I’m still feeling sulky and underappreciated after lsat night’s Toastmasters meeting. My speech went well and people seemed to like it; that wasn’t the problem.

First, a little history. Our corporate language is English; being able to speak it is a reqiurement to work here, though the dimensions of that ability vary widely. A year or so ago, our former head of HR was tasked to come up with a way to improve people’s English. She decided to start a Toastmasters chapter at our company. I was enlisted to be one of the founding officers, because they wanted a native English speaker. I got landed with the job of Vice President of Education, which is not what it sounds like: that’s the person who sets up the agenda for each meeting (which means chasing people down and cajoling them into speaking or evaluating) and keeping track of who has performed what roles and reached what levels. It’s actually the biggest job in the club. As I’m sure you can tell I wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about this; that’s because I don’t think it’s fair to put make people do work training on their own time. And of course that means the meetings were also on my own time, and I’m not the one whose English needs to improve (though of course I suppose the practice in public speaking is always useful). And I do enjoy the English language, and like helping people learn it. Still, I can’t say I enjoyed working my ass off on all that scheduling and tracking.

Meanwhile, the person who founded the club never really did anything else except participate as a member, once it got up and running. She was the Sergeant at Arms, who is supposed to get the facilities ready and call the meeting to order, but she never did – she was usually late to meetings.

She left in December to go back to her home country. A couple of the members (whose jobs involve a lot of organizing) set up a nice farewell; they got her on stage to answer questions, smuggled in roses, and had each member come up and hand her one. It was nice.

Last night was my last meeting. (And yes, lots of people including the club president did know that.) I wasn’t expecting roses, but a “Thanks for all your hard work” would have been nice. The site VP / General Manager, who has been a big proponent of this, wandered in toward the end and I even wondered if maybe they’d roped him in to say something. …Nope. Nada.

I feel like I’m being a bit pissy about this – but on the other hand, I also know I damn well deserve some thanks for effort above-and-beyond.