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Sunday, January 21, 2018

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Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…
Robert C. Harris, CAE

January, 2006

28 Phrases You Wouldn’t Want to Hear in the Association Office
  • Sorry, we ran out of membership applications weeks ago.
  • But I thought the insurance agent automatically renewed our policies.
  • Excuse me, you want what --- its called a 990?
  • I left the computer back-up tapes for the week on my desk – why, what happened?
  • Sorry - I don’t know and the staff is at convention, can you call back next week?
  • How did I know the article I “borrowed” was copyrighted?
  • I thought I’d try to fit as much information as possible into the Board minutes so it will all be in one place.
  • If we do the financial every third month and perform an audit every third year, we’ll save $1,000s. (Or maybe the elected treasurer could do a casual-audit at the office!)
  • We don’t really have time for a board orientation at this meeting, maybe next time.
  • Ah, we tried that once and it didn’t work.
  • You should serve on the board, there’s nothing really to the job and you’ll be reimbursed for travel to various meeting sites at nice facilities!
  • I thought the typesetter was paid to proof it.
  • What convention cancellation insurance?
  • I didn’t know I had to collect sales tax!
  • Has anyone seen last year’s taped recordings of our Board meetings – I can’t seem find them and I like having the back-ups.
  • No I didn’t call the 800 number in the convention brochure before I OK’d the printing.
  • I just didn't think we had to proof the T-shirts for spelling, too.
  • I never realized I left out the hotel's phone number in the registration brochures. I wonder who answers the phone and the wrong number – maybe they can tell our members the right number?
  • I know I took the call, but I thought you would follow up on the member’s request.
  • It’s not my job.
  • I don't work for the membership department.
  • It is not our job to do that for you.
  • So what if they don't renew their membership?
  • Can you call us back; that person isn't in right now?
  • Who’s on the phone? I don't have time for members calls – transfer them to voice mail.
  • Who cares if she is a Board member?
  • That's how we have always done it here.
  • Have you tried finding it on the Internet – it’s always a good source of information when the association office strikes out?
  • We can’t be held accountable because we are depending on volunteers!
Bob Harris, CAE, is chairman of an association management company. He promotes efficiency and staff training through his online 3-hour staff-training course “Association Management 101©” and his seminar, Association Self-Auditing Process®. These tools and other references are available at Phone 850/570-6000. E-mail He is founder of the Association Self Auditing Process® used by nearly 3,000 nonprofit organizations.


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