[yapc] Anyone interested in crashing CPOSC in October?

Gabor Szabo szabgab at gmail.com
Thu Jul 8 00:29:44 PDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 1:41 AM, Jon Miner <miner at doit.wisc.edu> wrote:
> So, following some side conversation, it has been pointed out that I (in my
> words), in my attempt to be volunteer friendly and inclusive, have been
> being completely culturally, socially and linguistically insensitive..
> See, I'm from the midwest USA, where we (obviously, I'm being overly broad
> to illustrate the point) never confront people, and where being direct is
> viewed as impolite (so instead we weasel around, usually not saying what we
> mean.)  In other areas of the US, to say nothing of the world, this isn't
> true.  What I took offense to is perfectly normal and acceptable in other
> places, and my style wouldn't be effective at all, and would be seen as a
> sign of a poor leader.
> So, my apologies to Gabor and anybody else who I may have offended in my
> attempt to save people from being offended (that's always how it works,
> isn't it...)

thank you!

In my turn I'd also like to apologize to Eric, this time on the list, for
jumping to conclusions so fast.

You see, I have dealt with about 150 inactive PM groups in the past half
a year and it is not too exciting to look for contact info for someone.
It is very frustrating that my todo list is full of "check in 2 weeks
if I got a reply".
I was actually happy that the e-mail bounced as that meant I could
remove the group without further waiting.
Luckily he noticed my mail to this list and we resolved the issue within
a few hours.

I'd also like to apologize to Casey. Reading my comment again
I can now see how it could be taken as sarcastic.

> But, it does bring up an interesting question to me, which is how to handle
> this sort of worldwide volunteer system?   I'm sure there are some of us who
> have dealt with this before, do you have suggestions, if only for me to help
> understand better?  I've been a fairly successful volunteer organizer,
> leader and administrator on the local level, but obviously have things to
> learn.

I don't have answers here but let me just say how I saw the messages.
I have no idea if that's how they were meant and if that's how people who
grew up with English as their mother tongue and in a different sub-culture
saw them.

The responses of Casey, looked like a very paternalistic one. Almost as
bad as if he sent me a link like this one: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Eric+Andreychek
Instead of just contacting Eric and letting him know I was looking for him.
I guess, the Americans on the list did not feel that way, so I am just
saying this
to show how easily thing can be misunderstood.

Then Jon commented:

"So, how much is he being paid to maintain the site,
and of that pay, how much of his time is being paid
to make sure the site is perfectly maintained and up to date?"

Now that looked very aggressive to me. Even if my message was
taken as sarcastic, I don't understand what brought the frustration
of Jon to that level. I felt like someone is punching my face and
shouting at me "YOU ARE AGGRESSIVE!".[1]
Others might have perceived his reaction as totally in place,
and we are now ok with Jon, I am just saying for our cross culture
educational purpose.

I wonder if this was just a general comment or was that meant to
also relate to the recent grant proposal I submitted? Does that
mean that if the grant is approved I effectively won't be able
to talk to PM leaders and people will see me as trying to
boss around? (Hopefully that's in English).

In any case, regardless of grants or not I'll need to be
more careful when sending these "PM group seem to be inactive"

[1] I keep trying to make sure I only comment on the behavior of someone
instead of criticizing the person himself but frankly I think in most cases
when you are on the receiving end you will not notice the difference.

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