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*****Calgary French Rendez-Vous.

From: Kichiji
Sent on: Monday, November 12, 2012 7:31 PM

Hello, everyone.

Please read at least as far as the fifth line.  Thank you.

In this message:

-I just mean me.
-Meeting dates and venues.
-A not-so-brief reminder of The Rule.
-Please suggest venues.

On the day of the Hallowe'en karaoke event, I had originally planned to stay until around 11:00pm.  However, at 10:15pm, I got up, and said that I had to leave, because, due to the illness of my co-worker, my boss
had shifted our shifts around.  To my shock and surprise, everybody got up and left with me!!  At
first I was perplexed, but in retrospect, I feel that I could have been more clear.

I only meant that *I* had to leave.  ...Not anyone else.

In fact, I think I should clarify something, because this happened a couple times in the coffee shops, too.  That is, I have gotten up, said, "I have to leave.  See you guys later", and everybody starts saying, "yeah, me too", "me, too", and the whole group has gotten up and left.

Please allow me to clarify.  As a general rule, unless I am leaving because the coffee shop is closing, I NEVER mean that the meeting/event is over.  If I say I have to leave, I always mean only *I* have to leave.

I'm not negating the common sense of the situation where you are the only person left.  Obviously, in that situation the meeting really is over, and I'm not talking about that situation.

Thanks, and sorry for not being more clear in the past.

There are five meetings in the near future.  The first will take place on
Saturday, November 17th, at 6:30pm, at Good Earth Cafe,[masked]th St SW.  The second will take place on
Sunday, November 18th, at 12:30pm, at Lina’s Italian Market, 2202 Centre Street NE.  The third will take place on
Sunday, December 2nd, at 12:00pm (Noon), at Yamato Dessert Cafe, 1322 Centre St NE.  The fourth will take place on
Saturday, December 15th, at 7:30pm, at Nanta Karaoke and Bar, 512 6th St SW.  The fifth will take place on
Sunday, January 6th, at 12:00pm (Noon), at Yamato Dessert Cafe, 1322 Centre St NE.

These are 5, 6, 20, 33, and 55 days from now.

Please go now and reply.

When we joined the group, those of use that joined in the last couple of years were automatically sent an email message describing The Rule.

I don't like rules.  I expect people to be self-governing and use common sense and show respect and consideration to other members of the group.  There is only one explicitly stated rule of this group. Hence the definite article and the capitalisation.

It is important to reply "Yes" if we intend to attend an event.  This tells the organisers and the other members of the group that we are coming and the approximate number of attendees.

The rule does not mean that we must attend if we say "Yes".  We can change our mind at any time.  Life happens.  The rule merely guides us to what to do if our situation changes and we cannot attend after all.

The Rule states that without exception, all people who reply "YES" must do one of the following four things.

1. Show up at the meeting.
2. Go back to the web site before the meeting and downgrade his or her reply to "NO".
3. Call me or text me on my cellular telephone BEFORE the event.
4. Write me an e-mail message AFTER the event.

The email is only to tell me why you couldn't do any of the first three.  You don't need to tell me why you didn't come, unless there was a problem that I, as organiser, could do something about.

For example, if you couldn't find the location, it would help me if you tell me that, because I can describe the location more exactly the next time I hold an event there.

Here are some examples of some things you could write:

"I couldn't find the cafe, and I didn't have your cell phone number."

"I went to the cafe, but I didn't see the group.  I didn't have your cell number and it didn't occur to me to just ask people, so I just left."

"Whoops!  I just totally forgot."

"I didn't come, but it was unrelated to anything you could do anything about.  Thank you for organising the meetings."

One important thing to note is that although life is complicated, and things may happen that might prevent us from doing the first three things, it is always possible to do alternative number four.

Imagine the following extreme example.  You are driving along, diligently obeying the rules of the road, and some insane driver comes out of nowhere and sideswipes you.  You go to hospital.  While you are recovering, your nephew brings you a laptop computer to distract you from the pain in your foot and to save you from boredom.  After all, you normally lead a full and active life, and the last couple of weeks of forced inactivity have been hell.  While you are digging through your piles of unread email messages, you see a message from me, mentioning that you did not come to a French meeting.

You click on "Reply", and you type:
"Hello, Kichiji, Thank you for your concerned message, and I am flattered that you noticed me missing.  In fact, I have been in a horrible automobile accident.  I am okay, but what with everything, until you mentioned it, I completely forgot about The Calgary French Rendez-vous.  Now that you mention it, I do miss everybody, and I hope I can attend again soon. Yours, Ophelia."

A few hours later, you receive a message in your Inbox:
"Hello Ophelia,  That's terrible.  I am so sad to hear that you have been in an automobile accident, but I am glad to hear that you are okay. After I click on Send, I will meditate and try to send you healing energy.  I hope that you recover quickly and that we will be able to enjoy your presence at the French meetings again soon.  Sincerely, Kichiji."

Note that besides the fact that everyone is pleasant and civilised, this exchange fulfills the requirements of The Rule.  That is, simply, after the meeting, she wrote me a message.  If Ophelia were not given to flowery speech, or she thought it was none of my business, she could have written, "I didn't come, but it was unrelated to anything you could do anything about.  Thank you for organising the meetings."  It didn't matter that it was a couple of weeks after the event.  The most important thing was that instead of clicking on "Next Message", she clicked on "Reply".

Unless our hands are in double casts, this is something that we are physically able to do every time, right?

I think that because we reply by clicking on a button on a web site, we forget that the organisers are human beings, and worthy of the same consideration as any other human being.  If you told your friend you would meet him in a coffee shop, you wouldn't just not show up without saying anything, right?  The fact that you are clicking on a button on a computer does not change that.

I thank us all in advance for our cooperation.

We could also help me by suggesting a location that is open later than 9:00pm.  If you have a favourite place, please share it with me.

Thanks.

--Kichiji.

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