Originally Posted by hairy
so i guess we all know that to ask questions is bad, to ask for clarification is evil. patience is a virtue. some people need to learn patience.
Asking the question is not bad, the manner/tone in which the question is FRAMED can be. Take a look at the VERY first post that started this out. That wasn't a "question" in any legitimate sense--that was a rant.
To which Dawn very reasonably replied:
Originally Posted by Dawn Sanchez
ROAR's view is the majority of the membership not attending national events should not pay the convenience fees for the nationals attendee.
This is why the choice was given to the entrant to either mail the entry flyer in with payment of their entry fee OR use the online service with service fees applied by Pay Pal and the administration of the registration site.
There will always be those who complain of the cost of nationals. ROAR cannot address each complaint as in this day in age, there are expenses to be paid and business must be attended to.
You followed up with this lame attempt at a dig that you carefully framed as a "question" by taking the "r.o.a.r. can not address complaints" entirely out of its context in leaving out Dawn's preceding sentence:
Originally Posted by hairy
r.o.a.r. can not address complaints? ithought that was part of doing business
Which is absolutely (and quite clearly) not what Dawn said. People will always whine about the cost of this or that, unfortunately things cost. The fact that "things cost" are the things ROAR can't address.
And people who "ask questions" (most are really just randomly bitching but I'll give 'em benefit of the doubt here) are really only legitimately concerned about the organization if they're trying to THINK OF A SOLUTION on their own. In this particular instance the organization has decided (quite rightly) that those who benefit from a particular, identifiable, and QUITE OPTIONAL expense should be those who pay it. If someone has heartburn with that they should suggest alternate avenues that accomplish the intended goal (provide online registration service) that will do so for free. Etc.
In all this hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, and please correct me if I'm mistaken, it looks like pretty much the only people who benefit financially in any of this is PayPal--THEY'RE who get the fees. Whoever is collecting the "fee" is ultimately passing it on to PayPal.
Positing "shouldn't the $30/year I pay cover this" is probably a legitimate question if one hasn't thought things through, though that is again pretty much exactly what Dawn answered in her first reply. Your membership is not a checking account for benefits. The money you pay is pooled together with the money everybody pays in and is used to cover the expenses of the organization and build some reasonable set-aside for improvement, enacting new programs/initiatives, and for lean(er) times. That pool is a trust that benefits ALL members and anything spent out of it has to be looked at very closely. In this case it is a fee that is, again, PURELY OPTIONAL, very modest, and really shouldn't create any real hardship to those who ELECT to pay it rather than mail it in (only 43 cents--hell, shouldn't your taxes cover that?).
The elected officials in ROAR, by and large, do a LOT of work for our benefit and see very little thanks. I by no means agree with everything that is done--Dawn and I have conversed several times about things I think could be done better. Even butted heads once or twice. The difference is that I always come to the table with an idea on how it could be done differently. THAT is what separates discourse from bitching.
Thanks Dawn, Tim, Chuck, Fred, Doug and everybody else who makes ROAR work for me. ROAR provides a framework for RC racing activities that makes it possible to travel throughout the country and know I can race pretty much where ever I go with possibly only minor changes to motor, etc. Contrast this with another activity I've made this point about in the past--slot racing. Slot racing was HUGE in the '60's, the level of participation absolutely DWARFS anything that's ever been seen in RC. In fact many of the RC "players" come from a slot racing background...Ernie Provetti, Gene Husting, Parma, the Chicherellos, Checkpoint, and many many others. Anyway, no one could agree on any one national sanctioning body so everybody went and did it "their way". Fast-forward 40 years and you'll find that slot racing still exists. It's little pockets of 4-12 middle-aged and older men racing in someone's garage or loft. And you can't travel to race with any of them unless you're willing to build a completely different car because there is no uniformity to the technical rules. Period.
A big part of what ROAR does is provide that framework of rules to make the playing field as level as possible. Approving products (bodies, batteries, motors, etc) for use is a HUGE undertaking and probably the biggest single reason I've been a member of ROAR even when I didn't have to. The product approval side of ROAR is the biggest single benefit we realize from ROAR, but the aspect we least consider.
The insurance is also a huge factor for MANY clubs throughout the country. Yeah commercial entities don't necessarily need it (though I'll explain in a minute why they should have it anyway) but clubs rely on the inexpensive coverage ROAR provides. Four years ago the facility we raced at required the club to provide proof of insurance if we were going to continue to race there. Our club president at the time was an insurance agent. He explored numerous options and came to the conclusion that the ROAR insurance was the least expensive we could do.
Now, why should commercial RC facilities join ROAR and take advantage of the insurance? I'm no expert on insurance and liability, so I'm 100% open to correction if I'm mistaken here, but the facility's insurance doesn't protect me, the average racer, from being sued for damages if my individual actions result in an accident where someone is injured. And when attorneys file suits on behalf of accident victims they take the shotgun approach...anybody who could possibly have had anything to do with the accident is usually named in the paperwork. If you carry an umbrella insurance policy that probably takes care of you, but VERY few people do. Now, if in addition to their regular business insurance the track spent a paltry $35-65/year and required everyone who raced to join ROAR your individual actions would be protected up to the insurance cap. EVERYBODY is covered, not just the track owner. Almost makes those non-ROAR tracks look selfish, doesn't it?
Yeah, these aren't things people who don't really have anything to lose don't think about, and even some who do and should. I guess I've gotten to a place in life where I do think about these things, and I very much enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having myself covered in the event of an accident. Do I let it stop me from racing at a non-ROAR event? No, I maintain an umbrella policy (cost's WAY more than my ROAR membership btw). But I look around with unease at all the people who are not similarly protected.
Anyway, back to the original point. By all means ask questions, but make sure they are framed as REAL questions, not just questioning authority. The ROAR officials are, in my experience, very capable and happy to answer questions that are directed to them.