Never, ever – Ever! Do a Good Deed

It all started so simply. A dinner to honor a president of her computer club. Many members are now older, and there were few to step forward, few to look to, few to offer assistance or to take the lead in this project. So she did.

And things seemed to go along pretty well, until, well.

She’s a girl. And they are guys. And who has the biggest voice here? The incoming officers? The folks who’ve been around longer? The uninformed? The clueless?

All of the above.

So she made the inquiries, made the phone calls, made friends with managers and came up with a plan and a few according to the rules.

A dinner for 15-20 people, with a price fix that included tax & tip, within a few miles from the college where the club meets.

How about help with the invites?

Wait for it.

A general letter to the 300-member list, inviting them to a dinner on the date right before the next meeting. A response of over 25 people. Here’s what the people say:

1. Oh, no. We mustn’t assume the organization will pay for the outgoing president/honoree. We need to spread the cost of his/her dinner over the population involved. There goes her mathematical ability out the window. Okay, a couple of dollars. That can be added in. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of price fix.

2. A venue that one of the potential attendees can walk to. Yeah, on the ass-end of a long road with about three parking spots, and probably more money to boot.

3. A separate gift for the honoree. Now we’re getting interesting. How is that going to be accounted for, with the Treasurer on vacation and she will just have no input on that one, despite the meandering arguments of yet another Ph.D. level brain weighing in.

4. And the piece de resistance! A potential attender becoming irate over the fact that they won’t be able to choose from the menu. This is irrational and not the spirit of the cruise. To allow that, to say okay just for you, to have one person receive a separate check while the other 34 are limited in their choices, is to allow everyone to do a separate check. Now she is completely befuddled first, about the attitude that produces this issue, and secondly, about the difficulty in leading a far-from-relaxing evening.

So, let’s see what new issues her boys come up with.

Why is it that being male means having to dig deep, to find just one thing, one rule that they don’t agree with. Better yet, why is it that they must come up with a new rule, even when they are not “in charge.” They rely on seeming to be erudite and experienced, and are simply unable to enjoy the ride.

As for her, she will be glad when it’s over, and advise all from here on. Do Not Offer Help!!!!!!! Especially in a truly volatile environment, and leave it at that.

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