February 2, 2004


I am thinking about associations, such as the one I work for, and associations, as in the thoughts that lead you to other, more random thoughts. I was scrolling through the slim pickings of clever SuperBowl commercials from yesterday to remind myself of the ones I liked (my winner is the Homer/MasterCard/priceless one, just because of the end when he says 'Mmm, D'oh!'). The Staples ad with the Don of Office Supplies was good too, in the painful Dilbert way that reminds me that my workplace is totally ridiculous sometimes. In the way that instead of going to our mailroom guy every time I need a box of 12 small binder clips or a Sharpie, I just go to Staples with the association credit card and walk by our HR Manager with my big Staples bag. We don't even get discounts for going through our Don.

So I was then thinking of my workplace, and how the people here have an amazing capacity to put up with some pretty lame house rules (like last week in the ice storm, when an email was sent around saying that the Federal Govt. was closing for the weather, but our office was staying open longer because we had to meet the needs of our clients). Or how the former head of accounting yelled at his underlings for bringing their own lights to work, and disallowed the use of anything but the overhead fluorescent lights.

What I then realized is the draw of working in the strange world of association management; how I am exposed to things I would never, ever know existed. My coworker and friend, Lucy, stormed in my office to vent after talking to one of her members from the Alpaca Registry whose files, in cabinets recently moved to a formerly-empty wall near the copier, are full of Alpaca blood samples (for DNA testing). Soon a potato foundation will be here; not the National Potato Council, but a different one! Through my job I talk to both movie studio execs and geeks from Boeing; I helped another Director out last week with her conference and ended up talking to a woman (whose engineering firm just won an award for a DC building) about her whole family being vegetarian.

Sometime soon I will get restless enough and will probably find a position at a stand-alone association...as soon as someone finds out that in our hidden back office, we're using our own lighting.

Posted by zippy at February 2, 2004 4:28 PM