Approximate time to read: 4 minutes
You may have noticed that I’ve recently not made mention of the BMTG website, which I manage. That’s because I’m no longer responsible for it.
A couple of weeks ago I gave notice to the societies committee that I was no longer interested in running the site. I could take this opportunity to go into great detail as to why, but I won’t. Unfortunately, the committee have not asked either. Needless to say, a lack of communication and feedback was at the nub of it. In the end I became bored of running a site which I was doing myself, with no contributions from anywhere else. So, since December, I’ve done nothing with it. I didn’t miss it and nobody else seemed to either.
Thankfully, they have someone else who had the required skill level to take it on.
At the same time I’ve also recently resigned as their newsletter editor and from doing design work for them. Both are for different reasons and I’ll try and detail them as impartially as I can.
The previous newsletter editor resigned around October/November last year. He was frustrated with a lack of response from committee – particularly as some of them were supposed to be contributing to the newsletter. Anyway, I volunteered. As part of this I came up with a new, fresh design for the newsletter that would integrate better with the website. I also set down a number of rules that I would follow as editor to ensure that content was acceptable to the committee without them becoming involved and, potentially, holding it up. I submitted this and was told I’d be informed of the committees decision (as to whether I would be the new editor or not) by the end of the next week. That was November. I heard nothing until the other week when I told them about my website decision and I was asked “you’ll still be editor of the newsletter won’t you?”. I pointed out that I didn’t know I was and, after 5 months, I was no longer interested.
Now to the design work. I volunteered to help with poster, flyer and general merchandise design after the quality of some of the posters got to the point where customers were complaining. This it worse when you consider that they were complaining about the quality of the design on a FREE programme given away during a concert. So I volunteered and came up with, what I thought, were some cracking posters for Jesus Christ Superstar, Viva Mexico! and Annie Get Your Gun. Last year, I submitted my design for the next show, Kiss Me Kate. I’ll admit that I struggled with this one, but was provided with feedback on ways the committee thought it could be improved. One such change was to a photo that was used on the poster – the committee didn’t like it. However, I couldn’t think of anything to replace it with – indeed, if I could have done, I wouldn’t have used that one in the first place! So, I asked what they thought could be used. I heard nothing back.
The next thing I know the poster is used to advertise the show in last years concert programme. And I hear nothing more.
A few weeks ago I realised we were getting perilously close to the next show and nobody had asked for my flyer designs, etc. I emailed various members of the committee, all of whom ignore me. In the end I got hold of one of them on the phone and was told that they’d taken my poster and simply modified it to make the flyers, etc. Fair enough, although I was a touch annoyed that they hadn’t simply asked me for them, as I’d already done this. Oh well.
So imagine my surprise when I was sent an invite to see the show on Facebook and found a completely different poster on it. I was seriously upset. I drove to the rehearsal that was taking place and confronted one of the committee. It would appear that the committee member who I was communicating via had, basically, not said anything further after the original feedback and so the committee were waiting for my changed design. When that didn’t appear they decided to create one themselves. The blame, therefore, was put at the door of that person. And me, as it was pointed out that because I’ve not been at rehearsals (I’m not taking part in this show) I’ve not been accessible. Of course, that doesn’t wash – I’m one of the most accessible people there are, certainly via email if nothing else.
Why, with 10 people on the committee, did nobody think to double check that I was aware of what they were planning before doing something that, let’s be honest, could easily be found to be grossly insulting? After all I’ve done this was a huge slap in the face.
So I’ve told them I no longer wish to assist with this kind of work again in the future. Again, I’ve had no response.
Communication within the society is truly appalling and you really HAVE to be on the committee if you’re helping out, otherwise you’ll have no idea what’s going on. All I can hope, for the long-term sake of the society, is that this is resolved – the 10 members of the committee really can’t do everything and if they’re going to get assistance from other members they HAVE to start treating them better.
Unfortunately, all of this will be treated by the society as me “throwing my toys out of the pram”. Personally, I don’t see it that way. If you’re treated badly, you have a perfect right to withdraw your services. And that’s what’s happened.