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Author Topic: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?  (Read 4674 times)

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Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« on: April 08, 2007, 10:28:30 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2007, 10:37:56 PM by Gambitgirl »


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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 10:32:19 PM »
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.
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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 10:32:50 PM »
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


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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 10:40:29 PM »
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.


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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 08:12:53 AM »
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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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 08:29:48 AM »
I'd probably give the no-show one more chance, especially if she's unaware of the rule -or- there was an actual emergency.  The founder seems a bit uptight, but anymore it seems like (general) you need to set rules like this in order to keep things going.


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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 08:59:19 AM »
I agree it sounds harsh.  Let me give you a case in which this rule really does need to be enforced.

I belong to a Bunco group that has been meeting for over ten years.  We need twelve people to play, and if one is missing it really throws off the game.  When you can't make it, you are responsible for finding a substitute.  Even still, every once in a while we'll have a situation in which someone will have an emergency and not make the game. 

The only time we ever "gave someone the boot" was when a very long-time member didn't show up for three months in a row.  A friend talked to her about it and she denied she had been missing the games.  The friend suggested she stop coming for a while (turns out she was suffering from a mental illness that was impairing her perception of reality...very sad, but she's now getting treatment). 



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Re: Not coming when you RSVP...worth getting the boot?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 09:30:13 AM »
On the flip side the founder might drive people away by being so harsh....if this is passed down through word of mouth (if you kick out the new member and she tells a couple of her friends who are thinking about joining) you might have less members anyway, because people won't want to join a club like that.  I think rather than booting her you should sit her down and explain the concerns and that in the future you'd appreciate some kind of warning if she's not going to show up.  If this becomes an ongoing issue, then it might be time to give her the boot.

I agree.  I read the post, and *I* thought "gee, this club doesn't exactly sound like fun." I'm sure it's a group of lovely people, but I would be discouraged from joining a club with such harsh policies.

Maybe there's a way to keep the club more informal?  It sounds like you spent about $20/pp on snacks - wow!  It might take the sting out of it if the club adopts a more informal policy (eg, "we meet for some snacks and coffee") - no one wants to spend a lot of money on an event where only a few show up.  But if you only make a few desserts or have some finger-food, you're also not out very much.  KWIM?

Believe me, I understand how disheartening it is to plan an event and only have a small handful show up.  It's no fun.  But I think really harsh rules might discourage new members from even joining.