November - December 2002
Vol. 13, No. 6 | Contents

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FROM THE EDITOR: I forgot my Mantra ... 
by Linda Mojer

It could be that Iím over-reacting a bit, but it seems as though all the small talk in and around the office has gone a bit like this lately ó

In a slightly offhand way, Jim offers (to just about anyone who will listen) ďWell, the USRA does this-that-and-the-other, and we have a (insert scary figure) deficit in our budget ...Ē HISER! Is it absolutely necessary for you to share that much detail with every unsuspecting visitor to the office? I may be in some serious denial about lots of things (this is one of them) but ... really ... shouldnít we be just a tad more discreet? Geez! 

He adjusts the number, after reviewing budgets each day, and releases it like a stock market ticker ó publicly, and often. My virtual elbow shoots out, and misses. If weíre in a meeting, Iím aiming for his shin under the table (heís usually placed himself out of range). Heís unfazed. Iím mortified. But then, itís not my personal checkbook, so why should I care? I only work here. (Iíve been advised to adopt the phrase as my personal mantra ... I only work here ... I only work here ... ohhhmm)

In fairness, the good doctor is trying very hard (the hole does get smaller some days), and the board is re-shaping itself into one that is more responsive to the financial needs of the organization in its care. Gradually, itís becoming more of a relief to own up. Like any governing agency, the USRA has been accused of hiding things, but the simple fact is that itís just been ... well ... embarrassing. I only work here ... um, er, ohm ... 

Weíve tried awfully hard to make everything about racquetball look bright, shiny and bigger than life ... so when we look, hard, at the numbers, we have to admit that weíve been doing far too much, with far too little, for far too long. And now itís threatening to come back to haunt us. Cold, hard facts, to be sure, but what are we going to do? Stop? I really, truly, only work here ... 

Over the past year, some very special people have dipped into their very own bank accounts to purchase computer equipment Iíve needed to do the magazine, work events off-site and manage the websites that we offer to the membership and the public. Those computer crashes werenít ďbudgetedĒ but when the needs became urgent these generous donors stepped up to keep things running, and the member/reader never missed a beat. For that Iím extremely grateful. I work here ...

How can I repay them? Discreetly? Nah. Iím going to follow suit, put my money where my mouth is and join Randy Stafford in establishing the USRA Foundation. Oh, it may not be much to start, and it might just go toward covering my own paycheck ó but isnít that the theory behind paying your MasterCard with your Visa? In the long run, Iím hoping that it just might make it seem like Iím doing more than just working here ... Om ...


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