Ever wonder about that word, about ASSociation(s)? Who or what in an ASSociation becomes the ass? You for joining, members for becoming gossip mongers, the association for being or leading a stupid cause? Who or what is the ASS?
Many women that I have ran into over the past 9 years or so in the military choose not to join different spousal associations because they've heard or ran into a group that behaves like a bunch of asses. I am one of those women. I am so leery to become the 'joiner.' I have been burned or watched people get burned by the typical ASSociation. So I usually join tentatively. I hold back, keep quiet and check out the scene. That way if it is a true ASSociation I haven't opened myself up and revealed the vuneralbe underbelly of myself.
The only real disappointment I've ran into lately was a multi-service group. I played it safe, stayed on the fringe for quite a while. I started to make a few good friends, fell into an "administrative" type position within the group and was enjoying it. I passed out some advice one day and apparently the advice rubbed another admin type person the wrong way. What provided the biggest disappointment wasn't that I made a mistake, I mean yeah that sucks and I am sorry that I irritated and stepped on toes. But what disappointed me most was that I was never pulled aside and talked to, by either the offended party nor the head administrator. Instead I walk in to see a new policy on the wall and it wasn't worded very nice. Seeing phrases like "you may think your helping but you really aren't" is a crappy way to say it and honestly should have been brought to the individual doing the toe stepping first, then publish the new policy. That and telling them first would let the others know if they were the one making the mistake - which sadly because no one came to me, I could be an idiot jumping to conclusions. (Yes I've weighed that fact but pretty much got the idea that I'm not an idiot on this.)
Any member, administrative or otherwise could have given the advice as well. A regular member would have gotten a letter stating to play nice next time and it would have been done in private. What kinda stung was the fear I always have about joining a large ASSociation came true - friends aren't always what they appear to be. One of the offended party pretty much was a friend but didn't say a word to me. I would have apologized profusely and attempted to correct it. Instead in light of it, I pulled back and will go back to where I was - on the fringe.
So how do you deal with ASSociations? Do you automatically ignore them because you think that time and again they will prove to be a large number of asses? Do you work like me and take them on individually judging whether the group as a whole is okay while running around the fringe? Or do you just jump right in, join right up and don't even see the asses of the ASSociation while they drag you down the street dressed as a clown?