The geek dinner last night was a mixed bag. It was awesome to be back at the Electric Lotus. The food was great, the tables were overflowing with over 20 different dishes, our waiter Arthur kicked ass and there was pie! Dave Bullock also took awesome photos! (
Can't wait to see them! I still owe you that drink.) There were 3 in attendance (other than myself) from the original LA geek dinner: Crystal, Jory and Sam.
Yesterday I wrote a post collecting the geek events happening in SoCal through the rest of the year. There are 15 events on the list and I forgot to include LA Flash Stuff and CodeCamp. Two years ago, I could not find one geek type event. Today, there is something happening almost every week in all areas of the LA Metro Area. This is AWESOME and a testament to our community.
But it's not all good. We have growing pains. Last night, those growing pains came in the form of 20+ no shows to a $20 price fixed dinner. They didn't update their RSVP or even email me to say they weren't coming. (This doesn't include the two people who were physically ill and contacted me. I had people waiting to attend and people took your places.)
$20 x 20 = $400 to cover the no-shows. In addition, some people didn't pay their bar tabs and/or didn't tip the waiter. The total additional we had to cover was about $450!!!!!
Which we did it thanks to everyone chipping in additional $$ with Sanjay and Bino covering the majority. CJ took care of the shirked bartabs and tips. You guys totally rock!
But the situation did not rock. It showed a lack of responsibility and was unfair to those who did show up by increasing the cost of the dinner.
20+ people flaked on their commitment. Almost 50% of the RSVPs. Other people didn't pay for what they consumed and the community had to cover their ass. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE behavior for ADULTS! Instead of unleashing my wrath (remember, I'm into guns, fire and unicorns) on the no shows (many of whom I am friends with), I want to ask the community, what should we do about this?
I have the names of everyone who RSVPed. I printed the closed list and checked off everyone who showed up and paid. I know who flaked. Should I -
- Contact the noshows and ask them to paypal $21 ($20 + fee) to pay back the people who covered their ass.
- Publish the names and publicly humiliate the people who didn't show up?
- Take a chill pill and say, "It's just money."
- Give me a better option
I try to make the geek dinners as accessible as possible by keeping the cost down and as easy to attend. I organize this event without any remuneration, using time from my billable hours (I'm independent and don't have a corporate day job). I do this to build the community I want to participate in.
Should I enforce pre-pay? Should we skip dinner and move this to a drinking/bar environment? What can be done to make sure this doesn't happen again? And please let me know what we should do about the no-shows. I don't think it's fair that we had to come up with $450 to cover their asses.