[volunteers] Vcafe availability problem for February and May

Rick Moen rick at svlug.org
Wed Jan 7 10:27:09 PST 2015

Sarah and all -- Working on it.

From: [our site contact]
To: me

>Thank you indeed!
>It makes sense that there's a reservation process, but we never knew
>about it until now.

Yeah, I was surprised by it as well. Went to notify facilities so they
could have the room setup properly, since it wasn¹t last month because I
had forgotten to email them to do so.

>1.  Do I correctly guess that reservations for an upcoming year open
>some time in December?  I'd appreciate having any details you know, so
>I can update our process documentation.

The official policy is they¹re only booking the room 3 months in advance,
because of how heavily its used, but because of the the long standing
reservation that SVLUG has had, they allowed me to book the whole year. So
it would probably be good to start trying to get 2016 booked probably
around Sept or Oct of this year.

>2.  Any chance you could grab Vcafe on basically any other weeknight
>in February and/or May?  Our February speaker probably has flexible
>availability (but I can confirm with her via e-mail), and no speaker
>May has yet been scheduled.

Sure, any preference for what days you¹d like me to ask about, or if not,
I¹ll just check availability for the whole first week each of those months.

>If that's too much nuisance, no worries.  Worst case, it won't kill us
>to skip two months.

Its no big deal. :)

From: me
To: [our site contact]

> Sure, any preference for what days you¹d like me to ask about, or if not,
> I¹ll just check availability for the whole first week each of those
> months.

I'm torn.  Maybe the smart move is to try for a Wednesday.  Regulars
who've been able to attend on 1st Wednesdays are rather likely to be
able to also attend on other Wednesdays.[1]

In my experience, tech groups usually avoid Friday evenings - with
good reason, as attendees statistically like to have Fridays free for
evenings with family, or for getaway weekends, or things like that.
So, if not Wednesday, then any of the other first for evenings of the
work week.  Also, tech groups tend to favour recurring meeting days in
the first two weeks of each month, and I figure this is because the
change of month is going to remind people 'Oh, another month.  That
means it's almost SVLUG time again.'

I realise I'm waffling.  Sorry.  How about this?  I think 2nd
Wednesday would be ideal.  Then, if that's not available, Monday,
Tuesday, or Thursday of the month's first week.  If those aren't
available, Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday of the month's second week.
If those aren't available, Monday - Thursday of any other week.  If
those aren't available, then whatever's the first available Friday.

Monday, February 16th, 2015 should be avoided because it's Presidents
Day (and the trailing end of a getaway weekend).  Likewise, Monday,
May 25th, 2015 should be avoided because it's Memorial Day.

[1] Funny story, not strictly relevant but tangential:  Back in the
late 1980s, I was editor of the 36-page monthly magazine of San
Francisco PC User Group.  SFpcUG leadership of the day were an
inexhaustible source of wacky management decisions.  I mean, these
guys could have made serious money holding management seminars where
they should CxOs the right ways to do things by modelling all the
wrong ways.  One month, President Tom McLoughlin held the general
meeting on an unusual night, say, a 2nd Thursday, can't remember why.
Before the main presentation, Tom asked for a show of hands:  'Do 2nd
Thursdays work better for people than our regular night?'

For several stunned seconds, I thought/hoped this was Tom doing
deadpan humour.   In my own Scandinavian culture, telling a boggler
with one's poker face is popular amusement, and I think the Brits
learned ironic understatement from us -- but this wasn't Tom's poker
face.  This was his everyday-business face.  Regaining my composure, I
said 'Hey, Tom, although it's a fine idea to consult the membership,
please consider that asking those present on a 2nd Thursday who likes
2nd Thursdays is going to result in a distorted sample, because
members with problems making 2nd Thursdays mostly won't be here.'
This was, yes, a new thought to the man.

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