Bad Timing?

It’s a tough decision to raise questions at a time when big changes are in the middle of being implemented.

It was Teddy Roosevelt who said:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,”

not,

“the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

For the record, I’m one of those workers right in the middle of that ‘arena.’ I’m struggling alongside my buddies and our stressed-out managers, doing all I can successfully to implement the big changes currently underway in Weaver Street Market Co-operative.

Even though I was never properly asked for my consent to these big changes, neither as an employee nor as a worker-owner.

Even though my worker-owner capital is being used as collateral for the $6 million in debt that is financing the big changes – and my permission, as a worker-owner, was never sought nor given.

Even though my annual dividend as a worker-owner is likely to take a hit as a result of the cost of these big changes.

Even though my sweat, and the sweat of my fellow workers, for months to come, will be needed to pay off the hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest accruing on that debt.

Even though I am being asked each day to work harder for less.

Even through all of this, I continue each and every day to work that much harder, to ensure that these big changes succeed – because I do not want my “Weave,” our “Weave” to fail.

I think I’ve earned the right to ask: “…but should we even be here?…and should we be here without there having been proper, democratic decision-making?”

I think my fellow workers have earned that right, too. And my fellow consumers. And my fellow owners.

You put a lot at risk when you become the one who ventures to put his head above the parapet, to ask the searching questions.

There is never a good time to ask searching questions. Not even if they are good searching questions. Not even if they are searching questions that are spot on.

My point – and it is the point of my candidacy for the Board in 2008 – is that I would not be needing to ask these searching questions, at what is arguably a bad time, if the Board had been doing its job, and asking the right questions at the right time.

We need a Board that asks those searching questions. We can be better than this!

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Published in: on June 15, 2008 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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