My guess is that the above comment is very much 'in jest'. The 'back row' players in bands that I've been in seem to be a happy bunch and a mix of very good players who are (now) taking things a bit easier and less experienced players gaining knowledge from them. Why not take it as a complement that they won't let you (an experienced player) escape? Maybe enjoy not having the greater pressure on you that the front row (and Sop?) have on them - it's hard to juggle working, having family duties and finding time to practice difficult stuff too. Your comment raises, in my mind, the broader point of players' happiness with their position in the band. The person at the front waggling a stick can't really be expected to know whether each and every player is happy playing their current instrument and part - though many MD's will have a good idea about that - but it's definitely a question to ask if someone stops being a regular attender. There may be other issues too or instead to be aware of such as a poor instrument, a health problem, or some difficulty with another player. Players who are enjoying their banding will typically be at almost every rehearsal and event whereas those who are not, and don't create some change themselves, will increasingly turn up only when there's nothing else they want to do.