And so I read ANN's recent piece on AX staffers resigning en bloc with some surprise, and quite a lot of dismay.
Once you've resigned, you've given up. That's it. This is not a negotiating tactic. This is not a feint in a campaign for limited objectives. It is a manoeuver in a battle of annihilation, and having committed to that route, you are essentially declaring that you would rather have no AX at all, than keep the current Board. And so, although you've made a statement, you've made it at the cost of any ability to change things for the better.
It's foolish, you know. You and the board will lose face, the convention will collapse for lack of experienced staff but it's the fans who'll miss it. They say it's always the innocents who suffer most in this kind of thing, and I really think it's true. AX has always had its problems, but its sheer size has meant that we see certain friends there, four days a year, and we'll always treasure those memories.
It would have been far better to stay on, to change policy within your department to the extent possible, and continue to try humane persuasion, without threats or grand, destructive gestures. That's the real lesson we take from history, and from our careers in software development: slow, progressive change leads to much greater successes than bloody revolution. Look it up yourself.
But hey, what's done is done. I'm sorry to see it happen, more for myself and my friends than anyone else, but there's no use crying over it. To those AX staffers who stayed on: Congratulations. To those who resigned: I think you made a mistake, but everyone makes mistakes. My condolences. To the Board: By all that you hold holy, figure out why this happened and make it stop, and don't settle for nebulous explanations that rely on shadowy puppeteers. Find the real, direct, and proximate causes that made it intolerable for some of your operations people, and either fix them, negotiate them away, or make a case to the public as to why things had to reach this point.
This is part of an ongoing series on the pre-AX 2010 trainwreck. Please read the others if you'd like.