June 5, 2008

Ever have the rug pulled out from under you and while sitting on your butt nursing your wounds wonder how you could be so unprepared for the fall and, of course, that sudden jarring stop?  That is how I am feeling this week. 

I was a member of an organization that I loved, supported and openly promoted.  The founder of the organization was concerned that members were not appreciating the time and energy that went into creating the platform.  Both privately and publicly I encouraged her to make it a paid service.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect her to make the fees impossible for the majority of those in the membership, including myself, to afford.  She offered a scholarship for a select few.  I applied and I (perhaps arrogantly) thought I was a shoe-in.  She knew my client base was not up where it needed to be yet and unlike many others; I did not have a second job or a spouse’s income to fall back on.

The June 1 deadline came and went without a peep from her regarding my request.  I know it is her policy to inform if you have been included and not say anything if you have not.  I tried to log on, but was thwarted with the page that requested I cough up my dues.  So since I had not heard anything and no longer had access, I removed all information stating I was a member of the organization.  I later found out that she granted scholarships to anyone who applied and a couple members wrote and asked where I was.  I wrote the founder to ask if she had received my original request.  A couple of days have come and gone with no reply.

I felt and still feel so heavy hearted.  For the last year this wonderful group of mostly women has been the backbone and support of my fledgling business.  Many of the individuals have become friends and I still have contact with and enjoy continued conversations and support.  But it’s just not the same.  And I’m having a difficult time putting into words exactly WHAT the loss is. 

Why is a forum, a social network such an important part of my life?  I would usually check in twice a day to see what was going on and create a post, comment on another or share something humorous.  I guess it is that sense of community with like-minded individuals with a common goal – in this case, all Virtual Assistants.

It seems that a lot of people, like vultures, are swooping down courting members of this organization for their own personal gain.  That feels icky.  But I must admit, I would welcome a free place to meet with like minded VAs.



  1. I understand how you feel. If you contacted her, the email must not have gone through, for some reason. I would encourage you to try emailing her again and explain what happened. I know you already did this, but do it again. The group is obviously important to you.

  2. Kathy, she has been contacted. Both by me and by a member of the organization in pm. With no response to either one. I wish her and the organization only the best. It’s time for me to move on.

  3. UPDATE: The founder of the organization mentioned in this article called me and we had a long discussion about the value I placed on this forum. She had been concerned that my friendship with a disgruntled former member would color my view of things. I assured her that while I deeply respected my friend and understood how she felt – her feelings were her own. Having said that, I am once again a member of this wonderful organization.

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