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Re: From an outsiders point of view...

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Posted by Lisa on February 20, 2002 at 12:36:56:

In Reply to: From an outsiders point of view... posted by Kathy on February 19, 2002 at 22:53:42:


Thank you for your views. Your views and opinions (and Zac's) *are* important to us, but are really only useful when they are voiced reasonably (such as in your post). I am sorry if you read the argument at hand and saw a childish squabble - because that is not what it really is.

Please let me explain further, and respond to your excellent points...

As far as the Monroeville shows - there popularity comes and goes. Around two or three years ago, their show had a bad spell that made our last Saturday's show look great. And recently they too have raised their entry fee.

Sorry you were disappointed by our vendor attendance, I sincerely hope you will give our show another chance at some future date. You and your fiance are invited if you should wish to attend.

And for the record, I was terribly embarrassed by the vendor turnout on Saturday, but it was not our fault. Those few people whose job it is to find vendors did the best they could. The thing is, why would vendors risk attending a new, unestablished show, when there is an older more well-known show either that day, or next week?

There are vendors who have flat out said to me in the past, "It's nothing personal, we just have our show schedule set up and don't want to shuffle it to add any other shows."

This is what we are up against. And then we get "sabotaged" by a lack of participation, and "blindsided" by rude criticisms from someone whom I, at least, had considered an ally.

Did I "strike back" and lash out at Zac in my post - yes, because although he had apologized, I read the whole thread at once, and frankly, IMO, the apology was rather weak compared to the rudeness of the original post. My point was, in addition to what I was saying, that no one likes to be yelled at and criticized (especially out of the blue). We were all there at the show, and yet he never made an effort to even say hi!, much less voice his concerns.

As far as vendors leaving booths - well sometimes you just gotta go! :) But seriously, they have to eat, stretch their legs, and make deals with other vendors - they can't be literally tied to their booths. Vendors often watch other vendors stalls when they take breaks, and so do those of us working the show. Again, more show day participation from members would solve this problem. The thing is if we try to limit the amount of time vendors can be away from their tables, then well, if they don't like it, then they won't show up for anymore shows, and voila! no more vendors again.

As far as the alleged incidents...(and no I am not saying I don't believe you! It's just that I didn't personally see it)... I have attended all of our shows, and many Hamburg, Monroeville, and Columbus shows. I have seen 2 incidents of harassing animals. Once, a kid pounded on the plexiglass of a LARGE reticulated python's cage. I held my breath as the snake tensed, and opened his mouth, but that was all he did. That was at Columbus. The other was a kid at Hamburg who rather violently shook one of the giant deli containers containing a large canebrake rattlesnake - just to get it to rattle. The vendor threatened to have the whole family kicked out. It does happen unfortunately. I have never witnessed any such incidences at Monroeville, or at any of our shows. That is not too say that it hasn't happened in the past (as it apparently did on Saturday.)

I will do my very best to make sure that it never happens again, however. I was NEVER ok with venomous being placed out at the front of a table, and I propose an amendment to the vendor forms that states that a red tape line will stretch lengthwise down the center of the table, and all venomous animals will be kept behind that line, (and therefore presumably, out of reach of kids who like to antagonize.) Of course, antagonizing harmless herps isn't ok either. But at least nobody will get hurt.

And actually, my response to Zac was not because of negative criticism on a public forum. Neither I nor the rest of the club has a problem with criticisms of any kind (good, bad, or ugly!), and a public forum is just that, public, and people can address whatever issues are on-topic, criticisms included. But I did have a huge problem with the language with which he expressed it, and the fact that he showed up out of the blue, didn't say hello, felt he had reason to criticize, but waited until after the fact, and not face to face to voice them at all. It was poor form, and I, well... I responded in kind. If I came across as "B*tchy", or whatever, well it wasn't directed at anyone else, and I was purposefully making my point in exactly the same way he had made his. That's all. I don't bear anyone any ill-will or anything.

At any rate, thank you for speaking up, and I hope you continue to do so! We do occasionally have some good herp related, angst-free conversations around here... Hmm... maybe I'll even *start* one...



: TSHS and Zac,
: Hello. Let me introduce myself. My name is Kathy and I am relatively new to the forum. I have been reading the various arguments made by both Zac and the TSHS over the past few days. I usually remain neutral in matters such as been presented by both sides; however, I feel that it has gotten out-of-hand. I do not like what I have been reading on this forum and feel the need to put in some input from what an outsider perceives when listening to both sides rant on-and-on.
: I would like to note that I am from the Pittsburgh area and have attended one TSHS herp. show with my fiancé(who is an avid herp. enthusiast). I hold an appreciation and understanding for the dedicated herp community both those in the respectable trade(TSHS) and those who educate(Zac) people like me---the general public. I am writing this to hopefully put an end to this childish squabble. I do apologize now for calling it such because I realize both sides hold true to their passions and will not back down.
: Now then, I will begin with Zac who started this. As far as the $5 fee at the door to get in, I understand and agree with the TSHS when they responded how they need to set the fee at that price because their show is in its infant stages of being formed. It can not possibly compete at the level of the Columbus and Monroeville shows at this point and therefore can not charge their prices (which I believe is $3). As far as the number of vendors, I do agree with you that there were not that many(at least there weren’t that many at the show I previously attended) especially when you are used to the much larger shows. This was a bit disappointing for me as well; however, once again their argument that they are a new show and can not control if vendors will actually show or not is a valid point. Nonetheless, it was disappointing for me as well(and I am sure that the TSHS was disappointed as well). As far as prices of the herps.—I can not comment…I do not have enough knowledge about that subject(keep in mind that I am an outsider peering in from the curious public!). Last point I want to address with regards to Zac: I too witnessed when I attended the one show with my fiancé that vendors tables were left unattended often. This did disturb me greatly. In fact, an incident at one table shook my nerves so much that I told my fiancé that I would not go back to this show again(although, TSHS, I do respect your endeavors and know that you can not oversee every table with a small crew). I witnessed a teenage boy shake a tupperware container that had air holes in it in order to get a SPITTING cobra to spit. The vendor did yell at the boy, but he continued to heckle it by tapping on it! This may have been an isolated incident, however, I feel that if Zac witnessed something similar to that with a young boy and a Black Pakistan Cobra he had a right to feel strong concern and voice it on the forum to let the TSHS be more aware that this can happen at their show. If something would happen(heaven forbid!) at their show, it would be devastating to the overall public image of serious herpers. I believe that is the point Zac was attempting to make.
: Now, the TSHS, just because Zac started this doesn’t mean that your responses to some of his valid and I believe reasonable concerns were not uncalled for! As a professional society in its early stages, I understand your strong desire to ward off any negative publicity on the forum; however, you need to realize that the way you respond should not stoop to his level (although I do not fully believe his level is all that low---he did have valid concerns for protecting the herp. image and the validity of the science). You should listen to yourself and not reply to a Rant with a Rant. Please know that I noted some of your valid points made in the previous paragraph; however, I want to point out some of your bad points(just as I did with Zac---in order to be fair and unbiased). Zac noted that he did not ask to be a member, he apparently gave a talk and was given a membership complimentary. If this was the case, do NOT yell at someone who did NOT choose to make this society a top priority in his life. Rather, you should thank him for every bit of help he does provide. Even if only one person came to your show as a result of him, that is one person you did not have attend before….and they may in turn recruit their friends and start a sort-of chain reaction so-to-speak! You yourself kept attacking him for NOT doing more when you said that MOST members do NOTHING….which I believe is LESS than Zac has done. Turn your tyrade against those members, not against the one who help in his own little way(even though he has admitted that this is not a big part of his life---his education is….which is a NOBLE endeavor in this day-and-age). He at least is a member who showed concern and wanted to point out valid aspects that need to be changed. According to you, most don’t even show enough concern to stand-up and speak.
: In closing, Back Off each other….both sides made valid points….quit tearing each other down!

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