So what are the symptoms that something really rotten has happened to our national organization?
The simplest illustration is an unyielding conviction that form is more important than function.
Case in point is of course the fiasco of what’s happening to our ability to provide public service to the citizens of Ontario.
This organizational behaviour started way before the current administration and may even have had its origins in the way the days of previous attempts to form a national group. It has the smell about it of we’re right and you’re not and if you don’t like it get out.
Really! What should we care what some group calls itself. Should we not welcome everyone’s efforts and celebrate the coming together?
RAC has devoted huge amounts of volunteer time to the production of voluminous treatises on what the form of the organization should look like ignoring the actual functioning that is taking place in the field.
There was even a comment that all this communicating (to members) was taking away from the work of creating more documents. Ugh.
We’ve put more value on writing detailed instructions than the act of actually speaking to an honest-to-goodness real member. But of course that’s what bureaucracies do. They don’t communicate. They dictate. They don’t encourage conversation but find ways to squelch it out entirely.
Training manuals and dictates galore are being churned out which are of little, if any, interest of the guy (or gal) with his call-sign ball cap, suspenders and a handheld sitting at the side of the roadway helping out at the community Santa Claus parade. He or she may never have filled out an “official” message form.
(BTW before some fat old guy in call-sign ball cap, suspenders and handheld gets offended, I’m describing myself…okay I confess I don’t own suspenders but I’m due.)
And so sadly we return to our search for Waldo (the guy with the suspenders) whose very existence has been lost in the bureaucratic bumbling and officious behaviours that we are all participating in.
While some may pray that we just shut up and go away that won’t cut it. Perhaps we’re due for a truth and reconciliation review? Funnily enough it’s those who have been treated the worst remain the most passionately connected to vision of what could be.
But still all the potential that could have been is wasted as the debate swirls around us.
All Waldo wanted to do was help out using his new portable radio.
So long Waldo. We hardly knew you.