Wednesday, August 10, 2005

TTQ: The Excuses

Considering I've recently returned from Reno, Nevada, home of the 2005 Romance Writers of America conference, and considering all the hooplah over out-going president Tara Taylor Quinn's diastrous reign of the ridiculous, yeah, I do have thoughts on the list of excuses she gave for the fucked-up final night gala where she had "Don't Worry Be Happy" tunes and videos of horrific diasters as a backdrop for the awards ceremony that included 25 years of video and music that had nothing to do with romance. Her list of reasons included needing to devote attention to a Downs Syndrome nephew who needed her attention (can we yank on any more pathetic excuse than that one, considering the child wasn't even born when she was supposed to be tending to business?), her claims that she couldn't depend upon others to do their jobs, and her saying that Nora Roberts, of all people, has lied in regards to what went on behind scenes. [I'd personally rather call the leader of our country a rat-bastard to his face than to even suggest that NR was a liar.]

The Excuses:

Some things worked against us.

1. I had no idea that being president would be so all consuming to thepoint where I had no business being a liaison to a committee.All of my board members were liaisons, some to more than one committee.I was trying to do my share - and the award ceremony seemed easy to me as itwas something I'd been involved with on an intimate level twice before.

2. RWA was challenged this year with many questions coming to us thatwere demanding that we ask ourselves and our members hard questions. Wewere also due to create a new strategic plan which is very time consuming. The award ceremony was not as much of a priority as it should have been.

3. We have been told many times at a national level that we need to be involving those members on a national level who are working hard at a local level so that we can grow our national volunteer base. I chose to use a very dedicated and sharp woman as award ceremony chair who had never been involved on a national level and then I did not liase with her closely enough to give her the confidence and go ahead that she needed to do what Iwas expecting her to do. I did not communicate with her well enough.

4. The script writing volunteer was unable, at the last minute, to write the script.

5. I'd seen work that this production company had done outside RWA -several shows - and all were wonderful. Their contract called for script consulation. As we were down to the wire and they were involved with the theme, I asked them to do the world history parts of the script in the same vein as Same Time Next Year. I asked two former RWA presidents to do the RWA history and the production company was to work in what they sent. And I assumed that all would come together without a hitch. When the script cameto me I sent it on to one of the participants of the show and I heard fromthe chair that she'd read it. I was up to my ears to trying to get through all of the romance definition mail and only skimmed the script. Neither the participant or the chair got in touch with me with problems, but I did not tell either that I had not read the script. I think we all assumed the other thought it was okay when none of us had actually made that judgment.

6. On Friday, Nora approached me, quite upset with the script's content. That was the first I became aware that we didn't have what I thought we had. It was also the first I knew that she hadn't received a script until that time. I assured Nora that we would do everything we could to make things right for her. She wrote her concerns. And I was blessed with RWA members who came forward and volunteered to take the script and fix it. They worked long into the night, as did the production company editing video that I had not yet seen, but that others were not happy with.

7. Saturday after the script was delivered to Nora, she still found things she could not do. At that point there were too many changes and too few hours to fix them all. I could fix part, but not all. I was left with a choice, cut the ceremony except for the handing out of awards so that Nora would not walk out, or go on with the show we had. I spoke with many who were involved with the show and some who were not, and determined that the show was good - and that the purpose was to give the finalists their night. The show had to go on. I was put in a untenuous position - due to my assumptions that delegation was safe - and I have not had an easy moment since.

7. Diane Pershing and Laura Hayden and Cathy McDavid and Alicia Rasley are angels from heaven to me. They stepped in. They did their best - and it was a wonderful job. They cared. They tried. To me, they are the epitome of what RWA is about.

8. I did not read Nora's statement because as I considered the ramifications - announcing to the finalists before their show that the show was inappropriate - did not serve RWA or the purpose of the night. Makingthe statement at that time served Nora. I did not tell Nora that I would make the statement at the beginning of the show. I agreed to say what she wanted me to say when I was asked why she wasn't there. At another point I told a board member that I would make the statement at the end when she threatened to interrupt the show if I did not agree to do so. Again, upon further thought, I knew that I could not do that. It did not serve RWA and my job is to do that to the best of my ability.

9. I deeply deeply regret that the job I am doing to the best of my ability is displeasing so many. I hope that the great things that have been done this year - the strategic plan, opening up BEA to any published memberwho wants to be there, gaining clarity on who and what we are, creating a legislative committee and a writers group liaison position, putting on a wonderful conference, and many many other things, won't be lost in thedisappointment of a less than hoped for award ceremony.


Interpreting The Excuses
What TTQ is REALLY saying:

Excuse #1 – I’ve done a better job before with better people at my side. Really I have.

Excuse #2 – I was too busy to bother with it. Your concerns weren’t as important as the schedule I imposed on myself.

Excuse #3 – I chose the wrong people to work with me this time.

Excuse #4 – The person who volunteered (not me, you understand) to write the script wasn’t available at the last minute. (AT THE LAST MINUTE? – What happened to the entire YEAR?)

Excuse #5 – Again, not my fault.

Excuse #6 – Re-read this again, please. She admits right here that she “assured Nora…”.

Excuse #7 – And please re-read this one where she ADMITS that she lied to Nora and reneged on whatever she said to her.

Excuse #7 (TTQ can’t count – this was #8 in actuality) – I really have nothing to say here so I’ll brag on someone else in the hopes that this throws suspicion off of me for a bit.

Excuse #8 (which is actually #9) – Okay, so I lied to Nora.

Excuse #9 (which is actually #10) – I’m really sorry you don’t like me, that my bullshit wasn’t sufficient.

That said, there is something else to consider. Sorry, but even Hitler had his minions – one person cannot change a world, a nation, a community, a home without help. Ignoring the opportunity to step up to the plate is the same as offering support to a dictator. Yeah, she was a lousy leader, but somebody (bodies) acquiesced and let her have her way too many times.

What I’d like to see are the voting records for those “executive sessions” that were called in order to keep the members from being able to vote until something was already done that they didn’t like (as in when they fired Charis from the RWR). Make everyone involved accountable. Not that I’d like a “Tara-Gate” to rival the Republican party’s skeletons in the closet, but c’mon. Hang her out to dry if you must, but let’s not forget that she did have help. To quote one of the Republicans TTQ so admires, why didn't more of them “JUST SAY NO!” ~ ???



At 10:20 PM, Blogger THIS! Christine said...

Holy Crap Lyn,
Your rebuttal totally rocks.

Another point that irks me (and I know it's old news and no one wants to discuss it anymore), the multiple legal excuses given for the GS before they settled on the US postal act, and by then, instead of internet linking it had devolved into advertising in RWR. I'll be linking to you soon (soon as I dig up my html cheats)


At 11:15 PM, Blogger Bron said...

Woo-hoo - welcome to blog land!!


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