Monday, 22 February 2010

Monday 22nd February 10

A tough morning trying to get both children to school. BUT they did both go, which was a result!

I had a meeting starting sometime between 10 and 11 (Jim at Semlyen IT is very relaxed) and this went well too... the website that my Canadian colleague Rory and I are working on is coming on well. Jim has a colleague called James, who's a student, who is putting it together using Wordpress.

I am so looking forward to getting it unveiled!

The meeting went really well, over an hour discussing lots of variables and listening to Jim's advice. But I didn't have time to write up our meeting to send to Rory as straight after lunch I had another meeting at St Nicks, the follow up to the difficulties I had last November when some complaints were generated because of how I behaved at a York Rotters stall at the Big Green Market. John at St Nicks has been having some conversations with people at CVS about how to proceed and how to find solutions to the problem.

Edward, who is an experienced facilitator and well versed in conflict resolution came along to be my buddy or some kind of moderator... he's known me for at least 15 years and he also knows John quite well... and funnily enough he was involved in designing the Environment Centre, although I'm not sure exactly what his role was.

We recapped on what the complaints were, and I was surprised to learn that three out of the four complaints were made by one person. I don't know who that person is, but my guess is that they probably have a general problem with me, and even if I had behaved perfectly, they would still have had a problem with me! So that person was upset about an ill-timed and inappropriate joke about burial positions (which I agree was a mistake) and also accused me of shouting at a member of the public which I didn't do, although I do know that I did make a comment back to someone who responded to my invite to tell me about their compost bin with a 'I don't bother to compost'. My question back at them 'Don't you care about the environment then?' was deemed by the complainant as unprofessional. Maybe it was, I don't know. They also didn't approve of me answering a question about Promession, the composting burial process that I'm very interested in. A separate complaint was made by a Rotter who said I'd interrupted them and contradicted them. As I don't know who this is, I cannot remember saying or doing any of that, but it wouldn't surprise me if I had done that if incorrect information had been given.

I am really pleased with some of the solutions that St Nicks are going to try. To enable me to go back to the stalls and work with members of the public, they are looking for a buddy for me, who would know something about challenging behaviour, ADHD and Aspergers, and would be trained up as a York Rotter. Their job would be to keep an eye/ear on me and to rein me in if I got too excitable and if I strayed into subjects that the Council, our funders, are uncomfortable with (ie compost burials and compost toilets).

I'm also going to be invited to help make a video, where the editing will enable my enthusiasm and knowledge to shine through, but any gaffs to be removed. The Rotters newsletter will have a featured Rotter section, so that individuals can write something about themselves, which might help other Rotters understand them a little more. All St Nicks volunteers will be invited to participate in 'diversity awareness training' which will cover disabilities and developmental disorders, sexuality and orientation, religion and race and probably more. This is a fantastic 'plus' for St Nicks to get out of what could have been quite a negative issue. Rotters will be offered communication training, so that we can all learn to speak to members of the public a bit better. I look forward to this.

The only as yet undecided things are how I deal with my role as the 'founder' of York Rotters, which St Nicks dispute as I only suggested the organisation be started, and it was founded by a team effort, with the Council and St Nicks in partnership, with me at most meetings. However, many people see me as the person who got the ball rolling, and I am therefore sometimes a spokesperson for the group. So, as yet, we don't know what to do if a media organisation rings up and asks my opinion about a composting or green subject, and wants to refer to me as the founder of York Rotters. I am comfortable with this, but I don't think the other management are.

We agreed to review the situation in six months time. I am pretty pleased with this. I do wish that the (critical words removed by request) person hadn't complained in the first place... but we cannot change what has happened, and nor the fact that people like me do sometimes piss people off!

I did a bit of work in the nature reserve for half an hour after this, and then loaded my trailer with some of the spare packing crate wood which wasn't used by the bee hive makers.

Home via Freshways, and then did half an hour of chainsawing until it got dark.

Tea was baked potatoes with the remains of the Quorn stuff from yesterday. The potato was delicious and I'd have the Quorn again to add variety to my diet, perhaps a couple of times a year...

I did a lot of writing during the evening... a long email to Rory and recording today's activities here. I feel it's been a really good day.


Anonymous said...

Glad things went well. I am mystified as to why funders should be bothered by composting toilets and composting burials, or maybe I am just too relaxed.
Put a link in to the new website when it is ready, I am waiting with baited breath.
Love C

Anonymous said...

I'll take that buddy job, John!

- Yeah, right! - I'm as daft as you sometimes!!!!


Compost John said...

Hi C,
The funders aren't really the problem, it's the Rotters management who have the jitters about what might be perceived as 'extreme composting' when what the group is trying to promote is 'mainstream composting'. Some of the Councillors are pretty conservative and could be offended by some taboo subjects, and they are under pressure to reduce costs, so the Rotters management don't want these funders to find any excuse to cut our funding.

Hope that makes more sense.
love, John

Compost John said...

Robin, you are just as extreme as I am, in your own lovely way. So I'm happy to have you as my buddy in real life, but if you were my buddy in the Rotters sense, we'd surely just egg each other on!
Your friend, John