annual assembly

The golf club I work at is owned by its members. Actually, the construction is more complicated than that, with four different organisations involved, but I’ll spare you the details, as they are not relevant here.

However, resulting from this construction is the obligation to hold annual assemblies for the club members (1.571 persons as of last Saturday) and the limited partners (849 persons or organisations as of the same date) – let’s call them shareholders for easier understanding.

This was quite a challenge this year, with all the legislative restricitions due to the Covid 19 pandemic. So both assemblies, usually due at the latest on June 30st of any given year, were delayed and held last Saturday. We had to rent the town-hall to ensure that seats could be spaced out in the required way. Everyone had to wear masks, every pen, used to sign participants in, disinfected and so on. All this on top of the usual preparation going into such a meeting. To complicate things further, each club member has one vote, each “shareholder” has one vote per € 100,- capital invested. So each has to have their individual card showing how much their “Yes” or “No” is worth. And as opposed to the vote in the golf club assembly, which can only be cast in person, the shareholders can delegate their vote to one out of a certain circle of persons (members of family, tax advisors, their attorneys or other shareholders or to members of the board). Guess, who is in charge of checking all this beforehand, making sure every card is showing the right amount of votes? Yep.

And then come those, who never registered to participate in the first place, but turn up, nevertheless (as opposed to and in neglect of our requirements spelled out in the invitation). And those, who never notified us in advance of any authorizations for votes from third parties (as opposed to and in neglect of our requirements spelled out in the invitation). Guess who is asked to handle all this on short notice at the entrance, too? Yep.

But hey, this is business as usual. Apart from the fact, that all this is not done at our own premises, where I have access to all our files within reach. But at a location with no WiFi or computers. So every information had to be there in print. As I am not able to remember 849 different exact amounts of investment, I am sorry to say. I am glad, I am still able to match all the faces behind their masks to their names. Of course, there were only about 70+ people showing up (which was about 45 – 50% less than the usual number of attendees at such events), but they held additional votes of roughly 60 more folks. So I was quite busy, to say the least.

But this all is not really, what I am upset about. It is this one person wasting everyones time. There is always one pundit, who brings a list of minor subjects into such a meeting, wanting to discuss them at lenght. Usually, this person has two or three fellow combatants organised, who support his or her case. And every year it is a topic, that is as relevant to the running of the facilities, as the dropping of a sack of rice is to China. And every year, the assembly gets all grumpy and itchy, because no one wants to sit there to listen to smug arguments of yet another roisterous prick (forgive my French). Until someone gets up to bring up arguments against whatever the topic is this time. And there we go…. time flies, so do arguments. Some folks get fed up and leave. Guess, who is left to correct all the numbers and votes still present at the time, whatever unimportant topic it was this year, gets to be voted on? Yep, exactly.

End of rant.