Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette of the Rich and Famous => Topic started by: TeamBhakta on September 20, 2011, 01:21:46 PM

Title: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: TeamBhakta on September 20, 2011, 01:21:46 PM
Food celebrity Alton Brown has written a manifesto to his fans  (http://altonbrown.com/2011/09/my-fanifesto/). Thoughts on this ? Do you consider it rude, logical, something else...?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: drebay on September 20, 2011, 01:30:34 PM
I have no problem with it.  All fans of all people should follow those requests. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Cyradis on September 20, 2011, 01:32:53 PM
I have no problem with it.  All fans of all people should follow those requests.

I don't have a problem with it either, I just find it very sad that adults have to be explicitly told how to behave decently.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Auntie Mame on September 20, 2011, 01:36:59 PM
The only one I had a problem with was families with small children "coming to the front of line".  My time is just as valuable as theirs and they shouldn't get special treatment.  Other than that, his requests are completely reasonable and it is sad that he has to outline them.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Judah on September 20, 2011, 01:37:53 PM
I think he's being exceptionally nice, especially in regards to running across him in public.

Quote
If you encounter me out in the world and want an autograph or to take a picture with me I will say “yes” if I can possibly manage the time. If I am with my family I will probably still say “yes”, but I will want to move away from my family to do so. If you purposely take a picture a picture of my family I will go freakin’ ballistic. I’m quasi-famous, they’re not. They enjoy certain rights I have sacrificed by choosing to be a cable-ebrity and as a husband and father I will protect their rights to the fullest

I don't think you should bother celebrities while they're out and about trying to be normal.  At official publicity events, of course it's expected, but when they're out trying to just live their lives, they should be left alone.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: drebay on September 20, 2011, 01:38:06 PM
The only one I had a problem with was families with small children "coming to the front of line".  My time is just as valuable as theirs and they shouldn't get special treatment. 

Oops, I didn't see that one. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Animala on September 20, 2011, 01:49:30 PM
I suspect he has the families come up front to avoid the crying/whining that can come along with long waits.

I think he spells out what is reasonable to expect very well.  The only real problem I would have is that when he is out and about and not working I think he, as well as any other celebrity, should be left alone.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: HermioneGranger on September 20, 2011, 01:51:03 PM
I suspect he has the families come up front to avoid the crying/whining that can come along with long waits.

I think he spells out what is reasonable to expect very well.  The only real problem I would have is that when he is out and about and not working I think he, as well as any other celebrity, should be left alone.

That was my thought as well, condering his comment about getting them out of there so that they go home and get to bed at a reasonable hour. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: MaggieB on September 20, 2011, 02:01:01 PM
I think he's being pretty darn gracious.  I mean, he OK'd fans waiting for him outside of the restroom.   :P

I understand the policy of wanting to get young kids through quickly, and it wouldn't bother me much if I were in line.  But I hope that him "publicizing" that he does this doesn't mean more families showing up and expecting to be able to cut the line.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on September 20, 2011, 02:13:50 PM
Apart from the fact that if people all behaved with a modicum of courtesy and mutual respect, this would be unnecessary, the manifesto seems perfectly reasonable to me - including about the small children, especially if the parents aren't snowflakes.  We all know that children get tired and cranky and have lower coping skills and fewer articulation skills.  Parents often disregard this in favor of what they want, to the detriment of all. 

AB is doing what he can to mitigate the damage. 

Moreover, he is using his words.  He is telling you what he expects, and where the lines are. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Auntie Mame on September 20, 2011, 02:15:15 PM
I suspect he has the families come up front to avoid the crying/whining that can come along with long waits.

I think he spells out what is reasonable to expect very well.  The only real problem I would have is that when he is out and about and not working I think he, as well as any other celebrity, should be left alone.

That was my thought as well, condering his comment about getting them out of there so that they go home and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Still disagree with that policy.  If the kids can't handle waiting ion line, get a sitter.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Black Delphinium on September 20, 2011, 02:18:32 PM
I may not like it, but it is his event and he has the right to make the rules, much like I have the right to throw an adults-only wedding or open a kids-only play place.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: EMuir on September 20, 2011, 02:22:21 PM
I like it.  I'm thinking he really phrased the part about "allowing families to come to the front of the line" well.  I read between the lines and got "Nobody wants to listen to your screaming toddler who doesn't even know who I am, so please get up here and get out."  But he said it so nicely! :)
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: TeamBhakta on September 20, 2011, 02:27:33 PM
I think he's being pretty darn gracious.  I mean, he OK'd fans waiting for him outside of the restroom.   :P

I'm reminded of the story Montel Williams and the late Josh Ryan Evans (Timmy from Passions) told together years ago. Both of them had fans ask for a handshake or an autograph in men's restrooms.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: BabylonSister on September 20, 2011, 02:28:19 PM
I think he's being pretty darn gracious.  I mean, he OK'd fans waiting for him outside of the restroom.   :P

I understand the policy of wanting to get young kids through quickly, and it wouldn't bother me much if I were in line.  But I hope that him "publicizing" that he does this doesn't mean more families showing up and expecting to be able to cut the line.

Maybe childless folks can rent a child for the day. ;)

I think his rules are very sensible. It's a shame such things have to be written down. I have requested (and obtained) autographs at official events or stage door but I've never bothered a celebrity who just happened to walk by.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on September 20, 2011, 02:29:07 PM
I like it.  I'm thinking he really phrased the part about "allowing families to come to the front of the line" well.  I read between the lines and got "Nobody wants to listen to your screaming toddler who doesn't even know who I am, so please get up here and get out."  But he said it so nicely! :)

That's the way I read it too. He's got kids. He gets it. Get them out sooner so that the rest can enjoy the time. My time is valuable too, yes, but so are my eardrums.

I actually think the whole thing is pretty reasonable. I am a big Alton fan (I love his subgtle snarkiness)and would love to go to one of the book signings!
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on September 20, 2011, 02:46:38 PM
I like it.  I'm thinking he really phrased the part about "allowing families to come to the front of the line" well.  I read between the lines and got "Nobody wants to listen to your screaming toddler who doesn't even know who I am, so please get up here and get out."  But he said it so nicely! :)

That's the way I read it too. He's got kids. He gets it. Get them out sooner so that the rest can enjoy the time. My time is valuable too, yes, but so are my eardrums.

I actually think the whole thing is pretty reasonable. I am a big Alton fan (I love his subgtle snarkiness)and would love to go to one of the book signings!

So would I, but the one near me is an hour before I take lunch, and I really cannot take off three hours to get to the location moderately before the signing, and wait through the line.  Signed books are not *that* important to me. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: HermioneGranger on September 20, 2011, 02:49:34 PM
I like it.  I'm thinking he really phrased the part about "allowing families to come to the front of the line" well.  I read between the lines and got "Nobody wants to listen to your screaming toddler who doesn't even know who I am, so please get up here and get out."  But he said it so nicely! :)

That's the way I read it too. He's got kids. He gets it. Get them out sooner so that the rest can enjoy the time. My time is valuable too, yes, but so are my eardrums.

I actually think the whole thing is pretty reasonable. I am a big Alton fan (I love his subgtle snarkiness)and would love to go to one of the book signings!

So would I, but the one near me is an hour before I take lunch, and I really cannot take off three hours to get to the location moderately before the signing, and wait through the line.  Signed books are not *that* important to me.

The one closest to me is on a weekend that I'll be out of town (in the complete opposite direction.)   Sigh.   :(
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: BatCity on September 20, 2011, 03:28:29 PM
POD from a big Alton Brown fan.  I think this is a great list that shows he's as gracious a guy as he appears to be on TV.  It also makes me look forward to getting his new book when he comes to Fair City.  And if I'm able to go to the book signing, I promise I'll leave my kid at home.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Auntie Mame on September 20, 2011, 03:47:45 PM
I may not like it, but it is his event and he has the right to make the rules, much like I have the right to throw an adults-only wedding or open a kids-only play place.

Very true.  His event, he gets to call the shots.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: buvezdevin on September 20, 2011, 03:52:31 PM
Slightly off topic, but  related to AB.

Just over  a year ago, I went to one of the two live shows which were taped and editted to form the Good Easts 10th anniversary show (it was great fun).  The programs for the event were pretty standard several stapled pages, with a couple of cards gum attached inside and removeable.  First card was like a postcard, the second card is a paper-backed sticker, about 2 by 4 inches, with AB's signature in red marker (not auto-pen, actually signed) clearly done to allow one to adhere it inside a book and have a pseudo-signed copy.

I thought the signed 'bookplate" was a thoughtful idea, and on the way out I noticed that there were stacks of programs which had not been handed out.  Since we were at the second (evening) performance, I thought they could not be of further use, and asked an usher if I could take extras.

Which is how quite a few of these made their way to my home.  I have four of the programs left, with the sticker autograph, and would be happy to mail one to any AB fans (up to four, of course) who care to provide a mailing address by PM.  They aren't "valuable" but are fun to have to put into his books.

On topic, I think his rules of engagement are generous. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 20, 2011, 03:54:10 PM
I was scared to read this, as I like AB quite a bit. 

What a relief.  Generous, kind, reasonable.  Just what I expected of him. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: hobish on September 20, 2011, 04:07:08 PM

Aside from the "your" typo --
Really? I am the first one who is going to say something? You're going to pretend you didn't see it? Ok, then... :P  -- i really like it. He is witty and seems honestly gracious. Who could ask for more?

Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Winterlight on September 20, 2011, 04:07:39 PM
I don't think he's come up with anything unreasonable here.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 20, 2011, 04:40:31 PM
I think it's OK, nothing really unreasonable or outrageous. I got into watching his show Good Eats on the Food Channel for a while. But I started to realize I didn't care for him that much, I mean I like his sense of humor to a point. But I think he's, I don't know the nicest way I can put it is I think he's kind of a stuffed shirt.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 20, 2011, 04:40:49 PM
Still disagree with that policy.  If the kids can't handle waiting ion line, get a sitter.

And when you have people lining up for your autograph, you can make that the rule.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Auntie Mame on September 20, 2011, 05:02:47 PM
Still disagree with that policy.  If the kids can't handle waiting ion line, get a sitter.

And when you have people lining up for your autograph, you can make that the rule.

You obviously missed the post where I agreed with that point
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 20, 2011, 05:04:47 PM
I think it's OK, nothing really unreasonable or outrageous. I got into watching his show Good Eats on the Food Channel for a while. But I started to realize I didn't care for him that much, I mean I like his sense of humor to a point. But I think he's, I don't know the nicest way I can put it is I think he's kind of a stuffed shirt.

Ed.

He can be a little pretentious?  Condescending?  Neither of those terms describe it exactly.  I noticed it more on the Feasting On shows and it comes across on some other things I've seen him on, but I don't watch those shows regularly so I don't know if it's a consistent thing.

Still net like the guy, though.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 20, 2011, 05:10:06 PM

Aside from the "your" typo --
Really? I am the first one who is going to say something? You're going to pretend you didn't see it? Ok, then... :P  -- i really like it. He is witty and seems honestly gracious. Who could ask for more?

He also says opportune when he means opportunity.

This article bothered me, and I'm not sure why. I think it started when he talked about his family. I completely understand him not wanting people to take pictures of them, but when he used the phrase "freakin' ballistic," he lost me. It's weird, because I love AB and should be overlooking that phrase or considering it a joke or hyperbole. However, there are too many celebrities who do go freakin' ballistic, so I don't know.

I also didn't like the point about allowing people with kids to come to the front. It's his prerogative, but that doesn't make it not rude and thoughtless.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on September 20, 2011, 05:12:04 PM

Aside from the "your" typo --
Really? I am the first one who is going to say something? You're going to pretend you didn't see it? Ok, then... :P  -- i really like it. He is witty and seems honestly gracious. Who could ask for more?

He also says opportune when he means opportunity.

This article bothered me, and I'm not sure why. I think it started when he talked about his family. I completely understand him not wanting people to take pictures of them, but when he used the phrase "freakin' ballistic," he lost me. It's weird, because I love AB and should be overlooking that phrase or considering it a joke or hyperbole. However, there are too many celebrities who do go freakin' ballistic, so I don't know.

I also didn't like the point about allowing people with kids to come to the front. It's his prerogative, but that doesn't make it not rude and thoughtless.

Is a blog post the same as an article?  I always anticipate that blog posts will be more stream of consciousness and written in one's personal style. 

If you find it rude that he tries to mitigate the overall impact of other people making rude choices, you don't have to go to a book signing. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 20, 2011, 05:22:47 PM
He could mitigate it by asking parents not to bring children to nighttime events. He could also mitigate it by having someone on staff available to ask people with kids who are acting up to step out of line. Why does he have to mitigate others' rudeness by rewarding them and punishing those who act responsibly?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: AreaWoman on September 20, 2011, 07:20:21 PM

Aside from the "your" typo --
Really? I am the first one who is going to say something? You're going to pretend you didn't see it? Ok, then... :P  -- i really like it. He is witty and seems honestly gracious. Who could ask for more?

He also says opportune when he means opportunity.

This article bothered me, and I'm not sure why. I think it started when he talked about his family. I completely understand him not wanting people to take pictures of them, but when he used the phrase "freakin' ballistic," he lost me. It's weird, because I love AB and should be overlooking that phrase or considering it a joke or hyperbole. However, there are too many celebrities who do go freakin' ballistic, so I don't know.
I also didn't like the point about allowing people with kids to come to the front. It's his prerogative, but that doesn't make it not rude and thoughtless.

I just want to chime in on the bolded.  I don't remember where I read it, but he had an issue where an overzealous fan posed as his wife on Twitter (even going so far as to use photos of his wife).  He was very upset and closed down his Twitter account, so that's where this comes from.  Without the backstory, it may seem kind of extreme, but I understand his feelings.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 20, 2011, 08:14:26 PM
If he wants to let families with little kids go first, then I don't see how that is A- rude of him to do so at his own event, or B- rudeness of people to bring kids to something he's obviously encouraging them to. Maybe he doesn't want to tell them not to bring the kids because he enjoys meeting them too? I am imagining that he probably does not get enough people at these events with little kids for it to be any major delay for the rest of the attendees, or he'd have to rethink the policy.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Alida on September 20, 2011, 08:18:36 PM
I do like that he makes a point of the fact that his family is off-limits.

I'm on the fence about the families with small children thing. One part of me is happy he wants to get the squirmy little ones out quickly - let's face it, whining children in line are NOT fun. But the other part of me goes, wait - what about those of us who have to wait longer?

A friend of mine asked him to sign a cookbook for my daughter a few years ago, and he was so very gracious to do so.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 20, 2011, 09:22:05 PM

Aside from the "your" typo --
Really? I am the first one who is going to say something? You're going to pretend you didn't see it? Ok, then... :P  -- i really like it. He is witty and seems honestly gracious. Who could ask for more?

He also says opportune when he means opportunity.

This article bothered me, and I'm not sure why. I think it started when he talked about his family. I completely understand him not wanting people to take pictures of them, but when he used the phrase "freakin' ballistic," he lost me. It's weird, because I love AB and should be overlooking that phrase or considering it a joke or hyperbole. However, there are too many celebrities who do go freakin' ballistic, so I don't know.
I also didn't like the point about allowing people with kids to come to the front. It's his prerogative, but that doesn't make it not rude and thoughtless.

I just want to chime in on the bolded.  I don't remember where I read it, but he had an issue where an overzealous fan posed as his wife on Twitter (even going so far as to use photos of his wife).  He was very upset and closed down his Twitter account, so that's where this comes from.  Without the backstory, it may seem kind of extreme, but I understand his feelings.

I read about this incident on Food Network Humor.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 20, 2011, 09:56:04 PM
Yes I agree aventurine, (a little) pretentious is a good word to describe the way Alton Brown comes off.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Elfqueen13 on September 21, 2011, 09:29:40 AM
I suspect he has the families come up front to avoid the crying/whining that can come along with long waits.

I think he spells out what is reasonable to expect very well.  The only real problem I would have is that when he is out and about and not working I think he, as well as any other celebrity, should be left alone.

That was my thought as well, condering his comment about getting them out of there so that they go home and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Still disagree with that policy.  If the kids can't handle waiting ion line, get a sitter.

That's on the parents. This is a perfect example of "I can only control my own actions".  He can't make people get a sitter. He can't make the kids deal with the wait. What he can do is get them out of there as quickly as possible before a disruption happens.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on September 21, 2011, 09:37:56 AM
I think it's OK, nothing really unreasonable or outrageous. I got into watching his show Good Eats on the Food Channel for a while. But I started to realize I didn't care for him that much, I mean I like his sense of humor to a point. But I think he's, I don't know the nicest way I can put it is I think he's kind of a stuffed shirt.

Ed.

He can be a little pretentious?  Condescending?  Neither of those terms describe it exactly.  I noticed it more on the Feasting On shows and it comes across on some other things I've seen him on, but I don't watch those shows regularly so I don't know if it's a consistent thing.

Still net like the guy, though.


I can see why some people don't care for him. I like to think of him as "blunt". I like that about him though. AB doesn't really mince words or dumb it down, which I appreciate.
I can get pretty blunt sometimes too when it comes to certain things though so maybe it's just that I like when other people meet me that level. And he's different from the other FN stars, whom I love, but some of them can be a little, I dunno, predictable.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Nanny Ogg on September 21, 2011, 11:20:10 AM
Yes I agree aventurine, (a little) pretentious is a good word to describe the way Alton Brown comes off.

Ed.

Pot, kettle, black?

In any case, I think it's sad that he's had to write this. Most of the stuff on there seems like normal dos-and-don'ts, which really shouldnt have to be written down.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Schmoopie3928 on September 21, 2011, 12:15:58 PM
POD AreaWoman. I felt very sad when I heard about the twitter invodent. Someone even went so far as go post a picture of his family and pretending to be his wife so I totally get where he's coming from. I also find it terrible he has to spell it out. I'm from his town in GA. while I never saw him I know many people that have. He is apparently a very nice and gracious person. I love him. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Bibliophile on September 21, 2011, 12:44:50 PM
May you non-fans be cursed with never eating a turkey brined using Alton's method & may all your Thanksgivings be foiled by dry, tasteless birds.  Curse you, I say!   >:D
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: sisbam on September 21, 2011, 12:58:34 PM
*is now on a mission to bake a $12 pie*
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: ZaftigWife on September 22, 2011, 12:01:08 AM
I have had the good fortune to attend one of his book signings, and I can attest that in person he is, indeed, extremely gracious.  He let everyone who was getting a book signed take a photo, and he did hug me.  (Perhaps it wasn't during flu season; I don't recall.)

One thing that was neat: we were expecting either a reading or a lecture.  Instead, he did a whole hour of Q&A from the audience before the signing.  We could ask just about anything - about the show, his life, food, whatever.  One guy tried to heckle him, and he handled it beautifully.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Minmom3 on September 22, 2011, 12:04:10 PM
The only one I had a problem with was families with small children "coming to the front of line".  My time is just as valuable as theirs and they shouldn't get special treatment.  Other than that, his requests are completely reasonable and it is sad that he has to outline them.

It's probably to get them 'over and out' as fast as possible, so the crying in his line is kept to a minimum.  Can't blame him one bit for it, either.  It's not fair to drag littles out and about to some boring signing, and they have far less ability to wait politely than we adults do, so me waiting a little bit longer, but in relative peace and quiet while the children's parents get their turn and get out is more than fine with me.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: 567Kate on September 22, 2011, 12:25:49 PM
The only one I had a problem with was families with small children "coming to the front of line".  My time is just as valuable as theirs and they shouldn't get special treatment.  Other than that, his requests are completely reasonable and it is sad that he has to outline them.

It's probably to get them 'over and out' as fast as possible, so the crying in his line is kept to a minimum.  Can't blame him one bit for it, either.  It's not fair to drag littles out and about to some boring signing, and they have far less ability to wait politely than we adults do, so me waiting a little bit longer, but in relative peace and quiet while the children's parents get their turn and get out is more than fine with me.

It might not be fair if he limited his signings to a set time (so families going first might mean that adult-only groups wouldn't get autographs), but since he commits to staying for every fan, I think it's more than fair for him to pick the best order to see fans. He probably doesn't like hearing fussy kids in the long line either.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 22, 2011, 12:33:31 PM
I don't see how it can be more than fair that someone who gets there earlier has to wait longer because people with kids get moved to the front.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: 567Kate on September 22, 2011, 12:53:28 PM
I don't see how it can be more than fair that someone who gets there earlier has to wait longer because people with kids get moved to the front.

Well, if it were my event, I would probably want it to be first come, first served. But since it's Alton Brown's event and he will see every fan no matter what, I think it's fair for him to determine the order that he thinks will make the event run as smoothly as possible, even if it's different from what I would want.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 22, 2011, 01:08:36 PM
It's certainly his prerogative, but I don't think that makes it fair.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Lisbeth on September 22, 2011, 01:12:13 PM
Aside from the request that families with small children come to the front, I think his rules are pretty reasonable.

But he does promise to stay there until he's greeted every fan-that's more than some other celebrities I can name.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 22, 2011, 01:14:36 PM
 "Fair doesn't have to mean the same" - he may not be treating his fans exactly the same, but I would argue that by setting a Pre- arranged standard that allows all fans access to him, while minimizing discomfort to all (both the kids and people's ears), that he's being perfectly "fair".
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 22, 2011, 01:26:18 PM
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. To me, it seems like rewarding poor decision-making.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 22, 2011, 01:38:41 PM
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. To me, it seems like rewarding poor decision-making.

I have to agree with WF here.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on September 22, 2011, 02:22:37 PM
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. To me, it seems like rewarding poor decision-making.

I can see where people have the problem with the kids going first thing but I still think it's better than the alternative. He's a father so his decison to do that likely comes from having dealt with his own kids and/or other peoples kids at his events.

I think this falls under the  and "we cannot control what other people do so we control our own actions" line of thinking.  From my understanding, his events are usually pretty family friendly so its not unreasonable to assume that kids will be there. So, during daytime events, it's likely not really an issue. For nighttime events though, this is likely where this rule comes in handy.

We all know that some parents are going to drag thier kids out with them to events even if its not the best thing fo the child. Said child is likely going to make a lot of noise, have a meltdown, make a mess, get underfoot, etc... We see posts about it all the time on this site. Maybe OURS won't (  ;) )  but the odds are pretty good that other peoples kids will. By doing this, while it seems "unfair", I think he's minimizing the problems the rest of us will have. It may take us longer to get to see him, but our time with him will be all that much more pleasureable because we won't be competing with a child having a tantrum and he likely feels like he doesn't need to rush now to get the kids out of there at a reasonable hour. And, by getting the kids out sooner, people will likely enjoy the event more because they can be "grown ups".

So while, in a sense of fairness, while I can see where it looks like rewarding poor decison making, I think it's the simplest way to eleviate problems right from the get go IMO.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: snowdragon on September 22, 2011, 04:09:25 PM
His decision to allow those with kids priority....but  it's other people's decision as to where they spend their money. If I went to one of these and he pulled the kids first line - I'd leave line return the book I was going o have signed and leave the event. As it is my respect for the man has gone down a LOT recently.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: buvezdevin on September 22, 2011, 04:45:56 PM
My DBF has previously attended an evening AB book-signing event, to get AB's signature on one of the presents DBF gave me for Christmas.  I have just asked him if there were folks with kids present for the signing (yes, but he doesn't remember how many, there were at least a few), and then asked if AB or the event organizers had those with children brought to front of line - and that was not done at least at that event.

DBF suggested (as I think did a PP) that this AB rule may have been the result of "learnings" from prior book-signing tours, which could be the case as AB has developed a pretty fair degree of experience in these events over the past many years (ten or so at least).

I understand and agree with the concept of not "rewarding" less than desirable behavior, and respect the opinions of those who would not agree with the following, which is my personal opinion:  When I've gone to book-signings (not many, but a few and not personally been to one by AB), unless it's a children's book, for an evening event, I'd be fine with those with children going first as they are generally a small percentage and I'd rather not have a child melt down impact anyone; for a day-time event, I'd think all present should be addressed in order (adults without children present during a day time event are likely to have time constraints due to work requirements); and for a book-signing of a tome aimed at children, I would also think it most reasonable to have all served in order.

Of course, those are just my thoughts on what would be reasonable, and anyone organizing a book-signing or agreeing to perform one can make the rules they want, and those who want a book signed can agree or not to whatever the rules may be (limit on number, order of line whatever) in order to get a book signed.

I'd be interested in any updates from those who may attend a future AB signing, i.e. if the "those with kids go first) rule is applied.  While AB has not announced (that I've seen) a signing in my area, I live in same area as AB, and as his next book is soon to be released, and DBF is well aware I'd love to have another signed AB book, I'll be glad to post update on any signing DBF may attend (it's hardly spoiling a surprise Christmas gift to let me know he made the extra effort to get it signed... as I've just explained to him, he just gets early extra points).
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Ticia on September 22, 2011, 08:52:33 PM
Yes I agree aventurine, (a little) pretentious is a good word to describe the way Alton Brown comes off.

Ed.

Pot, kettle, black?

In any case, I think it's sad that he's had to write this. Most of the stuff on there seems like normal dos-and-don'ts, which really shouldnt have to be written down.

You seem to be saying that Master_Edward is pretentious, but maybe I'm misinterpreting your post?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 22, 2011, 10:55:06 PM
You know Ticia, I was wondering the same thing.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: dman on September 23, 2011, 12:41:30 AM
You know Ticia, I was wondering the same thing.

Ed.

I don't think there was misinterpreting here. 
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: BeagleMommy on September 23, 2011, 02:05:59 PM
Oh, the glorious verbosity!  AB is second only to Tim Gunn as having a masterful command of the English language.

While I find it sad that such musings must be written down, I don't find anything objectionable.  DS is a big AB fan and has two of his books.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: bluedahlia on September 24, 2011, 08:38:20 AM
Re: the issue with the kids...sometimes that may be for the kids themselves.  A lot of celebrities will do things for kids that they won't for adults.  And, yes, I find it sad that all that had to be written, especially the part about the restroom.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Amaya on September 24, 2011, 01:33:21 PM
(Full disclosure: I have very low tolerance for whining/screaming/tantruming children in public, especially if the parent doesn't take immediate steps to correct it, and *especially* if they and/or I am waiting in a long line.)

I'd be among the first to speak up if I felt there was any chance that groups with unruly kids were being "rewarded for bad behavior," but I really don't think that's what's happening here. Now the kids don't have to sit through what will feel to them like an endless, boring wait with no reward at the end (I highly doubt those of the tantruming age would wait eagerly in line for Alton Brown's autograph), and the people without kids can leave with their eardrums (and sanity) intact. Heck, if it meant I could chat with AB and get his autograph without shouting over miserable wails, I'd volunteer to be last in line -- and I'm not even a big fan of him!

Normally I'd agree with Wonderflonium that it's "unfair" to let groups with kids jump to the front of the line, but I think that, paradoxically, the opposite is true here. In order to avoid being unfair to everyone else who has the capacity to wait patiently, and to respect their right to minimal discomfort while waiting in line, AB is strategically letting the groups with kids go first -- and therefore, they'll finish and leave the line first.

And regarding the idea of "rewarding bad behavior": unfortunately, the offenders in this case won't magically "learn" that their behavior is obnoxious, or that the rule is meant to minimize their impact on those around them. And AB isn't in a position to "teach" them either. The best he can do in this scenario is minimize the damage, and that's what this rule does.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: CuriousParty on September 24, 2011, 02:00:21 PM
You know, I don't think this is "rewarding bad behavior."  In my mind, at least, that is what happens when, say, a child has a meltdown and then a parent (or celebrity) gives in.  Or someone waltzes in with unreasonable demands and expects to be catered to.

What Alton seems to be doing here is stating in advance what his preference is, so that everyone knows what the standard/expectation will be.  Furthermore, he asks (not demands) that his preference be respected, and acknowledges that it creates some inconvenience for others:

"I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour. This means some of you will have to wait a little longer. Thank you in advance for your patience."

Then he promises the "reward" for the good behavior, if you will, of respecting his preference:

"What I promise in return for this consideration is to never sit at a signing (so my feet will hurt just as bad as yours) and to never leave until the last fan has been greeted and their goods duly signed. I never have and never will (unless I have a stroke or something) left fans in the lurch."

I think this is actually the height of good manners, the opposite of rude, and pretty good behavior management while we're at it.  I also think that it lets everyone know what the situation will be, so really they could plan.  If I were to attend an AB event without my small children (if I could go anywhere without my small children, which for a multitude of reasons, seems like a fantasy at the moment), I might plan to arrive a bit later (say 20 - 30 minutes), or to browse a bit longer before getting on line, knowing that I won't be first anyway.  I might get a coffee!  And drink it in its entirety! While it's HOT! (sorry, the fantasy took me away for a minute :) )
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on September 24, 2011, 04:18:12 PM
Why is going somewhere (as a general matter) without children so inconceivable? 

I cannot fathom that there are no longer any childcare options.

 And if one can afford a signed book, is lunch with a friend who doesn't care about the signing in exchange for the friend watching the child for an hour or so a complete non-option?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: CuriousParty on September 24, 2011, 05:03:11 PM
Why is going somewhere (as a general matter) without children so inconceivable? 

I cannot fathom that there are no longer any childcare options.

 And if one can afford a signed book, is lunch with a friend who doesn't care about the signing in exchange for the friend watching the child for an hour or so a complete non-option?

Speaking only for myself, there are multiple reasons why obtaining childcare is an "easier said than done" proposition, though I don't wish to detail them here. 

Suffice to say that for many people it is quite challenging indeed, and since I find it difficult even with a fair amount of resources at my disposal, I would imagine that many people with fewer resources find it nearly impossible.  While I hope this is a temporary phase of my life that will change, I do find that I am more sympathetic to/flexible with parents who have children in public situations than I may have been previously, and I hope that I will retain that.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 24, 2011, 07:57:48 PM
Why is going somewhere (as a general matter) without children so inconceivable? 

I cannot fathom that there are no longer any childcare options.

 And if one can afford a signed book, is lunch with a friend who doesn't care about the signing in exchange for the friend watching the child for an hour or so a complete non-option?

Speaking only for myself, there are multiple reasons why obtaining childcare is an "easier said than done" proposition, though I don't wish to detail them here. 

Suffice to say that for many people it is quite challenging indeed, and since I find it difficult even with a fair amount of resources at my disposal, I would imagine that many people with fewer resources find it nearly impossible.  While I hope this is a temporary phase of my life that will change, I do find that I am more sympathetic to/flexible with parents who have children in public situations than I may have been previously, and I hope that I will retain that.

I, too, used to be of the mind, "How hard is it to get a baby sitter" until my husband and I moved 1400 miles away from everyone we have ever known. Then I became that woman who has to bring her children everywhere; the dentist, the gynecologist, the store, etc. Thank goodness they are generally well behaved, but it really sucks not to know anyone well enough to babysit. Also, we are really picky about who we leave the kids with, so the majority of the time (unless family is visiting) we don't get any alone time at all.

That being said, we would probably skip something like a book signing if we thought it was inappropriate to bring kids.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 24, 2011, 08:04:09 PM
There are certain places where it's best not to bring children. If you can't get a sitter, don't go.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 24, 2011, 08:33:49 PM
There are certain places where it's best not to bring children. If you can't get a sitter, don't go.

I don't see a book signing as one of them, though.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 24, 2011, 08:46:31 PM
A book signing at which you have to rely on the host to bring you to the front of the line so that your children can get to bed at a reasonable hour probably is one.

Also, if kids are being brought up to the front because they can't behave during the wait, they probably shouldn't be there either. Of course, every kid (and adult) can have a bad day, but for the most part, parents know if their children can tolerate certain things (like a long wait) and plan accordingly.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: CuriousParty on September 24, 2011, 09:14:53 PM
As far as I can tell, they are being brought to the front because that is how the host feels he can best meet the needs of all guests, and that decision is his perogative.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Twik on September 24, 2011, 09:18:16 PM
A book signing at which you have to rely on the host to bring you to the front of the line so that your children can get to bed at a reasonable hour probably is one.

Also, if kids are being brought up to the front because they can't behave during the wait, they probably shouldn't be there either. Of course, every kid (and adult) can have a bad day, but for the most part, parents know if their children can tolerate certain things (like a long wait) and plan accordingly.

Quite possibly they don't *have* to do so. It's Mr. Brown's prerogative to do so, however. Perhaps he likes kids.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 24, 2011, 09:27:35 PM
A book signing at which you have to rely on the host to bring you to the front of the line so that your children can get to bed at a reasonable hour probably is one.

Also, if kids are being brought up to the front because they can't behave during the wait, they probably shouldn't be there either. Of course, every kid (and adult) can have a bad day, but for the most part, parents know if their children can tolerate certain things (like a long wait) and plan accordingly.

Rely on?

Who said anyone was relying on it?

"I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour. This means some of you will have to wait a little longer."

That's his choice. He doesn't even reference poorly behaved children or noise. It's his option to do so. This is not on parents or to be blamed on them. There's not even a reference to bad behavior, noise, etc. I don't see where you get anyone's relying on this, as this type of consideration isn't the norm.

Alton Brown's choice to do this shouldn't be blamed on parents. They didn't ask for it. It's his decision to do it. And his right.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 24, 2011, 09:30:19 PM
A book signing at which you have to rely on the host to bring you to the front of the line so that your children can get to bed at a reasonable hour probably is one.

Also, if kids are being brought up to the front because they can't behave during the wait, they probably shouldn't be there either. Of course, every kid (and adult) can have a bad day, but for the most part, parents know if their children can tolerate certain things (like a long wait) and plan accordingly.

Quite possibly they don't *have* to do so. It's Mr. Brown's prerogative to do so, however. Perhaps he likes kids.

Exactly. I'm not getting the references to bad behavior. It doesn't sound like that has anything to do with it. There was no reference to behavior in his post, just consideration.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 24, 2011, 09:32:45 PM
I have said repeatedly that it is most certainly his prerogative. That doesn't mean I agree with the policy.

Quote
I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

To me, this implies that if he doesn't allow them to come to the front of the line, they won't be able to get out and get the children to bed on time.

I only brought up bad behavior because others did so. I was responding to that.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 24, 2011, 09:39:08 PM
I have said repeatedly that it is most certainly his prerogative. That doesn't mean I agree with the policy.

Quote
I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

To me, this implies that if he doesn't allow them to come to the front of the line, they won't be able to get out and get the children to bed on time.

I only brought up bad behavior because others did so. I was responding to that.
[/quote

And? It doesn't imply it. He says it out right. I don't know if he has kids or how old they are, but maybe he appreciates kid need to get to bed. You can disagree with his policy, but you implied that such a policy is a reason parents shouldn't have kids at book signings.

I understand people having a problem with his policy. But I don't see how that translates to parents shouldn't bring their kids to book signings. And them relying on him to cater to them. It isn't the parents' fault he chooses to operate this way. Blame him, not them.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 24, 2011, 09:44:13 PM
I have said repeatedly that it is most certainly his prerogative. That doesn't mean I agree with the policy.

Quote
I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

To me, this implies that if he doesn't allow them to come to the front of the line, they won't be able to get out and get the children to bed on time.

I only brought up bad behavior because others did so. I was responding to that.

And? It doesn't imply it. He says it out right. I don't know if he has kids or how old they are, but maybe he appreciates kid need to get to bed. You can disagree with his policy, but you implied that such a policy is a reason parents shouldn't have kids at book signings.

You asked who said rely on, and now you are saying that yes, parents do have to rely on this policy. And if that's the case, then perhaps parents should rethink whether such a late-night event is the place to take their children. He did say he often does this, but he didn't say always. It might not happen. Then what?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 24, 2011, 10:19:50 PM
I have said repeatedly that it is most certainly his prerogative. That doesn't mean I agree with the policy.

Quote
I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

To me, this implies that if he doesn't allow them to come to the front of the line, they won't be able to get out and get the children to bed on time.

I only brought up bad behavior because others did so. I was responding to that.

And? It doesn't imply it. He says it out right. I don't know if he has kids or how old they are, but maybe he appreciates kid need to get to bed. You can disagree with his policy, but you implied that such a policy is a reason parents shouldn't have kids at book signings.

You asked who said rely on, and now you are saying that yes, parents do have to rely on this policy. And if that's the case, then perhaps parents should rethink whether such a late-night event is the place to take their children. He did say he often does this, but he didn't say always. It might not happen. Then what?


I never said parents have to rely on this policy. How many people even know about it? I said he appreciates kids need to get to bed. Where did I say anyone's relying on it?

If he doesn't do it, then what?

Then kids go to bed later, I guess. No one is demanding or relying on anything.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: bluedahlia on September 24, 2011, 10:53:42 PM
I have said repeatedly that it is most certainly his prerogative. That doesn't mean I agree with the policy.

Quote
I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

To me, this implies that if he doesn't allow them to come to the front of the line, they won't be able to get out and get the children to bed on time.

I only brought up bad behavior because others did so. I was responding to that.

And? It doesn't imply it. He says it out right. I don't know if he has kids or how old they are, but maybe he appreciates kid need to get to bed. You can disagree with his policy, but you implied that such a policy is a reason parents shouldn't have kids at book signings.

You asked who said rely on, and now you are saying that yes, parents do have to rely on this policy. And if that's the case, then perhaps parents should rethink whether such a late-night event is the place to take their children. He did say he often does this, but he didn't say always. It might not happen. Then what?

Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 24, 2011, 11:27:13 PM
Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.

Exactly.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 25, 2011, 02:32:59 AM
Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.

"Family friendly" gets tiresome when it [continually] trumps first come, first served. 

I added "continually" because I don't always mind it and sometimes would welcome it, in the case of a meltdown.  But as it becomes more commonplace, which it has because there are a lot of parents out there and appeasing them is smart business, it pushes some of us further and further back in line, literally and figuratively.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: buvezdevin on September 25, 2011, 09:48:31 AM
Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.

"Family friendly" gets tiresome when it [continually] trumps first come, first served. 

I added "continually" because I don't always mind it and sometimes would welcome it, in the case of a meltdown.  But as it becomes more commonplace, which it has because there are a lot of parents out there and appeasing them is smart business, it pushes some of us further and further back in line, literally and figuratively.

POD.  To me, "family friendly" would typically mean an event organized in such a way that those with children *do not need* special consideration. 

An evening event which is not structured to be particularly "family friendly" but which also does not exclude children's attendance is the type event where it may actually make sense to have those with children present given precedence in a line, in part because those with children present would typically be a much smaller percentage of those attending.  A "family friendly" event may consist of an audience in which a majority attend with children, in which case moving them to the front of the line would effectively be penalizing those who attended without children.

If I were at a "family friendly" venue, I would not expect to be asked to wait until all with children at hand went first, because that would actually imply it to be "family preferred".
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 25, 2011, 09:22:08 PM
Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.

"Family friendly" gets tiresome when it [continually] trumps first come, first served. 

I added "continually" because I don't always mind it and sometimes would welcome it, in the case of a meltdown.  But as it becomes more commonplace, which it has because there are a lot of parents out there and appeasing them is smart business, it pushes some of us further and further back in line, literally and figuratively.

Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Because it has never, ever happened to me. I'm not even saying I'd take them up on it. But it's never happened.  Not once. Maybe  I live in the wrong area or something. So I find it strange to say people are finding Alton Brown's attitude tiresome as if the whole world makes events family friendly, when my experience, as a family structure I'm assuming he's talking about, is the opposite.

We're not talking about people who bring their ill behaved children to restaurants or other wise disrupted places and are left to disrupt because owners are afraid to turn away their business. Again, he did not say he'd move ill behaved children and families up front. Just families with small children.

Please, I'd really love to know from those objecting to this policy how they encounter this on a regular and continual basis. Where being moved to the back of the line behind families with children happens.  Because even going to the supermarket is a hair raising experience for me.  Really.

Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 25, 2011, 09:58:48 PM
I too, would like to move to this/these places where that happens, because that sure hasn't been my experience at home or in my fair extensive travels. In fact, outside of a chuck-e-cheese, I'm just happy if my kid isn't met with a sneer these days, rather than extra consideration.

Also, it's rather nasty to assume it is *only* because of bad behaviour. Maybe he has witnessed parents leaving (appropriately) because of long lines and childrens bedtimes/tired/whingeyness, and he would really like them to be able to get their book signed AND get the kid home to bed on time, rather than one or the other. It's perfectly possible that most of the parents he sees are behaving just fine, but that he'd like to be able to sign their books too.

Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 25, 2011, 10:06:24 PM
I too, would like to move to this/these places where that happens, because that sure hasn't been my experience at home or in my fair extensive travels. In fact, outside of a chuck-e-cheese, I'm just happy if my kid isn't met with a sneer these days, rather than extra consideration.

Also, it's rather nasty to assume it is *only* because of bad behaviour. Maybe he has witnessed parents leaving (appropriately) because of long lines and childrens bedtimes/tired/whingeyness, and he would really like them to be able to get their book signed AND get the kid home to bed on time, rather than one or the other. It's perfectly possible that most of the parents he sees are behaving just fine, but that he'd like to be able to sign their books too.

You said what I've been thinking!
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 25, 2011, 10:52:06 PM
Not going to touch the kids to the front book signing issue, but wanted to comment on his not wanting his family photographed.

I personally have a lot of respect for celebrities who choose to keep their family out of the limelight.  Johnny Depp is one who also feels this way, as he's even said that he and his girlfriend Vanessa Paradis have chosen to be famous but their kids haven't so they shouldn't have to deal with all the attention and lack of privacy that the parents do.   They want to give their kids as normal a childhood as possible and I think that's great.

My almost 9 year old told me this summer, after seeing a blurb on GMA about Tori Spelling's reality show, that he doesn't like how people have reality shows with their kids on it, saying "I wouldn't want a tv in our house all the time just cause my parents were famous.   I'd want more privacy."
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Black Delphinium on September 25, 2011, 11:00:57 PM


My almost 9 year old told me this summer, after seeing a blurb on GMA about Tori Spelling's reality show, that he doesn't like how people have reality shows with their kids on it, saying "I wouldn't want a tv in our house all the time just cause my parents were famous.   I'd want more privacy."
That's why you never saw Amiee Osbourne on their reality show, she refused to be on the show.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: snowdragon on September 26, 2011, 01:58:56 PM
Alton Brown has chosen to make his events family friendly.  It's amazing to me that anyone can find such a thing offensive but those who might possibly be offended certainly don't have to attend.

"Family friendly" gets tiresome when it [continually] trumps first come, first served. 

I added "continually" because I don't always mind it and sometimes would welcome it, in the case of a meltdown.  But as it becomes more commonplace, which it has because there are a lot of parents out there and appeasing them is smart business, it pushes some of us further and further back in line, literally and figuratively.

Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?


Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

In my city the biggest offenders are the cultural institutions - where they hold “community days” and actively discriminate against the singles.  At one admission is like $10 for a single person but a parent can bring up to 2 kids for that same $10 and participate themselves ( bringing the price to 33.3 cents person ) and if it’s well enough attended that things run - the singles are supposed to give way to families, at another singles are actively discouraged from even coming to the “community days” , even if they are members, at yet another I’ve been first in line for a major event - only to be told to step back and let those with kids in first. At the zoo, I was prohibited from touching the “touch me please” displays because I was with out children present - even after I waited in line for a half hour.  Two  of those I’ve dropped my membership and at another I have severely curtailed it as well as changing where I volunteer to another museum, and for culturals loosing membership money is a bad thing these days - especially from the demographic group that pays more person and - in my city, at least- gets the least services and programming.


Then of course there are instances that I get this while traveling - one of the worst was in Cape Breton, NS at the miner’s museum. I went to get tickets for the Men of the Deeps concert and it was going to be sold out - waited in line for my turn, waited while the box office lady went for a “necessary break” and then when it was my turn to get my ticket, even tho the family was a couple of folks behind me - they were offered the tickets first and I was expected to step aside and allow them to purchase the tickets, even tho’ that meant me not getting in because my friend and I were not a family and “families come first here”.  I don’t patronize their concerts anymore, buy their cds or have anything to do with them, because of that policy.

And there is also the expectation that adults need to let kids ahead of them in exhibit areas - because the kids are shorter...or whatever, sorry, no. I waited my turn to be able to see whatever - I paid to be able to see whatever, I should not always have to go to the back of the line and only see what families decide I can because I am a single adult. I deserve my turn to be able to be up front, pet the animals, interact with the display, ect. too. 


I can also remember going to P.F. Chang’s near me being allowed to pay for my buffet on Friday night and having management place babyseats at the only available table - for the family who was well behind me in line- effectively reserving it for them and telling my companion and I to “wait for a table” even tho we had already paid and the family had not.   I asked for my money  back, got an argument about it - but eventually got it and left.

One of the other local places, a pancake house ,will seat families first - even if they have to move tables together and jump over couples who have been waiting longer and even if they have two couples waiting for the tables the restaurant pushed together to accommodate the family.


You can tell me if I don’t like it -stay home - but I if or anyone else said “if parents and kids need special accommodations they can stay home” there’d be a hue and cry about it - but it’s apparently ok to say to an adult expecting to be treated equally -the fact that no such reaction happened in defense of the non child toting adults speaks volumes.

Alton Brown may have the right to say this -but it does not mean he gets to not deal with fall out from it. The adults who loose their place in line because they don't have a kid in tow..have the option of no longer suppoting him and if enough of them make their displeasure known maybe things will change and maybe he's big enough know that he can just not care and will still do whatever he wants.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 27, 2011, 12:44:41 AM
Thanks, snowdragon.  You articulated it better than I could have. 

It's policy.  Policies at snowdragon's cultural events, policies at work (people with kids get preferential choice on days off, leaving early, etc).  And the single or childfree/childless who complains or insists on equal consideration is seen as unreasonable or an agitator.

In my experience, though, there's no middle ground on this issue.  It's one of those discrepancies that's invisible unless you live it (on either side, I gather).
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 27, 2011, 07:40:39 AM
Thanks, snowdragon.  You articulated it better than I could have. 

It's policy.  Policies at snowdragon's cultural events, policies at work (people with kids get preferential choice on days off, leaving early, etc).  And the single or childfree/childless who complains or insists on equal consideration is seen as unreasonable or an agitator.

In my experience, though, there's no middle ground on this issue.  It's one of those discrepancies that's invisible unless you live it (on either side, I gather).

The bolded was HUGE at my last job. People with children got those benefits plus got to work at home more often, even if they hadn't been there as long, weren't doing as much work, weren't performing as well, etc. If you were childless and complained, you were branded a trouble maker and believe me, you paid the price.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 27, 2011, 10:57:46 AM
I do understand what you guys are saying, I just think the ire should be directed at these policy makers. There are comments in here about rewarding poor decision making, not making kids behave, implicit entitled parents type of comments, when there is no indication that is what started this policy. Like I said, he might have little kids, and is sympathetic to them getting out faster. All kids have different bed times, however, and if I have mine out, it doesn't mean I'm irresponsible by the fact that they are there. If they misbehave, then it is on me.

He does not say he is letting kids go to the front of the line for bad behavior and me taking my four year old to a book signing at 7 - how is that poor decision making? It doesn't become so if Alton Brown has a move little kids to the front of the line policy.

Jobs that have inequal policies for employees should be addressed with HR. I just find that often, those who disagree with policies that favor families get annoyed at parents and children instead of, or in addition to, the policy maker, when they haven't made those decisions.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 27, 2011, 12:09:45 PM
In cases of unequal work policies, I often wonder what would happen if all the single people quit would the office be forced to re-evaluate their policies. For a while at one work place, I felt I was being taken advantage of. I finally told my boss, if I work every night and weekend because I don't have a family, when will I get to start a family. Also, spouse and kids is a fairly narrow definition of family. I have a family too. I think that was a light bulb moment for him because things got a lot more normal after that.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 27, 2011, 12:45:34 PM
immadz:  Well done.   8)

penelope2017:  Believe me, we get plenty frustrated at the policymakers.  In a perfect world, none of that frustration would bleed off onto the parents, but it's an unfortunate natural reaction.  I never did and never would say anything to the parents taking advantage of the policy - I don't expect them to be able to see it (invisible discrepancy) - but the frustration/resentment did build.  It's inevitable, and that's another reason to change such policies.  In the case of businesses, even more of a reason to change/amend such policies is the business that's being lost.

In Alton's specific case, I wonder if it'd be better or even feasible to build two start times - an earlier one for families with children and a later one billed as "adults only."  Of course, there are always snowflakes that will bring their little ones to the later time, but that could be handled case-by-case. 

Meh, it'd probably never work.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 27, 2011, 01:35:17 PM
I just love how when someone wants to ban children from an event, and make it adults only, that it's "your event so it's your right I do what you want" in he thread", but if someone wants to cater to children a little it's suddenly unfair- even though it's still "their event".
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 27, 2011, 02:01:06 PM
I just love how when someone wants to ban children from an event, and make it adults only, that it's "your event so it's your right I do what you want" in he thread", but if someone wants to cater to children a little it's suddenly unfair- even though it's still "their event".

It's only unfair when an event is billed as being for both children and adults and yet those adults without children are treated worse than those with children. If I, as an adult without children, go to an event for both adults and children and pay the same price (or more), I expect to get treated the same. There's nothing wrong with events targeted toward children and their parents, but it's a bit unfair to say it is for young and old alike but discriminate against those who, for whatever reason, are there sans children.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 27, 2011, 02:16:51 PM
I just love how when someone wants to ban children from an event, and make it adults only, that it's "your event so it's your right I do what you want" in he thread", but if someone wants to cater to children a little it's suddenly unfair- even though it's still "their event".

To be frank, the attitude evident in this response doesn't help smooth the inevitable friction in situations like this.  I appreciate those who, once made aware of the discrepancy, show a bit of understanding.  I try to do the same.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 27, 2011, 02:58:57 PM
I just love how when someone wants to ban children from an event, and make it adults only, that it's "your event so it's your right I do what you want" in he thread", but if someone wants to cater to children a little it's suddenly unfair- even though it's still "their event".

It's only unfair when an event is billed as being for both children and adults and yet those adults without children are treated worse than those with children. If I, as an adult without children, go to an event for both adults and children and pay the same price (or more), I expect to get treated the same. There's nothing wrong with events targeted toward children and their parents, but it's a bit unfair to say it is for young and old alike but discriminate against those who, for whatever reason, are there sans children.

I agree. I don't expect to get into Chuck E cheese or go to the front of the line at a children's petting zoo or even sit in a children's story time in the library. If however, I am at a venue which is a book signing for a genre that doesn't cater to 3 year olds, then I expect both parents and non-parents to wait their turn in line.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 27, 2011, 03:08:36 PM
I just love how when someone wants to ban children from an event, and make it adults only, that it's "your event so it's your right I do what you want" in he thread", but if someone wants to cater to children a little it's suddenly unfair- even though it's still "their event".

To be frank, the attitude evident in this response doesn't help smooth the inevitable friction in situations like this.  I appreciate those who, once made aware of the discrepancy, show a bit of understanding.  I try to do the same.

Where is the understating coming from "the other side" though ? All I have seen is people expressing that parents are entitled, SS's, that the children "must" be misbehaving and are being rewarded for it... The "attitude" had hardly started with me here. One PP has mentioned that it was natural for her single adult frustration to spill over on parents, so can it not go the other way too?

I would not normally bring my child to an adult event, but the star o this event has indicated his wishes, so to make statements that people are entitled or rude for bringing kids and taking advantage of a perk he wishes to offer... Well I just frankly find that insulting.


Excuse me, but I need to go rail against Mcdonalds for offering free coffee to seniors. They should pay just like anyone else! ....
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Giggity on September 27, 2011, 03:25:13 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 27, 2011, 03:56:12 PM
True, but if those with young children (or other assistance - eg handicaps or infirmities) need help leaving, they *leave* last. On top of that, it's really not the same as a true "line", as you are all getting to your destination at the same time (one hopes)- boarding early does not get you faster service, as it were.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: cass2591 on September 27, 2011, 04:05:15 PM
Please cease the pro v anti child, or whatever you call it, arguments, or thread will be locked.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 27, 2011, 07:24:03 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.

Southwest does not.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 27, 2011, 08:01:44 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.

Southwest does not.

They did the last time I flew them. Business first, then families with small children and persons with disabilities and then regular boarding by zone....
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 27, 2011, 09:30:39 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: bluedahlia on September 27, 2011, 10:29:08 PM
When I go to a feast after a Pow Wow or other event (even my in-laws family events such as wedding buffets or family reunions), it is expected that I defer my spot in line to any of the elders- in fact, with any elders that I know personally it is considered a nice gesture to prepare them a plate with all of their favourites/the best stuff and hand deliver it (there's an old joke that runs: when you're young, you bring the pretty girls the treats at a feast, and you know you're old when they start bringing them to you)

At those events first come first serve does not apply- and it would be very rude to demand it because that's how *I* prefer it, or how I think it's fair. Cultural expectations or personal preferences apply at these kind of events- unless they contravene actual laws (like, you can't decide to commit homicide on anyone wearing the wrong hat to your book signing, and claim "your rules"  ;) )

Well said.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: buvezdevin on September 27, 2011, 10:39:15 PM
Rohanna, I can well understand what you speak of regarding family traditions - my many years of family reunions have had similar practices.  And, not being familiar with what may constitute a "Pow Wow" outside your family gatherings, my only comment would be that any precedence beyond first come first served may be the agreed upon norm for a communal gathering.  In the case of a purely public gathering, the organizers may apply rules which do or do not meet the *desires* of all who may wish to attend.

You point out that your desire/expectation of any different practice than that established for an event governed by family culture would be rude, and while you don't say so expressly, I presume you mean the same would apply regarding a request for a practice other than is in place for a public event.  But I did want to ask if that is so.  My posts are not always as clear to others as they seem to me, and your statement that "cultural or personal preferences apply" had me wondering if you meant either applies, or one applies unless the other contradicts, or simply that majority view should apply.  Because postings can be open to various reads, I do not mean that as a snarky question, but literal reader that I may be, wanted to ask for clarification.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 27, 2011, 10:52:54 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.

This is a discussion about whether or not we approve of parts of his manifesto. I would say it is completely appropriate to voice your disagreement over here.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Lisbeth on September 27, 2011, 11:18:03 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.

This is a discussion about whether or not we approve of parts of his manifesto. I would say it is completely appropriate to voice your disagreement over here.

I disagree.  This is a discussion about whether or not the manifesto is or isn't in compliance with etiquette.  If we feel that it is not because we disagree with one of his policies, we have every right to say so.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 27, 2011, 11:23:54 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying immadz. I'm just saying he's free to make whatever policies he wants for his book signing appearances and people are free to disagree with them and can choose to not go to his book signings. I don't think anyone can tell him how to run his book signings but if they hate his policies that much they don't have to support him. Personally I don't think he's wrong for his policies and I don't know that anyone's wrong to disagree with them. I'm just saying if you don't like them then don't support him and don't go to any of his book signings. Your choice.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 27, 2011, 11:41:52 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying immadz. I'm just saying he's free to make whatever policies he wants for his book signing appearances and people are free to disagree with them and can choose to not go to his book signings. I don't think anyone can tell him how to run his book signings but if they hate his policies that much they don't have to support him. Personally I don't think he's wrong for his policies and I don't know that anyone's wrong to disagree with them. I'm just saying if you don't like them then don't support him and don't go to any of his book signings. Your choice.

Ed.

Your post seems to imply two things
1. Voting with our support is the only vote that counts. and (2) those of us who are objecting to the manifesto points on this thread are somehow not in the right. I disagree with both these implications. Sometimes, a public voice of complaint is just as good of a message. I actually don't care about him one way or another. However, I am sure there are several things that are minor annoyances which will not make me walk away but it will make me happier if they are resolved. Also, since this thread started by stating his manifesto we are all free to voice our pleasure or displeasure at his policies on here.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 28, 2011, 12:06:39 AM
Rohanna, I can well understand what you speak of regarding family traditions - my many years of family reunions have had similar practices.  And, not being familiar with what may constitute a "Pow Wow" outside your family gatherings, my only comment would be that any precedence beyond first come first served may be the agreed upon norm for a communal gathering.  In the case of a purely public gathering, the organizers may apply rules which do or do not meet the *desires* of all who may wish to attend.

You point out that your desire/expectation of any different practice than that established for an event governed by family culture would be rude, and while you don't say so expressly, I presume you mean the same would apply regarding a request for a practice other than is in place for a public event.  But I did want to ask if that is so.  My posts are not always as clear to others as they seem to me, and your statement that "cultural or personal preferences apply" had me wondering if you meant either applies, or one applies unless the other contradicts, or simply that majority view should apply.  Because postings can be open to various reads, I do not mean that as a snarky question, but literal reader that I may be, wanted to ask for clarification.

Sorry, I'll clarify :) By pow wow I meant the feast that occurs after an actual pow wow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow_wow) - while some are less formal, the ones I attend still adhere strictly to the idea that if you attend, you give your place in lines to elders without question, and with deference. 

I would be rather put out if AB didn't make some mention of his policies, or explain why he did things a little differently at the time he was doing it, because if I went to his events expecting "first come, first serve", I'd probably be fleetingly annoyed that it wasn't, even if I agreed entirely with his rationale. But he's established that to his fan base, and explained why he does so, and explained what he's offering in return- so it's up to me to decide if I feel his event is still worth attending or not- it's not up to me to decide that his rules aren't "fair" and he should change them just for me.

The reason I brought up native canadian "feast/pow wow" etiquette is because it is an example of the reverse (children waiting for elders), and that I don't find that rude either- I believe that sometimes events establish their own rules that might not always be in my favour, but I follow them or don't go.

Another example of this kind of thing is "ladies nights" at bars. Or seniors menus/free coffees. The local hockey arena offers a discount to fans with face paint in the team colours. Insurance companies offer girls lower rates than boys. Single well dressed and behaved travellors might find themselves more likely to be bumped to first class on planes. Some places offer free or reduced admission to people with handicap cards/tags. Lots of businesses and events set their own rules, and sometimes they favour one group over another....and there's always going to be someone that isn't happy with it no matter what they do.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 28, 2011, 12:36:11 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.

Southwest does not.

They did the last time I flew them. Business first, then families with small children and persons with disabilities and then regular boarding by zone....

From the Southwest website:

An adult traveling with a child four years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs between the "A" and "B" boarding groups. However, those Customers holding an "A" boarding pass should still board with the "A" boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

They only preboard people with disabilities, etc.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Lisbeth on September 28, 2011, 12:38:54 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying immadz. I'm just saying he's free to make whatever policies he wants for his book signing appearances and people are free to disagree with them and can choose to not go to his book signings. I don't think anyone can tell him how to run his book signings but if they hate his policies that much they don't have to support him. Personally I don't think he's wrong for his policies and I don't know that anyone's wrong to disagree with them. I'm just saying if you don't like them then don't support him and don't go to any of his book signings. Your choice.

Ed.

Your post seems to imply two things
1. Voting with our support is the only vote that counts. and (2) those of us who are objecting to the manifesto points on this thread are somehow not in the right. I disagree with both these implications. Sometimes, a public voice of complaint is just as good of a message. I actually don't care about him one way or another. However, I am sure there are several things that are minor annoyances which will not make me walk away but it will make me happier if they are resolved. Also, since this thread started by stating his manifesto we are all free to voice our pleasure or displeasure at his policies on here.

I don't see anything in Ed's posts to suggest that he is implying either thing.  I happen to agree with whomever believes that Alton Brown or anyone else has the right to set the rules for a book signing, and if you, I, or anyone else doesn't like them, we can vote with our feet-by not participating.  There's nothing rude about that-or about that opinion.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 28, 2011, 12:58:18 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.

This is a discussion about whether or not we approve of parts of his manifesto. I would say it is completely appropriate to voice your disagreement over here.

I disagree.  This is a discussion about whether or not the manifesto is or isn't in compliance with etiquette.  If we feel that it is not because we disagree with one of his policies, we have every right to say so.
I agree. I believe giving one group of people who perhaps poorly plan their social events preference over another group which includes people who are perhaps in group one but better planned to be slightly rude.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 28, 2011, 01:00:45 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.

Southwest does not.

They did the last time I flew them. Business first, then families with small children and persons with disabilities and then regular boarding by zone....

From the Southwest website:

An adult traveling with a child four years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs between the "A" and "B" boarding groups. However, those Customers holding an "A" boarding pass should still board with the "A" boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

They only preboard people with disabilities, etc.

well families board before me since I am always in group B. Also all their zones have numbers so a family with a young child with B51 would board ahead of me with a B20. Since their seats are first come first serve, this ensures that families get to pick reasonably good seat since only 60 people have entered the plane before them and most of the back rows including aisle and windows (excluding emergency exit seats) are still free.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 28, 2011, 01:39:10 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.

There's no evidence of poor planning or behavior though- it's all been assumption that it's so. You dnt know that the plan wasn't "let's go see what the lineup is like- oh, it's way too long let's get jr. home...." and that AB remembers what that's like and wants to give parents the favor he would have appreciated.  It's the repeated assertions of "rewarding bad behavior" that get irritating, since it's a mean spirited assumption.

This is a discussion about whether or not we approve of parts of his manifesto. I would say it is completely appropriate to voice your disagreement over here.

I disagree.  This is a discussion about whether or not the manifesto is or isn't in compliance with etiquette.  If we feel that it is not because we disagree with one of his policies, we have every right to say so.
I agree. I believe giving one group of people who perhaps poorly plan their social events preference over another group which includes people who are perhaps in group one but better planned to be slightly rude.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 28, 2011, 02:09:01 PM
The way I see it Alton Brown as a private citizen has a right to have any policies he wants for his book signings. And if you (you in general) don't like his polices or feel he's favoring one group of people over another then you can choose to not go to his book signings. That's your choice and your right. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing things that way but no you don't have to like them. One could always write a letter of complaint to him about it if they feel strongly enough.

Ed.

This is a discussion about whether or not we approve of parts of his manifesto. I would say it is completely appropriate to voice your disagreement over here.

I disagree.  This is a discussion about whether or not the manifesto is or isn't in compliance with etiquette.  If we feel that it is not because we disagree with one of his policies, we have every right to say so.
I agree. I believe giving one group of people who perhaps poorly plan their social events preference over another group which includes people who are perhaps in group one but better planned to be slightly rude.

 There is no indication anyone planned better or worse at all.  Again, he did not say anything about badly behaved kids, noise etc. He just said it is his choice to let families with small children go first.

Where are you reading in that manifesto that parents planned badly?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 28, 2011, 02:23:56 PM
It's an assumption, albeit a reasonable one (IMO) that he's referring to kids who are expressing displeasure at being out later than normal.  Naturally, he doesn't want to come out and say that - it's bad PR - but what he said about bedtimes led me to believe that's what he meant.

Of course, I'm neither Alton Brown nor his brain, and I don't work on his PR team, so the above is worth what you paid for it.   ;D
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 28, 2011, 02:29:47 PM
Well, I have a 2 and 4 yr old and I'd love to know where you are finding these businesses that I'm missing out on that continually move families to the front of the line. Can you enlighten me?

Every airline I've ever flown does it, on every flight I've ever taken.

Southwest does not.

They did the last time I flew them. Business first, then families with small children and persons with disabilities and then regular boarding by zone....

From the Southwest website:

An adult traveling with a child four years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs between the "A" and "B" boarding groups. However, those Customers holding an "A" boarding pass should still board with the "A" boarding group. With an all-jet fleet outfitted with comfortable, leather seats, our families traveling with small children are easily accommodated together.

They only preboard people with disabilities, etc.

well families board before me since I am always in group B. Also all their zones have numbers so a family with a young child with B51 would board ahead of me with a B20. Since their seats are first come first serve, this ensures that families get to pick reasonably good seat since only 60 people have entered the plane before them and most of the back rows including aisle and windows (excluding emergency exit seats) are still free.

I see what you're saying, but they don't necessarily get the pick of the good seats. Last time I flew Southwest with my daughter, who was 2 and had her own seat, the people who boarded before got all the front seats. This meant I had to travel down skinny aisle to the first open seats I could find and try not to whack people in the head with her car seat. I'm short and it was difficult.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: penelope2017 on September 28, 2011, 02:57:05 PM
It's an assumption, albeit a reasonable one (IMO) that he's referring to kids who are expressing displeasure at being out later than normal.  Naturally, he doesn't want to come out and say that - it's bad PR - but what he said about bedtimes led me to believe that's what he meant.

Of course, I'm neither Alton Brown nor his brain, and I don't work on his PR team, so the above is worth what you paid for it.   ;D
[/quote

I keep coming back to this though, this is the crux of my disagreement with these types of posts:

When tackling large signings I try to move fast to get you home. I will often ask that families with small children be allowed to come to the front of the line so that they can get out and to bed at a decent hour.

He is trying to be considerate  of families with small kids. That's it. There is nothing to indicate otherwise. It's a. an assumption to think he's talking about badly behaved kids and further add to that assumption b. that it is therefore rewarding poor planning. I believe he has small kids, so perhaps he is particularly compassionate to others in the same position.

If you don't like the policy, I get it. But it is maligning of parents with regard to it that isn't fair, IMHO. Me taking my 4 year old to a book signing at 7 and waiting an hour or whatever would not remotely be poor planning on my part, whether or not he let us go first.

The guy was blatantly honest in this "fanifesto," to the point that someone posted it here to see if anyone thought he had gone so far as to be rude in doing so. I think if he wanted to say anything more than the above, he would have said it. I think the dude speaks his mind, and we shouldn't read anymore into his words than what they are.

Blame the policy maker, don't make the parents rude for bringing kids because he made a policy that serves them first.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: sisbam on September 28, 2011, 05:32:36 PM
I think there is a reason AB decided to make this policy. The reason could be as simple as him wanting to be considerate. Or perhaps he's had unpleasant experiences in the past which lead to this solution. All we can do is speculate. And opine. I think saying "If you don't like it, you don't have to go" is counterproductive to the discussion. It's a very dismissive statement.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 28, 2011, 10:25:16 PM
I think there is a reason AB decided to make this policy. The reason could be as simple as him wanting to be considerate. Or perhaps he's had unpleasant experiences in the past which lead to this solution. All we can do is speculate. And opine. I think saying "If you don't like it, you don't have to go" is counterproductive to the discussion. It's a very dismissive statement.

I can see being turned off by the phrasing, but I think it's valid to say that if you don't agree, then don't attend *and contact Alton Brown/his reps/whoever to let them know why you aren't attending.*
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Aeris on September 28, 2011, 11:05:12 PM
I think there is a reason AB decided to make this policy. The reason could be as simple as him wanting to be considerate. Or perhaps he's had unpleasant experiences in the past which lead to this solution. All we can do is speculate. And opine. I think saying "If you don't like it, you don't have to go" is counterproductive to the discussion. It's a very dismissive statement.

But I suppose I don't really get the point of speculating and opining as to what his rationale is for the policy. It could be a couple different things, each pretty equally likely, and we have no way of knowing (whether he's just being considerate to parents, or whether it's based entirely on poor planning and misbehaving).

It does no one any good for us to speculate on his secret motives. It doesn't change whether he's being rude, it doesn't change what a polite response to the policy is, should you disagree with it.

It seems about as useful as speculating on whether he wears boxers or briefs - there's no added value in it.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Master_Edward on September 28, 2011, 11:19:48 PM
That's a very good point Aeris.

Ed.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: sisbam on September 29, 2011, 08:47:27 AM
But what's the point of starting a thread discussing the merits of his manifesto? If everyone said, "I like it 100%. It's all polite and justified and thoughtful," then there's no need for discussion.

As it stands, we're discussing the part about families with small children going first. Many think it's considerate. Some think it's unfair to those who waited in line for the same time, if not longer. Okay, why do you think it's unfair? That's where we are now.

I guess there's nothing left to discuss. Discussing the family side of the equation gets ugly and apparently discussing reasons which would make this policy seem fair to those who don't like it is pointless.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 29, 2011, 12:33:50 PM
But what's the point of starting a thread discussing the merits of his manifesto? If everyone said, "I like it 100%. It's all polite and justified and thoughtful," then there's no need for discussion.

As it stands, we're discussing the part about families with small children going first. Many think it's considerate. Some think it's unfair to those who waited in line for the same time, if not longer. Okay, why do you think it's unfair? That's where we are now.

I guess there's nothing left to discuss. Discussing the family side of the equation gets ugly and apparently discussing reasons which would make this policy seem fair to those who don't like it is pointless.

ITA.  I started not to wade into the "fair/unfair" question because it seemed like a derailment, but when I thought about it, I realized it's just natural thread drift. 

It does seem to be going in circles at this point, though.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Aeris on September 29, 2011, 12:34:08 PM
But what's the point of starting a thread discussing the merits of his manifesto? If everyone said, "I like it 100%. It's all polite and justified and thoughtful," then there's no need for discussion.

As it stands, we're discussing the part about families with small children going first. Many think it's considerate. Some think it's unfair to those who waited in line for the same time, if not longer. Okay, why do you think it's unfair? That's where we are now.

I guess there's nothing left to discuss. Discussing the family side of the equation gets ugly and apparently discussing reasons which would make this policy seem fair to those who don't like it is pointless.

I never said there was nothing to discuss. And I didn't actually say his manifesto was 100% polite - I haven't weighed in on that.  I just don't think his private, unexpressed, unevidenced *reasons* for having that policy are helpful or germane to any of those discussions since we have no way of knowing what they are.

Assuming that he must only be doing that because of rude, entitled parents who plan poorly with badly behaved kids is not helpful, we have no evidence it's true, and it causes bad feelings in an otherwise productive thread.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 29, 2011, 12:46:36 PM
But what's the point of starting a thread discussing the merits of his manifesto? If everyone said, "I like it 100%. It's all polite and justified and thoughtful," then there's no need for discussion.

As it stands, we're discussing the part about families with small children going first. Many think it's considerate. Some think it's unfair to those who waited in line for the same time, if not longer. Okay, why do you think it's unfair? That's where we are now.

I guess there's nothing left to discuss. Discussing the family side of the equation gets ugly and apparently discussing reasons which would make this policy seem fair to those who don't like it is pointless.

I never said there was nothing to discuss. And I didn't actually say his manifesto was 100% polite - I haven't weighed in on that.  I just don't think his private, unexpressed, unevidenced *reasons* for having that policy are helpful or germane to any of those discussions since we have no way of knowing what they are.

Assuming that he must only be doing that because of rude, entitled parents who plan poorly with badly behaved kids is not helpful, we have no evidence it's true, and it causes bad feelings in an otherwise productive thread.

Actually Alton Brown says in his manifesto that it is so that the kids can get out and to bed at a decent hour. Some of us believe it is sad that celebrities have to show this consideration for the children's sleep schedule when the parents are not.

It could be that the childrens' bed time is not very early at all and Alton Brown is making an interesting assumption that kids all go or should go to bed at a certain hour. In this case, I would say he is making a less than charitable assumption that parents with young children who are at the back of the line. Assuming that they will not appropriately prioritize their children's needs and the need to be polite to those waiting in line.

When the unfairness of the line thing was mentioned, some posters brought up that AB was being polite and considerate of those waiting in line by getting kids who were prone to melt downs out first. This is what led to the suggestion that in this case, it was the parents of the kids who were subjecting those in line to a melt down who were rude and the policy perhaps should not cater to these parents.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: 567Kate on September 29, 2011, 12:55:38 PM
I think he should have perhaps made it a more general statement.  Something like this:

"We may take groups with special needs earlier to make the event run as smoothly as possible, and I ask for your patience in this, even when it means you have to wait a little longer. In return, I promise to stay long enough to meet with every single fan."
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on September 29, 2011, 01:09:38 PM
I think he should have perhaps made it a more general statement.  Something like this:

"We may take groups with special needs earlier to make the event run as smoothly as possible, and I ask for your patience in this, even when it means you have to wait a little longer. In return, I promise to stay long enough to meet with every single fan."

But "special needs" can be determined so many ways. It's pretty vague. So, in a way, I disagree. I think him being specific and to the point like he was is better only because you know exactly what your in for and aren't left wondering "well, does MY family qualify as "special needs" or not?"
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Rohanna on September 29, 2011, 01:35:10 PM
Again with the negative assumptions? Why assume that the parents are being unfair to the kids by keeping them out too late when it could , as I said before, be that they leave the event if the line is too long- and he'd rather they didn't have to. Maybe they dont normally even bring kids to events, but hes letting parenta know hes sensitive to childcare
Issues... We dont know.

If constantly negative Stereotypes were being thrown around about any other group like they are for parents, wonder what people would say?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: immadz on September 29, 2011, 01:55:10 PM
I think he should have perhaps made it a more general statement.  Something like this:

"We may take groups with special needs earlier to make the event run as smoothly as possible, and I ask for your patience in this, even when it means you have to wait a little longer. In return, I promise to stay long enough to meet with every single fan."

But "special needs" can be determined so many ways. It's pretty vague. So, in a way, I disagree. I think him being specific and to the point like he was is better only because you know exactly what your in for and aren't left wondering "well, does MY family qualify as "special needs" or not?"

He doesn't actually say that this is policy though. His manifesto says that he will *sometimes* ask families with young children forward so that they can get out and get to bed at a decent hour. So this is likely only at play at events which run later into the night where young kids are in line.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: sisbam on September 29, 2011, 03:06:20 PM
But what's the point of starting a thread discussing the merits of his manifesto? If everyone said, "I like it 100%. It's all polite and justified and thoughtful," then there's no need for discussion.

As it stands, we're discussing the part about families with small children going first. Many think it's considerate. Some think it's unfair to those who waited in line for the same time, if not longer. Okay, why do you think it's unfair? That's where we are now.

I guess there's nothing left to discuss. Discussing the family side of the equation gets ugly and apparently discussing reasons which would make this policy seem fair to those who don't like it is pointless.

I never said there was nothing to discuss. And I didn't actually say his manifesto was 100% polite - I haven't weighed in on that.  I just don't think his private, unexpressed, unevidenced *reasons* for having that policy are helpful or germane to any of those discussions since we have no way of knowing what they are.

Assuming that he must only be doing that because of rude, entitled parents who plan poorly with badly behaved kids is not helpful, we have no evidence it's true, and it causes bad feelings in an otherwise productive thread.

Sure, okay. I probably worded what I was thinking wrong.

My point is that if I disagreed with a given rule, I might feel differently about it if I knew how it came to be, especially if it were the result a particularly bad experience or incident.

Would those who dislike the rule feel better if this were the case?
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: aventurine on September 29, 2011, 03:12:10 PM
My point is that if I disagreed with a given rule, I might feel differently about it if I knew how it came to be, especially if it were the result a particularly bad experience or incident.

Would those who dislike the rule feel better if this were the case?

Good question.  IMO, it would help me understand it but probably not feel better about it, because I could feel as though I were being "punished," for lack of a better word, for something I didn't do and had no control over.

eta:  I wouldn't be mad at Alton, but rather at the one(s) who caused the original incident, in the vein of "this is why we can't have nice things."

The what-ifs can go on and on, can't they?   ;D
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: sisbam on September 29, 2011, 03:14:43 PM
I think he should have perhaps made it a more general statement.  Something like this:

"We may take groups with special needs earlier to make the event run as smoothly as possible, and I ask for your patience in this, even when it means you have to wait a little longer. In return, I promise to stay long enough to meet with every single fan."

But "special needs" can be determined so many ways. It's pretty vague. So, in a way, I disagree. I think him being specific and to the point like he was is better only because you know exactly what your in for and aren't left wondering "well, does MY family qualify as "special needs" or not?"

Yeah, I would be pretty pissed to read that only to find that "special needs" means family with small kids.

For the record, I'm okay with all of the manifesto, and I would happily attend a signing (I would do that regardless). I'm especially okay with attending one because I know what I'm getting into ahead of time. The families thing would annoy me if I walked into it blind.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: buvezdevin on September 29, 2011, 04:20:15 PM
I said upthread I think AB's "fanifesto" is generous; I still do, but some subsequent views have me wondering if making the point about "sometimes" asking those with kids to go first in line may not unintentionally increase the odds for always having some folks unhappy (however minorly or briefly) as a "no kids present" attendee may, if not aware of the fact before, question that "kids present" attendees are given priority, but a "kids present" attendee who knew AB's statements on the point could be unhappy that the event they may attend is not one of the times they could go first.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: LibChick on September 29, 2011, 08:03:16 PM
Ok, how about this scenario: Young Alton Brown's take him to see his favorite celebrity. The meet and greet is in the evening and they have been in line a long time. Young Alton Brown's parents see that it is getting late and by the time their child gets to see favorite celebrity, it will be way past his bedtime and he will most likely be a cranky mess. They Take young Alton home and he never forgets the disappointment he felt.

Years later, Alton Brown because a celebrity and decides never to disappoint a young fan the way he was disappointed. His rule is included in his Fanifesto. The end.

This could be the way it went down. Children can be fans of Alton Brown and maybe that's why their parents are bringing them to a book signing. My kid loves Martha Stewart. She's five and I would totally bring her to a Martha Stewart book signing.

Or maybe one AB's kids was disappointed at not getting to meet his favorite celebrity because the child was getting cranky because of being up late and AB decided that maybe he would do his meet and greets differently. There could be many reasons for this rule. I think it's rather rude to judge the parents (or kids) here- they aren't asking for this rule to be made. And AB has the right to run things the way he would like. It's his prerogative.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: baglady on September 30, 2011, 12:03:08 PM
There's nothing in what AB wrote about misbehavior. Unless (general) you consider it bad parental behavior to bring small children to a book signing, then his policy is not "rewarding bad behavior."

Apparently, though, a lot of people *do* consider it bad parental behavior. In some cases, it might be, especially if the kids are disruptive and the parents are doing nothing to control them. But I'm not willing to make the leap and say that a parent should never, ever, under any circumstances bring a child to a book signing. As a couple of PPs have suggested, the kid might even be a fan, too.

And he does say that this is something he does *sometimes*, and it's in the interest of allowing parents of wee ones to get the kids home to bed. So I'm guessing he doesn't do it at a 2 p.m. signing.

I've never been to an AB book signing, so I really have no idea how many people show up with little kids. But as a childless person, I would have no problem waiting a few more minutes while they went first. Especially if I knew that he was not going to bail before seeing everyone. I don't consider that discrimination against the childless -- which certainly does exist in the world, but Alton Brown isn't guilty of it IMO.
Title: Re: Alton Brown's manifesto to fans
Post by: Bijou on October 04, 2011, 07:57:48 AM
I thought it was fine and probably informative, for example, about the phone pictures. 
Only one thing bothered me and I'm not even sure why:  When he said that celebs or cable-ebrities refer to the public as  'citizens'.