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PLEASE READ: Noise issues, poll for December 2012 Contemporary Book Discussion date change, and feedback on meeting location

From: Anthony
Sent on: Saturday, November 17, 2012 3:58 PM

Hi, everyone. :-)

I want to take the time to discuss three things, all of which stemmed from something that happened this past week in the November 2012 Contemporary Book Discussion. I expect I have a lot to say, so please bear with me.

Those of you who attended this week's meeting on Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot will recall that noise was an unusually big issue for us. While we were upstairs, there was another group of people congregating downstairs that many of us felt were very noisy. It was such a problem that one attendee went downstairs and attempted to ask the leader of the downstairs group to tone down the noise. Unfortunately, things got so bad that another attendee walked over and shouted down onto the group downstairs.

As I was about to leave, I ran into the leader of the other group. She did apologize for the noise from her group (which, by the way, was composed of young people visiting from other countries), and I in turn apologize for the shouting incident, emphasizing that nobody in our book club knew that it was going to happen. It then became clear that the clash of our groups was due to a lack of communication between that other group's leader and the meeting venue owner about their meeting, simultaneously with my plan to have this recent book meeting on the second Wednesday of November (not the third to avoid having it close to Thanksgiving) when that other group usually meets.

Before I forget, let me take a moment to propose a solution to future issues related to any conflict with people outside of our book group. If anything disruptive happens, I will be responsible for trying to handle it. I want everyone to enjoy the book discussion, and I will gladly take the initiative to diffuse any situations that can interfere with the meeting so that nobody else in the group will take it upon themselves to resolve the situation, particularly in an equally disruptive way. And if you notice something before I do, just let me know, instead of dealing with it yourself.

I can understand how we've gotten accustomed to going to our usual meeting place without ever encountering other meetup groups. But if there's one thing this recent incident has reminded us, it's that we may have to compromise with other groups from time to time. I am doing my best to avoid situations that would require it, but if I cannot, we should maintain consideration of the presence of other groups, not just ours.

With that said, we now have a situation where a meeting date change has to be made.

During my conversation with the leader of the other meetup group and with the meeting venue owner, I learned that the other group will have their next meeting on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Yes, that is the third wednesday of that month, not the second, and I cannot say why that group is not meeting the week before, but the point is that the other group had already reserved space with the venue owner for that date. As a result, the venue owner asked me to consider changing the meeting date for the December 2012 Contemporary Book Discussion (perhaps to have business from both meetup groups, not just one or the other).

Hence, here is my question to all of you. Would you rather have the meeting date rescheduled for Tuesday, December 18 or Thursday, December 20? I would appreciate your response to this soon so that I can check back in with the venue owner about this.

Lastly, I want to also ask for your feedback about our current meeting location and suggestions for a new meetup location for the East Bay Book Club. I am doing this because this issue was brought up by a few members in light of the noise issue. If you have ideas for a new meetup location, please pass them on to me. Just keep in mind that the meetup location should meet the following criteria:
- Geographically accessible by car or by BART
- Located in the East Bay in the Oakland and Berkeley area (which is fairly equidistant to many other locations)
- Able to accommodate a time slot of 6:45 to 8:45 PM on the third Wednesday of each month as well as the first Wednesday of some months
- Space for up to 30 people
- Owner of meetup location is fine with our group having meetings

Keep in mind that Espresso Roma on the corner of Ashby and College is not an option because the East Bay Book Club used to meet there years ago, and noise was a much worse issue, not to mention that the owners did not appreciate club meetings there.

So that's what I want to talk to you about today. Once again:
- I, the Organizer, will handle any issues that disrupt our meetings.
- Let me know if you would like to have the December 2012 Contemporary Book Discussion on Tueday 12/18/12 or Thursday 12/20/12.
- Give me feedback on our current meeting location and any suggestions for new meetup locations.

This e-mail is set so that replies go straight to me only and not to everyone in the East Bay Book Club mailing list. Please be assured that I will keep all of your comments confidential. In a later e-mail, I will provide updates on these issues.

Thank you, and I look forward to your feedback. :-)

Anthony Lee
Organizer, East Bay Book Club

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