Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

From that ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee to AA's General Service Office. What's your take on service?

Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby lesley11 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:45 am

Hi All,

Looking for feedback please. Our Roundup Committee recently had a meeting and a member brought up an issue. As Chairperson, I was asked to deal with it. It's a very sensitive subject , so I tabled the discussion until the next meeting, and told the group I would look for answers.

We have a member who has signed up to help with one of the positions. What was brought to the meeting yesterday is that this particular member has a reputation as a 13th stepper, and has been "blacklisted" from the local women's recovery home, as he was in the habit of picking the girls up for meetings, being inappropiate and making them uncomfortable and nervous, therefore not wanting to return to AA meetings. Just to be clear, it is the recovery home that has banned him from picking the girls up for meetings, it was not AA itself.

The issue is, now some Committee members feel he should be dismissed or "banned" from the Roundup Committee as well, for fear that he will make members uncomfortable and they will not attend the Roundup. HIs position is at the registration table, and some members feel that is the initial impression of the Roundup.

I'm stumped on what to do. I really don't like confrontation and this whole subject unsettles me....BUT I know its not about me. It's about the program of AA. I am really looking for some openminded information I can take back to the group, so that we can make an informed, unbiased decision.

Here were my first thoughts, please tell me if I'm wrong
1. The issue is with the recovery home, therefore is this an "outside issue"?
2. Concept 12, Warranty 6 - "No penalties to be inflicted for noncorfmity to AA principles"
Is asking him to leave the position a form of punishment?
13th stepping.....where is this covered in the concepts and principles - it's a term/slang we use, its not an actual step.
Where is the responsibility on the Committee to ensure members are comfortable?
The concerned member used the term predator, which made me very uncomfortable, that's quite the label to put on somebody.
It seems no matter what you do, someone's sobriety could be at risk here, what is the right thing to do?
3. Who am I to judge? Or does this thinking make me complacent with the situation?
4. Talk to his sponsor? Is that my place?
5. Where does responsibility lay to ensure the safety of these girls at the Roundup?

I don't know, this could spin in my head for a long time, I think its best to put it out and get some neutral feedback.
Thanks in advance for your time
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby becksdad » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:57 am

Hi Lesley,welcome to the forums! Glad you found us here, and thank you so much for your post!

A few things entered my mind as I read through the situation you presented. First, are there others willing to volunteer for the same position (registration)? If we place ourselves as available for service, then we often do not get to do the thing we thought we want to do. For instance, if I am only willing to chair a meeting, but refuse to make coffee or set up the room, then I am only in it for ego, not for service. I am guessing that there are adequate numbers of folks available to fill needed functions. So my thought is that someone else could be selected for the registration table, and others will do certain other tasks. This excludes no one from their opportunity to be involved in service. And despite strong feelings from some, it can remain within the spirit of principles before personalities.

This actually places the responsibility of willingness to service on the individual, where it belongs. Every year on Founders Day, we have a nice outdoor gathering (as most areas do), that includes grilling, games, pavillion set-up, etc. Groups throughout the area volunteer to do certain things. At the end of the day, someone has to clean up all the trash, haul away the game set ups, take down tents, etc. Of course, most folks want to do the more "glamorous" jobs, but like anything else, there is always a group willing to do the "dirty work" of clean up. Same thing here, I think.

What would be wrong with filling the registration position, and offering other service opportunities? There is no "penalty" here, no exclusion, and the opportunity for service remains. As for the recovery home, yes, I think this is an outside issue. As for the responsibility of the Committee to ensure comfort of AA members, I'm not so sure you can do that anyway. There will probably be brand new folks coming, and chances are they are going to uncomfortable no matter what you do! :) . As for some of the other stuff, like judging or approaching his sponsor, I would probably leave it alone. You can certainly guide new women towards sticking with other women, but nobody is going to change another persons behavior. Plus, it could backfire, too.

I don't know if this has helped at all, but it just seems like an easy, common sense approach to me, while staying within service guidelines and principles. There are so many others here at e-AA who have much more experience with area level service than me, and I am sure some of them will see your post and respond, too. And surely with more wisdom than me from their more extensive experience.

But thank you for letting me share here, and again, welcome to the forums here! It would be nice to see and read more from you!

Thanks,

Ed
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:02 am

As a member of AA we should take responsibility in enforcing the safety of all other members. If this member has been banned by the TC, there must have been a genuine reason for them to do so, you need to take ownership and look into implement the same for the group you are part of. This 'who am I to judge' is an excuse to bail out of the solution. Dig deep, find the facts, if it is a serious issue, bring it to the group conscious, take action.
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:21 pm

Service may be just what this person needs. Remember we are here to stay sober & help others to achieve sobriety. I think that the registration table is the BEST place for this person as there are usually groups of people everywhere but working the table is a sit in one place position - as opposed to hosting the hospitality room. We also usually have several people working the table.

Then I would make sure that person had LOTS of service to do - idle hands and all that....

I do not think that it would be a bad thing to talk to his sponsor. Invite the sponsor to do service as well.

I think this is a program of honesty and I would talk right to his face about the rumors. Have that discussion using your experience, strength and hope.

We have a guy sort like that around here and we just don't give him opportunities. We ask the men to gather around him. And around here the women will gather around our females that are vulnerable. Have some women with good sobriety - and serenity & humility - available to keep an eye out for 13th Step behaviors and they can tell a man to help or walk right up and whisk the at risk female away. I would be happy to serve in that position if you asked me to - without hating him for his bad behavior. We are all bad actors.

Remember, his sex life is NOT our business. Even if he tries to bring it in, it is an outside issue.
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby Jaywalker Steve » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:44 pm

PaigeB wrote:Remember, his sex life is NOT our business. Even if he tries to bring it in, it is an outside issue.


I couldn't agree more. As much as 13th stepping is against our Principles, so is playing AA police or God. I would continue to pray for him and those he may have harmed and hope his sponsor, home group and Higher Power show him the 'error of his ways'.
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:02 pm

Remember, his sex life is NOT our business.


I agree. But protecting the vulnerable new-comers is our responsibility. Also the credibility of our fellowship is also at stake. We want to create a fellowship where people should have confidence that its a safe place to send their wifes and daughters.
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby PaigeB » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:39 am

A safe place to send their wives and daughters? Most of the gals I know would eat a sexual predator for lunch & spit out his bones! Perhaps that is what he will find if he is allowed to learn from his mistakes, but if he is lucky his sponsor will get to him first. :mrgreen:
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby Batia » Tue May 13, 2014 5:41 pm

PaigeB wrote:Service may be just what this person needs. Remember we are here to stay sober & help others to achieve sobriety. I think that the registration table is the BEST place for this person as there are usually groups of people everywhere but working the table is a sit in one place position - as opposed to hosting the hospitality room. We also usually have several people working the table.

Remember, his sex life is NOT our business. Even if he tries to bring it in, it is an outside issue.


My question here would be .....is it safe (for the women and for the Round-up legally if you KNOW he is a potential predator) to give him free access at the registration table to all the phone numbers and addresses of the women who attend? Just a legal question.
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby Tommy-S » Tue May 13, 2014 8:33 pm

Sticky topic...

First, as Chairperson, you are empowered to take action, and that action should be the decision of the Committee's Conscience... What did they vote to do? (And when they do vote, then ask "Who's volunteering to carry this out?" Move for an ad-hoc committee to handle this with a couple of people, as in an intervention)

Secondly, I am wondering why your Treatment Chair has guys going into women's recovery houses??? If there are Not enough women willing and available to carry a meeting in, then I would attempt to get that rectified, or put a halt to that meeting until more women step up.

As Paige said, I have been fortunate that we have had strong AA women around to carry these meetings, and to act as buffers between the guys and gals. But its can be a two-way street, as I have seen those fragile young things come in over the years, going from guy to guy looking for someone to 'fix' them, so our oldtimers keep on their butts to keep the guys with guys, gals with gals.

The term 'perdator' does give most people a bad feeling...which is why people use it. It's got shock effect. Some states have Sex Offender Registers on-line which are open to the public...I check there before slapping that label on anyone... In the real world, people get sued over such things.

Bottom line is we need to provide a safe place for AA's to get sober & stay sober, but hold a grave responsibility to be sure of the facts before labeling someone or taking action against another

Welcome to Service :)

Thanks...Tommy
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Re: Issue brought to Roundup Commitee..feedback requested

Postby Old Rocker » Wed May 14, 2014 3:59 am

Seeking out booty does to make a person a predator. To call someone a predator without the conviction of a crime is potentially cause for a civil suit, them against you! You can't just call people criminal for seeking dates or sex with willing people.

It seems like a common sense thing. If he or a she, in whatever case, can't act appropriately in a social recovery environment, they don't need to be put in a place to hurt the group. Using the group as a dating service is a misuse of the group. Seeking dates after meetings in the social context before or after a meeting is not banned.

I personally dislike the practice, and am also free to point out someone as a guy that hits on newcomers, and I do. No slander there. And being upfront about it is best IMO. People know where I stand on things, makes life easy.

As others mentioned, a plain talk with the person and their sponsor may be best. I would guess the person has no sponsor or does not listen to them.

Alkies are far from perfect people. Women are not helpless idiots that will jump at the first penis directed their way. Women can have sponsors to help them navigate the entry into AA. The victim concept we give women in AA is almost disrespectful.

I just wanted to add a thank you for serving in your group. This post feels just as much about the growth we experience thru service as the guy at the greeting table,
Accepted the ABC's 01/04/95.
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
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