otherwise to address problems we've had) and the other bitching because we address all issues raised by any member openly (I guess we're supposed to sweep everything under a rug and hide it to keep him happy).
Last night was one of those times I had to seek out reminders as to why I spend all those hours working on music and other corps business. With no pay and that sort of grief being dumped on me, I really needed to touch what it was that drives me to do it.
I'm feelin' ya, BrotherMan. I'm working in an all-volunteer collaboration myself right now, and I've come to the conclusion that whatever action is taken, someone's going to love it and someone's going to hate it.
FWIW, I'm all for open and honest communication, including the working out of problems. If the problem showed up on the corps list, why wouldn't it be appropriate to address it there? Makes perfect sense to me.
I hope the corps appreciates the hard work and dedicaton that goes into what you're doing. I know it takes TONS of work and man-hours to put together those kinds of presentations.
I know you're just venting, but it sounds to me like perhaps the new librarian didn't fully realize how much paperpushing the position entailed. Is there maybe a graceful way to let him off the hook if he doesn't want to do it?
I told him that I'd do it again once I'm working and can buy a new printer (the old one died, which is why I've not been printing out the archive copies). After the director weighed in on the thread backing up everything I said, the guy resigned the job with a "Fine, then, you waste your printer ink on making copies" message.
Well, shoot, the director and I took care of all that before, so we can do it again. I'm still scratching my head over the deal. We explained to him that it involved reprinting whatever parts got changed and new versions of tunes if we had to change them and a steady supply of parts because members lose them or don't bring their music to rehearsal. Maybe he thought we were lying about that.
He's always wanting to help in some fashion, and then fights about everything that we're trying to get done. It's just really odd. He wants so much to do drum corps and then bitches about it every step of the way. Perhaps he just has a One True Way vision for how the corps should be run and doesn't like what we do because it doesn't follow his One True Way.
Just a thought: what if you divided up the printing chores among the members by emailing them the modified pages, perhaps as .pdf's or scanned images ? That way no one member bears the whole burden, and when someone loses thier music, they can easily print a new copy.
We have a Yahoo group that I post all the music to. Members are supposed to print their own parts and bring them to rehearsals. That doesn't mean that they do.
I send announcements out when I post new music so everybody knows. I still have people ask me at rehearsal if I've posted the new stuff.
It's part of the territory to hold people's hands with this sort of stuff.
The director weighed in with a long post today explaining how we do things (again) and discussing decisions we've made and changes we've made. He also covered the need for a lot more individual practice at home and so on. I think it was nice reinforcement of what I'd already covered. He posted to the full list, thanked everybody for not airing the issue in public (deflecting the fuss made by the second guy by pointing out our list is not public) and dealt with it in an open, straightforward manner--which is how we always try to do it.
Well, I spend much of my time on hobbies. Instead of sitting and watching TV, I sit at the computer and score music--it's much more interesting than most television shows. The director and I will get together once a week or so to plot and scheme. We'll send email or make phone calls here and there during the week during breaks from other stuff.
I have more trouble stopping and spending time just sitting and watching a show or movie. I'll often pick up a book when attempting to do that, or I'll grab a drum to practice while I sit. It's difficult to stop doing other things and just watch a DVD or show. (Speaking of practicing, I was going to pull out a mellophone today and practice--will have to remember that in the morning!)
As I currently have no paramours--just a woman I date every once in a while and a couple of online connections, I don't have to spend much time driving elsewhere and spending face time; long email messages are all those require at this point. When I am involved in face space, then I spend less time on the hobbies and more on the relationships.