Thread: Aagh!
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:36 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City Metro
Posts: 2,186
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Thanks.

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.

And vent a bit of frustration.
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