Author Topic: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?  (Read 5225 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15851
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« on: October 20, 2012, 10:16:35 AM »
For anyone not familiar with it, Meetup is a website that connects people with common interests so they can actually have face-to-face common experiences.  You register, give them your real-world name and address, check off the things you're interested in, and it sends you e-mails about groups you might be interested in within a 50-mile radius of your zip code.  I belong to a dozen groups, some of which have yet to schedule their first event.  Four of my groups are about cinema and movies.

Last night one of the organizers of a movie group held a screening at his apartment, where he has a blue-ray player, projector, and screen.  Great electronics and the picture quality was excellent.  Comfortable seating was provided and he called out for pizza, which he paid for and even declined to accept money from his guests in contribution.  There were seven people total of various ages and occupations.  All were pleasant and polite to each other for the most part.

So what was wrong?

First, I may have inadvertently embarrassed the host.  Without being familiar with the protocol of this group (it was my first event with them), I brought fresh raw veg and dip to the gathering.  The dip was prepared and the veg was cleaned and cut so all it needed was to be plated.

No platters or even proper plates.  He had one glass bowl for dip.  All he had were microwave-safe containers that take-out food is frequently sold in.  No real glasses, either; just plastic disposables (despite owning  a set of coasters).  He was waiting for another guy to show up with soda and chips; the male guest who was already there brought paper plates and napkins (at the host's request).

One of the other women (whom I think was about my age; we were the oldest present) brought some artfully made Halloween cookies.  At one point when the host joked about his ignorance of hosting he asked what minimum stuff a host should do she said "Make sure the bathroom is clean and there is enough toilet paper."  Everyone laughed.  Half an hour later when I entered the bathroom it was clean, there was a scented candle burning, and a new bottle of hand soap.  However, the TP roll was down to the last two uses.  There was only one new roll in the vanity cabinet, which turned out to be adequate for the evening.

Is it presumptuous to assume that when you attend something like this that the host have the basic  kitchen equipment to serve snacks in?  The chips brought by the other guy stayed in the bag because there was no bowl to put them in.  The peppers I brought stayed in the rectangular Ziplock storage container I brought them in, but the cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots were put in a strainer that was placed in a microwave bowl to keep it steady.  I declined to take the leftovers home because of the weight, so the host joked about acquiring a tupperware container.

BTW, the host is a single man in his 30s and he is gainfully employed.

The other issue was that the screening turned into Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but there was no prior warning of that.

I don't know whether ratings are required as this is only my 4th Meetup event altogether.

What would you say or do?

Knitterly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1559
    • That other knitting blog
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 10:32:34 AM »
I would say and do nothing.  If you felt you didn't jive with the group or this gentleman's hosting style, I would simply not go back.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8532
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 10:35:59 AM »
I think the host's hosting was adequate, and I wouldn't say anything about it. There was enough toilet paper. The food could be served, however inelegantly.

In some social circles, if you bring food to a party, you are expected to bring the serving dish and utensils to serve it.

I have several brothers, most of whom did not get married until their 40s. They had cookouts and Super Bowl parties, but otherwise their entertaining was having a few friends over for pizza and beer. Serving dishes simply weren't needed in their lives, so they didn't have them. It wasn't until they started more sophisticated entertaining, usually when they got married, that they acquired serving bowls and platters. (Not to say that single men don't have serving dishes, just to show my experience with the men I know well enough to know the insides of their kitchen cabinets.) I dated one guy for a while who had to go out and buy a mug for me to have coffee and tea at his apartment--he'd gotten along with just one for a year, since his former girlfriend had stormed out and taken all her dishes, glasses and mugs with her.

If your host is new to entertaining, he's going to have a learning curve. Right now, he's got only basic skills. But it sounds like he learned things during your meet-up event and will probably learn more if he continues to entertain.

I haven't done Meet-up, so I don't know if ratings are required, but if you leave one, I'd concentrate on the focus of the meet-up--the electronic equipment was good, the seating was good, the company pleasant. You would have preferred a less Mystery Science Theater atmosphere, but you still had a good time (or whatever else you can say that is positive).
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Roe

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6424
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 10:39:26 AM »
I would say and do nothing.  If you felt you didn't jive with the group or this gentleman's hosting style, I would simply not go back.

Pod. 

And if I take food to a party, I am sure to bring it already in a serving dish, just in case.  TBH, I think it's a little rude when people expect their offering to be served and expect you to provide the serving platter as well. 

sourwolf

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 347
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 11:06:18 AM »
I agree with Roe, I would never dream of bringing a dish to share without making sure it was ready to serve. Even a more equipped kitchen might have all of the serving platters accounted for with no extras for unexpected food. Frankly I think you are being a bit nit picky. Sounds like this just isn't the group for you.

Girlie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 513
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 11:10:30 AM »
I would say and do nothing.  If you felt you didn't jive with the group or this gentleman's hosting style, I would simply not go back.

Pod. 

And if I take food to a party, I am sure to bring it already in a serving dish, just in case.  TBH, I think it's a little rude when people expect their offering to be served and expect you to provide the serving platter as well.

This.
Not that I think you meant to be rude (or that you acted rudely), and maybe it's common in your usual social groups, but it's always safest to assume that a host doesn't have the ability to provide serving things.

Case in point: My husband and my first party as a married couple was a joint venture with our then-roommate. Roomie invited his family and friends, many more people than DH and I invited, which was perfectly fine. We provided enough food and burgers for everyone, including drinks, sides, condiments and desserts. I thought all was well.
Except that apparently, in his family they all bring side dishes, and expect the host to provide servingware. Which we didn't have, being that DH and I were newly married and moved out of our parents' home and Roomie was a young bachelor. I compromised with larger spoons, but the snarky comments I overheard from his other female friends about the lack of "appropriate serving stuff" really stung. I was doing the best I could, and it made me feel really inadequate.
Plus, they ruined one of my brand new wedding-gift bowls by mixing some sort of pasta salad that included a ton of vinegar in it. I was not a happy camper.  >:(

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5994
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 11:42:39 AM »
I would say and do nothing.  If you felt you didn't jive with the group or this gentleman's hosting style, I would simply not go back.

Pod. 

And if I take food to a party, I am sure to bring it already in a serving dish, just in case.  TBH, I think it's a little rude when people expect their offering to be served and expect you to provide the serving platter as well. 

I agree with Roe, I would never dream of bringing a dish to share without making sure it was ready to serve. Even a more equipped kitchen might have all of the serving platters accounted for with no extras for unexpected food. Frankly I think you are being a bit nit picky. Sounds like this just isn't the group for you.

Are you in a situation where we are talking about buses, subway, and taxis? That is always how I imagined you live. (Please correct me.)

Anyway, I still think I would have take the dip and vegies in all Ziploc dishes. Those are supposed to be semi-throwaway anyway. With a handful of paper plates and napkins and some plastic spoons from takeaway, that should do it with what Roe and Sourwolf said about taking serving dishes with you. If the host has better, great! If not, it is really casual and you are good.

By the way, I agree with Knitterly that you don't HAVE to post a review, but as camlan said, post only positives, and try to learn what is planned a little better next time!

I really admire your adventurous spirit! I would never go into a den of strangers with any amount of confidence. You are so cool.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6670
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 11:50:57 AM »
Venus, if I recall properly, you are about my age.

Younger people, especially for an event like this, tend to be very informal. 

If you do rate the meet-up, it's probably best to concentrate on the positive aspects of the event. 

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8784
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 11:55:19 AM »
I would say that the hospitality was fine--just not aesthetically pleasing. He had enough seating, he paid for the main course, he had dishes even though they were plastic (in my town, the archetype of this is the local pizza institution's cups--most young people have about a dozen of them and reuse them for many years), he had enough TP. I, too, would not assume a host had a serving dish for something I brought; usually even if the host has serving dishes, they're full of stuff the host is serving!  :) He just sounds like somebody who prioritizes his entertainment equipment over having "pretty" dishes.

You might mention that it has an MST3K atmosphere, because some will find that a negative and some will find it a positive.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 12:09:31 PM »
The only real complaint worthy thing here was th Mystery Science Theater thing (I presume by this you mean everyone was talking over the movie to crack jokes). The rest is... well kinda snobby. I mean what are you even saying about the toilet paper situation? Are you angry the roll had to be changed? Did you think he should have removed the almost done roll and put on a full roll just for the party instead of replenishing it mid-way? Were you rooting through all his closets to know his back-up situation?

And honestly? I was always taught its quite rude to bring something to a party that requires work of the host. Never bring food that needs a platter or flowers that need a vase. So you have no ground there - that was your fail not his. (I tend to save those big plastic platters deli spreads come on as bring & loose serving platters. Old microvave turntable plates work well too but are heavier. Or disposable aluminum pizza trays, usually found in grocery stores for 3/$1 work great.))

Veronica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5158
  • the Patron Saint of Judgmental Statues
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 12:11:39 PM »
I think you should host the next the meetup for this group at your place and show him how it's done!   :)

Florida

Auntie Mame

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1498
  • Live! Live! LIVE!
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 12:15:04 PM »
He provided piszza, ample seatg and a welcoming environment, I think he did great. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 12:48:49 PM by Auntie Mame »
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15851
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 12:45:03 PM »
Quote
The only real complaint worthy thing here was th Mystery Science Theater thing (I presume by this you mean everyone was talking over the movie to crack jokes). The rest is... well kinda snobby. I mean what are you even saying about the toilet paper situation? Are you angry the roll had to be changed? Did you think he should have removed the almost done roll and put on a full roll just for the party instead of replenishing it mid-way? Were you rooting through all his closets to know his back-up situation?

I really think that the bolded question is a little over the top.  In fact, I didn't even notice whether the host owned a microwave.

The MST3K thing wouldn't have bothered me if I had seen the film before and/or if I had known about it in advance.  In fact, one of my other groups specifically does this in a comedy club with the sort of movies that program did back in the day (e.g., Teenagers From Outer Space) and resident comedians to lead the joke-telling. 

If I go to another such event with this group I will either ask in advance or make sure it's a film I've seen before.

In my experience with this kind of informal entertaining most people bring something that is served.  The announced start time was 8PM (past dinner time for most of us) although most were arriving a little later; the pizza was ordered at 9:20, when everything was there and the screening began.

I can't host an event like this because I don't have adequate seating for more than five or six people.

The peppers were in the Ziplock container because I didn't want them to get crushed.  I bagged the broccoli and cauliflower for ease of packing one grocery bag.  It occurred to me when I got out of the subway (yes, that's how I get around) that my bag cart might have been a better idea than carrying the plastic bag.

As for serving platters, even Sean had a couple of those when he was originally single.  He didn't cook, either (except for the occasional steak or pot of pasta).  Still doesn't but he has plates, utensils, and a couple of pots.

Two guests commented on the veg "This is the healthiest food I've ever seen here" and two others thanked me for bringing it.

StressedGroom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1701
  • Mr. Goblue2539
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2012, 01:46:45 PM »
We actually only store a few rolls of toilet paper in our bathroom, we store the rest in the closet (we buy our paper goods at Sam's Club).

I'm not familiar with Meetup, have you be similarly disappointed with other events?  Since you were one of the oldest there it may be that it attracts a younger crowd who doesn't have such high expectations for hosting.  It sounds like this event was targeted towards a younger group who were more interested in social interaction than you were.

sourwolf

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 347
Re: How do I rate this Meetup without insulting anyone?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2012, 01:52:18 PM »

As for serving platters, even Sean had a couple of those when he was originally single.  He didn't cook, either (except for the occasional steak or pot of pasta).  Still doesn't but he has plates, utensils, and a couple of pots.

Two guests commented on the veg "This is the healthiest food I've ever seen here" and two others thanked me for bringing it.

I'm confused, who is sean and how does he relate to this meetup?

You seem to be getting a little defensive. No one is saying you shouldn't have bright th veggies just that if you do brig something to share it should be ready to serve without needing to involve the host (unless you clear it with them beforehand of course.)