Thursday, June 12, 2014

I've Been Elected

Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.  

Katharine Whitehorn

Good morning.  What a gray week it has been!  I've forgotten what it is like to walk in the sun. They say by the weekend it will get better so perhaps I can find something to do to have a little fun.

 Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.

Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

Yesterday we voted for the clients who were to serve for the next two years on the advisory board.  I was nominated and voted in.  To be honest, although I felt honored that me peers had such respect for me, I also felt that the advisory board was just there for show--meaning that it is something that our funding sources want to see, but as far as having any leverage towards making constructive changes, the director has the absolute power to veto everything.

For example, several months ago when a member of the advisory board approached me and asked if I would be willing to help himself and another member make some changes in the by-laws.  This was requested by the director.  One thing he wanted to change, and we all agreed upon it, was cutting  the presidency of the advisory board from four years to two, a perfectly logical suggestion seeing the advanced age of many of the clients.  So we made a few minor changes to the by-laws.  Guess what?  The director voted all our changes down.  So, why ask us to waste our time like that?  

During the past few months I have been very vocal about the menus, and I don't think they are very happy about that.  The meals themselves are tasty, but the cooks are too heavy with the salt.  After all, we are senior citizens, and I would venture a guess that at least 75% of us have high blood pressure.  Plus, there is the fact that we are losing people.  They chose to go elsewhere for the food.  For one thing, portion size has been cut drastically, and for some of these clients, this is the only meal they have for the day. One tablespoon of mashed potatoes is definitely no enough. 

And, it is not only the portion size, in time the menu becomes boring.  It is the same thing over and over again.  For example, when we have chicken legs, we have them with mashed potatoes and brocolli....every time.  Why not make it with rice and salad sometimes? And it is the same with everything else they cook.   There is just no creativity with this kitchen staff. 

Oh, and before I forget, on Fridays, and sometimes on other days, they serve fish.  This is good for the people who like it and can eat it, but what of those who can't.  Personally, I don't like fish, but I don't expect them to cook a special meal for me just because I don't like something.  But what about the people who really CAN'T eat fish, the people who are allergic to it. Do you know what they are fed?  An extra helping of vegetable and potatoes.  Sometimes a slice of cheese is thrown on the plate if they have it.  At least at BRC clients who could not eat fish were offered a sandwich and a bowl of soup.

 So, when I was nominated my immediate reaction was to refuse because to me, the whole thing was pointless and a total waste of my time. I'm not going to make a difference.  I've already tried.  But then, I thought about it, and maybe I won't be able to accomplish anything, but at least I will have tried.  The only failure is in not trying.  And perhaps one day they will get sick of hearing me and do something about it.

 Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have."  

Louis E. Boone


  1. Yeah, give it a shot, what the hell, eh? If anyone can do it, you can!

  2. Well, maybe you won't be able to do much but you can certainly try. And if you find that there is no point, or that it is stressing you out, you can always resign. We have experienced some of these types of committees and they are usually doomed to fail simply because of the people who are in charge.

  3. Congratulations on being elected! I am sure that in time you will accomplish many things!