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A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art

A few years prior to the U. S. Bicentennial I became involved with a group of Revolutionary War Reenactors. If you need a mental picture, think of those 'crazy' people who row George Washington across the Delaware River every Christmas eve. Those people, while very dedicated, are a losely knit group who only gather for that one event each year. While my group was together nearly every weekend of the year at some battle reenactment, a parade, a historical monument dedication, or manning an old fort for the public education. The core of our group was about 12-15 people who became very close friends.
In time I was elected secretary and editor of the group's newletter. As the Bicentennial approached we decided to launch a recruiting campaign. As secretary I was the guy who had access to all the information that new people would need and took it upon myself to show them "the ropes" for their first few times out.
After a year I was again elected as secretary. I was happy to accept and was very proud of our group as our numbers had, slightly, more than doubled.
After a few months I was hearing comments, all from the new people, that I was "overworked" and "under appreciated". This finally got to the ears of our group president who, surprisingly to me, got suspicious that I was indeed overworked. Despite my protests I was "unelected" as secretary. Well, okay... it was a lot of work after all. I loved it but "maybe", I thought, "I could use a little break. But I'm hanging on to that newsletter editor's job".
About 6 or 8 months later I hear rumblings about my editorial bias, again, all from the people I helped get started. How, they said, I have too much input in the group workings. Say what? When I only print articles and calendar events that are submitted to me? Okay, I had a little column "200 years ago this month" which were historically verifiable events... how is that editorial bias?
A lie, when repeated often, begins to sound like the truth. Some of the people who I was so close to for years began to shy away from me a little. Was I hurt? Yeah, you bet. I began to miss events and shortly resigned as editor. One day I just stopped going altogether and never went back.
If there can be a "bright spot" it's that most of my old friends were eventually muscled out of the group in some similar fashion... all by the new recruits.
Now I'm not saying that "new blood" is not important to a group... as long as that blood finds its way into a group by it's own accord. Basically, I mean, THEY need to do the leg work to find their way in. I feel an invitation (which a recruitment essentially is) implies a certain amount of need and insufficiency of the current group.
I, therfore, respectfully decline to become a recruiter for iantiqueonline in the mid-Atlantic states.

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Comment by Les Beyer on June 11, 2009 at 10:00am
Thank you both for your comments.
Vintage Villa, be careful with invitations like that... I could easily breeze through your doorway one day. I'm only 60 miles from Philly, in the Lehigh Valley.
I certainly don't mean to discourage anyone else from recruiting. I've just got a bad taste in my mouth from a past experience. When I saw a post last week looking for recruiters in the mid-Atlantic states (where I am) it, kind of, just set me off. I regret now that I didn't respond directly to that post.
Some days I should just sit on my hands. lol
Thanks again.
Comment by Marie at A Vintage Revolution on June 10, 2009 at 1:10pm
Too bad, you are so good at what you do and I thoroughly appreciate your help. I reside in S. Florida and am not a recruiter but I have put fliers in my booth and hopefully people will sign up from this area. Thank you for all your input.
Marie
Comment by Vintage Villa Antiques Shoppe on June 9, 2009 at 12:54am
You show like a guy with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Les, if you are ever in the Phila., PA. area on a weekend, feel free to visit my shoppe. I would enjoy chatting with you. Thanks, Jantra

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