Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Where official stuff will be announced.

Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives is currently run?

Poll ended at Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:10 pm

Yes
26
100%
No
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 26

Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby NickD » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:10 pm

Boys and Girls of Phoenix Fives.
This post may come a little bit out of step with very recent events, mainly because it is the first opportunity I have had to write it for 6 weeks.
There has been a certain amount of discourse with this group and on this forum in the last few months. While disagreements are always going to happen, when it starts to get taken seriously it becomes a problem.

So first up I would like to remind everyone that this is a car forum. It is something that should be entertaining after the toil of the day, it is social media, not antisocial and it certainly should not be causing the same stress levels as losing your job, visiting the Oncologist or boarding a Malaysian Airline flight about to go over the Ukraine. If it is, please, step back. If the forum is your social life then you probably need to laugh a bit more. It’s just a car forum and cheap cars at that.
This brings me on to the role of AC’s. Phoenix Fives is all but unique in that it welcomes anyone, member or not. Northampton is the same; however this is not the case across the other areas. Some insist that people cannot attend a pub meet unless they are a member and certainly not participate in any activity if they do not join the club. Now this is not the OC’s fault, it is down to individual areas, however it does not compute to us. While we can understand fully that if the OC goes to expense of providing something for the benefit of members, then it should be the members that pay their membership that benefit and there are indeed great benefits to being a member of the club. The cost of entry for 2 people to Brooklands and Gaydon amounts to more than the yearly fee and that is before club discounts on Silverstone Classic tickets, Classic Motor Show and anything else, even the magazine is worth it. However, monthly pub meets, drives to the chip shop with friends! To my knowledge, we as Phoenix Fives and Northampton for that matter have never made an expense claim on the club we do what we do for the benefit of all.

We are however an official legal entity within the club. The Club is a not for profit company and requires all the legal duties that any other business is required to complete by law. This equally makes it a target for any smart arse lawyer with a claim for blame story to pursue. We are required to have, by the club constitution, an Area Coordinator, a point for transferring information between the central committee and the local members. The AC role is not about being the head honcho in the pub. In fact that is the smallest part of it. It becomes a second job. There is a lot of meet and greet most people are unaware of, but most new people will have had a chat with one of the AC’s on their first visit to the pub. For AC’s it is not just going down the pub for a drink with mates, AC’s are on duty, get it wrong and the AC’s team get letters. Steve, Cerbs and myself could reel of 10 stories without even trying of being castigated by people who have turned up to a monthly meet, stood in the shadows only to write stinking letter of complaint that there was no red carpet, that we did not seek them out, even though they were hiding, and make all their troubles go away. Some write to the Chairman to complain. Are they told in 4 letter words where to go, or does the AC have to write yet another length reply apologising for their poor experience and that they should try again? There is web admin, the forum is not particularly censored, but there are attempts every day by spam bots to post, that involves sifting through the real people to find the machines and spammers, even the people that sign up and never post. Then there is the stuff that is seen, the events, but that event you, as a participant, may spend 6 hours at on the day has happened because there have communications about it for 18 months before hand between AC’s and committee and organisers. How many event shelters do you have, who has them, door magnets, flags, banners, how many shirts do you want, can you tell your members this, we need to get volunteers for this and that, do you have a car we can use, can you look at this venue, the list goes on. And that is before trying to do anything at a local level to organise something enjoyable for everyone. It takes a lot of time and effort and personal motivation to start having to coordinate things after a day at work, to pull the ends together, to make it work. It is certainly not the AC role to be told “I've had an idea and you didn't make it work.” Or to be going to the effort of coordinating an event, only to have teddies thrown because it is not just the way someone else wanted it.

So we come to the point of this post.

This is a simple poll. Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives is run or do you want change?

The poll will run until the end of November, to give everyone a chance to participate.

You can vote only once.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby chris » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:01 pm

Absolutely and thanks for the incite into the AC role, which I wouldhhave no idea what is involved
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby bLuE_Uk » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:46 pm

If it isn't broke....

I will just ask, for curiosities sake, what sort of change are you referring to; people or approach? My answers remains the same regardless.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Vindi (Russell) » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:55 pm

As Chris said, thanks for the post as I also didn't know a lot of what you guys got up to. I knew there would be lots of running around behind the scenes as about 2/3 of my day job is event organising at the moment, but the fact that you guys (and others like you around the country I'm assuming) do it all for free is just amazing. Seriously, hats off to you all.

I like the idea that you're after feedback as I think it's important to always look to improve. I have to say I'm not sure what you'll get out of this though? I don't think anyone will be so against the way things are run that they will vote no, so you'll probably get lots of Yes votes?

It's unfortunately all about the shades of grey, probably most people will have something they could think of that could be done better ... in their opinion ... but how you coax it out of them I don't know. It's human nature to a very big extent that even if you have something you'd like to say, standing up and saying it is another matter.

It's often difficult to say things in a constructive way, and it's difficult to receive feedback in a positive way, especially where emotions are involved and I think it's fair to say we all have some level of emotional attachment to our MX5s and the club. At work, we spend literally millions on hiring independent firms to canvas the staff to give very detailed feedback on a huge variety of subjects. It's all done anonymously and even then it's taken about 5 years of doing it on a quarterly basis to get a decent return. People want things to change, but they don't want to upset anyone or get in trouble (talking about work here, not the club!), so shouting from the shadows feels safer somehow. It's often well meant although as an organiser it doesn't come across that way.

For my part, I'm more than happy to give you a Yes vote as the little things that I'd like to change are not significant, and are just my personal preference. I think you all do a great job, and if Nicks first post has highlighted anything, then I think it's that if we knew a bit more about just how much work you all did then maybe it would put any minor issues we may have into perspective.

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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Cerberus » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:23 am

I'll try to reduce the grey a bit. The intention really is somewhat like a "Motion of no confidence".

From Wiki:
If a government win a confidence motion they are able to remain in office. If a confidence motion is lost then the Government is obliged to resign or seek a dissolution of Parliament (and call a General Election). Although this is a convention, there is no law to say that the Government has to resign but it is very unlikely they wouldn't and it would cause uproar if they didn't. Modern practice shows dissolution rather than resignation to be the result of a defeat. The government is only obliged to resign if it loses a confidence vote although a significant defeat on a major issue may lead to a confidence motion.


But we are a bit more cheerful than that so it's not a vote of no-confidence, rather a vote of confidence. Let us know if you are happy with what we are doing. If you are then we will keep doing it. If not... well I guess we will cross that bridge if it happens....

Also, as the technical forum chap, I can make a reassurance. The forum software is written in such a way that none of us, even me the supah-admin, cannot see who voted or which way they voted. So you can have your say in 100% confidence. I can assure you that this is a 'Secret Ballot'.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby steve mac » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:52 am

I would like to say that alot of people don,t realise how much work is involved in keeping a club going even the local area . Maybe now people will realise whats involved and get off there backside and help the team to make it even better and give them the credit they deserve. I know I am a fairly new member to you all and I am still finding my way around this forum etc, but I have full respect for the people that run this club for the work they do especially when they have full time jobs, families etc then make the time to do work for the club.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby bLuE_Uk » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:17 am

Cerberus wrote:I'll try to reduce the grey a bit. The intention really is somewhat like a "Motion of no confidence".


I know there have been some tiff's recently but it's far from anything this serious!
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Vindi (Russell) » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:20 am

Cerberus wrote:I'll try to reduce the grey a bit. The intention really is somewhat like a "Motion of no confidence".

But we are a bit more cheerful than that so it's not a vote of no-confidence, rather a vote of confidence. Let us know if you are happy with what we are doing. If you are then we will keep doing it. If not... well I guess we will cross that bridge if it happens....



Cheers Cerbs but my original point still stands, making it a Yes / No question means that people have to go one way or the other. I doubt there will be anyone who thinks the club is generally run badly rather than generally run well, so you will get lots of Yes votes and won't find out what the issues are that people have.

The positive is that (I suspect) the discourse and rumblings we are talking about are just little issues, and not anything that matters in the big scheme of things. As Steve has said, this will certainly open peoples eyes to just how much work is put in behind the scenes ... and hopefully next time some help / volunteers are asked for a few more people will jump in (including me).

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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Cerberus » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:42 am

bLuE_Uk wrote:
Cerberus wrote:I'll try to reduce the grey a bit. The intention really is somewhat like a "Motion of no confidence".


I know there have been some tiff's recently but it's far from anything this serious!


Exactly that. We agree with you on that. We don't feel there are any serious problems. Hence it's not a vote of no confidence. It's a vote of confidence. If you see what I mean?

If we are wrong then there would be a 'no' vote. But we're not expecting that. We felt it was a good time to give you all a say in the future.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Cerberus » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:54 am

Vindi (Russell) wrote:
Cheers Cerbs but my original point still stands, making it a Yes / No question means that people have to go one way or the other. I doubt there will be anyone who thinks the club is generally run badly rather than generally run well, so you will get lots of Yes votes and won't find out what the issues are that people have.



Yes, you have it spot on. We want a yes or no. That's why we asked the question this way.

Just like voting in a political party. You don't vote on individual policies. You vote for the party that most closely matches your views.

So, to keep it simple at this stage 8). The question is "Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs". We know we won't do every small thing, exactly the way every member wants, every time. But are you, on the whole, happy with who we are and what we do?

I should hope we will get plenty of yes votes! I have reason to fully expect a handful of no votes too and that's ok. I don't think we do too bad a job on the whole. But if we don't give you a voice evey now and then, how will we know?

Please no one panic and worry or see demons in the closet. It's not meant to be a bad thing. It's supposed to be a positive poll. :thumb:
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Vindi (Russell) » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:04 am

Cerberus wrote:Yes, you have it spot on. We want a yes or no. That's why we asked the question this way.

Just like voting in a political party. You don't vote on individual policies. You vote for the party that most closely matches your views.

Makes sense, and you have my vote!!

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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby NickD » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:21 am

I wasn't going to post again in this thread, well not until December, however I can see there is a little clarity needed.

Before I get in to “why” I will describe how other Areas run. I have been to many different area meetings over the years. They all have a slightly different make up but there will be a formal communication meeting. I have been to one’s where they sit around a table and take minutes and I have been to ones where the AC’s stands up and addresses the “crowd.” They all have the same objective though.

“Who is going to organise the Sunday Lunch Pub run in June? David and Beth have agreed to do the May one, Jill and Kevin have already planned the August one to the Flower Basket Pub, they need to know who will be eating and they have copies for the menu to look at as the pub wants to know numbers. They have planned the route to go past some lovely fields of cows.” “The Silverstone Classic is on these dates, we will be meeting at Tesco’s car park at 6:30 to convoy over.” “Harry has been talking to the local council tip to organise a look round the recycling centre, any one interesting in going should contact Harry” etc. etc. The other stand out feature of all of these meets is that about 80% of the people, who go, leave immediately after the diary dates have finished. They are not socials, they are planning meetings. They are about who is organising what, and when to turn up. It is about meeting somewhere and all driving in a convoy with the roof down waving at other MX-5's.

This vote, on Phoenix Fives, is not about what happens next, but if there needs to be a next. If there needs to be a next, that “next” can be decided later.

The back story, to use a modern media term, is that in the run up to Gaydon this club nearly had no AC’s at all. All three of us think it is no longer any fun; in fact it is hard work.

This group was once described by El Presidente as an autonomous collective dictatorship. Work that one out! But it is true, if anyone wants to organise anything, and it is sane and legal, then crack on. It is your gig and you set the rules.

Likewise, if an AC’s starts to organise something, then just because they are the AC does not mean they have to pander to every slightly interested or disinterested whim. If it matters that much to you then you should have got on it first.

Events and activities should be fun, there should be a can do attitude and how can I help, not, “you’re not doing that right for me.” Remember, we are not paid, we do this because a lot of the time someone has to but more importantly we want to have a laugh too.

And the final point, we also have opinions, anyone who thinks that an AC must be politically inert just like the Queen, has it wrong.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Vic » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:46 pm

This group was once described by El Presidente as an autonomous collective dictatorship. Work that one out! But it is true, if anyone wants to organise anything, and it is sane and legal, then crack on. It is your gig and you set the rules.

Likewise, if an AC’s starts to organise something, then just because they are the AC does not mean they have to pander to every slightly interested or disinterested whim. If it matters that much to you then you should have got on it first.

Events and activities should be fun, there should be a can do attitude and how can I help, not, “you’re not doing that right for me.” Remember, we are not paid, we do this because a lot of the time someone has to but more importantly we want to have a laugh too.

And the final point, we also have opinions, anyone who thinks that an AC must be politically inert just like the Queen, has it wrong

Exactly that ................................. :)

What the hell has happened to the emocians and all the other useful stuff ?
Not to worry it only appears to be in this thread or section .....

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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Ludford » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:06 am

I just thought we were a bunch of blokes with the same car that met down the pub once a month. Didn't know there was legal stuff!

Everything seems to be running fine the way it is though.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Robm » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:49 am

as a new person to meets and such i've always felt and been made welcome, i can't remember at any time being alone in the shadows, just wish i could get to more Meets
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Firebucket » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:52 am

The result was announced last night at the meet.... 100% vote of confidence in our mods. That's great news as these guys do a great job on our behalf, often with little thanks from us. So, congratulations Nick, Cerbs, and Steve. Thanks for the great job you do and for your willingness to go on doing it. Thanks, Fellahs.
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Re: Are you happy with the way Phoenix Fives runs?

Postby Alexander » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:59 am

Seconded!
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