Friday, 18 November 2011

The world is full of Charlieocracies

Every now and then, Neddie Seagoon is referred to (usually by Grytpype-Thynne) as a Charlie. It's a word that teems with hidden meaning... well, not so hidden really, except that Seagoon doesn't figure out what it means. For the benefit of readers without a higher education in BBC Radio Comedy, a Charlie is a chump, a patsy, someone who can have tasks foisted upon him. (It should be noted that the term is not gender-specific; there are female Charlies too.)

In this world, we have many types of government represented. At the political level, someone can be given power through a mandate from the masses, or heredity, or even a farcical aquatic ceremony (though that one is getting rather rare these days). Heads of corporations are appointed by boards of directors or shareholders' meetings. And heads of non-profit organizations are elected at Annual General Meetings of their members.

Or are they? What happens when there's one candidate for President, one for Vice Pres, one for Secretary, and only as many (or not as many) as vacancies for other members? That's when you have a Charlieocracy. Instead of people being elected to positions, the positions are filled by whichever Charlies are willing to do the work. This is (usually) a compliment to the aforementioned Charlies, in that it means they're willing to do the work, but sometimes it can result in the wrong person in a position simply because nobody else stepped forward.

More and more non-profits are turning Charlieocratic. The good thing about that is that if you don't like the way something's being run, all you have to do is offer yourself - most Charlieocrats would be quite happy to take a break from the work to let someone else in for a bit! Plus, it's one of the best ways to become respected, and definitely the best way to get the inside information on what happens - do the work.

Find a community organization and join the worldwide Charlie Army today!

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