People in the Land of Lost Board Members are the same as everyone else. Cell phone courtesy is a nonexistent art. We become hostage eavesdroppers wherever some very personal conversations take place – in the Mall, on a bus, in a restaurant. That is why I was shocked when I heard my friend, Bella Pelorizado talking on her cell in the grocery store check out line as she spoke about her IUD. Everyone in the line heard her. I knew her well enough that I felt an intervention was necessary.
“Bella,” I tapped her on her shoulder. She looked at me and quietly said “Gotta go,” to her phone partner.
“Bella, I have to say that I am embarrassed to be listening to this very public conversation about your IUD.”
“But it’s such a great idea and a marvelous method to accomplish our goals,” she said proudly.
“Bella! It’s a very personal method,” I countered. I was pained by her behavior. “We are not interested in your method.”
“But of all people I thought you would be interested in how it operates,” she pouted.
“I think I know how it operates.” I was really gruff.
“How could you? We just organized this effort yesterday.” She placed her phone in her purse and brought out a report. “Don’t tell me you already know about Interdisciplinary United Donations?” She waved the report at me. “Or as we like to call it the Lost IUD.”
This conversation was attracting more attention than her phone call had. But I pushed forward. “I’m sorry Bella, I thought you were talking about something else.” Recovering, I asked, “What is this new method?’
“It’s a new community concept that encourages synchronizing assets with verified community need across agencies and supporting public private partnerships.”
“That sounds like something United Way would do,” I stated.
“Yes! United Way, or as we like to say UWLOL, is the originator of the process under their ‘Think United’ campaign.”
“Land of Lost.”
“I get it. I’m with you now. So tell me how this will be working?”
Her magnificent hair, spelled “Now hear this!,” as she began to explain, “IUD is broken into two parts, one is STD.”
More ears strained to hear our conversation. Even the check-out clerk held a bag of chips in midair waiting for our discussion to continue. “Bella,” I whispered, “You can’t say STD”
“Strategic Thinking Dynamic.” She was snippy now and her hair spelled “Don’t you know anything?”
“Bella, you seem to be using terms, acronyms, in different and, I might say, challenging ways.”
“Well, get used to it. These are different and challenging times that call for WTF.”
I heard a gasp, a little old lady in the next check out line, fainted on her papaya. Bella looked around unconcerned.
“That’s my point. People can’t keep thinking they know everything, because what you know changes daily, what’s bad is good, what’s black is white.” She was on a roll. Her hair spelled out initials that left no question in anyone’s mind about what it meant. Bella continued, “A community has to look at the needs it has, respect the current method of addressing need, but continuously evaluate service success, access and progress. If the old method doesn’t do any more than keep people static, instead of moving them forward, then it is time to rethink delivery, maybe even rethink the need. In addition, there are new concerns facing a community everyday.” Many shoppers were nodding their heads in agreement.
“You’re correct,” I said, “changing economic times, changing political alignments influence the non profit picture. Donations fluctuate with real and perceived solutions and even with cash on hand. Solutions ebb and flow with the leadership available to direct solutions and with a community willing to work for the common good.” I was getting her message.
Folks were cheering in the grocery store. They understood changing times, nonlinear economic conditions. They were aching for new solutions. They wanted to be a part of making a difference and creating life changing opportunities
The mood was electric as Bella summed up, “That’s why those of us on the UWLOL, IUD committee, STD subcommittee use WTF as our motto.”
I wiped my brow as I cautiously asked, “And that motto in real words is?”
“Welcome the Future.”
July 2008 Eavesdropping on Life