Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?

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I recently joined a newly formed book club. Many of the women in this club have said they joined club in the past where turn-out was low and the clubs fell apart b/c of lack of participation (I've had this experience myself). So the founder, who is nice but rather controlling, instituted (with a majority vote) and "Do not RSVP then not show up w/ no notice and you are out of the club" rule.

It is understood that each of us will have occasional conflicts that keep us from our monthly meetings, so we must notify the founder and that month's host if we are unable to attend in advance....a few days preferred, but it's an emergency same day notice is fine. But notice must be given b/c whomever is hosting prepares a meal and goes to a lot of effort to host the club that month at her house.

So I hosted the club this past weekened and spent about $200 on food and drinks for the 11 members who has RSVPed...10 showed up. A brand member who just joined and had not attended any previous meetings had RSVPed she would attend but did not show and did not give notice to myself or the founder of the club.

After we finished eating and talking about the book the founder recommended we kick the new member out. I suggested that b/c she hadn't been to a meeting before we might cut her some slack this one time b/c she might not have known about our "no show with no notice and you're out" rule. The founder disagrees and feels strongly we should enforce this rule w/o exception. Yeh, I didn't appreciate the no show as the hostess, but I'm flexible and willing to give this new member I haven't met a break this one time.

I think the club founder being a little too controlling...her most noted characteristic, but I still like her b/c she's sharp and funny and contributes a lot to the group.

What do you think? Should the new person be booted out or be given a polite, but firm, indication that RSVPing to attend and then not coming with no notice is not acceptable in our club and another incident she will be asked to leave the club.

I went from a book club that fell apart b/c no one particpated to one I enjoy but feel is a bit dictatorial about attendance. A happy medium would be nice.

How about offering the newcomer a fair warning that failure to appear without notice is a club no-no, and she is in jeopardy of expulsion if it happens again?  Then if it does, she could be expelled.

But at the same time, I'd talk to the founder about easing up on this rule a bit.  If a close relative has a heart attack or something, or there's a traffic accident while on the way to a meeting, and a member just doesn't have time to give a notice, enforcing this rule would really be harsh.

Well it depends. Is this something that is told to new members? That there will be a no tolerance policy?

Would you feel differently if a long time member did the same?

I do that you all should find out the reason why she didn't attend. Maybe there was a real emergency in her home. Where she wouldn't even think to call you guys

yeh, i'm thinking also that if there's an emergency it's understandable one might not have time to email the group and say they couldn't attend so some slack should be cut. i also think they if a longer attending member had done this they would get some slack from the founder...i think she may be a little too strict in this policy with a new person. i think she's trying a bit too hard to nip in the bud any slack attendees b/c most of the members have complained about previous clubs falling apart b/c people failed to participate.

Is this policy written down anywhere? Is there proof that the new member was told about it in advance? If the answers are No then the new member can't be faulted at all. I agree that there are times when advance notice of a no show aren't possible. Perhaps a meeting could be held and a written set of Bylaws be agreed on, written down, and distributed to all new members.


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