Author Topic: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers  (Read 2876 times)

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sparksals

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Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« on: June 19, 2007, 07:33:07 PM »
I've posted in the past about our Canadian Club and how we celebrate Canadian holidays.  The next event is Canada Day and a potluck BBQ is planned.  All the events are potluck so that the hostess isn't overrun by the cost of being hostess. This works out very well - for the most part.  Last event was an Italian night.  Everyone brought pasta, different wines, italian veggie dishes etc.  A good time was had by all.

Anyway, when the notice goes out for the event, the person handling the mail list says to RSVP in both the affirmative or negative.  We know that literally, RSPV means to send your regrets, but we do ask for a response either way and we clearly specify a date and that a yes or a no is required.  A reminder is also sent to people who have not responded asking if they will attend. Most people are very good about this and we appreciate that even if they cannot come, it's nice that the event is acknowledged.  It is also done this way because there are alot of snowbirds in the group, so that we know they will not be in town for a certain period of time.  What's funny is those people we know are not in town always give the courtesy of an email back that they can't make it!  However, one person in particular always ignores the invites and reminders.

Over the course of this club's evolution, there have been chronic non-rsvp'ers who never respond to any invites.  We decided that after three in a row of not responding at all, that they will be removed from the list as we assume they are not interested in participating.  If they ask to be put back on, they are of course welcome to come back.  It's just alot of trouble organizing these events, the same people do it all the time, the same people attend and then there's the people to take it for granted, never offer to host.

This one lady, I'll call Debbie, is one of the chronic non-rspv'ers.  Debbie was removed from the list a couple events ago and recently emailed me to ask if anything was planned.  I forwarded her message on to the hostess, who happens to be the person who maintains the mail list - I'll call her Sally.  Sally didn't want to, but she emailed Debbie back and told her of the event that was two days away.  Debbie said she would attend with her husband and she would bring X dish.  Wouldn't you know, they did not show up,  they did not even call to cancel and they did not even email Sally after the fact to apologize for not attending.  Of course, Sally was furious and rightfully so. 

So, now we are planning Canada Day.  After Debbie enquired about the Italian event, said she would attend and then didn't have the courtesy to call, she was removed from the list again.  She just emailed me the other day to ask if anything is planned for Canada Day.  I haven't responded yet. 

We work hard to maintain this club.  If it weren't for a select few individuals and those who host, the club would not continue.  Debbie's lack of RSVPs, saying she will come and then not showing up when we are relying upon her potluck dishes have become extremely annoying.  Of course, we understand that things happen, but in Debbie's case this is a chronic problem and it appears she has absolutely no respect for the time and effort it takes to plan these things.

Would it be rude to ignore her email?  Sure, we could assign her something easy that we do not rely upon, but that is not fair to the other members of the group who are reliable.  I'm tempted to email her back and tell her that her chronic non-rsvp'g and the fact she was a no-show got her removed from the list.  Of course, I know that would not be polite. 

Sally thinks we should give Debbie a taste of her own medicine so she knows what it's like not to get a response!  Quite frankly, I do agree with Sally on this one.

So, how do we handle this in a polite and fair manner?  Would it be rude to tell her why she doesn't get the invites anymore?  Would it be rude to tell her she was rude not to show without the courtesy of a phone call to cancel? (BTW, I know the answer to the last question! lol)



« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 07:41:49 PM by sparksals »

Chocolate Cake

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 07:46:58 PM »
I would first arrange that anyone who is dropped for failing to RSVP 3x in a row, should have a mandatory "time out period" of 4-5 events so they may not just re-new immediately.  Also, I would change 3x down to 2x.   

For this case, her no-show after an affirmative RSVP should entitle her to a one-way ticket to no longer being in the group.   If you want to give her one more chance, tell her that she's out for another 3 events and then can try again, but that it will be her last chance.

sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 07:52:23 PM »
I would first arrange that anyone who is dropped for failing to RSVP 3x in a row, should have a mandatory "time out period" of 4-5 events so they may not just re-new immediately.  Also, I would change 3x down to 2x.   

For this case, her no-show after an affirmative RSVP should entitle her to a one-way ticket to no longer being in the group.   If you want to give her one more chance, tell her that she's out for another 3 events and then can try again, but that it will be her last chance.

Who would think that a group of adults would have to resort to this, eh?  I feel booting her out is sort of like Jr. High, but at the same time, we are tired of her showing absolutely no respect for the trouble it takes to maintain this group.

Don't get me wrong, we have alot of great people who I call friends.  I really enjoy the events that we have and we are all at the point of hugging hello and goodbye when we see each other.  It really is a great group comraderie for those who regularly attend and we always welcome new members with open arms.

Lisbeth

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 10:51:52 PM »
I think Debbie should be told that she is no longer being invited because of her tendency to either fail to RSVP or to RSVP and then not show up.  I'd word it like, "Debbie, when we invite you and you either don't RSVP or RSVP and then don't show up, we end up having to pay for food you don't consume, as well as worry about you and wonder if you are okay.  We've decided that as this isn't okay with us,  we are not issuing you invitations anymore."
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sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 11:40:02 PM »
I think Debbie should be told that she is no longer being invited because of her tendency to either fail to RSVP or to RSVP and then not show up.  I'd word it like, "Debbie, when we invite you and you either don't RSVP or RSVP and then don't show up, we end up having to pay for food you don't consume, as well as worry about you and wonder if you are okay.  We've decided that as this isn't okay with us,  we are not issuing you invitations anymore."

KR - as always such a diplomat, and one who gets the point across in an eloquent, but firm manner. 

sammycat

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 11:51:23 PM »
I wouldn't answer Debbie's latest email either to be honest.

If she contacts you again, I'd tell her that due to her past behaviour (or lack thereof, as the case may be) that she has made it perfectly clear that she is not interested in participating in the group so you are going to respect her wishes by not including her in any further activities/invitations. No doubt she'll protest and/or ask for another chance but there are times when a line has to be drawn.

If possible I'd also spell out in the club 'rules' (if you have them) that 3 (or better yet 2) non-RSVPs and/or no shows without explanation will result in a termination of membership.  

I've had to take hard stance on chronic non-RSVPers and no shows lately.  This problem has only arisen in the last couple of years and thankfully has only involved a few people, but I've reached a point in my life whereby I feel enough is enough.  My time and resources are valuable (to me) and I'm not going to waste them on people who can't even be bothered in meeting me half way.  The people who stuff me around are no longer on my invitation list.

BittyB

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2007, 02:35:12 PM »
We know that literally, RSPV means to send your regrets, but we do ask for a response either way and we clearly specify a date and that a yes or a no is required.

I am under the distinct impression that RSVP stands for "Repondez s'il vouz plait" and as "respond if you please" is actually "please respond" not "respond if it pleases you to attend" or some extraction... When RSVPs are requested, you are being asked to respond, not being asked to only send regrets/affirmations.

Actually, after looking into mainstream definitions I see that there is an english substitute that is "Response Shall Verify Presence" so I guess that gives credence to people who only RSVP if they are attending (but still doesn't explain the "RSVP is for regrets only" crowd).  Frankly, I'm inclined to write that off as one of the many, many bastardizations people have used because they want to figure out the acronym and don't "get" that it's French.  This is also why I don't use RSVP anymore - most people I speak to cannot agree amongst themselves what it really means when they receive an invitation with it, so I started telling them "a response is requested by XX date" or the "courtesy of a response" and etc.

Back on topic: if your group doesn't have their rules spelled out somewhere they need to.  Yes, it's sad that you would have to resort to this with a group of adults but having actual rules about it will minimize hurt feelings (so long as they are uniformly enforced).

sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2007, 04:45:45 PM »
I hear you on the confusion of the proper meaning of RSVP, which is why we specify a response either way is required. 

Personally, I don't think her lack of responses is due to confusion, just lack of consideration and simple rudeness.  Add to that searching out an event, agreeing to attend and to bring a dish and then not showing up at all has put a real damper on our impression of her. 

We thought of sending out a blanket email about the problem, but we are also a very informal group.  To me, sending out a message with the "rules" takes the fun out of the club and would be sort of condescending to those who do have the courtesy to reply.

It would be like calling people ahead of the response date for a wedding to tell them not to bring their kids.  It's presuming in advance people will be impolite. 

Does that make sense?

sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2007, 04:47:02 PM »
I wouldn't answer Debbie's latest email either to be honest.

If she contacts you again, I'd tell her that due to her past behaviour (or lack thereof, as the case may be) that she has made it perfectly clear that she is not interested in participating in the group so you are going to respect her wishes by not including her in any further activities/invitations. No doubt she'll protest and/or ask for another chance but there are times when a line has to be drawn.

If possible I'd also spell out in the club 'rules' (if you have them) that 3 (or better yet 2) non-RSVPs and/or no shows without explanation will result in a termination of membership.  

I've had to take hard stance on chronic non-RSVPers and no shows lately.  This problem has only arisen in the last couple of years and thankfully has only involved a few people, but I've reached a point in my life whereby I feel enough is enough.  My time and resources are valuable (to me) and I'm not going to waste them on people who can't even be bothered in meeting me half way.  The people who stuff me around are no longer on my invitation list.

That's exactly how we feel, Sammy.  It's just a blatant disregard for the time and effort of those planning the event.  It also leaves us short on food when she says she will attend and then doesn't show. 

sammycat

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2007, 06:24:39 PM »
I've found that the people who muck me about with no-shows after RSVPing 'yes' (which is the main problem rather than not RSVPing) are doing it to other people as well, so I take comfort in the fact that it's not personally directed at me (I hope!).

I attended a Stamping Up  :D party last week and my friend had been expecting 6 ladies, but only 4 of us turned up.  I realised then that one person in particular had been a chronic no-show/no phone call person a lot so I've decided not to bother inviting her to anything in the future, including my own SU party in a few weeks.  It's very annoying to go to a party expecting it to start at 10am but having to wait until 10.45 to see if these other people turn up, only to realise that they're not going to show, or make a call to let us know otherwise.  Are they concerned that we are worrying whether they have been in an accident or is it a power trip?

CrayonOutlines

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2007, 08:48:03 PM »
...I'd tell her that due to her past behaviour (or lack thereof, as the case may be) that she has made it perfectly clear that she is not interested in participating in the group so you are going to respect her wishes by not including her in any further activities/invitations.

I agree with this.  I'd e-mail Debbie and say that it doesn't appear that she's really that interested in participating and that it creates a hardship for the rest of the group when she says she'll be there, but doesn't come.  Suggest that, perhaps, there may be another group that's a better fit for her and wish her well.

sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2007, 12:56:30 AM »
I've found that the people who muck me about with no-shows after RSVPing 'yes' (which is the main problem rather than not RSVPing) are doing it to other people as well, so I take comfort in the fact that it's not personally directed at me (I hope!).

I attended a Stamping Up  :D party last week and my friend had been expecting 6 ladies, but only 4 of us turned up.  I realised then that one person in particular had been a chronic no-show/no phone call person a lot so I've decided not to bother inviting her to anything in the future, including my own SU party in a few weeks.  It's very annoying to go to a party expecting it to start at 10am but having to wait until 10.45 to see if these other people turn up, only to realise that they're not going to show, or make a call to let us know otherwise.  Are they concerned that we are worrying whether they have been in an accident or is it a power trip?

We don't take it personally, but it's certainly annoying! lol 

sparksals

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 12:57:53 AM »
...I'd tell her that due to her past behaviour (or lack thereof, as the case may be) that she has made it perfectly clear that she is not interested in participating in the group so you are going to respect her wishes by not including her in any further activities/invitations.

I agree with this.  I'd e-mail Debbie and say that it doesn't appear that she's really that interested in participating and that it creates a hardship for the rest of the group when she says she'll be there, but doesn't come.  Suggest that, perhaps, there may be another group that's a better fit for her and wish her well.

We're concerned if we email her to formally boot her out, that it will turn into a back and forth email exchange that we don't want.  We're just going to ignore her and if she emails asking why she is not receiving a response, then we will tell her.  I would love to throw in the "taste of your own medicine" thing, but that would commit me to ehell! lol

Chocolate Cake

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 08:31:21 AM »
Has anyone said, "What happened to you the other night?  We thought you were coming, but you didn't call or show up." 
I think this all could end with just this one phone call directly addressing the situation.
  

She'll may say something insipid like, "I decided not to go out in the rain and ruin my new suede shoes."

And you can reply, "Well.....a lot of us were upset that you said you'd be there and then were a no show, especially given how you had been off the invite list for not RSVP'ing several times previously.   You were given another chance and blew us off again."

She'll say, "Well, things come up, ya know?  I'm not perfect (or some other such nonsense."

And you can reply, "I seems to me that, by putting forth so little effort to participate, you are already aware that this just isn't the group for you.  That happens!    Rather than trying to keep fitting a round peg in a square hole, let's just stop trying to make this work.   I hope you'll find other activities that interest you more.  Take care!  Bye-bye."
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 08:37:09 AM by Chocolate Cake »

bopper

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Re: Chronic Non-RSVP'ers
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2007, 10:23:51 AM »
I guess I don't have a problem with non-RSVPers who don't come....if you don't hear from them, you assume they aren't coming.  It's the ones who do come or tell you one thing and do another that are a problem, like Debbie.