Thursday, October 14, 2004

Encumbered with Help

Gobi the camel is here!

I bought Gobi at a close out sale on Monday. She is a cardboard camel, part of a Marrakesh display I saw at Cost Plus last month, and she is all decked out for a Grand Caravan. Gobi is 8 feet long and 6 feet high and she's gorgeous. She will now stand at the entrance to the Witches' Ball and greet our attendees when they arrive. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

The first time I saw her I felt she was made for the Ball. I'm so glad that she's ours. It took weeks of lurking, but it was worth it.

Best of all, she comes with "No assembly required" After spending 8 hours putting up French street scenes, with an Eiffel tower, and Can Can dancers for the Bohemian Ball in 2002, our Decorating Team now feels that simple, is much, much better. This also means that I finally get to have some balloons.

People laugh at my affection for balloons, but they fill up a space and they bring color and a sense of play to any room they are in. This year, we are using purple, black, and gold balloons on one side of the hall for Venice and Red, black and gold on the other side of hall for China. Once they see the Chinese lanterns, the fairy lights and all the color in the hall, I think our people will be well pleased.

Of course, there are always some Nit Pickers and Nay Sayers. They always seem to think that they they would have done a much better job if they had done the decorating ...but then, they never seem to have the time to get to meetings, so we work without the benefit of their artistic vision and do what we can.

There's a life lesson in this. Lots of people like to say what they would do. "Much cry and little wool" as my grandmother liked to say. I prefer Doers, not Talkers. Our people do a great job and we remain blessedly free of Diva's to this day, which means that we have fun working together, as well.

Meanwhile, I've talked to Eric over an Anubis Engraving. He is doing the Gaia's Guardian award for the Bat people. He now had the wording for the plaque and he is adding in a graphic of two (friendly) bats flying across a full moon. I think they'll like that.

I do have one grumble today. It's an annual sort of grumble. Every year, around this time some people decide to come forward with what we refer to as "bright ideas". Of course, these ideas would cost too much, are impractical, are too late to implement, would increase our insurance rates (or get us closed down), could easily be done if we had another 50 staff on hand, were already discussed and rejected for good reason, are already in place (and why didn't you read the memo or attend the meeting, hummmmm???) and/or they are downright dangerous to the attendees if implemented. It is my happy job to say "No" to these folks in as nice a way as possible. But "Why, oh why?", do they always have to come up with these ideas just before the Ball? I really don't have the time to waste right now.

Ah, well - other than that, things are going just fine. I'm going to clean house, catch up on the work for my day job and make dinner. (They can't bug me, if they can't find me, yes?).

At this point, anybody with a bright idea, can write up a detailed report, submit it in triplicate to our Director, and then wait upon the deliberations of the Council. By then, the Ball should be over and we'll all be off celebrating Samhain (And who says bureaucracy isn't useful?). (1)

"Is not a Patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?"

Dr. Samuel Johnson in a letter to Lord Chesterfield


(1) Of course, if we really want to do something, it takes a few phone calls to key people, and about 10 minutes to decide....but you didn't hear it here.

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