Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why


Performance of Autocrats


  • someone else has to write the article at the last minute; no map
  • site is lost or nearly lost from late reservation or deposit
  • site is inappropriate and it's too late to change it
  • date wasn't checked against neighbors' events
  • won't accept responsibility for screw-ups and doesn't try to fix them


  • site is good enough but autocrat isn't sure of rules and regulations
  • article only printed once; most information good; map sucks
  • sub-autocrats weren't checked with, so all coordination is at the event
  • late but does show up
  • tries to fix screw-ups but doesn't know how


  • site is good; secure; paid for; key is in hand
  • article is thorough; map works
  • sub-autocrats and needed officers are contacted again the week before
  • royalty is specifically invited
  • sends out late in the event to buy cleaning supplies and trash bags


  • site is good; sub-autocrats tour with autocrat a week beforehand
  • article is thorough, sent to several newsletters, map works from two directions
  • extra tables and chairs are brought, marked; all cleanup supplies are brought
  • neighboring groups have been sweetly invited
  • first on site, last to leave, thanks everyone who helps (both there and later)


  • article is thrilling; map is cover-gorgeous; everyone remembers & wants to come
  • neighbors have specialized articles for newsletters and are involved in planning
  • site is set up, areas are labelled, sign or banner at entrance
  • problems have been fantasized, along with solutions
  • schedule & information are available in writing at the sign-up table or gate makes people feel welcome and useful and appreciated
  • follows all up with letters or an article for publication or both

Other Ideas:

  • Write to the site thanking them.
  • Make notes to give to the autocrat(s) after you.
  • Keep the map on file for other events at the site.
  • Credit as many helpers as you can, at the event or later on, publicly or to their faces or behind their backs.
  • Leave the site cleaner than you found it, even if you have to do the final cleaning all by yourself.
  • If you really hated doing it, don't do it anymore. Do what you do like to do.


Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991

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