When Is an Advocate Not an Advocate?

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When Is an Advocate Not an Advocate?

Twice in the past week, I heard from people whose APHA memberships expired, explaining why they didn’t renew. In both cases excuses in the form of complaints about their memberships were made. A little bit of research turned up the facts that those complaints were at least misguided. I responded to each of them about their frustrations. In both cases, they felt insulted. Now, don’t get me wrong. I receive criticism and suggestions on a regular basis, sometimes including good, usable, feedback. I’m always appreciative of constructive feedback and ideas even if it’s in the form of criticism. That’s how we improve the benefits APHA offers. Further, I recognize there are many reasons someone might not want to renew a membership. Sometimes health challenges have gotten in the way. Sometimes someone just decides independent advocacy wasn’t a good fit for them. Most of the time I hear nothing at all. But that’s not what these exchanges were. In both cases they were making excuses by using APHA membership as the whipping post. Not kosher. Where have they been for the past year?  Why did they wait until their memberships expired to complain? I wonder how they think they can be good advocates for other people if they don’t even advocate for themselves? Of course, I don’t intentionally insult people. I may push back, and I may be blunt, but that’s because, as a business owner, one must be sure that her work isn’t misrepresented. Here are examples. See what you think. We’ll begin with Complaining Advocate A (CAA) who decided not to renew her membership because 1. she hated logging in with a username instead of an email address, and 2. because she had trouble getting her password to work on her phone, blaming our log-in system for that problem. Yes, seriously. But I addressed both excuses. As you can see by the login below (found at www.myAPHA.org ) one can use either a username or an email address to log in. Regarding the trouble with passwords on a phone – that’s a problem with her device and not her…


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