Z hates to disappoint people

A society* I belong to applied, a couple of years ago, for a visit to the Prince of Wales’ home – not the house itself, but a tour of the gardens. We’ve recently been offered a date in September. The letter arrived while the society takes its summer break, so some of the committee have had to get off their deckchairs** and do some extra work.

We have three or four visits every year, to exhibitions, interesting houses etc – this autumn, for example, we will go to the Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum and to the Mansion House – and there is one committee member whose responsibility is to make all the arrangements. However, for this particular trip, both people who have done this job have already visited H1ghgr0ve and so can’t go again, so I’ve got to deal with applications.

I discover that I am not temperamentally suited to dealing with an oversubscribed trip.

We decided, since people may be on holiday or the post may take longer in some places than others, to go for a ballot rather than first come, first served, and the date for this is Monday 13th. There are only 25 places available – since expenses are the same whether the coach is full or half-full and this is a long way and so needs two drivers, this makes it a relatively expensive excursion and it will be a long day into the bargain, as we are going to leave at 6.30 am and don’t expect to return until 9.30 pm – and I’d hoped (knowing I wasn’t being realistic) for 25 applicants.

In the first two days, I’ve had 32. That already means disappointing 7 people, and many of the applicants are friends which makes it even worse

I can’t sway the outcome as it wouldn’t be the Thing to Do***, and to make sure I’m not tempted, I’ve asked the Rector to do the draw with me – not just because she will be above suspicion, but also because she won’t know any of the people concerned so won’t mind.

There is just one upside. On the day, I’ll get to boss everyone about.

*There are over 300 different branches, which are run independently but all affiliated to the National Association.

**With thanks to Dandelion for the improvement.

***With an acknowledgment to Dave that, by claiming a place that could go to a more deserving person, I am a liar.

11 comments on “Z hates to disappoint people

  1. Dandelion

    Well, I think a ballot is a very fair way of doing it, especially with an impartial person doing the draw, and a person-of-god, no less.

    I didn’t know people were only allowed to visit Highgrove once. I guess it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Am dying to know what society it is, and how does one join?

    Loving the deckchairs joke, but would have been better without the self-reference. I laughed just at the dotted underline, expecting it to just say “arses”.

  2. Z

    It is fair, but I try to please all the people…

    There aren’t that many occasions when it’s open and there are a lot of requests, so I suppose that’s being fair too. I’ll put a link to the society – there are branches all over the country, I’m in one of the Norwich ones.

    As ever, darling, you are right about the arses.

  3. PI

    We had the same palaver with TWG but as I was no longer a member I missed out. Do you have to go in the deaw? I’m sure they need a responsible person to see they don’t snip any cuttings. I’m sure you’ll all have a wonderful day.

  4. Z

    I am, indeed, considered to be a responsible person. Well no, they know well how irresponsible I am (thirty of us went to Krak√≥w together!) but I’m chairman.

  5. Dave

    ‘On the day, I’ll get to boss everyone about.’

    How do you know you’ll be one of the names drawn out of the hat – or doesn’t the ballot apply to you? That’s hardly fair on all your friends, is it?

    I’d hand my place back, modestly, and say ‘you go instead’.

    If I knew how to do that dotted underline thing, that last sentence would say ‘liar’.

  6. Z

    Dave, you are right, but that’s the way it is. There are 370 members of this society. 11 of them have offered to be on the committee. One of those agreed to be chairman.

    But your point is fair and I won’t argue with you.

  7. martin

    Please put my name down for that trip. I will meet you there so there is no need to hold a seat on the coach. I will also bring sandwiches (tuna) and some pop.

  8. luckyzmom

    There is always those few who do all the work and the many who just want the fun.

    I am quite certain that seeing you throw your weight around is a pleasant experience.

    Hope you will be able to take pictures.

    And of course you should be exempt from the draw.


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