Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Thank God For Email ~ The Sign-In Table

It seems like every week I end up attending at least one civic meeting, everything from the Central Homeowners' Association monthly get together to a group of citizens organizing a protest of the electric company's proposed routing of new power lines. And there's always a sign-in table.

You write your name, phone number, and Email address. Notification by telephone of another meeting or an update on progress is a rarity these days. It's time consuming for the organization and a nuisance to everybody. It's so much easier for them to just type out one email with dozens of addresses and push SEND.

The downside is that the very ease of the process encourages sending a lot of stuff that's unimportant, but you still have to check every Email just to make sure. After awhile it all just seems to blend together in your mind. They're always held at one of two nearby community centers painted with the same light green paint, pretty much the same people always attend, and the same small group of women (why always women?) "man" the sign-in table. In this photo I'm about to pick up the pen resting on the pad of paper on the right end of the table, sign in, and make a bit of small talk with the ladies. The older ones usually gush on about my thick curly head of hair (their husbands are bald) and they all ask about my new granddaughter. My camera and I are such fixtures here in North Miami that nobody pays any attention at all when I click off a few shots. Looking at this photo I don't have a clue in hell as to which organization this was, or even why they called a meeting.

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