Argh, bureaucracy

I belong to a certain women’s riding group. I have no interest in this post appearing when someone does a Google search for that club name, however, so let’s keep it nameless.

The group is baffling me right now. I love the women I’ve met with this club. Riding with them is generally fun, social, giggle-worthy, and a rockin’ good time.

Problem is, the overlying structure of The Club.

There’s a project management saying (hey, stop laughing) that the tools should help you manage the project; the project shouldn’t be an excuse for getting to play around with tools.

I feel like managing The Club has become our club’s primary objective, above and beyond even riding together. The club isn’t really that much fun anymore.

We sit around the table at meetings and lament our lack of membership, toss around ideas to get new people interested, and brainstorm some pretty cool things. Then we turn around and hesitate and hem and haw about change, about anything new, about anything Different Than The Way The Club Has Always Done Things.

The way the club recruits and operates is circa 1984 when it was begun. Members get ride announcements via paper newsletter, paid for by business cards of advertisers. Flyers are hung in dealerships…when people remember to do so. We hand out little calling cards and membership applications to new women we meet….when we remember to do so. Becoming a member involves paperwork, writing a check, agreeing to Rules and Regulations.

This was great when there weren’t that many women’s riding groups. Now, throw a brick on the internet and you’ll hit three. Why would ANYONE want to join our stale group when there are fun, flip, sexy bulletin boards out there for all sorts of women riders?

Our group doesn’t understand this.

We concern ourselves with the most trivial and insufferable details of things. We refuse to use the internet as our primary method of communication because the ubiquitous and mythical “someone” may not have online access.

The thing I don’t get is that people seem legitimately frustrated by the lack of progress. We have meetings where we discuss how something just isn’t working for the club. We brainstorm new ideas of how it could be done better. People start taking action and get excited about the new ideas.

But then, invariably, by the next meeting, a club member will bring up “someone” and how “someone” might not like the new way of doing things, and shouldn’t we just stick with status quo. The people who had taken action towards the new thing throw up their hands in frustration and nothing changes.

Well, fuck that. I’m making some changes and putting up some ideas, and if people want to use them, great. If not, that’s fine too. I want to put my energy into making friends and riding, not babysitting some antiquated bureaucracies of a club structure that doesn’t want to adapt. Nothing stopping me from emailing these women on my own and offering up riding plans outside of Mother Club.

OK, I feel better now. Off to put the new chain on the GS. 😉

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