[SWLUG] Re Quietist Meeting Ever

Pete Prior swlug at nermal.org
Wed Mar 29 12:38:19 UTC 2006

Hi Glasiad,

Glasiad wrote:
> Hi folks,
> Although previously intending to, I didn't go to the Swansea meeting 
> last night partly because I had gone to a meeting in Cardiff  the other 
> day and  taking a 4 hours out to drive 50 odd miles (both ways) and 
> drink beer in a smokey pub once a week is enough for me. I rarely drink 
> alcohol anyway and quit smoking years ago.

Only one of the lug members smokes as far as I know.  The pub has a no 
smoking section and on nice days we sit outside anyway.

> When I questioned meeting places the other day one respondant claimed 
> he/she 'saved' £20 by drinking/eating at Wetherspoons rather than a 
> locally owned pub. That's probably an exaggeration but does testify to 
> the fact that SWLUG meetings must be expensive affairs if you are to 
> keep face and consume at a level comparable with fellow attendees.

More than £20 vs Less than £10 does not equal a saving of 20 quid.  It 
could be 12 quid or so.  I imagine that's also taking into account the 
train to Swansea and back from Cardiff which is around £6 - £7 as the 
lug member in question walks to the Cardiff ones.

I know at least one lug member who never drinks.  I find 'keeping face' 
is helped by not making incorrect assumptions about the way a group of 
people act who you don't know rather than the amount you drink.  People 
at the lug really don't care whether people drink or not - they tend to 
spot condescending idiots far quicker.

> Another reason I was reluctant to go (apart from distance, expense, and 
> pressure to over-consume) is my concern that it may largely consist of a 
> spell of subtle oneupmanship where competing members attempt to 
> establish their alpha geek status by cramming in as many unregognisable 
> acronyms as possible into each sentence ... and so on. Yawn. (This is my 
> slightly paranoid imagination based on previous interactions with 
> computer 'experts', not directly associated with Linux or SWLUG - so 
> don't rush to defend yourself or I'll assume your guilty.)

How about you actually attend a meeting before making these rather heavy 
(and incorrect) assumptions?

Be aware these kind of emails probably give people preconceptions about 
you before you arrive (trust me on this one ;) ) which could make your 
reception a little different than a random person who's not emailed the 
list before.  I for one will probably offer you a pint just so you cheer 
the hell up ;)

You're more like to see a lot more "unrecognisable acronyms" (props 
there for misspelling unrecognisable but spelling acronyms correctly) in 
a computer room (as you suggested below) than a pub.  Personally I work 
around computers all day in an office for my day job - so the last thing 
I want is to spend my evenings in a computer room as well.

> I don't imagine dates or 'rotas' are core problems with attendance. I 
> suppose I'd be much more inclined and motivated to attend if it didn't 
> revolve around eating, drinking and 2nd hand smoking. A meeting in a 
> computer lab where we can all demonstrate and learn new things about 
> various Linux distros would be ace. Then those who want to eat and drink 
> could make their way to the pub after.

Eating and drinking are very sociable things to do and is a nice way to 
talk to someone.  If you don't eat out very often I recommend giving it 
a try - it's a nice distraction to have some food / a drink to break eye 
contact if you're nervous talking to other people.

> This is just my opinion (and I am quite content to be a minority of 
> one). But I would be interested in hearing other views on 1) why they 
> didn't go last night and 2) what  w o u l d  get them out.

1) I didn't go to the Swansea one (and haven't been for a while) due to 
me changing jobs and working in the middle of nowhere.  The person I may 
have been able to get a lift with last night (a lug member himself) was 
otherwise engaged and couldn't make it.

2) I go to the Cardiff ones.  See you there.


PS.  How the hell do you pronounce your name - I want to get some 
practice in for when I meet you.

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