CR: “Chair of DOOM?“
GN: “OK, maybe “Chair of DOOM!” is a bit of an over-exaggeration, but it does have a much better ring than “Chair of Nerves“. Oh, Now i think of it “Chair of Terror” would be a much better title.”
CR: “Then Why dont you change it?“
GN: “Couldn’t be buggered, So just had this imaginary conversation with you to explain how the title could be better!“
CR: “So you just wrote NINTY ONE words to save replacing ONE word in the Title?“
GN: “Yes…. Yes I did!“
Last night was my first meeting as master of a Freemasons Lodge, and we decided to start off with the biggest ceremony we could (A Third for those that know), Nothing like starting big to settle into our new roles easy. In fact a large number of people actually asked me last night “Why did you not start with an easier night? We’d never do a third in our first meeting” And I had no reasonable answer for them, Insanity is not really a reasonable answer or so I am told.
Now I am a naturally shy person (No matter what PlanetPete says) so I find it uncomfortable being the center of attention, so was uneasy in the run up to last night thinking about being in the spotlight, but as we were lining up to walk into the room I was surprised at just how nervous I was. I’m telling you “Chair of Terror” is a good name for it, I’m sure I’ll get used to it, probably just as soon as its my turn to step down and hand the care of it to my successor.
But even with the nerves, the most predominant thought in my head was “When are these guys going to realise I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!“. In my years as a member I’ve always assumed the Master knows whats going on, has the answers, and so on. But me? I am sat there looking around at people asking me questions, wanting my opinion, all the while as the voices in my head scream “Why are you looking at me?” or “SHIT!!!! they are going to suss me out soon“. I have to say its a very odd feeling sitting there on the big chair.
I should end by saying it all worked out and it was a good night, and no one seemed to suspect I was clueless. So By Bingo I have survived for another time.
Here as requested is the toast to the ladies that was mentioned in the post Death Threats & Dinner Suits
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Saturday evening I was at the Llannerch & Gredington’s Joint “Ladies Evening” in Llangollen. The evening was a formal event so the dress code was Dinner suits, dress shirts, bow-ties, the works. The majority of the evening was very enjoyable, with good company, great food, beer, etc. and Several hundred pounds were raised for charity just from raffle tickets alone.
In fact the evening was enjoyable right up to the toasts, of which there were two. Firstly the Master of Llannerch got up to give a quick toast of “the queen“. The other toast of the evening was “the ladies” and was to be a longer toast more like a speech. And which poor victim was designated with this responsibility? Yes you guessed it, My good self!. Now I should take a second here to point out this was the first “Ladies Night” I had been to, and as such had never seen or heard a ladies toast before, so had no bearing to work from.
I should also point out I am a shy person, So standing up in front of over a hundred people who regularly attend such functions to perform the toast was terrifying. So I start into my spiel, and it seems to be going ok, the ladies present seem to be cheering, and agreeing with what I’m saying and “tutting” at their escorts, while the Men seem to be more growling at me, and denying things. Well I finished my bit and got to sit back down again.
Later on that evening while standing about with a couple of other men I received death threats, and quotes like :-
“How could you stand there and say those things!!! Don’t you realise what you’ve done???” “My wife wants breakfast in bed tomorrow now” “I have to get flowers after” “How you say that? what you doing??” “Don’t worry we’ll get him later“
I did point out to them that I am currently Single, and if they go and pick on a single bloke to make the ladies toast, then they have to expect to live with whatever damage he decides to cause.
Just a short quick post to leave “Future Me” a note he can look back on, print out, glue to a pair of boots and kick himself in the arse if he has not improved.
You see this evening I have LOI (“Lodge of Instruction” for those of you curious) and was given the role of the Master for the evening, which is a very very big piece to learn. I cut&pasted all the words to a document which ended up a half dozen pages long. Now in my defence I was only told of my role this evening less than two weeks ago, and had a lot to learn for my normal Lodge night which was last Thursday. So at best I’ve had a couple of days to start learning the words.
And yet, when do I start learning? The day of the meeting, and now have to try and cram pages of words into my short term memory to try and make it through the night without looking too useless.
So “Future Me” I ask you to not still be this last minute guy, and to do proper preparation or else I may just build a time machine, turn up at your door and punch you in the dick (Punishment inspired by @wilw)
In November I enter the Chair of KS, and as the shadow of that chair starts to fall on me, I am beginning to feel the nerves awaken. My original plan was to enjoy my year as SW and ignore the chair until half way through the year, and then start to worry. Alas this plan has gone the way of so many plans over time.
The Shadow first made its presence felt last December at our Christmas Social. Half way through the meal, our ADC who was sat opposite me started asking how I was doing looking at the bits to learn for Installation (And we had only just had the last Installation at our last meeting). I informed him that the event was not till next year so I had made no start yet. The Shadow slipped out of site for the rest of the meal, only to return at the end and grab me by the arm in the guise of the Treasurer. “I’m just going to pay the bill and was wondering. Do you want me to provisionally re-book the place for next year?”
On Saturday we had a rehearsal for our next meeting. As we were all greeting each other and wishing “Happy New Year” and catching up, the Shadow tapped me on the shoulder and took me to one side. “Happy New Year, so have you considered who you would like as Organist & Singer for Nov? you need to book them early” *MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* and my answer of “It’s not till next year” is now invalid.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to my year in the Chair. It’s just that I am feeling the nerves of the responsibility (I’m a naturally shy person). And I will do the required planning/learning but I’d just wish the Shadow would let me at least have a few nights as SW before i have to worry.
Last night was LOI. And it was a good evening, well OK. It was a good evening apart from a case of “Too many cooks spoil the broth!” which I may talk about in a different post. Someone remind me about it.
Just before the end of the evening (We were doing a 1st) during the bit where the W.M. gives the Candidate the normal documents, one of the P.M.’s who is a Mentor at one of the Lodges who make up the LOI stands up to inform us of recent changes, that require “NEW & IMPROVED” words to be added there. He opens his magical book that no one else has to show the words, and suggests that everyone write them down for further use.
So at the close of the evening there were roughly thirteen people trying to make a note of a couple of pages of writing. The only problem was, no one was prepared. So between them they were able to find a semi-functioning pen, and a small piece of torn paper they found under a bench (Approx. one inch square). In other words they were stuck.
At this point I wonder over to where they are gathered, unlock my iPhone, load the PDFscanner app and quickly scan the two pages of text. Convert them into a PDF document, and email it to several people who’s email addresses I have on me.
You know. Sometimes Technology just Rocks!
The Masonic Season starts again this month, And last night I was dutifully at Rehearsals. Well it was needed as everyone moved up a rung on the ladder at the last meeting, and this is the first ceremony we will do in our new positions.
So We all start turning up at the Lodge at 7pm, greet each other and start chatting in little groups while we are waiting.
The groups slowly move about as people move to greet and chat with others, catching up with people not seen since the end of last years season.
At this point I’m chatting to the Candidate, who has turned up for the start of rehearsal before leaving when we do the bits he can’t yet see. At some point he asks me how long the rehearsal will go on for, as he has to go back to work afterwards. I point out that he can only stay for the start and then he gets to go. So it wont be long after we start.
So we’re discussing the age old discussion Linux/Windows/Mac. When he asks what time do we start. I point out we’re just waiting on people then we’ll start. It was only when he asked me who we were waiting for that I realised we were all actually there. It was just no one had noticed, or suggested we start.