[Ansteorra] The evolution of meetings

Diane Rudin serena1570 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 14 20:34:49 PST 2008

"Hey, your Majesty, I'd like to get together with you early in the
morning before Red Tape to get on the same page for the GOofS meeting
later in the day."

"Sure, Seneschal of Ansteorra, that sounds like a really good idea. 
The last meeting was kinda disorganized because our predecessor Crown
hadn't had a chance to chat with you first.  No one likes being
blindsided in public.  And it's so difficult to really communicate
through email."

"Okay, I'll see you in the morning."

<<at Red Tape after the GOofS meeting>>

"Hey, Kingdom Seneschal, I wish we'd had time to get together the
financial committee to do the boring business of signing paperwork so
we didn't have to do it during the GOofS meeting, and miss what was
going on during the meeting."

"Yeah, your Majesties, I know what you mean.  I really could have
used Royal support when that one issue came up, but you weren't
paying attention because of the warrants and other papers you had to

"Well, maybe you can take care of that early in the morning next Red
Tape, with our successors."

"Sounds good; when you have successors, I'll suggest it to them."

<<six months later, at lunch at Red Tape>>

"Kingdom Seneschal, we wish we'd had a chance to get our warrant
rosters signed in the morning as well."

"Fellow Great Officers, you're right, that's a good idea.  I'll
suggest it to the Heirs, once we have some."


<<six months later, at the next Red Tape>>

"Gosh, Kingdom Seneschal, even with getting warrants signed early,
there was other stuff that we wish we'd gotten a chance to coordinate
so that the GOofS meeting ran more smoothly.  Also, not everyone got
the word about when the meeting would be.  You know how emails can
get lost."

"Okay, I'll schedule a closed meeting in the morning just so we can
get the agenda for the afternoon GOofS meeting set up, and get
warrants signed.  And the financial committee can do its paperwork
then, too.  Since email can be unreliable, I'll put it on the
schedule on the website.  I'm sure the Heirs, when we have them, will
agree to this sensible idea."

<<five and a half months later, on the Ansteorra list>>

"They're having a closed meeting!  What are they hiding?!  They
should publish an agenda for the meeting about setting an agenda!"

I've watched the evolution of Red Tape as I've attended most of them
over the last five years.  While I've only been in one of the
early-morning meetings (as the then-King's secretary), I think the
above description is pretty accurate, based on my not-quite-inside,
not-quite-outside observations.

Nothing -- not phone calls, not email, not anything -- can replace
the communication value of a face-to-face conference.  Getting
together in the morning to coordinate information so that the
afternoon meeting will be orderly seems like an eminently sensible
thing to me.

--Serena Lascelles

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