Why I’m Not Pledging

The local public radio station here – in concert with all the other public radio stations across this blessed land of ours – is having their fall pledge drive this week. And I am defiantly not pledging to support. I am willfully and maliciously denying them my dollars and support, in spite of all their blandishments and incessant, unrelenting guilt trips. This, in spite of the fact that I worked part-time for the classical music side of that enterprise some decades past, before all the part-time announcers were let go. I thought for weeks that it was only me, that my announcing work was unsat. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if that was the reason, as I had gone very rote and mechanical over announcing the name of the piece of music up next, the composer and performing orchestra or soloist, and throwing in a bit of relevant information about the piece. No, it wasn’t me, as I later found out; they left all the other part-time shift announcers go – the girl who worked during the week at an animal shelter, the woman who was a mainstay of the local little theater group, the guy who was a full-time writer for various little local publications. All of us were served notice; a kind of Friday Night employment massacre.

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KC Meetup After-Action Review

I have thanked the attendees privately via e-mail but wanted to post some thoughts here. Leading off with a plus/delta exercise, because this situation needs a quality tool …

+

Δ

  • highly enthusiastic and convivial attendees
  • excellent weather
  • fun events
    • Friday night in the Crossroads
    • Saturday morning brunch, also in the Crossroads
    • WWI museum
    • legendary KC BBQ, dined al fresco due to good weather
    • Sunday morning brunch at Union Station
    • Truman Library
  • good discussion during “symposium”
  • my circadian rhythm, as affected by my work schedule
  • at least three attendees had to cancel only a day or two before the meetup weekend
  • communication gaps may have prevented at least two more from attending
  • low number of formal presentations during “symposium”
  • no video of “symposium”
  • parking challenges
  • one relatively expensive meal

Lessons-learned database entries:

  1. Reaching back a bit to the Denver meetup in late April, a twice-a-year, spring/fall rhythm seems like a good idea.
  2. The overall structure of a Friday night kickoff get-together, then ~4 activities on Saturday (including 2 meals), then a brunch and one more optional activity on Sunday, seems about right.
  3. There is pretty much no such thing as too much communication.
  4. Lead time should be at least a couple of months, and 3 – 4 months is better.
  5. The expectation of structured presentations/discussion should be clearly set, and prospective attendees should be encouraged to have something to deliver in the 20 – 40 minute range.

I am uncertain about future locations. I want to think that central US, generally longitudes 85° – 105° W, is preferable. We’ve done Denver and KC; the next two obvious possibilities are Chicago and D/FW.

Admittedly, if I could get away with it, I’d just keep having them in KC. It’s very centrally located and (mostly) cheap, and I’m confident I can get us free/extremely cheap conference-room space even if attendance grows well into double digits.

Anyway, feedback/suggestions welcome.

 

REMINDER: ChicagoBoyz KC Meetup, 10/7-9

Original post here; minor schedule changes reflected in the version below. I will be sending an e-mail to known likely attendees shortly after this post appears and will follow up as needed with any additional prospectives.

When Friday 7 – Sunday 9 October; details below
Where Kansas City; Missouri side and generally downtown-ish; details below
lodging should be in or generally near ZIP code 64108
Who ChicagoBoyz contributors, fans, and general associates; if you have not already done so, provide an e-mail in comments, using such discreet conventions as “john [UNDERSCORE] doe [AT] provider [DOT] com”, unless you know that I already have a good e-mail for you, in which case just indicate that you hope to attend
Why primary objective is fun
secondary objective is exchange of interesting ideas

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