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 Post subject: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2445
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Looks like there will be no Fair Train this year at the Indiana Transportation Museum ("ITM"), as its current leadership continues to lead a North Korea-style party purge:

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/call-6-investigators/will-the-indiana-state-fair-train-run-this-year

It should be noted that the story switches from calling "volunteers" to "employees."

In particular, ITM President Jeff Kehler justified the "firing" of the volunteers on the basis of:
Quote:
"We did have numerous conversations with them to bring them around to the idea that we are a growing business,"


I don't know of a single museum who "fires" volunteers because they might disagree on a particular or series of policies enacted by the Board of Directors. How do you keep your remaining volunteer force interested when you are purging the infadels? It just seems like a recipe for disaster and probably another chapter in a book on how NOT to run a non-profit railway museum.

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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1906
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
wilkinsd wrote:
I don't know of a single museum who "fires" volunteers because they might disagree on a particular or series of policies enacted by the Board of Directors.
It happens a lot more than I think you think it does...

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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
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Location: Wall, NJ
> It happens a lot more than I think you think it does...

It certainly does. Either driven off or brought up on bogus charges. Its common and in general only hurts the organization in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5262
Location: southeastern USA
Proponents of "a growing business" failed to do the minimal required inspections and financial record management? Seriously? This does not seem reasonable based on what I'm reading here............ you don't grow a business by not adhering to the most basic standards of practice and documentation. It would be interesting to know what is really going on here, if for no other reason that to help others avoid that situation. I have the same kinds of problems caused by people who don't want to build a growing business but leave things as a social club that runs trains one day every month and hopes people show up by accident. Fortunately some motivated individuals have started to successfully work around those roadblocks, but without causing a schism in the process.

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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:54 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8403
Location: Baltimore, MD
wilkinsd wrote:
I don't know of a single museum who "fires" volunteers because they might disagree on a particular or series of policies enacted by the Board of Directors. How do you keep your remaining volunteer force interested when you are purging the infidels? It just seems like a recipe for disaster and probably another chapter in a book on how NOT to run a non-profit railway museum.

Trust us, it happens. Not always this publicly, but it does.

There's always a fine line between someone who is dismissed/driven away because he's pointing out that the restoration crew is incompetent and taking dangerous short cuts, or that there are financial irregularities going on, versus the guy who is forcefully "retired" because his motor/mental skills have deteriorated to the point where he can no longer safely run/staff a train, he's been spotted too many times in compromising situations with children, steers every imaginable conversation to "Obama's a Muslim/chemtrails are killing us/Monsanto is evil/Jesus is your savior/etc.", or the like. I've had to put up with a "walking encyclopedia" who also wastes everyone else's time with long, rambling reminisces (rail-related or no) while they're trying to get things done. He's still useful when we have to pick his brain--at least for now.

There's also the delicate matter of trying to address the young, enthusiastic souls who perpetually insist on trying to restore ol' No. 97 and put her on the main line, and telling them it is not going to happen, is a waste of resources, that CSX won't let them, etc. Sometimes the officers deemed "obstinate, bullheaded control freaks" are really just hardened, jaded, cynical realists.

I've mentioned a museum/operation which has a "commandment" posted in its staff/crew area: "Thou Shalt NOT Talk Disparagingly Of Other Rail Museums/Rides While Where the Public Can Hear!" I know that this place has carried it to the point where, even if a blatant mistake occurs on their own site like a hard coupling that damages a car, it's discussed in a polite "mistakes were made" tone.

And, as one museum/non-profit reportedly found out the hard way, it only takes one bully, bigot, or blowhard to drive away the guy who perfectly dovetails with your mission statement, and instead leaves his entire estate to a "competing" museum. And I wouldn't be surprised if that has happened more times than the one instance I know for certain.


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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:41 pm 
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Posts: 148
Location: Orrville, OH
Well said. I've seen it happen first hand but thankfully to a less public extent. My personal mantra: Always remain friendly but professional, keep squabbles private, don't feed the rumor mill, treat your volunteers like gold and never burn your bridges. Call it karma or whatever but what goes around comes around and when it revisits you again, it likely ain't gonna be all that pleasant or productive.

Eric

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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:05 pm
Posts: 114
Other than the words written in red - there are two sides to each story and always shades of grey. Who knows what's really happening here - and from what side are they seeing it happen?

People are interesting and we are all operated by people.


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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:01 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 360
Not sure what is going on, but $120k will be missed for sure, if they couldn't afford track repairs before they sure won't be able to now:

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016 ... /87997068/


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 Post subject: Re: Indiana Transportation Museum in the News, Again
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
Posts: 185
This story hits so close to home it's not funny. As dad always said "the more animals in the barn the more manure you have to deal with."

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