Before you get all irritated and defend guilds, I am quite aware that guilds are made up of unpaid volunteers. In fact, I know first hand, being the BOM POC for a year, that it’s a rewarding, yet thankless job. You’re mostly going off no guidance, winging it really, and there’s always someone criticizing or telling you how to do your role better, I get it, I was in customer service most of my life.
I belong to, well thought I belonged, to 2 guilds. Both have a different focus and one is much smaller than the other.
The guild in reference starts and ends with the local school calendar, not from Jan to Dec. The start of the season is during the end of the baseball season and, as a season ticket holder, baseball comes first so the meeting timing of this group wasn’t the best for my schedule during the first few months. I rely mostly on social media to keep up with what’s going on in groups to see what I missed or what’s coming up when I can’t be there.
Anyway, apparently I didn’t pay my 2017 dues which is why I wasn’t aware of this month’s plan for the holiday party and I no longer get a monthly newsletter, I was just there in November. I’m still racking my brain about how I forgot to pay, but it is what it is and I guess my brain was on pause or something.
I suppose my real disappointment is that it would have been nice to get a “hey dummy”, “you haven’t renewed” or “last chance to renew / removal from member newsletter emails” smack in the head; that certainly would have gotten my attention or jogged my memory. But again, I get it’s volunteer and they can’t babysit everyone. I get hundreds of emails a day, which is annoying, however ones I look forward to are on my VIP list so I see those first; perhaps someone did send an email and I missed it?
The actual message I got was that I really just don’t matter. I’m not needy at all and quite comfortable being all by myself, but when you consider a group to be in your circle of activities, only to learn you weren’t really in the circle at all, but just a check and a name on a list, it’s the very reason I don’t like organized groups. I was hesitant to join any guild in the first place, but I thought it would be good to get to know other quilters, new techniques, etc.
In fairness, I was going to leave this group after this guild season and join the Haymarket version which will be closer to our new home, but that’s no longer something I wish to do.
The take away is, if you happen to be in or volunteer with a guild, please remember that most of your members like to know they have a place to go for an hour each month to get away from chaos, unwind, visit, or learn; even if they aren’t at every meeting. Perhaps post members and paid/unpaid dues status on your page. Perhaps review or think about better communication so that person who has no one else around them, or that person who is coping with loss, or that person that is new to the area, or just that one person....won’t be made to feel like they don’t matter.
Please don’t take this as an angry post, it’s not at all. People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime; I suppose this group was just for a season, it was fun while it lasted, and that’s ok.