My head is going to explode. Drama, drama, drama! If you click on the side link to your right that says "Why This Blog," you'll learn that I process life intellectually. Not meaning I'm smarter than anyone, but just that when dealing with problems or issues, I use logic to arrive at my conclusion. So it completely flummoxes me when people hurl emotions at me as their reason for acting a certain way.
I'm a board member of an organization that holds an annual conference. TWO YEARS AGO, our conference planners invited the head of an organization related peripherally to the work of our group to give a keynote speech at our banquet dinner. In the time since the invitation was offered and accepted, the organization this individual heads has supported a state legislative bill that many of our members find highly offensive and morally reprehensible, to say the least.
So these members are now screaming for blood that we're having this guy as our keynote speaker. They're not coming! They're leaving the organization! It's bad PR--we need damage control! Having him as our speaker is the same as announcing our support for him and his devil organization. On and on... you get the idea. Journalistic principles of hearing the other side of an argument be damned--they want him gone and they want him gone NOW.
Then a few sponsors jumped in and pulled their support for the year. That's bad, but we've got enough funds that the support we lost won't undo us.
So the question Council has been tossing around (One of about 50 questions. I get about 1o e-mails a day from the Board and have for about a month now) is: Do we:
- Just continue on with the program has planned and lose sponsors and possibly fracture the organization?
- Invite the speaker to present a seminar Q&A or debate instead of a keynote. This has it's own problems, way too long and numerous to go into here.
- Un-invite him as a speaker
Up to this point, I've dug in my heels that I will NOT uninvite a speaker. Tacky, rude, unprofessional...to the Nth degree. But I am so fed up I'm almost ready to cave. I've tried to put it in an emotional light I might understand. Like, let's say I went to a Democratic conference and the keynote speaker was Cheney. I would not be a happy camper. And so I try to have some sympathy with the people who are feeling like having this speaker is trampling on their work and morals.
But I keep coming back to logic. We invited him 2 years ago! He's a supporter of the bill, not the originator and until OUR members raised the dust, I don't even know that he would have used his speaking time to even bring up the issue of the bill. And I feel like now we're being held hostage by a very vocal group of people that may not speak for the majority of our members.
But isn't my duty as a board member to do not what I prefer, but what is best for the organization I represent? Not having the guy at our conference would probably recenter our group. But I can't help but suspect I'll be left with a really icky feeling of having slime dripping from me if I agree to uninvite him.
Part of the problem is that when I get around too much drama, I disengage. It's already happening. Not that everything in life must be fun, but the value of what I'm getting from this group is now outweighed by the drama I'm having to deal with by being in it. I'm very, very close to declaring my "I just don't give a shit" threshold has been breached. And walking. Nothing is forever.
Sigh. I'm trying to maintain and do the right thing. But oh my God--why can't everyone be rational like me?