Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Unexpected Success

Sometimes things just work out, despite an entire deck being stacked against them...

To my happiness, that happened today for me and my chapter of PTK.  For weeks now, my officers and I have been working very hard to create and prepare presentations for a workshop on computer literacy.  Our goal was to mainly promote the workshop to seniors within the community, and a tremendous amount of work and planning went into our project. Today everyone was as ready as possible, but there was one problem...for the second time, our publicity campaign had been last minute, and there had been only two days between the time we commenced the publicity campaign, and the workshop date. 

The first time we had set a date for the workshop, we had found out one day and a weekend in advance, that the marketing campaign had not commenced.  So we hoped for the best, prepared, and simply held a practice and critiquing run-through when no one at all attended.  This time, we had one more week to prepare and publicize. But everyone was busy, and campaigning was just another thing that had to be done.  So...

With only two days left, three of my officers and I went campaigning on Tuesday, working to place posters, get the word out, and have the workshop announced at local senior centers.  At the nearest center, we were told that it would be announced, but that the Thanksgiving dinner for the center would be held at the exact same time. After conferring, our expectations were not high.  We decided that while some people, a very few, might come, but it was most likely we would have no attendees and simply be to reflect on our failure--again.

That was not the only difficulty; about  a half hour previous to the start time, myself, two officers, and our advisor reached the classroom where our workshop was to have been held, only to discover that there had been a scheduling error, and a class was due to be held in that room.  Our advisor managed to obtain another room, but our hopes were still not too high.  However, we prepared anyway, the first group, mine, in place, and we waited while a few members and officers continued to arrive. 

At five minutes before the time, our first person arrived!  He was an older gentleman, holding a flier for our workshop and a notebook.  He was smiling.  Within the next few minutes, a second person arrived.  Several of us stepped out to conferr--and direct any more possible attendees to the correct room, in case they followed the fliers incorrectly.  Right about the time to start, two more people walked in.  Then another couple, only slightly late!  All together, we ended up having six!  And two of those had heard the announcement at the local senior center, and decided to forego Thanksgiving dinner with friends to attend.  We could hardly believe it. 

As things turned out, it was the perfect number.  We had just enough officers and members there to help each person, and each one had something different they wanted to learn.  We did give our presentations, but we also were able to make sure that everyone walked away with most of their questions answered.  One lady wanted to know about maps, since she was planning a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, my homestate.  Another wanted to learn about email forwarding, and a married couple wanted to know about videos on YouTube and security issues on Facebook. 

All in all, it was a big blessing to have so many people attend with so little advance publicity. And I think if there had been any more attendees, it may have been difficult to provide the same individual attention.  I believe it all  really worked out for the best, even if it was not exactly what we intially had envisioned.  At the end, several officers expressed the same happiness with the workshop that I felt, and it was suggested that we do it again.  I do not know that we will, but I think everyone did an excellent job, had fun, and was able to walk away with a sense of accomplishment.  Though small in numbers, it was a success in every sense of the word. 

As a team, I think we learned a good deal from this project.  I think we all have more confidence now, and have learned to pull and work together as a whole when things come down to the wire.  I thank God that everything turned out as well as it did.  It was His blessing that enabled everything to work out, even with our mistakes and setbacks.  If this time things had not worked out, there would have been not much time to hold a second workshop. So I am really happy that our dire predictions were not even close to the truth, and as President, I feel pride for my teams, my officers, and my local chapter. I think today we did something good.

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