How and Why?

How did that scorpion get there?

How did that scorpion get there?

The light fixture in this photo is about ten feet off the ground and has only two tiny slots through which that scorpion could have crawled. How did he get inside the ceiling to find those tiny slots, and how did he get through one of them? And why did he crawl to his death like that?

I was up way past my bedtime last night living and dying with my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. They finally won the game in overtime, but lost four players to injury in the process. In the final analysis, they seemed to play their best when they were using a bunch of ‘replacement parts’. In this case I know why they did it – they had no choice. But how did the back-up players do a much better job than the starters?

These questions are a smoke screen. I’ve been wrestling with a subject for some time and trying not to write about it; maybe I need to get it out of my system.

Without providing specific information, I’m going to try to explain how and why I’ve come to be very upset with a group of which I am a member.

We have a board of directors who were elected by the membership at large. The last couple of elections presented two problems that most of us ignored. First, no one wanted to be on the board, so it was difficult for the nominating committee to find candidates. Secondly, the general membership was not given advance information as to who those candidates were. On the day of the election, we were all in such a hurry to get out of the meeting, that we simply voted in favor of the candidates and adjourned the meeting. In reality, our haste was problem number three.

Since that board of directors took over, they have forced some paid employees as well as a number of volunteers to resign their posts. The latest fatality was a person who had been a very important and productive member of the group for many years. He refused to go quietly, so they fired him. When asked why they fired him, the board told us they didn’t want to air the dirty laundry.

We held a meeting and insisted the board air the dirty laundry. A person stood and described something that happened many years ago. The person who was fired immediately stood and refuted the story. No one stepped forward to support the accuser, but people did step forward to say that the accuser had problems and could not be believed. The vast majority of the membership discounted the claims and voted to have the person reinstated.

The board claimed they had no knowledge of the person making the accusations. That implies they had no knowledge of the accusations. Therefore, we can assume there is no dirty laundry. Instead, what we have is petty jealousies. The chairman of the board has a similar skill set and it would seem he covets the other person’s job. Since he could not apply for that job until the other person left, he helped move things along in his favor.

As all of this garbage makes its way to the surface, we are discovering other questionable things the board of directors has done. For instance, the wife of the chairman has been appointed to two powerful positions within the group. There is definitely a conflict of interest on several fronts. And we, the members, have looked the other way. In that regard, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

We have also come to realize that other members of the board are willingly accepting only one side of issues – that which is presented by the chairman. Accusations are made and no one sees the need to ask questions and attempt to get all information prior to making decisions. This board has hired people for jobs that didn’t exist and offered to pay them more money than the group can afford to pay.

They continue to operate on less than accurate and total information, but have stubbornly insisted that being leaders sometimes causes pain in a group that doesn’t like change.

In many ways, I view the board in the same way I view the scorpion. They moved themselves into an impossible position because they had no real direction. Now, instead of admitting they may have made some mistakes, they allow themselves to stay in that light fixture – where they can be seen, but cannot escape without someone else’s assistance. To ask for help would be to admit they made a mistake.

There will be elections in the future. It may take a while, but we now have many members willing to serve. Eventually, the entire board of directors will be replaced and we can begin to undo the harm that has been done.

Sorry for the negatives in this post, but sometimes I just need to vent my spleen.

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