The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross


Attitude Rummage Sale


PREPARATION: Prepare a page for each member listing what attitudes could be for sale in your chapter. You may take ideas from this bulletin, or your Executive Board may prepare a list of attitudes it believes the chapter should get rid of.

PRESENTATION: Read the bulletin, explain and discuss the idea of an Attitude Rummage Sale so that all members understand. Pass out the prepared pages and allow a few minutes for members to cross out any points which do not apply in your chapter, or add any points she thinks important to the list. Collect the pages and list on the blackboard any points added to the basic page.

As a group, decide which attitude you will concentrate on selling first. It is easier to concentrate on one or two attitudes at a time.

Appoint a "cashier'' and have everyone come to the next meeting prepared to make your Attitude Rummage Sale a success!

HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL SALE: The difference between very successful, moderately successful and unsuccessful chapters is not that one has more membership privileges than another, nor that one is in a large city and one is a small town. The difference most frequently is in the attitude and habits of the members. Both good and bad attitudes and habits creep up on us gradually, so much so that we hardly recognize when they become fixed patterns. Other people are attracted by our good habits and attitudes. Out of kindness, they are reluctant to point out specifically when we may unconsciously be developing attitudes and habits that we ourselves don't want.

The following list describes attitudes that none of us want! Even the best chapters may have some of them. If any of these are developing in your chapter, put them on your list for the rummage sale. Your members may suggest other attitudes to throw on the rummage pile. The best and most impersonal way to select the rummage attitudes is to give each member a copy of this list. Ask her to check the items she thinks the chapter should get rid of first. Designate a rummage sale cashier for your chapter and give her the checked lists, which should not be signed.

At the end of each meeting, the rummage cashier will read the list you have chosen, and the chapter decides by voting whether you got rid of that attitude at that meeting. If the chapter has, you score one point. If the attitude has cropped up at that meeting, you lose one point.


A KNOCKER: The habit of saying about any plan or idea "it isn't interesting," "it can't be done," "`we've tried that before,'' "`no one will come'' -- it is saying the negative thing without suggesting a constructive change.

BRUSH: This is the attitude that "brushes off" visitors to the meeting by leaving it to other members to be hostesses. It's the attitude that doesn't take time to talk to every member, especially every guest, to tell her how glad you are to know her. (This attitude may be a symptom of shyness, and the modest or shy member will appreciate the opportunity to get rid of this attitude.)

SIEVE: This is the attitude that sits through a meeting or discussion without saying anything and without really listening. Then as soon as a motion is presented and the decision made, she wants to discuss the details.

FLATIRON: This attitude simply squashes any idea that comes along.

BULLDOZER: A bulldozer goes ahead with any idea like a steam roller, without stopping to ask the wishes of the chapter or remembering that the chapter, plans should be adopted and approved by vote.

GRAMOPHONE: It's the old-fashioned talking machine. It speaks its piece whether it has something important to say or not. It talks while the business meeting is being conducted ... while reports are being given. A gramophone goes on as soon as a committee report has been given, instead of waiting for the proper time for discussion, that is, under new business or old business.

SCRAPBOOK OF OLD COMMERCIALS: "Now the way we did it when I was ..." attitude. The most experienced members in the chapter or experienced transfers from another chapter, unfortunately will be prone to provide this item for sale. Their experience and ideas are valuable -- the chapter needs them -- but it is important to accept change and new ideas in order to keep out of a rut.

WET BLANKET: This is an attitude that is hard to get rid of. In one way, it is like the knocker -- finding something wrong with everything. The wet blanket doesn't always say much - just lets an expression of disinterest show, fails to participate in an activity or participates without enthusiasm.

HOLE IN THE DONUT: This attitude finds an imperfection in almost every plan. There is one in every plan, but it usually isn't important to the over-all effectiveness of the plan. It takes the fun out of things and wearies the excited, enthusiastic attitude that wants to go ahead.

PARTY-LINE ANTIQUE TELEPHONE: This item is for sale because a happy direct line calls members or guests between meetings to share friendships and news. The discussions after meetings by those who did not participate in the discussion at the meeting, or who disagree with the decision, can soon create friction and stifle progress. It is an excellent way to get facts misrepresented.

THE ROCKING CHAIR: Used too hard and too long, the chair squeaks and so does the board beneath it. There's a lot of motion in it, but it doesn't go anywhere. The rocking chair attitude doesn't want to try anything but is content with things as they are.

LAST YEAR'S CALENDAR: The "We've always done it that way" attitude doesn't want to try anything new. It's a little like the rocking chair. Last year's calendar will take action on some things but wants them to be the same old things that were done last year and the year before. It wants to maintain the status quo -- same activities, same members, same size chapter, same problems but no solutions.

"IFONLY": Do you have an "ifonly"? That's the attitude which says, "We could be the most exciting chapter in the world, 'if only' we had lots of money," or 'if only' our town were bigger or smaller or 'if only' we could pledge this person or that person or 'if only' we could get publicity, or 'if only' we had more talent in the chapter. The 'if only' things are endless. This attitude makes it possible to get out of coming to grips with the things that are necessary to reach the stars! When you get rid of 'if only' you put yourselves in line for great successes and some falls, but have you ever had a fall you couldn't get up from? You learn something from those falls -- don't be afraid of partial success at first. You won't have complete failure unless you don't try, because the only complete failure is not to try. The only chapters that don't make mistakes are those that don't do anything.

DEAD BATTERY: No matter how good the car is, if the battery is dead it won't go anywhere. If your ideas don't get into action, look for the equivalent of that dead battery and put it in the rummage pile. Does too much discussion kill the idea before it gets into action? It is procrastination, lack of leadership in a specific field, or indecisiveness over small points? It would be better to flip a penny to make a decision than to let indecision hold up action.

1 point in the plus column for each attitude discarded at that meeting.
1 point in the minus column for each attitude evident at that meeting.

List items in your Rummage Sale
1st meeting
2nd meeting
3rd meeting
Plus Minus Plus Minus Plus Minus Plus Minus

Please ask your Recording Secretary to mention your score in the regular chapter minutes when you are having an Attitude Rummage Sale.


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