Hey chamber pros, not to date anyone, but do you remember the comedy act and album (yes, I’m dating myself) by Jeff Foxworthy? In the 90s he had people in stitches when he simply stated, “you might be a redneck if…” and then filled in the blank with all sorts of hysterical suggestions like “you regard Milk Duds as a dairy product.”
He had a gem in that line and it was parodied by so many people and groups. The thing that makes comedy routines so popular is that people can identify with what the comedian is saying. When cameras pan out to an audience during a successful comedy performance you will often see people clapping, nodding their heads, and nudging those they came with as if to say “you do that.”
A Little Fun for the Chamber Pro
In the spirit of the comedy greats, we have compiled a similar list for the chamber professional culled from the chamber professionals group on Facebook and altered slightly to protect the innocent.
For each of these scenarios that ring true for you give yourself a point. At the end, you can tally them all up and figure out just how much of a chamber professional you are!
Are you ready?
You might be a chamber professional if…
- Your board members have approached you asking for stipends for chamber work.
- You field questions on the phone from people who want to know what business was located on the corner of First and Main Street in 1951 and do you have their phone number.
- You have a box of window clings in your car at all times.
- Your spouse has started referring to you as the “chamber lady” or the “chamber guy.”
- You’ve ever been confused for the Better Business Bureau.
- You’ve ever heard a complaint that began with “ you people…”
- You’ve debated the merits of annual or anniversary invoicing for weeks.
- You’ve ever used scissors the size of Montana to cut a ribbon… or other interesting “ribbon cutting” substitutes.
- You’ve ever argued with someone over who has owned a festival or Christmas parade.
- You sneer at any non Chamber pro who even remotely suggests the possibility of work-life balance.
- You’ve spent hours thinking up clever puns to attach to treats you’re delivering to members.
- You have planned a trip to an extraordinary country with an amazing itinerary and prayed that someone would want to come with you.
- You’ve wished for an “Amnesty Day” where you could tell everyone exactly what you thought of them without repercussions on membership.
- You watched the movie Groundhog Day and thought about all the ways you could use such a situation in your own life.
- You’ve taken a picture of yourself in front of the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street in Disney World or you go on vacation and visit other chambers.
- You wished you could leave an honest review for a business in your town where you got horrible service.
- You wanted to participate in career day at a local school but figured that when they asked you what you did and you said “everything” that the rest of the 15 minutes allotted would be hard to fill.
- You go out to eat and hope that you can make it through one meal without getting interrupted with a question from your professional life.
- You’ve had someone sternly tell you that “you government people are all the same” even though you’ve never worked for the government.
- You have asked someone to give you several thousand dollars to grow their business … or spend a day golfing.
- You have celebrated National Cookie Day, Margarita Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Small Business Saturday, May the Fourth Be With You/Star Wars Day, and Pi Day with the same excitement of a child’s birthday.
- You have spent more hours than you want to admit trying to think of a clever name for your chamber’s business after hours event.
- You have had to explain ad nauseam why social media is important and at the same time tried to convince a member business not to have just a Facebook page.
- You’ve taken a selfie in costume when it wasn’t even Halloween.
- You’ve comforted someone who just lost everything.
- You’ve taught people how to professionally network only to hear them spend the entire time talking about themselves.
- You know of at least one topic that cannot be brought up to certain members without starting a fight and sometimes you choose to do it anyway.
- You know exactly where the nearest “anything” is no matter where you are in town.
- You have listened to at least one conversation this week that started with “when I was…”
- You understand that the term “shop small” doesn’t only refer to an obsession for buying miniatures.
- You have dreamed about what you could do with a larger budget and none of it involved buying yachts or second homes but rather social media ads and hiring an assistant.
- You know what BAH stands for and that it isn’t just a prelude to the word “humbug.”
- You know the value behind putting a volunteer between you and the problem.
- You are always amazed by the complaints you hear about free food.
- You smile politely when someone tells you they didn’t get value from chamber membership and yet they didn’t participate in any benefit that you offer.
- You started bringing your pet to work and you are now seriously considering giving them a column in your newsletter.
- You have nightmares about being asked the same question over and over again like, “do you have a nonprofit rate for members?”.
- You have created and played enough ice breaker games to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records if only you knew how to apply. And then you’ve thought there’s probably another chamber professional who can direct you on the application process. You should call their office.
- You have lost sleep over trying to decide if you want to implement a dues increase of less than 5%.
- You thought about bringing your children to work on a parent shadowing day but you’re afraid they’ll have nightmares afterward.
- You made at least one typo you never thought you’d live down and still can’t figure out why autocorrect didn’t catch it.
- You have gotten really excited about a chamber video you made.
- You’ve asked people to show you their “something” on social media.
- You have considered your next career could be on a soap opera–if they still had those–because you are an expert handling the drama.
- You know more about parliamentary procedure and bylaws than anyone ever should.
- You get really excited when people like your coffee but even more excited when people tell others about it.
- You field presidential election questions with the skill of someone who works for the Board of Elections.
- Every time you meet a new person you complete a mental checklist on whether they meet your ideal member profile.
- You view your life in Instagrammable moments.
- You have chosen long hours, no personal life, and constant interruptions over a CEO salary and you love every minute of it… most of them anyway.
While every chamber is different, we all share in the same unique kind of “fun.” If we can’t laugh with each other, we can always eat copious amounts of chocolate.