Things that I don't need are confrontational, spirit-crushing emails, first thing in the morning. One of the members in my Toastmasters club (I'm the President, you may recall) sent an email saying she wanted to talk about the things she's dissatisfied with, rather than simply dropping out and leaving the other members to "stand alone about some of the mutual issues."

So, what? You all get together and talk about how you hate me, and now you'd like a private audience to air your grievances?

Or is it just you, and that other smoker who has disliked me from the day she met me, egging each other on?

Or does this all get down to a simple resistance to learning Robert's Rules of Order, which are stated explicitly as our governing principle in our unamendable club constitution? Excuse me for trying to finally get our club into compliance. (Toastmasters revokes charters, you know.)

I've been all pissed off and exasperated and upset all morning. I thought really hard about how to reply, and finally settled on the "so glad to hear you care about the quality of our club" approach. I said: "If you've got some suggestions for how to get people involved again, I'd be glad to hear them," subtly but firmly stating that I am not the least bit interested in complaints without solutions.

This is so fucking hard. I hate running this club. Attendance is the lowest it's been since I joined, mostly due to Dell's layoffs and furloughs and general climate. We have to hold a club contest, and we can't get contestants or judges. At least I've got help on that one. And our Area Governor, who oversees our club and four others to make sure we're providing the Toastmasters Experience, sits one row over from me and attends all our meetings. With suggestions.

I can't fix everything that's broken in just two months.

Or even in one whole term. Leave me alone. I'm counting the days.

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