Chaos Attraction

How Not To Get People To Join Your Group

2012-12-13, 3:36 p.m.

Yesterday I had an experience that pissed me the shit off. I unfortunately have to entertain some delicacy about what kind of organization it was, as these people gave me the goddamned creeps. (No, it wasn't a freaky religion.) Let's just say that it is a group that (a) I have to loosely be affiliated with and can't get out of affiliation with, and (b) I have been asked a few times to join their group in a more participatory way. It involves a lot of politics and drama and arguing, and I have declined because I don't want to deal with that. Not my idea of a good time.

I saw that there was going to be a presentation on a topic going on. Unfortunately, the topic was being put on by this group, but I figured I'd suck it up. I got there about 40 minutes late due to work, and when I got there, there was (a) nooooooooo presentation going on at all, and (b) there were only three people there. "Bad sign," I thought, but now I felt like I "had" to go in. Even worse, they immediately wanted to know my full name (one person I'd never met before in my life claimed to recognize me. I would bet money she did not) and make me sign an attendance sheet. I didn't want to do either, but of course I was feeling the social pressure to be polite and complied. Were they doing a presentation at all? No, they were just having their usual group meeting and uh....yeah. They did a brief Q&A for about two minutes. I asked a question, which they didn't know the answer to but fumbled about for awhile.

But after that, then they all started ganging up on me ("I've noticed you're not a member....") for not joining up, and why don't I join up? The cause is good, the dues aren't expensive, blah de blah blah. It's not like the cause is bad. But...seriously, I felt like I'd walked into a used car lot waving a fat load of cash or something, because they were giving me The Hard Sell. They were pushy, they were rude, and they would not take no for an answer. They were so godawful that I actually got up and left after 10 minutes, as they were still arguing at me. And then I was steaming mad for the next 2 hours.

Years ago, I had this lovely experience with time share assholes in which I was locked up with them all day until we gave them money. Let me tell you that THAT ENTIRE DAY was more pleasant than 10 minutes with these assholes. If they are desperate for official members, and they treat the people "on their side" like this? I can see why they must not have many. Jeebus H. Christ.

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