I'm the membership officer for the American Women's Club and come September one of my responsibilities is to chase down membership fees for the new season and determine whether or not members are renewing. If they are, then I need to update their info in the printed directory, which I also handle (not as part of those duties, just because I have the layout knowledge and don't mind the job) and if they aren't, then I have to deactivate them, update that info in several places and send them a thank you email.
But what about those members who never respond to the many reminders we send out via email and the website and the newsletter before the deadline for the new season arrives? How are we supposed to know that they want to renew? As a final resort, after the deadline has passed, and a WHOLE MONTH of grace period, we call them. Or, well, I call them. Because I have found over the many years that I have been doing this, that many people need that personal nudge. They genuinely don't MEAN to forget; they plan to renew but for whatever reason, they just haven't gotten around to it.
And since it's more work to deactivate someone, remove them from all the lists and then have to add them back after they get the deactivation email and react in shock, I've found that calling all the people who we haven't heard from is usually worth the effort. But I do wish that it wasn't such a CHORE sometimes. I feel like the bad guy quite often. People who don't want to renew sometimes just don't bother to respond at all, apparently assuming that their silence will be taken as a signal or that we will somehow just KNOW. *sigh*
So now I've gone through the entire member list of over 180 people, called all the ones we hadn't heard from or received payments from, verified the wishes of those I could reach, deactivated several people and sent out several emails to confirm directory details. I still have several directory checks to send out, but will probably do them tomorrow, as I'm really not in the mood tonight.
One of my first friends, who has been in the club nearly as long as I have, decided not to renew her membership this year, and I'm afraid I took it personally. I was so upset and bummed out and, admittedly, sad yesterday. Like she had betrayed ME personally, despite my conscious mind KNOWING that it has nothing to do with me. I think it's mostly because our friendship grew with the club and we had so much fun in the early years and I thought it was as important to her as it is to me despite knowing that she hasn't had the same level of interaction or commitment to it for ages.
To top it all off, today I spent FOUR HOURS in dead-stop traffic chaos at the local mall where they have closed off the second of only 2 entrances to the entire shopping complex, feeling my blood pressure absolutely shoot through the roof and very glad that I did not have any blunt instruments or projectile weapons because otherwise a couple of BMW drivers would for sure have been squirting blood at my hands. Thank god I could vent on Facebook via my iPhone. I even called the non-emergency police number to ask why no one had been sent to direct traffic and was informed that they knew all about it and had gotten thousands of calls already and "someone" "was" "on the way"...which I call bullshit on.
And tomorrow I meet my new boss.