I have no illusions that council members and boards of directors don't get up to all sorts of nasty shenanigans behind the scenes, but I'd like to focus on the most draining aspect of board work: dealing with crazy people who come to the meetings.
I was part of the board for a local organization for over a year, and while we managed to get a lot done, by far the majority of our time was spent dealing with frivolous people whose mental state ranged from "deluded" to "clueless" to "outright insane."
These folks would often criticize us as a whole for not getting things done, and then they'd bury us under yet another ridiculous complaint or appeal that needed to be treated delicately.
It didn't help that we were timid and inexperienced -- we got involved because we liked the organization, not because we were planning on making a living out of it -- but it's a sad fact that there are few ways of getting a destructive and disruptive person out of a meeting. Which is surprising because they so often plan on attending.
Anyway, I accidentally stumbled across the train-wreck which is the Scranton, Pennsylvania city council meeting. Every week they are accosted by crazy folks, many of who attend every meeting. It doesn't help that the meetings are televised and that it's become a sad sort of reality TV phenomenon. Now the crazy people are becoming celebrities. And one of the council members is notoriously short-tempered and nasty as well.
Maybe EVERYBODY knows about these meetings -- I've heard something about them being referenced in the American version of The Office -- or maybe they're a little Scranton secret. But for your dubious enjoyment, here's a typical segment. When I watch it, I instantly flash back to annual general meetings when we'd sit, dumbfounded, as a guy like this tried to browbeat us.