Director of Strategic Failure

Society for Lax Administrative Processes (SLAP) — a nonprofit organization based somewhere — seeks to immediately and with reckless abandon hire its inaugural Director of Strategic Failure. SLAP has been in existence for some-odd years, and following input from several overpaid consultants and absentee board volunteers, has decided this new position will be vital to the success of its current and future deficiencies.


Awkward handshake, awkward hire.

With the understanding this role will be led primarily from a perspective of “other duties assigned,” the Director’s essential responsibilities will be to:

  • Schedule meetings ad infinitum, all of which could instead be updates sent via e-mail
  • Wander the entire office suite at least once daily, muttering “Everything all good, here?”
  • Brainstorm new, innovative strategic initiatives with the executive director, ensuring each are ambiguously conveyed to the programming and fundraising staff
  • Telecommute every Friday, making sure the staff know you are unable to access any files outside the office because you “just don’t understand that whole VPN thing”
  • Copy-edit all marketing and communications materials using AP style for odd-number pages (1, 3, 5, etc.), MLA for even-number pages (2, 4, 6, etc.) and Chicago style for every tenth page
  • No less than three times each month, change the login passwords for organization’s donor CRM, e-newsletter platform and other administrative subscriptions, keeping the new passwords on a hand-written sheet of paper locked in a drawer in your home

SLAP prefers candidates with 25+ years experience in any field whatsoever, though please don’t be dissuaded from submitting an overzealous application because you have a master’s degree in nonprofit management and did a six-month internship that one time.

To apply, please mail 17 copies (single-sided on yellow cardstock) of cover letter, résumé, list of three references, headshot (or image from your childhood), memory of your favorite meal and writing sample to: Bea Arthur Fanclub, c/o Harris Productions, 11901 Santa Monica Blvd., #596, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

Interviews will begin immediately, though an offer will be tendered to a mediocre candidate after a significant waiting period of roughly two-to-three months. No phone calls, please, though since many of you will not even bother reading this , you may call 877–547–7272, which is the company headquarters of Papa John’s Pizza.

SLAP is committed to diversity, inclusion, equity, equality, Coldplay, the DQ Blizzard®, flannel shirts, antidisestablishmentarianism and pogs.


Treat Yo’ Self

Note: This isn’t necessarily a nonprofit-centric post, though after nearly two decades of experience, I see this issue more in our sector than others. Please also don’t accept any of this as medical advice; there were no health courses as part of my nonprofit management degree.

Friends, Romans, countrymen (and women and others)… lend me your ears. Stop. Coming. To work. Sick. Say it with me now. STOP COMING TO WORK SICK. I don’t know what it is about our field — maybe it’s a misinterpreted sense of purpose, or the feeling that appearing in the office showcases a stronger dedication to the mission. Whatever the reason, all y’all need to walk your sneezy, coughing, runny-nose selves back to your cars and go home.


We are in the throes of cold and flu season, and all it takes is one of you to bring your acute viral rhinopharyngitis to the office before all 20 of us are down for the count. I’ve worked places where a simple cold made the rounds for three months (one quarter-year!) because everyone felt they needed to send e-mails from their cubicle instead of the comfort of their own homes.

To be fair, this isn’t solely on the shoulders of employees. If you’re traipsing around the office with a box of tissues and a blanket, it’s up to the powers-that-be to assess and request you go home, if appropriate — lest anyone take advantage of what should be an honorable system. That said, there are helpful things to know, which I for one found eye-opening.

  • First, it’s not allergies. Susan, you have the full-on plague, and your nose has been leaking for days. Why are you in the office claiming it’s just tree pollen? Please Purell everything you’ve touched, and go lay down in your domicile.
  • Yes, you are still contagious. A simple Google search notes the common cold is contagious one day prior to symptoms, and up to seven days after. Keep this in mind when being near people, hugging people, shaking hands, sharing food, etc.
  • Give yourself some space. I can’t imagine why, though if for some reason it is absolutely necessary for you to be in the office around other human beings, studies have shown, “a person with the flu can infect others from as far as six feet away.” Share an open office with other people? Keep that in mind when Chad sneezes in the cubicle right next to you.
  • Zoe’s Chicken Soup. My own personal opinion here, but for some reason, Zoe’s chicken soup has some crazy non-medicinal healing powers, and it’s delicious… if you happen to live in one of the 17 states where they have stores.

None of this is rocket science, right? And if it is, I’m glad to have played a small part in your continuing education. Nonprofiteers, let this haiku help you in times of germophobic worry:

Feeling sick today?
Stay sneezing and coughing in
your own darn bedroom.