I hope you will find things among my random thoughts that resonate with you and yours. I'd love to read your reactions in the Comments, and I'll be sure to visit you in return. Best regards, Mary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parliamentary Procedure or Prior Authorization - Your Choice


Did you know that many decisions about our public lives are made with the help of this complex set of rules? That's because most governing bodies have something called "bylaws" - from the US Congress to giant corporations, from state and city governments to school boards, charitable organizations and even volunteer groups. If fact, they couldn't get anything done without them because they set out the procedures or "rules of order" by which they run all their meetings.

Those "rules of order" are known as "parliamentary procedure". They describe in exhaustive detail how to discuss issues and take action, and as we all know "the devil is in the details"- hundreds and hundred of details in this case. The few people who know many of them and how to quickly look up the rest are called parliamentarians. They serve as consultants at many meetings and conferences, and at very important gatherings they are paid well.

Why did I choose this topic? Because I belong to an organization that studies parliamentary rules and how to use them. It also prepares members to become Registered Parliamentarians or even Professional Registered Parliamentarians, the highest level of certification.

The next question is "Why did I join"? To learn how to be a better contributor when I serve on a committee or a board. I am often in those situations and always realize I don't know enough about the procedure to do a good job. I have even refused leadership roles where I might have done some good because I felt so inadequate.

So when I moved to the Detroit area I reconnected with an old friend who belongs and she suggested I might like it. I took her advice, and after two years I have learned a lot but cannot say I have improved much. The body of knowledge is incredible, and I still feel like "a stranger in a strange land". I contribute to the group in support positions: I managed the purchase and sales of educational materials and maintain our webpage and Facebook page. I even set up a Twitter account. All that may be useful but it's just what I already know how to do. Plus, I enjoy these things and improve at them and I'm appreciated because few people want to take them on.

The surprising result: Although I have made little progress with parliamentary procedure I have made peace with who I am. I have learned to be content as one who "leads by supporting". Meanwhile I continue to work on becoming a parliamentarian. Perhaps I'll even find a new way to lead.


Here's an opportunity for some advocacy and/or activitism involvement. Remember my first post? Take a look if you are new here or need a refresher:  A is for Activisim and Advocacy

Now check out my lonely blog on Prior Authorization:  PA Issues  Notice the start date: August 2013. That was many months ago, and the only response is so suspect that I may delete it. The lack of interest is probably because I'm a novice blogger, which tells me I should upgrade my blogging skills if I want to make a difference as an advocate or activist. (That's why I joined AtoZ Challenge. )

Here's my suggestion for you:
  • If you have ever had to fight a Prior Authorization to get a prescription filled I'd love to have you share your experience on my blog.  
  • And if you would like to join me in trying to fight that system, let me know. 


  1. I learnt lots of things from your blog.
    Nice to meet and connect through the atozchallenge. http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Hi Charlotte, thanks for visiting. I wondered if anyone would read this, but I spend so much time working on the organization I decided to do it anyway. Now I'm off to visit yours. Mary

  2. Hi Mary...you want to get that post read, I've read it and it would be very helpful I'm sure to people in that position...if I remember rightly it was an excellent and helpful post. You need to go on to forums for people with that problem and and simply leave a comment with a link to the post...not all forums allow links due to spam, this isn't spam, you're genuine, so I would send a quick mail to the forum owners with a link and a synopsis of the post and ask if they'd post it because it's helpful to their members. It should generate a lot of hits that way as it's such niche information and that can be very valable to people. You can also offer to do guest posts on blogs relevant to that niche. Any help please ask. :)
    Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

    1. Thanks so much, Maggie! (and for CounterPoint comment, too) But question: Where do I find those forums?? Mary

    2. Sorry Mary missed this, no idea how I came across it now, must be a reason. So forums...simply type in to google forums for....and add whatever you're looking for and it should bring up a list. let me know if that doesn't work and send me a copy of the exact search term you used and I'll find something by trying another couple of sites that may help, I hope. :)

    3. Thanks - done! I found the right group, posted a message and included website URL.
      Best wishes for "the event"!