If you don’t want a decision . . .


. . .  form a committee.

That might be a bit harsh, committees have a place and some do make decisions, and good ones at that.

Alas  that can’t be said of all committees and all decisions and this could explain why:

 “Part of the motivation for the committee is a kind of cowardice, a fear of taking responsibility. If people take a decision alone they are responsible for the outcome, as they should be. Fearful that the result of that decision may be challenged they seek refuge in the imprimatur of a meeting. This spreads any blame.” Gordon McLauchlan

Word of the day


Committee –   a person or group of persons elected or appointed to perform some service or function, as to investigate, report on, or act upon a particular matter; an individual to whom the care of a person or a person’s estate is committed; a person to whom a trust or charge is committed. .

              –  a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. (Hat tip: Laughy Kate)

              – a group of people that forms when the stupidity of one person won’t suffice; A multi-legged creature with no brain; the unwilling, appointed by the unfit, to do the unnecessary. (Hat tip: Urban Dictionary).

The monthly meeting



A one-act farce happening to a committee near you.


Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention… Thank you, it’s eight minutes past. Do we wait for the stragglers or start now.


Committee Member 1: It wouldn’t hurt to wait a bit. If we’re already late what’s a few minutes more?


Committee member 2: But do we know who’s coming? It’d be a bit pointless waiting for someone who wasn’t going to be here anyway.


Chair: Good point. Perhaps we could start now, then. Do we need a motion on that? No, I suppose not if we haven’t actually started the meeting. Right? I’ll call the meeting to order and declare it open. What happens now? Oh, yes, apologies. Any apologies?


Secretary, shuffling papers: I had a list somewhere. Um, here it is. Bob thought he might be irrigating so as he’s not here that’s an apology from him.


Frank said his sister-in-law was having a baby any day now and when she did Mavis would have to mind her children so he’d have to stay home to look after theirs. So that’s apologies from Frank and Mavis.


Committee member 2: But one of them would’ve had to stay at home to mind their kids anyway so, really it’s only an apology from the other.


Committee member 3: Yeah, but if one of them had come they’d have apologised for the other and since no-one’s here to do that, we need one for the one who would’ve been here and one for the other who wouldn’t.


Secretary: I think I follow that, we’ve got apologies from both Frank and Mavis.


Chair: What about Alice? She hasn’t said she won’t be here but she usually is and she isn’t tonight so we’d better add an apology for her. Those in favour, aye? Against, no? Carried. Good, that’s that now where are we? Oh yes, minutes of the previous meeting.


Secretary, shuffling papers again: If you’ll just bear with me … Here we are, rolled oats … Whoops, no that’s my shopping list. Now what’s this. Oh it’s a late apology for Nancy. She said she’ll be here but she needs to finish some bottling first.


Chair: Is that a late apology or an apology for being late?


Secretary: I suppose it’s both really. It’s a late apology for being late. That is it’s an apology for lateness which I’m giving late although of course Nancy gave it to me earlier so it’s me who’s late with the apology and Nancy who’s late for the meeting.


Chair: Thank you now if we could have the minutes.


Secretary: You could if I had them but I haven’t so could we take them as read?


Chair: Nothing very important happened last month so I don’t see why we can’t, if we could have someone move to that effect? Thank you, Sally and a seconder? Jim, good. All in favour? Against? Carried. Since we didn’t have minutes we won’t have any matters arising. What about finance?


Secretary: We don’t have any of that either. That is we do have some finance but the records are all with the minute book.


Chair: Correspondence then?


Secretary: None. I mean we really don’t have any, not we don’t have any because I didn’t bring it.


Chair: Good. How about general business? None? Right, if we could set the date for the next meeting for the same time next month I’ll thank you for your attendance and declare the meeting closed.

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