Did you vote? I did, but I must confess it was a struggle. When the first sight that greets you as you open your eyes in the morning is something like that in the image below, it’s tough to channel all that beauty into unsavoury thoughts about EC’s many and mutliplying failings.
If you didn’t vote, I can’t blame you. Who wants to spend even one minute of the summer staring at such a riveting literary masterpiece as 92 proposed bylaw amendments for an organization whose ‘leaders’ so recently forced you to contemplate some of the finer points of its dysfunctionality, a la Tiffany-Gate ? It’s enough to melt your eyes right in their sockets, and send your soul to oblivion. If you did vote, you get three thumbs up from me for digging deep enough to find a reason to bother.
I was seriously tempted to just do what HCBC twice begged me to do in the most recent ‘battle of the statements’ – this one being between the provincial and national federations – and just go with a string of no’s. But that wouldn’t have been a terribly responsible or enlightened way to cast my vote. So I waded through the amendments and clicked ‘no’ any time something didn’t smell quite right, which happened right off the bat. The very first proposed change is one which I take to mean that members would lose the right to remove a board director any time we feel the need to do so, and would only be able to do so at an ‘ordinary’ meeting. As far as I know we have only one of those per year, and they tend to take place in locations that are not on anyone’s top ten list of destinations during a Canadian February. It’s hard for anyone to stay mad for long, so all the directors would have to do is keep their noses clean for a few weeks between New Year’s and the AGM. What if we were good and ready to show our non-confidence, say in a month like August – perhaps after an incident at the Olympics that left an athlete not only reeling from disqualification but then freefalling like a trust-fall gone wrong when her sport’s national federation utterly abandoned her in favour of making supplicating licks at the muzzle of the equestrian universe’s alpha she-wolf? How are we going to keep the bile boiling all the way to February? Hell, I can’t even stay angry enough even two weeks later. Though of course France probably has something to do with that.
I harbour a whole new brand of resentment against our federation and its ‘leaders’, generated by fatigue. I’m tired of having to think about EC. I’m worn out by considering the fact that there is clearly something very amiss when a simple vote on bylaws puts the national federation yet again at bitter odds with some of its provincial affiliates (BC and AB are the two I’m aware of but there are probably more). EC says HCBC Prez Orville ‘Smitty’ Smith failed to speak up in objection to the amendments when he had the chance. Having my own personal experience of unanswered emails to Mr. Smitty, who seems to prefer a passive-passive-aggressive communication style, I suspect there is at least a kernel of truth in that claim. But in order to understand what is really going on, let’s put the situation into a context where it fits right in, the playground. You remember when you were a kid, and there was one bully in your class that everyone feared and disliked? You couldn’t wait to see that kid fall and scrape a knee or get sent by the teacher to sit at a special desk facing the wall in the front corner. For me that kid was named Chuggy Switzer (and he grew up to be a murderer, no joke). EC has become that kid. And the provinces feel sufficient animosity that these bylaw changes have become the latest opportunity to accidentally-on-purpose stick a foot out in the hallway when EC passes by.
And speaking of bullying, I think it’s very worth raising a questioning eyebrow at the fact that there is still not even a job posting for a new CEO eight months after our eloquent fearless leader departed in controversial circumstances that didn’t sufficiently prompt anyone to demand an explanation from the Prez and Board. I haven’t even seen a press release about a job posting, and I know EC does things like that because I just received a notice of job posting for the DOC’s job as Eventing TA. CFO Mike and COO Craig must really be enjoying their three jobs shared two ways right now. And I wonder whatever happened to that HR consultant Mike Gallagher hired back in May to research what a new CEO’s job description should look like. Honestly, people. What does it take? Are you all waiting until it becomes a full blown mafia situation with Uzis under trench coats and midnight drug deals in the EC bathroom?
You won’t be reading any more EC rants on this blog for a few weeks. I need a break, and I’m in the perfect place to take it. I didn’t come all the way to Corsica to sit and stew about anything other than whether I want rosé or white with my lunch, or if we should take Chorizo swimming in the Mediterranean (salty!) or the lake (fresh!). Like any other soap opera, I don’t doubt for a minute that when I get home in early October, there will have been plenty of drama but very little action. I’m not going away entirely – I would never do that to you – but I’m going to slow down a little and indulge myself by using this space to entertain you with tales of French drivers honking their claxons as they fly around the corners of roads narrower than Stanley Park’s bike paths, instead of trying to get you riled up over the lumbering head-on collisions of bureaucratic school buses.
And to cheer me up – because I can’t imagine it will cheer you up to see what a fine place I am calling home this week – here are a few photos snapped around my Corsican ‘hood. And just in case these photos don’t scratch your blog itch, make sure you read the first of two posts from my secret guest blogger over on Low-Down. Straight from the very funny horse’s mouth it is.