Monday, July 28, 2014
How To Ruin A Rural Farmers' Market in Five Easy Steps
1. Disagree with your Vice President, Market Manager and Board Members on everything. Accuse them of ganging up on you. Complain that local printers, local artists and local newspaper advertising is too expensive and avoid making any decisions (for years). Postpone everything until 'the next meeting.' Important: be very clear that your local products are "worth it," and that if more local folks would buy it, you wouldn't have such a hard time making ends meet. And you certainly wouldn't have to get a winter-time job.
2. Assume that "someone else" will take care of the responsibilities of the market; legally, logistically, physically and so on. Act surprised that things aren't going well. Implement rules and regulations that everyone must follow, but make exceptions on your own without notifying everyone else involved. Don't forget to make statements like, "well, we don't really have it in the budget...." when there is over $10,000 in the bank.....makes complete sense, yes?
3. Talk behind everyone's back. Ask personal questions of others in the group, that are none of your business, about the status of their mortgage (or lack-thereof), and whether or not they need to make money because they do or do not have a car payment, as well as make assumptions about every other part of their lives. Gossip as much as possible, it's what makes your world go 'round, after all. And most certainly, gossip with very close friends of the folks you hate the most - it makes everyone extremely comfortable and maintains the "team" spirit.
4. Treat the market manager like $h!t. Pretend that individual does not know what they are doing and take them for granted (for years). Pile as much work on them as possible and make them feel bad when you don't make enough money that week. Never offer to help put up signs, make phone calls, organize entertainment or hand out flyers. Do not respond to weekly emails so said manager can put a newsletter out showcasing what the market will have available. And certainly do NOT answer an email that requests a meeting LONG before the market season begins. Make executive decisions that you feel will benefit you personally, without exploring and researching all of the effects of your decision making process and at the VERY LEAST, make it a LAST MINUTE decision that causes havoc and wreaks chaos among all members of the farmers' market FOR OPENING DAY. And, by all means, call the market manager at home and scream into their ear that they made you look like a fool in front of your "professional colleague" because the manager made a decision to over-ride YOUR executive decision in order not to put the general public, vendors, or anyone else in physical danger. Be sure to hang up rudely after you bitch at their spouse, too.
5. Lastly, after the market manager resigns from their (volunteer, unpaid) position, go on as if nothing every happened, and NEVER, ever apologize for any mistakes you might have made. Ever. In fact, blame all of the problems you have on everyone else. Then, be sure to wonder how it all got done as the market is in the final stages of ruin. Look around for someone to blame.
Come on, "start a farmers' market, it'll be fun" they said.