Who is your reality check buddy?

This week’s meeting notes purposefully did not capture the last discussion item on the agenda, but in it I asked what I think is an important question.

The responses I got were… really strange. So its been bugging me all this week!

What I asked was, roughly, Who is your gut check buddy? The person you go to for a second opinion of a situation at the space, long before anyone talks about asking people to leave or god forbid 86ing them?

One person disagreed with the question and refused to answer. Okay, strange. Others said they were too new to NB to really have a good answer, which is also fine. One or two others started explaining their strategies for evicting someone from the space, in that they’d find some other person in the space who might even be new, just to stand next to them to back them up if things get hairy. That answer really bugged me because it took the conversation from “how do you assess a situation” to “let’s skip the assessment and jump to kicking people out”.

I’m not sure why I got such strange responses this week. Maybe I explained it poorly? So, here I am, using the entire noisebridge community as my gut check buddy for a read on this situation.

The answers I gave this week were selected off the top of my head which is a woefully incomplete list of @nthmost @rando @hicksu and @hzeller. If I have a gut feeling about some behavior, I go ask them in a DM and say, “Hey, please convince me I’m wrong about this.”

But still. It bugs me that my question to ask about how to assess a situation and get a second opinion was interpreted as “do you kick people out by yourself or with a buddy”. I’m not sure what to do with this feeling.

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Well, we sort of encouraged this culture because we thought people were generally reluctant to kick people out.

In a cultural environment that defaults to “radical inclusiveness” – what we used to have – it makes sense to craft messaging around The Bravery to Kick Someone Out.

But that’s not what we have now. We have a culture where several people were willing to go on the record [on Slack and Signal] as saying that arguments on Slack were a “safe space” issue.

In THIS cultural environment, we have to craft very different messaging that encourages people to Slow The Fuck Down.

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