Besides working full-time here at the Weirs Times as well as giving all I have to my campaign as gubernatorial candidate for the Flatlander Party, I still have to attend to my commitment as the chairman of F.A.T.S.O.
F.A.T.S.O stands for Flatlanders Adjusting To Solitary Oblivion, a winter support group I started many years ago to help new transplants to the area adjust to their first few winters here in New Hampshire.
Last year’s mild winter saw new membership stagnate and existing memberships lapse. Our bank accounts are in a bit of bad shape and our overall stability is shaky.
Yes, Mother Nature had a lot to do with it, but, I admit, so did I.
In my pursuit of that big chair and nice bathroom in the corner office of the state house, I have dropped the ball in running this important group.
It may not be on people’s radar now, but just one bad winter like we had two years ago and the phones will be ringing off the hook at F.A.T.S.O.
What if there is no one there to answer those calls? What if there is no one there to give guidance to those new transplants, fooled into their false sense of security after moving full-time to New Hampshire after spending so many summers here. Why is their favorite restaurant not open after Labor Day and why do all the rest close at 8pm? How do I actually get there from here? Does the thermometer outside actually read fifteen below?
F.A.T.S.O. has helped new Flatlanders with these questions and many more. We even have workshops and seminars to help them adjust. Winter driving, dump etiquette, roof raking 101. All very valuable services.
There really is no alternative to F.A.T.S.O. and to see it shrink into nothingness would be a disaster.
That is why I have decided to continue on as a board member of F.A.T.S.O but to give up my head management position. In fact, at the last board meeting we decided that we would hire someone from the outside to take over as director.
We still have enough money in the bank to cover a year of salary as the hope is that a director can stimulate new memberships as well as reassure existing ones and, in turn, help fill the coffers with much needed cash to continue operations (as well as the occasional office luncheon).
We will be looking for a qualified candidate. (Of course we will consider those totally unqualified if there are no other options.) The ideal candidate should be a Flatlander themselves as we believe that a native would not have enough empathy for the struggle so many face and may not truly understand when a new transplant calls in asking, for example, where they can buy some real New York style potato salad.
The candidate should also have been living here in New Hampshire for at least five years and has come to realize that, yes, the winter is a whole different animal when it comes to living here year round. A former F.A.T.S.O member and graduate would be ideal (but once again not mandatory if you are willing to work cheap.)
We will be accepting applications over the next few months, hoping to get a new director in place in time for the upcoming winter season, which we hope will be cold as heck and snowy and very inconvenient for everyone as that is the only way we can fill up the bank account.
Deadlines for applications will be Friday, August 12th (or later if it takes that longer than that) and interviews will be held at a local restaurant to be determined provided it hasn’t yet closed for the season.
If you think you have what it takes to run an established and renowned group like F.A.T.S.O and can get by on a little bit over minimum wage (did I mention the F.A.T.S.O. office provides unlimited coffee and a Keurig machine?) then you may be just the person we are looking for.
Last week some of my private campaign journal was published here and I was not very happy about it. It wasn’t long until I realized, after many phone calls and emails commending me on my openness in those pages, that this honest and straightforwardness is just what the people want.
So, in a show of good faith, I will be making my campaign journal available to all. Just log onto my website www.BrendanTSmith.com, click on journal and take this long and arduous journey to the governor’s chair with me. (Of course, the bathroom is magnificent as well…or so I’ve heard.)