Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Underwhelmed

So, the OSC function yesterday did not go quite as expected...as in I'm not sure if I've ever felt less welcomed anywhere.

On the OSC website was the following statement:
"Whether you are new to the area or have been here for years, you will enjoy our Super Sign-up. You can find out about our club and all our great Activities and you'll also learn about other groups and things to do in our area."


I had made a conscious decision not to bring cash to the event because I knew they were supposed to have a lot of crafts and other neat things to look at and buy and I didn't want to buy anything. I still think this was a good thing, especially now as I realize I probably would have felt pressured to pay the membership fee before I had even learned anything about the club.

I wish I had handled the whole thing better in person, but was so surprised at having been "dismissed" that I just wanted to get out of there and not go back...still not sure if I'll participate in any of their events at this point - they just left a really bad taste in my mouth...

Below is the e-mail I sent to the person in charge of the information fair as well as to the "info@ OSC" e-mail provided on their website. There was a lot more I wanted to say but I felt that getting too into my hurt feelings and emotions would only get in the way...Take a look and let me know what you think - too much? Not enough?
___________ 
To whom it may concern -

I attended the welcome fair yesterday but wanted to let you know I have never felt less welcome at any base I have ever been to.

Based on information on your website, I thought this was an opportunity to get to know your club, see what you had to offer and decide if I wanted to join and participate. Since we just moved here, I had been looking forward to the Info Fair for over a month thinking it would be a good introduction to the base/area.

Upon arrival at the "Welcome" table there was an expressed expectation that I join the BOSC in order to participate in the event. When I stated I did not have any cash and wanted to check it out before joining, I was no longer "welcomed" and was told to mail in a membership form and/or check out the Facebook page and to "have a good day." My impression of having been thus dismissed was reinforced by the fact the woman in front of me was given a "gift bag" (as it seemed were the other women present) and I was not. When I asked if I could look around, I was told "I guess, but you can't sign up for anything since you're not a member."

I'd like to recommend that in the future, if this is truly an information fair, that "Membership" be separate from "Welcome." As you welcome people, you can take their information if they do not want to join right way (thereby keeping track of the number of people who attend and enabling your group to reach out to them later) or if they are interested, point them to the membership side to sign up. It's a small distinction but may help alleviate misconceptions about who is "welcome" and who isn't.

Thank you for your time.

2 comments:

  1. I don't know... the quote from their page touts their "Super Sign-Up" so I probably would have gone with the understanding that the focus is joining---and that maybe getting information would be done beforehand. Still, their message could be clearer and expectations better set as you stated. In any case, a prospective member should never be treated in such a manner and there should have been provisions made for those who show up undecided. In light of that, your comments show great restraint relative to how they made you feel. I hope they learn from it and (1) apologize and (2) change their approach.

    ReplyDelete
  2. trebord - I realize it was also meant as a sign up, that's why I left that part in there (full-disclosure kind of thing).

    The person in charge of the event did write back and apologize for what happened. She also asked if I'd like to sit down with her to talk about it...haven't decided what I want to do...

    ReplyDelete