Jul. 4th, 2012 07:33 am
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
[personal profile] jennyst
[personal profile] awatson wrote a great post on burnout recently. I've mostly been suffering from those symptoms too much to write in here, despite my early dreams. If you want more OTW news, [personal profile] renay and [personal profile] hl are also writing a bit from different perspectives.

Board is difficult. We have three people who can hardly ever make a meeting at the moment. I would say you can see from our minutes, but I'm having trouble getting a quorum to approve the minutes so I can post them. And it's getting to be holiday season, so it's only going to get harder. We can't really have the discussions of big issues that we need if only half the board are there. So we tick along on the admin side, and work on making specific committees more sustainable.

That's an uphill battle, too. We have had an unlucky year, with six chairs having to step down in the first six months of the year - that's significantly higher than normal. We've also had a lot of experienced staffers finally hit the point of "too much". So for those who are left, training newbies is balanced with keeping things running, and trying to fit in some long-term strategic thinking in the gaps. It's easy to think that all we need to do is train and mentor more people for future leadership, but mentoring is hard work, even if it's rewarding. There are people who say they have tons of professional experience, but then don't seem to apply any of the expected skills to their org work. Which applies to me some days, too - I forget that the day-job skills for dealing with difficult clients could be applied to fannish friends in the org.

The AO3 performance problems have slipped off the headlines, but behind the scenes everyone knows it's only a temporary reprieve - we need to fix the actual problems so they don't recur. And because of the stress that's causing, still no-one wants to talk about any of the issues that were raised publicly during the last election.

I wanted to end this on a hopeful note, but I can't think of one right now. I guess that's another of the symptoms of burnout. Anyone want to volunteer for Board next year?

Date: 2012-07-05 11:41 pm (UTC)
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)
From: [personal profile] hl
After thinking some more (and having tea), I do get that you probably just mean that 'if people who are experts are not heard because other -- non expert, presumably -- people want to direct what happens, they will probably quit, which is not good', rather than any number of more insulting possibilities. I agree with that, and I agree it may be a real problem, particularly in some parts of the org (may because I don't presume to know everything).

I don't think that's a 'dealing with people' problem in the sense I was reading it before. If you're working for an org like the otw, you will probably have to 'deal with people', in the sense of training people to do your job, finding something to agree on when you're disagreeing with other people making decisions, advocating for your opinion accurately (and yes, that could include 'this is how we do it in My Real Job, where they really know what they're doing because of x'), and elevating stuff to board if it's bad enough.

On the hopes of explaining what I was trying to say, what I was pointing out is a pattern I thought I saw (which, on the other hand, may be only confirmation bias and the fact that I'll notice more when I had more hopes for their work), which is that some people come in saying they have particular expertise and then never apply it, even when other people put themselves at their disposition to train/order about doing what I call 'minion work' (i.e. the petty part of the work that anyone can do if directed accordingly).

So, if I haven't misrepresented you, I think we agree?

Date: 2012-07-06 08:14 am (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
yeah essentially we agree.

What happens often is that there are people who are trying to get these skills, and people who try to encourage and facilitate it. However often, there are others who sort of prevent that from happening under the hood. The reason I am maybe sarcastic and bitter about it is because I've been on tail end of this and seen it happen to others. It is common enough at least in some parts of the org. They say "do it, use it help us" yet when you offer a solution, try to take initiative there is an invisible wall there, in some case being treated like you don't know anything that or you are the one in the position of learning who actually doesn't have much of a clue. But no, if the hierarchy of elevating the problem doesn't worked in practice I am not sure we would have such an influx of experts who are unwilling to use their expertise.

I am behind what I said, but if you don't mind, at this point I am exhausted of verbal attacks and accusations. Feel free to contact me if you want to continue this discussion in private. You know my email.

Date: 2012-07-06 08:17 am (UTC)
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)
From: [personal profile] hl
I'm sorry if I contributed to that -- these past few days haven't been the best on that sense for me either. I may take you up on that when I've more a breather, though.

Date: 2012-07-06 08:25 am (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
*hugs* actually after typing that I had a small idea, check my thread with via's at the end and see if that helps clarifying what I really think is a misunderstanding. If you still want to discuss it, feel free to take it up when you like, if you like. :)


jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Jenny S-T

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