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Family Reunion Forum

Re: Friends at the Family Reunion

Just butting in here to say don't feel bad, Melvin. I think we've all been played like that!

We had to insitute a policy requiring participants to wear their name badges at all times so we could easily pinpoint freeloaders, and we used tickets for admission to indoor spaces and in exchange for plates for the buffet at the outdoor spaces. No ticket, no admission or food. No name badge, you might be asked to leave by security. And yes, we had security at each event. It's harsh, but we got burned the first time around and having people attend for free is just not fair to everyone who did pay. I mean, I paid my registration fee and I spent months organizing the four-day reunion for 500. If I paid, everyone had to pay!

You have to have someone who is "hard-faced" (as my mother calls it) on the door and in charge, who will be firm and state the payment policy to everyone, regardless of hurt feelings. It can be done tactfully (and preferably privately). I don't mind being that person, and I've earned a rep as an iron lady, but I don't care. In 2002 we only had one confrontation. It was with a young man who caught the bus down from Miami (his family didn't know he was coming), walked up to me and gave me a big hug like he was going to hustle me into letting him in for free, was ticked off when he found out it wasn't going to work, and had to ask his grandmother for the registration fee because he had no money. She gave it to him and he refused to give it to me because he said he didn't like my attitude. The grandmother was so upset and embarassed (to top it all off, it was her birthday). His uncle wound up giving the money to me and apologizing for the young man's behavior.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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