This evening’s meeting was the fourth in a series, one leading to another. I was the only person on all four committees, and at this one I was taxed exhaustively about certain decisions.
Although they were committee decisions and I was a mere-smear representative, we all knew that I’d played my part in the decision-making – though I will argue a case, once decided democratically, with due vigour even if I didn’t actually agree with its conclusion. Nevertheless, my good and respected friend Dino made me explain and justify every aspect – and in some regards my ground was, if not shaky, not exactly rock-like either.
At the end, I suggested an alternative proposal from the one put by the committee, and this was agreed. When the meeting was over, I told Dino how greatly I’d appreciated his rôle as Devil’s Advocate. I like someone who will challenge a point when it would be easier, and possibly more popular, to let it go. I appreciated his quick, in-depth appraisal and understanding of a complex matter – I can read a balance sheet too, but not understand its nuances as quickly as he does. His term of appointment is ending and he has offered to stand down – I said I would very much like him to carry on (possibly with a sideways shift to represent a different body where there may soon be a vacancy) as his experience and willingness to challenge is absolutely necessary and appreciated.
Afterwards, he invited us to his party in three weeks time.
I’m not actually argumentative, in fact. But I can, if pressed, and I am pretty damn good, and I love to find someone who can do it as well as I do. He argues in the same way as I do, tenaciously, logically, from the high ground and sticks to the point until it is addressed. No shifting of ground or digressing – or at any rate, we both return to the point if there is a drift down a byroad.
Anyway, yes, he was unnecessarily dogmatic – which he acknowledged – but his point was valid and worth debate, and I’ve agreed to take it back to the other committee (committee no.3, that is) for further deliberation.
When I returned outside, my bicycle saddle was covered in ice.