• Richard Scrimger

i am bad at the agm


Back from Vancouver, where it was cold and wet and everyone told me so. BC was hilarious, partly because I like the beer and scenery (even in the cold), and partly because I was there for the AGM of the Writers' Union Of Canada, and sat on a panel and attended actual meetings with chairs and minutes and rules of order and motions and seconders and all that giggle-worthy stuff. I didn't only giggle, though. I also yawned. Call it a yawggle. I am a bad AGM-er. The guys in the picture over there are way more attentive than I was. I fidgeted and scratched. I drew pictures of giraffes and cereal on the pad they had given me to take notes. I yawggled. I slept. I am not proud of my behaviour -- I merely note it. I can't help rolling my eyes at earnestness. I mean, there we were at 9:30 am arguing seriously for a half hour about whether we should establish a working group or a task force (yep, it was a real hot topic: task force or working group: apparently they are two different things) with a duty to (I think) look into the volunteer situation and see about ways to attract more of them. Pretty funny. Also deadly boring -- which is why I say I think that was what I ended up voting on -- I honestly cannot be sure. But I am not here to slam the union. I am a grateful member. Yes, we spent a morning diddling our hoo haws. And yet the union has done and continues to do great work for people like me. Not just intangible things like raising the profile of the writing community, or giving us a voice in the halls of government. TWUC has been a contributor to, well, to my bank account. Every year I get money from the libraries across Canada thanks to the union. Every year the union pays me to talk to school kids. How dare I laugh or yawn at the hand that feeds me? The officers may be earnest, but it is earnest people (and obsessed - the two states are not dissimilar) who get things done. Dorks like me just stand on the side lines and laugh. You know who else gets things done? Volunteers. That's right. Someone -- or a group of someones -- should look into the volunteer situation and see if we can attract some more of them.


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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada