I met Merryl many years ago but worked much closer with her from the beginning of this Toastmasters year as we worked with Division L Director, Lucinda Harman who was trailblazing to launch new clubs and then in August 2020 when I was invited onto the District Open House Team as what I call myself the “head hunter” (finding people to fill roles).
Then on Saturday morning, the 27th of February we (including Merryl) were together at one of the monthly District Open Houses that was quite hectic in the background. That evening I was going to do a training of “What are Transferable Skills in Toastmasters” with Domingos in Mozambique. I asked Domingos if they had problems with many people cancelling roles, just prior to a meeting and he confirmed that, and it seems to be troublesome all over.
I decided to do a cheeky sneaky thing to demonstrate the effect of people just cancelling attendance prior to a meeting and the outcome it would have on many. I conspired with them that the zoom master would let me in before anyone else arrives and put me in a breakout room. Ofani would introduce me as normal, then the zoom master would politely inform him that I am not in the room, which technically speaking was the truth.
This is what transpired then… They did a huge advertising campaign and many people rocked up for this training from all over, with huge anticipation, as it was the topic they needed info on to help them urgently with their personal growth and time management!
OFHANI: (He called me on his mobile with speaker on purposefully so all could hear the conversation) “Hi Granny Be, are you ready to login?”
GB: (in a very irritating sounding voice tone and very close to being rude) “Hi Ofhani, Sorry no I will not make it. I am just too busy. Please can you find someone else, there are just so many amazing trainers out there, I am sure someone else can help as I am really just too busy!”
Then from the attendees a voice interjected with kindness, saying; “It’s OK Ofhani I can help with this. I know Granny Be has just been so busy today and I don’t mind to step in for her!”
NO‼️ NO‼️ NO‼️ Never in a million years did I think Merryl Jubber would be attending one of my trainings!
Well, the zoom master pulled me into the meeting and we exposed our cheeky sneaky idea and with a resounding applause and tons of feedback where attendees confirmed…. they could not believe that a person could actually do such a terrible and unreliable thing‼️…. and then it HIT HOME of how easy it is to do the same at club level.
Merryl privately texted me apologising profusely for messing up my “act”. Even though there were painful bumps on the road, I can honestly say my contribution to a tribute to Merryl would definitely be recognising the tremendous effort and hours she gave to Toastmasters and the support I received during various times, including when the International President Richard E Peck visited our club. Thank you Merryl for those many hours, support, innovation, energy, laughter and so much more you brought along my way.
Granny Be, DTM