September 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts September 1999 Current Issue
September 1999

Dear Answer Lady,
I work for a nonprofit organization that holds meetings throughout the country. The problem is, we deal with a lot of volunteers who stick their noses into the planning process and start negotiating on their own without the proper history or skills. Then, I have to step in and renegotiate from scratch, which makes extra work for me. What should I do?
Sick and Tired

Dear Sick and Tired,
There's nothing like an overenthusiastic know-nothing to make life interesting. The truth is, we all like to think we are able to play a valuable role in our jobs. Your goal should be to educate these people and make sure they know their help is important as long as it's done in ways that are useful to you. You might send out a memo outlining the basic meeting-planning process and what the roles of your organization and volunteers should be. Also, when a meeting is coming up, contact the volunteers involved and explain to them what they can do to help.
Yours in Planning,
The Answer Lady

Got a work-related problem that requires attention from an expert or a friendly, disinterested third party? The Answer Lady is both. Write to Answer Lady, Meetings & Conventions, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094, or send e-mail to

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