Friday, February 14, 2020

RWA Change is Something

I hadn't been doing a lot of RWA updates, because a lot of the things that are - or are not - happening involve policies and procedures.  Yes, policies and procedures are theoretically what got us into this, or at least got us to a place the mess was more obvious.  As someone who is treasurer for my own chapter, who has sat there going, so okay, if we spend that money, where are we getting new money from? Well, I gotta tell you.  I have concerns.  I agreed that RWA should cancel the RITAs, but that is still income loss.  More money is being spent on all the folks being hired to review and fix things.  
And so, while I wasn't impressed with most of the decisions made as they existed by the Board of Directors for the last month, I think resigning en masse, resigning so that the organization is functionally leaderless right as conference opens, well it's a little like that awful co-worker you had, who then leaves without giving notice.  Like you're glad they're gone, but they had to leave in the messiest way possible.  (Sidenote: I am well aware that notice when leaving at will employment is a courtesy and not a requirement.  Let me have my faulty analogy here.)  
So, I don't know what this means.  I still have commitments I've made to two chapters, both of which have been materially jeaopardized by the actions of the national organization.  More people know what RWA is than even, but that is not to our favor.  And as with all large system failures, it's not just the failure to make racists, homophobes, and other bigots uncomfortable.  It's also a look at the amount of the organization that was in the hands of volunteers.  As anyone who has overseen or worked with a volunteer team knows, it can be harder to get great volunteers.  It can be harder to overlook that one person who is never as helpful as they think they are, when everything is run by volunteers.  And there are a lot of people who show up for the cool positions, and nothing else.  
But yesterday I got an email that didn't just contain platitudes.  And well, that was something. It's still not enough that I would tell people who had left to come back.  It's not enough that I would even tell people to stay.  But it was something.