Home' Rotary Down Under : October 2014 (NZ Pacific) Contents EDITOR’S MAILBOX
Today I cleared the PO Box for the Rotary
Club of Crows Nest, NSW, to find a padded
envelope sent especially to us from the
Rotary Mother Ship in Evanston, Illinois.
Inside was a packing slip for a new
Member Backer. It contained not one, but
two lovely little jewellery pouches each
containing a blank blue disc with a silver
outer edge. The discs are the size of a 10
cent piece and have a hole in the centre,
presumably to accommodate a Rotary pin. I
must admit to having a WTF moment until I
read the note on the packing list.
Congratulations on the admission of your
Rotary Club’s new member(s). It is our sincere
pleasure to provide the enclosed recognition
items from Rotary International. These items are being sent
to your attention so that you may formally recognise the
members in your club who have recently sponsored new
members. Please reserve some time during an upcoming
club meeting to celebrate these achievements and present
the recognition items to your members.
Membership Recognition Administration Team
Having just typed this guff, I am again struck with that
familiar WTF feeling. That feeling prompts me to send this
in the hope that we may reduce costs and overheads for
one of the silly things Rotary produces.
My club members would laugh at me for giving
this item to a member – there is nothing on it and is
so lacking in relevance I am not even going to bother
bringing it up. Our member has the warm feeling of
having introduced fine, community minded people to
other fine individuals who, as a collective, can achieve a
lot and have enormous fun doing it.
These silly little discs are not going to add incentive
to anyone to get new members; in fact there is nothing
materially that will. We do it because we want others to
get a taste of what we get out of Rotary. That is all.
I am expected to give someone a blank blue and silver
disc as recognition for attracting new members? Who was
the bright spark that thought this was a good idea?
I was curious and tried to use it as a “backer” to my
Rotary pin. It is enormously unremarkable from several
perspectives. These days I think people refer to it with a
simple word. FAIL.
First and most important is that it is expected to seat
itself as a backer behind the Rotary pin ... maybe we have
the wrong pins, but there is a primary spike that goes
through the apparel and has the pin clasp at the back.
There is also a smaller little spike of around 1mm designed
to stop the pin from spinning when attached to a shirt,
blouse or coat. That little 1mm spike grabs the fabric and
holds the pin in position. This little spike then means the
blank blue and silver recognition disc cannot sit true on
one edge. This looks really sketchy and also impedes the
job that the locking clasp is designed to do.
Second, who knows what this blank blue and silver
disc is for – there is not a marking on it. I may have seen
people wearing them and would not have a clue what it is
for. I would again classify this as a FAIL.
I began to wonder about what this blank, nondescript,
silver and blue disc would cost.
It was sent to me as International Priority Airmail from
Rotary International by a group known as the Membership
Recognition Administration Team. Presumably they
don’t get these things for free so there is a cost for the
“Backer”. I am hoping that the Membership Recognition
Administration Team are all Rotary volunteers as I
would hate to think of the actual cost of getting these
meaningless objects from Rotary International in Chicago
to Sydney, Australia. Staff time, admin to record who gets
them, printing, padded envelopes and packaging, airmail
charges and my time as “gas canary”.
If, as I suspect, the Membership Recognition
Administration Team are paid staff, I have one question.
How many sausages have we had to cook and sell
at $2.50 each in order to cover the total cost of this
ridiculous and lame exercise?
Bruce de Graaf
Rotary Club of Crows Nest, NSW
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