I've spent the past few hours digesting a mostly-unexpected defeat as i sought an office in my local private/charitable club. To compound the figuring, it was the 2nd year in-a-row that I lost the position. I had anticipated this year to be different.
Last year it turned into a 3-way race when a friend who is socially popular in the organization stepped forward at the very last moment, and i found myself running 3rd in the first round of voting....by two votes. Elimination.
This year, i told myself, would be different. I had not turned away after last year, and instead re-doubled my efforts....carrying a very heavy load of activity and responsibility throughout the entire year....smiling and trying hard to improve things in our organization.
Now the phrase about turn the other cheek comes into focus. I did and got it slapped too!
A novice.....no experience in the organization at all, excepting forays into the auxiliary as its top officer.....is now going to be the new organization leader.
Time to question a number of things......
Are my efforts during the many years i have been there really known to the voting folks (let me digress for a moment to explain that of the just-over 100 voters there.....probably 50 of them never visit the organization's lodge more than once or twice per year, and take no part in its operations). Maybe it is after-all.....coordination of known potential votes, and nothing at all to do with what one puts in to the organization.
That thought, which borders upon being unavoidable, leaves me questioning the long-term stability of the organization. It is 113 years old, and the tradition in our community is huge! I fear for its sustainability as the past several years has now produced three lead officers with little to no experience. In my early years in the organization, 23 years ago, the tradition was that one worked their way in. Beginning with small offices, and working ones way up, while also doing volunteer work in the kitchen, and with the house committee and holding offices. When the new leader assumed office they possessed the strong knowledge to understand and comprehend the entire operation and perpetuate it.
I now think back to some of the conversations I had in the past two weeks as it was known that I was one of two seeking the post. One man actually said he would be voting for the other candidate because a bartender he loved left....thinking I had caused it. Another came to me and recited two "rumors" of things I would do to "kill the auxiliary" if elected....and that i was too closely tied to one group which had been in charge for two past years. Neither were true, but rumors repeated by folks determined to undermine, have a way of sticking. The decision making reminds me of the methods of electing national officers in this day and age....all about image and no one looks under the hood to see if the engine is there, and will run!
I harbor no anger nor hatred for my loss. I am simply convinced the organization has lost its way when it comes to tradition, and is suffering the fate of such a decision....Much like a ship which is rudderless....not because there is no rudder, but because instead there is no one aboard who knows how to operate the rudder.
Perhaps the problem is the "business model" of the organization is outdated, and the way folks think today is why every such club dedicated to charity, and ritual is today suffering large-scale drops in membership.
I shall take the days ahead and refocus on things closer......and in the future will find another way to utilize my considerable skills in a place where tradition, work ethics, etc. still hold sway. I regret leaving behind many with whom I worked....many who have given much to the organization, and may still trying to make it work.
I love life, and my life....and will be going on for as long as able. I am not ever going to be candidate for a rocking chair....it is not my nature.
I sincerely wish only the best for the winners last evening.....if they fail or foul the job, the tradition will matter naught!