Rhode Island Atheist Society Message Board › Why is this Discussion Board so Under-utilized?
|A former member||
Thanks, Dan, for stepping up and entering this discussion.
I hope Debbie does not drop out of the discussion because an authority figure like yourself has stepped in. I think Debbie has a lot to say and is a member to be treasured.
I knew that eventually someone would suggest that I was either over-reacting or reading too much into things.
I don't think so. If anyone could give me a specific example of where I'm over-reacting or where I'm reading too much into things, I would consider that input and answer in kind, but I don't think either one applies.
You said, "No one intentionally ignored you." You must be naive to believe that. We came into the room and stood there in front of everyone for several minutes making sure everyone there saw us before we decided to stay and take a table. We were intentionally ignored. It's an aspect of the group dynamic that I have described in detail on this board.
We sat next to a table of men less than three feet away from us who , believe me, intentionally ignored us for over two hours.
I understand, Dan, that you were not there. Does my description of our experience sound like something that someone would make up?
I don't think you should fall on the sword for them. They are responsible for their own behavior.
Does my characterization of the attitudes of the people we encountered sound to you like I made it up?
Imagine sitting at a table with two other new-comers to the group, and a young man sitting at your table takes his mac and cheese, swivels his chair and places his food on the table right next to yours, less than 3 feet away and the middle-aged men sitting at that table do not inform him that his actions are in bad form, extremely bad manners. How would you feel in that situation?
If you took time out of your life, made the effort to drive out to Smithfield from Providence to attend the Group's meeting for the first time, and not one person said, Welcome to the Group.", how would you feel?
If you sat through a meeting for over two hours and not one person from the group introduced themselves, if you sat next to a table full of members, less than three feet away, and they never even once looked your way or said hello or introduced themselves, how would you feel?
Can you, please, tell me, what exactly am I missing, how am I over-reacting, how am I reading too much into things?
It's just too bad that if you aren't there the members can't take it upon themselves to behave with class and social graciousness. Don't blame Brian. He is obviously extremely uncomfortable in a leadership role and should never have been placed in that situation. Whoever made that decision did a dis-service to Brian and to the group.
I also think that my observations go far beyond whether you were there or not. I suspect the behavior of some people would have been much the same were you there or not. I've written extensively about the group dynamic. Also we have this to discuss: the use or rather lack thereof, of this discussion board.
Essentially, I don't have many complaints, only two:
1) Many people in the group lack basic social graces, i.e. manners, as taught by our mothers.
2) The group lacks focus, organization, and leadership, and there is no excuse for that. Procedures should be put into place so that a standard protocol should be followed at meetings, including greeting people, welcoming and introducing new members, the opening and the closing of the meeting.
If a group is dependent upon one person for organization and leadership then it is not a group, but something else.
If the two basic concepts mentioned above had been incorporated into the group dynamic and organization would we even be having this discussion? I don't think so because then I would have no complaints.
I thank you for your apology, and I accept your apology. I also hope that your apology is not meant as a way to deflect my criticism and to continue with the same status quo.
Do you really think it's possible I might have read too much into our experience given the level of detail I have provided? Perhaps people in this group, especially the core, long term, long time members, need to look at themselves and their behavior and to think about just what message they are conveying and if that is the message the group wishes to be conveying to prospective new members.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Ps: I hope your input here is not an attempt to shut down this discussion and to discourage further discussion by members.
There is a phenom known of as killing the messenger rather than listening to the message.
Feathers got ruffled. Good. Let those with ruffled feathers who were at the meeting come on this discussion board and try to rebut my assertions and explain their actions. So far only Debbie and yourself have had the chutzpah to respond to my pointed critique.
Dan, except for a failure of vision and leadership, you are not responsible for people failing to behave with the basic manners that most of our mothers taught us.
Let those whose actions I have described so accurately come on this board and explain their behavior.
Edited by User 31,708,502 on Dec 25, 2011 2:36 AM
Hi, all. Everybody might be familiar with the feeling of isolation that atheists experience due to their particular set of beliefs and how important is to share with other atheists. I became atheist recently and after some websurfing, I found the RIAS website and I was seriously thinking on joining it, in the attempt of connecting with like-minded people and share experiences and opinions. I was happy because I thought I could enrich myself with the experience of meeting other atheists and engage in discussions (so far, I know none, not even online!) My only issue is that I don't have a car and the place where meetings take place seems not to be close to any convenient bus route. I was considering the possibility of take the risk of taking the bus (I don't know RI very well). However, by reading this thread, and the manner in which newcomers are welcomed, I feel kind of compelled of attending, which is very sad. I hope all this responds to a misunderstanding, either from me or of the people involved. For the moment, I'll continue to follow the group activities "remotely".
Enjoy the holidays!
|A former member||
Welcome to the group and to the discussion board.
If you had a dispute over dinner with your sisters and brothers you wouldn't make too big a deal out of it would you? You would all find a way to listen to each others complaints and hopefully would each try to do things differently the next time you met.
That's most likely what will happen with this group. After all it is only one malcontent (me) making a complaint. And my complaint is minor and should be easily rectified.
I think if you get on the homepage where meetups are announced and ask if someone is going your way you might be able to hook up with someone from your locale for a ride.
I'd enjoy getting together with people in a smaller group setting for dinner so stay in touch with me via my profile page and when we plan something I can notify you to see if you wish to attend.
In the meantime give the upcoming meetup a chance because that's the only way you'll know if it's for you or not.
PS: Start your own topic-thread on this Message Board, Mauricio: This should be a place of lively discussion on a wide range of topics. It's one way the 250+ people who are members and who don't attend meetups can stay involved.
Thank you, John. I'll follow your advice.