The Alano Club Phone

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The Alano Club Phone

Postby michmjon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:50 am

I go to meetings at the local Alano Club- there is a phone in the building for taking calls from people asking about meetings and such. During our meetings we have the "whoever's closest to the phone" rule- that person takes the calls. The phone doesn't ring all that often, but more often than not, it is a Probation Officer asking if someone is attending meetings. I asked about these calls and was told that I was just to tell the caller "we aren't allowed to give out that information." The couple times I took those calls the person they were asking about was sitting right in the meeting. On one hand, by not indulging this information you may be endangering that person's status with the Parole Board who may question if that person is really attending the meetings or just having a friend sign their sheet for them. On the other hand, this is an anonymous program and it's no one's business who is attending and who is not. Just wondering how other groups handle such calls...
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:00 pm

michmjon wrote:I go to meetings at the local Alano Club- there is a phone in the building for taking calls from people asking about meetings and such. During our meetings we have the "whoever's closest to the phone" rule- that person takes the calls. The phone doesn't ring all that often, but more often than not, it is a Probation Officer asking if someone is attending meetings. I asked about these calls and was told that I was just to tell the caller "we aren't allowed to give out that information." The couple times I took those calls the person they were asking about was sitting right in the meeting. On one hand, by not indulging this information you may be endangering that person's status with the Parole Board who may question if that person is really attending the meetings or just having a friend sign their sheet for them. On the other hand, this is an anonymous program and it's no one's business who is attending and who is not. Just wondering how other groups handle such calls...

By saying "we aren't allowed to give out that information", you're not claiming the individual is not there, you're simply stating a fact that you can neither confirm nor deny what the caller wants to know. Yet I'm wondering why the PO has the number, if someone didn't give it to them to make such a call. Also, it's a club, it's not an AA Group... so what's to stop the PO from simply turning up at the door to find out?
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:55 am

Those who are required to attend have to have a paper signed after the meeting. So many meeting do not happen in the clubs around here. Some signers offer their phone number so the PO can call them.
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby ODAAT » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:27 pm

Interesting problem, michmjon. Giving out the response of "can't give out that info" is a reasonable action. Answering the PO's question truthfully is also a reasonable behavior.

No one has the authority to order you to respond in a certain way. Pick the one that seems best to you, based on the circumstances. It's an outside issue.
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby Lali » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:56 pm

At the end of each meeting in our group, the chairperson says, "Remember that I can say I was here, but I cannot say you were here" or something like that. Just wondering, how would one know that it's really the guy's PO calling? It could be his wife or a friend checking up on him. I'm sure that happens a lot. A friend of mine (not an alcoholic) drove through the parking lot of a meeting once to see if her brother was really attending meetings. She had described him to me and asked me to report back to her if I saw him but I told her I cannot do that!
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby michmjon » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:52 am

I was speaking with a friend of a friend who happens to work in the Probation Department of our county a couple of weeks ago. I asked her about this very topic and she confirmed that yes, probation officers often will call to confirm that someone is attending meetings as required under their probation. She said that the officers are suppose to call the number of the person listed as meeting chair on the log sheet. But, she also said that she really doubts the validity of the log sheets as it is very easy to never attend a single meeting and to just to have a friend sign the sheet and provide their number for confirmation. She stated that if the probation officer suspects this is the case, she has known them to call the Alano Club phone number during the meeting in question to inquire if that person has actually ever attended a meeting.

If I'm going to answer that phone and the person says "Is so-and-so attending 9 AM meetings?" and the name they give is someone I never heard of, I really have no problem answering "I am unable to confirm that so-and-so is attending meetings." By saying that I am neither confirming or not confirming. I am stating that I am UNABLE to confirm.

How's that for a good answer? :-D :-D :-D
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Re: The Alano Club Phone

Postby Spirit Flower » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:56 am

I don't sign court sheets and I wouldn't provide an answer to a probation officer.
I know many people come to AA via the courts and stay on because they want to; however, I don't think the government should be sending people to a spiritual program. The government can send to treatment and treatment can do whatever they do.
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