30 July 2013

FEC Yes or No

Oh dear. I should have explained some of these things earlier.

Sometimes the Inmates Committee meetings are fraught with internal tensions. Here at FEC we take seriously the care of the inmates residents. Collective care usually refers to the cultural side of life because entertainers always need to see other entertainers perform. As if living here were not enough. Live performances and social activities are a big part of the IC mandate. Therefore a large portion of responsibility falls on the IC social subcommittee person: the bubbling Ms Etoile, herself an eternally on-stage thespian.


Our IC Head whom you know as Mr. OCD runs a tight meeting based on a highly personalized version of corporate macro-strategy. We pay attention as best we can—we, a simmering mass of barely repressed, divergent opinions—because no-one else wants his job. OCD is coming to grips with his position. He knows the FEC chain of command. Apparently we don't because we hapless committee members are always getting words of caution from higher levels about breaking the rules. Higher levels have much more important care responsibilities.
  
Mr. OCD wants the words of caution to cease so the Inmates Committee and his life in particular will be continuously harmonious. Such a goal requires wordless obedience from our fractious crew. He will brook no nonsense in the dispatch of business. When faced with opposition or irksome questions that have no answers, he will hum loudly, chin slightly tilted to the balcony gods, until the agenda moves on by itself. He does a potent, bone-chilling hum thanks to his former operatic career. This is likely to happen about five times in a one-hour meeting. Even Ophelia of the kitchen subcommittee, otherwise a master at psychic channelling, is silenced by such power.

IC members are not encouraged to stray off course into any matters that smack of controversy (like complaints about the washing machines). Or losing money. Rule-breaking and sensitive areas are not always clear. To facilitate all IC business we are must vote Yea or Nay on any given motion ... normally arising from the chair.

Today. An infraction, it seems. "Whose idea was the Yard Sale?" queries Mr. OC in his modulated, reasonable-start-to-the-meeting voice. This does not require a vote but a few sleepy members call "Nay" anyway.

Up pipes Ms Etoile, "Moi, boss," with a proud, earsplitting grin.

"Disaster," says OCD. "We didn't make any money for the IC and everyone is bitching about lousy sales and Sally might sue FEC for getting her scooter stuck in the elevator and the cops are watching us because of Archie. I move to cancel any and all future Yard Sales. Seconder?"

Silence. An incipient hum is perceptible.

Ms E is pretty much winding up to deliver a protest filled with her generic platform of free-floating love and respect and holistic healing that fits all occasions.

Mr. OCD: "Let me re-phrase. We will have a vote of non-confidence in the chair of the social subcommittee." To Ms Etoile: "Are you going to resign? Yea or nay?"

Ms E: "Can I say something here ..."

OCD: "No. Yes or no?!" The hum increases.

Ms E: "Dear heart, this is not ..."

OCD: "YES or NO?!!"

Ms E: "NO!!!!"

A weeping Bella ups and flees from the meeting. She has issues with loud voices and needs a drink. The agenda then moves on to an explosive humming of Verdi's Anvil Chorus. Clearly an extraordinary win for the social subcommittee.

As I said (or not), it's a democracy. Another feckless day in the life.  

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