AIBU in feeling the email I received in response to a thank you for having me note was dismissive?

(33 Posts)
lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:16:09

I have joined a writing group in my local area but so far hadn't been able to get to any of the meet ups.. Thursday 18th, was one of their read your work nights, I went along to read a short story I had written and meet people and get some feedback and hear what other folk are writing. I had been communicating with the group secretary thus far and let him know I was going.

To say I was shitting myself seems inadequate to the task of describing my nerves. I knew not a soul in the place and not a sinner introduced themselves although I was bouncing around smiling and "hiiiiiiiiii" to anything that moved. couldn't get a break. Did my bit and with the programme I had received, introduced the next person which seemed to be what was done. Went back to my seat, woman in front turns around in loud whisper
"You said the wrong person, it should have been so and soo" whilst shoving her paper under my nose.
I whispered "Sorry".
I went out for a fortifiying fag, Secretary who I had talked to rushed straight past, doing the "I A CAN'T SEE YOU" straight ahead stare.

Left early as babysitter meter ran out about 10 and frankly couldn't face being left standing like a cunt in the corner anymore.

Emailed everyone I could the nxt day to thank them for listening and so on.
Only one replied to give me details of next meeting.
No thank you, no kiss my arse, didn't even acknowledge my coming to the previous one.
Right now I feel about the size of a gnats bollox.
I don't want to feel that they are unfriendly shits, I would much rather think it was all my fault....or something.

Needy Nora of Notty Ash

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 20-Apr-13 13:18:53

YANBU - they sound mean.

I joined a choir which was so unfriendly I just stopped going!

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:22:08

Wouldbe why do people do this? To be fair it is London, so that given, I didn't expect hugs and kisses but they were so cold. It is a place that I can get feedback, but if no one is willing to even give me the time of day, whats the fucking point.#
Should I say so to him? Point out how horrid they all were.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sat 20-Apr-13 13:23:55

Mmm, how about you try one more meeting and make your mind up after that. It may be that they all thought someone else was going to respond to your emails (maybe?).

If they are still unfriendly then leave.

These things can be a hit awkward at first. It doesn't reflect well on tem but it doesn't nessecerily mean they are awful people IYSWIM

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sat 20-Apr-13 13:24:57

Oh dear, sorry about typos

<<not in writing group emoticon>>

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:26:55

Confidence badly shaken. but will summon up the will to one more go round. It is at someones house the next time. I shall drive myself and slink away if making no headway.
maybe I should write a piece about going to an unwelcoming group!

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:27:14

Or get pissed and start a fight.

Snazzynewyear Sat 20-Apr-13 13:28:13

That doesn't sound like the best experience but I agree with DontSHOUT about giving it one more go - and ask people directly for feedback while you're there. And I would email the group sec and say you are looking forward to some feedback next time as that's really something you hope to get out of the group. Did other people get/give feedback and if so how, at the end of the reading or in little groups or what?

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:30:54

Well, they were all sat together in tight groups telling each other how fab they were so there seemed to be a constant stream of interaction going on between them.
I had taken my eldest DD1 (19) for a bit of support. She sat there like a zombie with PMT and really only perked up when we left.
It felt really hard to "get in" with any of them, all sat round tables with their backs to others.....

LarvalFormOfOddSock Sat 20-Apr-13 13:31:13

It's not the one in Crouch End is it? I went to that years ago and it was incredibly rude and elitist even then.
YANBU. What a shame. I don't why people behave like this. If there's a new face at any of the things I go to, I go out of my way to introduce myself and be friendly.

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:31:41

My nerves didn't throw any rosier a light on things TBH. But even at that, there was a really cold atmosphere

LarvalFormOfOddSock Sat 20-Apr-13 13:32:27

Missed a word out...I don't get why people behave like this.

There goes my writing career!

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 20-Apr-13 13:35:09

Y y I always look out for new people and make an effort with them - manners init

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:35:24

Not Crouch End, a bit further north west of it. Possibly not as urban gritty but posh.

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 13:36:27

Wouldbe thats the word I was looking for. Common courtesy and manners. I expected a modicum of it from a group of people of a certain age and standard. <shrieks into a dead faint>

limitedperiodonly Sat 20-Apr-13 14:04:29

Gits. They probably don't know what they're talking about anyway.

We were rejected from the residents' association, if that's any comfort. We were invited by our next door neighbour. We went to the meeting and it was clear they thought we were oiks. The next day our £10 joining fee was posted through the letter box with a lying little note saying the association didn't cover our street.

We didn't want to join anyway. Our neighbour twisted our arms and she's too nice to say no to.

Just to be difficult DH asked the secretary about it when he bumped into her. She weaselled that our neighbour may technically live next door to us but the front door of her house is round the corner in a different road - that's true, she's got a triangular-shaped house - and for unspecified legal reasons they sadly couldn't admit us. It was a pathetic excuse and he just wanted to see her squirm.

Teapot13 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:04:40

I would try again as well, and keep an open mind. It sounds as though you might have expected the group to be more social than it is. For example, if they don't e-mail each other, but only use it for information, that explains the response. (I attend a group that uses e-mail just for cancellations, etc., so it would be odd to me to get a group-wide social message from one member.)

Did you get any good feedback? That's what you went for, right?

That all being said, if you try it a few times and don't enjoy it, don't go!

Saski Sat 20-Apr-13 14:09:14

That's unbelievably shitty. Don't give up. Not everyone is so rude!

Go back to Notty Ash?? Friendlier there surely what with Ken Dodd being in charge.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 14:51:22

Have most of them being going for a while? I think sometimes "regulars" at things like this can be totally oblivious to the nerves and general discomfort of newcomers because they have just forgotten what it feels like. They do sound unaware - at best - of other people's feelings and possibly some of them are a bit up themselves. I would give it one more shot and see. They might just start accepting you. But ultimately something like a writing group needs to be nurturing and supportive. If the people make you feel like shit its not going to bring the best out in you.

WritingClassVeteran Sat 20-Apr-13 14:57:54

Have namechanged for this to avoid outing myself. I'm going to give a slightly different perspective here - which you'll hopefully find reassuring rather than critical!

From what I'm reading you went to the public reading event without ever having been to the actual writing class? In which case you'll probably find that people made more effort to chat etc at the smaller nights e.g. in people's houses etc? It was horrible that they were unfriendly but I'm not sure why you expected some kind of thank you or acknowledgement that you were there. The reality is that lots of people see reading publicly at the 'big reading nights' as a kind of privilege and do expect people to put in the groundwork in the smaller meetings. Not saying that's right or wrong but it's just how it is.

The big nights also tend to be for performance rather than feedback IYSWIM whereas the smaller nights are more for listening and discussing. It also personally drives me mad when people read publicly, expecting other people to listen - then bugger off outside to smoke / make phonecalls etc. I understand that you were nervous (and probably having the fag to recover!) but it can send the wrong message - it looks a bit 'my turn is over, I can't be arsed listening to the rest of you.'

Keep your chin up and don't expect too much early on. I joined a writing group and for the first few weeks just smiled and was friendly but didn't expect too much. Gradually I got to know people and made some lovely friends and acquaintances through it. I also think that doing your first public reading at a big night is a bad idea - you'll get more comfortable reading and getting feedback from a smaller group.

So I guess I'm saying hang in there smile And if you go to a few meetings and they are still unfriendly, by all means look for another group. Like most group activities the more you participate and the more generous and positive you are the more you'll get out of it. Being in a writing group helped me get a book deal so it can really change your life smile

Good luck thanks

amicissimma Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:44

Am I missing something? I've read the OP several times and it seems to me that you are upset because you sent a 'thank you' email and didn't get a 'thank you for your thank you' back. Do people normally thank for thank yous?

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 16:32:17

There are no writing classes per se. The group is there for feedback for each other. I did attempt to go to another evening, but was not allowed to as it was in one of the members houses, so they not knowing anything about me said "not tonight", which I totally understood.

I was happy to read as I thought it was in a mind set of lets listen to each other and provide a comfortable space to try out.

I went for a fag in the interval by the way, I do realise it is rude to walk out when others are performing.

I think what I was expecting from the secretary was a nice to see you acknowledgment that I turned up or something. Perhpas trying to establish a bit of a link with him rather than just being a name on a list.

As to expectations. As noted ealier, courtesy, politeness. which are not difficult. If everyone has been in the same boat at some stage, cast an eye over at the newbie and try to be human.

I am happy to go again as everyone has urged and hopefully my usual positivity and openess may have a better chance to come over.

Hassled Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:49

Oh I wouldn't go back. Life's too short for muppets who can't be arsed to be polite. Are there any other groups you could try?

lolaflores Sat 20-Apr-13 16:37:30

My sister just mentioned one near where she is. It is in a park. No need to go to folks houses. there is cake too by all accounts. just a random group of mums who get together. I don't want to give up at the first go with this lot, but I was a bit surprised at the TONE. let themselves down.
The first meet I try to go to, I contacted the secretary. He said they had to have a chat about it first cos all sorts want to come, like from australia and that......shock, but I said
"I'm only round the corner"
The next one was in someones house so that was a non starter.
FFS

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