Last weekend I was taken by surprise. I turned up at a meeting before church under the pretence it was about becoming “more welcoming.” I brought along notes, I even brought along hot chips. It was a conversation I was ready for. But as I looked around the room, the people I had expected to be there weren’t and the whole thing just felt a little odd. And then it begun. Senior Minister: “It has come to our attention that some single adults…” [ability to listen abruptly ends] And there it was, it was a meeting of single people. The meeting continued and I shared my disagreement at the claim put forward: I think we can be more welcoming in general, but I disagree with the suggestion it is linked to relationship status. The meeting ended and we went up to church. Feeling uneasy about the whole situation I flicked off an email to the three ministers in attendance at the meeting and attached my notes for the meeting I thought we were having before I went to bed. But as the week went on, I continued to feel uneasy. Then last night when I met my assistant minister’s wife for the first time (after 18 months! eek!) I realised why I was uneasy. The conversation went a little like: Me: “Hello, I don’t think we’ve met before – I’m Melanie.” “Ah yes, i’ve heard a lot about you and see your emails come through — another one for Trent.” Then from nearby a dear friend hollered: “She’s the outspoken single adult at church.” In my standard response in situations of nervousness, I laughed. The moment passed and we went on conversing. I was thinking as I drove home last night why the comment hit a chord. I know my friend meant nothing by it as I give as much as I take from him. But today I completed a survey for Witchery in order to get a $10 voucher. One of the first questions was this one: It exemplifies the reality – society is about relationships. Indeed, this world is about relationships. But so often we are defined by our relation to a significant other.  I really don’t have any resolve for this thought, only that it seems we are all guilty of applying labels and making assumptions – precisely the reason Witchery has asked the question. No doubt, I, as an adult not in a relationship with a significant other, spend more on clothes at Witchery than someone married/living with another sharing resources, discussing and settling on an amount that one should spent on new clothes. Perhaps I’m just more sensitive because I don’t have a significant other and it seems to bring with it particular stigmas – point being I’m the ‘outspoken’ one. Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
As I waited in the shadows for two guys, a truck and a tree, I saw her. Unbeknown to the stress her visit caused my 9.5 hour day, she glanced up from her phone as she took a few more steps toward me. As the tree was lowered to the ground from the truck tray, she passed me. No acknowledgment – and none expected. As she wandered on up the hill, the two guys adjusted the tree into place. Five lowly minutes – in the end that’s all it was. Today was one of my more stressful days. It started off well, a final briefing meeting and a few deliveries — what could go wrong? Little did i know a lot could in the 24 hours prior to launch event #1 of one of the largest investments of infrastructure in the university’s history. From a tree not fitting on a truck, plastic ‘pledge’ tags slipping under a hole punch, tshirts seemingly vanishing and a last minute visit from Michelle Bridges, it was an odd day. But a few hours on, I can stop and look back. We can draw attention to anything: a centre, a person, a partnership or a product. We work long hours when a tree doesn’t fit on a truck, we run to newsagencies for white cardboard when you can’t print a pledge card for a VIP and you indian give t shirts to your colleagues so people you don’t know can feel important on their special day. No, we’re not the guys up on stage, but we sure help those guys look good. Marketing is the activity that happens in the shadows.   Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
It was more like a passionate, endearing teacher at the dress rehearsal than Miranda Priestly in Devil wears Prada. A teacher who has promised the showstopper of the year, but the night before the curtains rise, the leads are still learning their lines, the sets come in too early and the musicians too late. But today, sitting around a square table in meeting room 2 it happened. The hands hit the table and all discussions stopped. “Everyone – I can not believe this! We are two weeks away — two weeks! Everyone is watching us, waiting for us to deliver and we still don’t even have invitations out! I know you are all working hard, but I need you to work harder. I need to be able to sleep at night knowing that we are going to deliver. I know it will be great, but we’re just not there yet. I don’t want to get grumpy, and i’m not.  But we all just need to get moving.” And then her usual warm tone returned and it was over. But the feeling of a scared school girl remained. I looked around the meeting room and like me, none of my colleagues knew what to say, but I knew we were all thinking the same thing – we need to pick up our socks because we don’t want to disappoint her. 5 May update: Today she brought in a homemade apple cinnamon tea cake. “I was feeling guilty.” Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)