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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:16 pm 
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1) When we have a mud burn and must close the roads, it has become necessary to forgo our "authorized personnel only" on the golf carts rule, with the exception of the MASH cart. Everyone who is driving a golf cart should be helping shuttle people out of the backfield to the parking lot.

Reasoning- it's freakin' cruel not to help. I was driving people from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m. in my personal cart (the one I rented for $375 for the weekend), and it wasn't nearly enough. People were in tears as I drove past them. Hell, I was crying at the end of the day. We have expanded so much we have no choice but to have camping in the backfield. We demand people be radically self reliant - that means they have to haul a lot of stuff into and out of that backfield.

Rangers, parking, greeting, whoever has a cart, please help out.

I would also like PDF to consider getting a cart just for shuttling. Pick someone to be shuttle coordinator who will stay sober while driving the cart for the duration.


2) We need to consider renting a big ass truck for the weekend and buying tow straps, just to pull people out of the mud. The Vets did a great job, but that's only because Crash and the backhoe were available. If a tire blows on that backhoe, or Crash or Pineapple aren't available, we're out of luck.(And no, the truck can't really be used for shuttling if we have a mud burn. I saw a Ford Expedition get stuck in the mud making the turn past the porta potties)




3) Seems like everyone appreciated the 50 bales of straw, especially theme camps. We should buy more, but do we ask theme camps to help pay for it? Do we order a minimum and let theme camps buy some of their own from the vendor, or from the org? Or should we just order 100 bales this time around and let the org cover the entire cost? Anyone feel strongly any way about this?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:23 pm 
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jillnado wrote:
1) When we have a mud burn and must close the roads, it has become necessary to forgo our "authorized personnel only" on the golf carts rule, with the exception of the MASH cart. Everyone who is driving a golf cart should be helping shuttle people out of the backfield to the parking lot.

Reasoning- it's freakin' cruel not to help. I was driving people from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m. in my personal cart (the one I rented for $375 for the weekend), and it wasn't nearly enough. People were in tears as I drove past them. Hell, I was crying at the end of the day. We have expanded so much we have no choice but to have camping in the backfield. We demand people be radically self reliant - that means they have to haul a lot of stuff into and out of that backfield.

Rangers, parking, greeting, whoever has a cart, please help out.


Also, if you're driving a cart, note that people walking stuff to the back field do notice when a cart load of people (and no cargo) zooms by and comes zooming back the other direction a few minutes later with the same people (and still no cargo). Some of the comments I've heard regarding preceived (correctly or otherwise) joyriding are... uh... not exactly charitable.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:43 pm 
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I propose - all carts are for shuttling people - if a deportment needs one - they call for it

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:32 pm 
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I think it's a good idea to actually keep some carts aside for departments that may need their carts quickly. If a cart is loaded down with shuttling various people's cargo that introduces a huge delay into getting it where it may need to be. I'd say MASH and Rangers should each have a cart that isn't being pressed into service, or at the very least be on light duty so that if need be everyone and everything in the cart can be dumped out in about 15 seconds if a call comes in that requires an immediate response elsewhere. If a cart has a purpose of fast response we should just be sure not to cripple that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:42 pm 
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As a point of clarification: What is the Ranger cart fast response case? I've been informed that rangers are not cops, EMTs, fire fighters, authority figures, enforcers of social norms, helpful elves who can spin mud into gold, reincarnations of baroque composers, to be used as traction material for extracting cars stuck in the mud, the cast of Glee, gumball machines, members of the illuminati, transformers, after my lucky charms, frogs turned into prince(sse)s by a confused fairy godmother, capable of leaping tall shade structures in a single bound, or my mom (in fairness, that last bit of clarification was probably intended to be be a bit gratuitous); they're there to be helpful, visible, sober, and to de-escallate moments of tension if they don't look like they're going to self-de-escallate, none of which really seem to lend themselves to needing urgent response.

Given that, at the time the first call to summon the ranger cart goes out, someone with a radio (probably a ranger, coordinator, or board member) is already present, and there is likely more rangers on foot who can respond within 60-90 seconds (and, if there's a ranger on a bike like there often is during the inrush, 60 second response can be halfway across the site)... what's the case where fast response with a cart is essential?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:10 pm 
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The reason I specified MASH and Rangers is that those are the two departments that I know of which have used their carts for fast access to such situations (i.e., those where fast arrival was deemed necessary or beneficial).

We've seen fit to approve the Rangers having a cart and as far as I'm aware it's primary (if not most frequent) purpose is to move Rangers around quickly in those cases that it's deemed necessary/beneficial to the situation at hand. Given the very wide range of situations that Rangers are potentially involved with, this makes good sense to me. So that's why I specified MASH and Rangers.

But really I'd say that it's a question best answered by our on-site Ranger coord. If a department head agrees that their department's cart(s) don't need to be on reserve (or light duty, etc.) then I'm not about to disagree with them as they're the ones who probably have the experience and most educated perspective on their department's needs. But I really don't think this is a decision that should be made without that input.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:30 pm 
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As a further thought...

As things stand right now I can see how it's nice for carts to help out when there's a mud burn and people are unexpectedly (kinda) made to walk their camp in/out. It sucks when the roads are closed, but honestly people should be prepared for that possibility. It's nice when someone with a cart helps out, but there are a few things to consider:

What are the long-term effects? Is this going to inadvertently encourage people to not slim down on their camp materials when the roads are closed because they're now expecting shuttle service? Will more and more camps start relying on carts to shuttle them around?

Another thing to consider is that the person who's got the keys and is responsible for the cart may not themselves been available to donate their time to shuttling. What's more they may not WANT to. And while I think it's commendable that some people DO choose to donate their time that way, I don't think it should be a requirement of anyone unless we're about to set up a whole new Shuttling Department for people to sign up and volunteer for... Which may be where we need to head if people strongly feel that the back field is too inaccessible, but that is a very different discussion to have.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:18 pm 
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If the stated opinion of any department with keys to a PDF-rented golf cart on people carrying stuff in during a mud burn is "eh, f**k those guys", we need to revisit the discussion about renting golf carts. We knew the carts were going to be toys when we voted to rent them, but there was an assumption that people with carts were going to act like adults. If the event is blowing $300 just to make a coordinator feel special for a weekend, with no benefit to the event as a whole, that needs to either stop or start getting reported on tax forms as compensation.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:40 pm 
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Well, I honestly think that characterization is way off, that the carts do serve a purpose, and I haven't 'heard anyone giving an opinion of "eh, f**k those guys" so I'm not sure where that's coming from.

Tossing out extremes like that (carts only being used for status, etc.) I think is sort of distracting from the real issue. Because yes, if that is what was happening then of course it should be revisited. But that's not what's happening. What is happening is a discussion about whether just a couple of departments would have important functionality stripped from them if we demand a different use of their carts, and further the discussion is simply pointed at saying hey, let's talk to the coords first and see what they think.

:)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:08 pm 
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Owlsa- I have seen people drive by on carts with the attitude of "f@ck those guys" all over their faces. I have seen people actually stick their noses in the air. That's why I'm saying the "authorized personnel" rule must go. It's just cruel and inexcusable.

Also, bear in mind that each cart usually has several different drivers throughout the event. There are lots of people we can tap to help.

Besides, it's only for a few hours on Sunday and/or Monday if there's a mud burn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:45 pm 
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"Extremes"? How odd. I think the carts being used for status is pretty much the core of the issue. Also, we have no documentation on the "important functionality" is, and how much of that functionality is actually a need for transportation versus a failure to effectively delegate.

"Eh, f**k those guys" is the opinion expressed when someone decides to go joyriding in the back field during load in (especially Thursday night, especially when the "walk-in only" call got made after most of these people packed).

It's also the opinion of anyone who suggests that a golf cart that the PDF event pays for is the personal toy of a participant, and it is acceptable that that participant "may not WANT to" help.

And if you're unclear on why this is, try moving 40 pounds of cooler a quarter mile from parking to the nearest "open camping" spot through the mud while watching the same person or group of people in a golf cart buzz past 3 or 4 times. PDF does not need to help every single person, or even every person who wants help (and indeed, trying to is wildly beyond the scope of what we can handle or should attempt), but anyone with a PDF golf cart needs to demonstrate judgement good enough to realize that being conspicuous in screwing off is a problem for the event.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:37 pm 
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I may not have phrased my point in the best way possible. The issue I was raising was that I don't really think it's for us to judge how other people on the playa choose to spend their time unless they're actively on duty for a volunteer job they signed up for (knowing all of the associated duties).

What's being proposed has the potential to significantly change the scope of volunteerism in several departments, and would add significant responsibility and work hours to the volunteers and coordinators of those departments. Quite simply, it isn't fair or really workable to simply decide that existing departments are now forced to take on such further responsibility without consulting them, and for sure it's not a good idea to move ahead with that idea without even touching base with those coordinators.

There are a lot of ways this could work out. Maybe a new department of shuttling volunteers is formed with its own carts. Maybe a solution is made whereby we figure out how to share the carts we already have without taking away needed functionality from existing departments, nor forcing an additional burden onto those volunteers because we train new ones... These are possibilities and there are many more. But for sure we need to see a clear idea and plan of how this will actually be executed on the playa, and in my opinion we should do so without unmindfully taking away existing department functionality nor putting an added burden on coordinators without having this discussion with them. That's all. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:06 am 
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why wait for it to seem like abuse or favoritism - why not open the carts up before this happens

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:57 pm 
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I think there are reasons for each perspective here. As of now, people/groups are supposed to be self-reliant when it comes to getting their gear on and off of the playa, and while it sucks when cars aren't allowed to drive on that's a known issue and one that people/groups are supposed to account for themselves. That's one way to do business.

Another way is to institute org-provided assistance when conditions are crappy. Should we change what's been done in the past and provide shuttling services during mud burns? If you agree with this perspective, great, but I don't think it should be such a point of argument that the implementation of this new service should be done in such a way that doesn't take away functionality from existing departments, nor burden existing departments with added responsibilities that they may not want. There are options available that would allow for shuttling and not disrupt existing departmental function.

The idea that we wrapped up the last PC meeting with was to see if budgeting for a couple of carts for Gate/Greeters would be feasible since our new Gate Coord said that he was open to the idea of Gate/Greeters taking on some shuttling duties. That sounds like a good avenue to investigate.

However Martie brought up another great point, which is how are we planning to choose who gets shuttle service and who doesn't? We don't have enough carts to give everyone a ride, so how will shuttling help itself be fair and not elitism? And how are we to ensure that we don't damage the carts? Are carts even the best method to provide shuttling help to participants? There are these and other questions too that still need answering. Am I saying these questions have no answers? Not at all, in fact there are myriad potential answers to all of these questions (some raised during the meeting and that are in the minutes), so yes there are ways that this will all work out. But those options don't all necessarily work together, so we do need to decide on a system that works as a whole.

I think we have a lot of good notions of how this could work out already, and I think the idea was developed quite well during the meeting. Just because some questions still exist and need answering doesn't mean the whole idea of helping people out with some sort of shuttling is being poo-pooed.

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