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AmyPrib
01-10-2006, 11:05 AM
Greetings Teams:

Poof-Slinky has offered the following option for teams:

For a minimum order of 48 balls, teams can call customer service (800) 329-8697 with a credit card and order the #850 Basketball at the wholesale price of $4 each plus FedEx Ground shipping.

**Important** - in order to get the discounted price, you cannot place the order on-line; you must call the number above.

Go Teams!

Stu Bloom
01-10-2006, 11:43 AM
Greetings Teams:

Poof-Slinky has offered the following option for teams:

For a minimum order of 48 balls, teams can call customer service (800) 329-8697 with a credit card and order the #850 Basketball at the wholesale price of $4 each plus FedEx Ground shipping.

**Important** - in order to get the discounted price, you cannot place the order on-line; you must call the number above.

Go Teams!Amy, this is NOT directed at you ...

Thank You FIRST for making this arrangement ... But this should have been completed prior to kickoff and announced at the kickoff, or info included in the manual and/or kit of parts. Teams have already ordered thousands of these balls at much higher cost because we have learned in the past that if you don't act quickly on these types of things you may very well find yourself out in the cold when the global supply is exhausted.

generalbrando
01-10-2006, 12:12 PM
I find it to be generally true that many things from FIRST are delayed the first week of build, sometimes more. I can only imagine the amount of work they're doing which is why I'm forgiving and I think you should be, too. You have a kit full of parts, over 1000 teams, 33 regionals and the national event. That takes a lot of time, money, and motivation.

Maybe we can speculate to what went wrong? Maybe it's not FIRST's fault. Maybe they owe us an explanation, but probably not because in the past when they have been able to set up a deal like this ahead of time, they've placed the information in the manual. So it's likely that it was out of their hands.

Regardless of the cause, I empathize with this problem and I know many people think "geeze, when are they going to get their act together?" The fact is that they do. It's the little problems that you notice more than the fact each year FIRST is better and better at avoiding these problems. Did everyone notice how quickly the manual went up? (I know, we're missing the competition field - I'm sure they're still modifying it). All this, despite their expansion. Can you imainge running an organization in which you expand so much on a yearly basis? More teams doesn't just mean more entries in thier database. It means more employees, more regionals, more committees, more sponsors, more volunteers, more phone calls, more e-mails, more engineers, etc, etc.

And I appologize: I don't mean to rant at you, but really the FIRST community. Don't let these little problems sour your love of the great work FIRST does. They've come a long way and if anything they need encouraging words to keep them from putting down their coffee and taking a much-needed nap.

JVN
01-10-2006, 12:42 PM
Amy, this is NOT directed at you ...

Thank You FIRST for making this arrangement ... BUT THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETED PRIOR TO KICKOFF and announced at the kickoff, or info included in the manual and/or kit of parts.

Stu,
While I agree with your criticism, and find that you frequently make very good points; the tone that some of your posts take (with frequent use of BOLD CAPITALIZED WORDS) makes it seem as if you're yelling. Most people do not yell during a formal debate or discussion, and expect to be taken seriously.

Frankly, I feel your criticism would be better received without this usage; and hope you stop in the future.

JVN

Jessica Boucher
01-10-2006, 01:39 PM
All,
Please remember who each of us are representing when making posts, and remember to use gracious professionalism. I know we're all stressed, but this is when it's most important to take a step back, breathe, and look at the big picture. Thanks!

Stu Bloom
01-10-2006, 01:56 PM
... And I appologize: I don't mean to rant at you, but really the FIRST community. Don't let these little problems sour your love of the great work FIRST does. They've come a long way and if anything they need encouraging words to keep them from putting down their coffee and taking a much-needed nap.
Stu,
While I agree with your criticism, and find that you frequently make very good points; the tone that some of your posts take (with frequent use of BOLD CAPITALIZED WORDS) makes it seem as if you're yelling. Most people do not yell during a formal debate or discussion, and expect to be taken seriously.

Frankly, I feel your criticism would be better received without this usage; and hope you stop in the future.

JVNAll,
Please remember who each of us are representing when making posts, and remember to use gracious professionalism. I know we're all stressed, but this is when it's most important to take a step back, breathe, and look at the big picture. Thanks!I apologize - you are all correct. I do not mean to belittle all of the wonderful things we love about this program or all of the hard work the staff and volunteers do to keep this organization alive and growing.

I'm just feeling a little beat down ... and tired of banging my head against the wall.

This discussion is probably best left for another time and place, but briefly, while we are all very happy that FIRST has grown to over 1125 active teams this year, don't forget that the team numbers are over the 1950 mark. That means approximately 800 +/- teams that once had been assigned team numbers no longer exist. I believe much of this is due to the financial cost of participation, but I feel that there is also a huge problem with mentor/teacher burnout (human cost of participation). There are so many simple things that could be done to make it easier on the thousands of volunteers and it seriously frustrates me when I see these things ignored. There is no way the current FIRST model will ever support a team in every HS in the US, as Dean wishes. Some tough questions need to be asked ... and answered.

There is no question that I need to learn how to communicate my concerns more graciously sometimes, and I usually read my posts over several times, then come back an hour later and read again before I post, to make sure I am saying what I mean ... in an appropriate manner.

This time my frustration got the better of me. :( Sorry ... (I have gone back and edited out the bold and caps from that post)

I have a similar rant simmering about the Easy-C software (or any donated software for that matter), but that will wait for another day.

I'm just afraid that sooner or later, as dumb as I am, I might still realize what is making my head hurt so much ... and decide I want the hurting to stop.

dlavery
01-10-2006, 01:57 PM
Thank You FIRST for making this arrangement ... But this should have been completed prior to kickoff and announced at the kickoff, or info included in the manual and/or kit of parts. Teams have already ordered thousands of these balls at much higher cost because we have learned in the past that if you don't act quickly on these types of things you may very well find yourself out in the cold when the global supply is exhausted.

Calm down. The simple reality is that due to many, many considerations some of these deals do not get made until the very last minute (anyone remember how the deal to allow all teams to get the latest version of the MicroChip C compiler last year did not happen until the night before kick-off?), and the information about them may lag a little bit.

FIRST is well aware that the timing of this announcement is problematic, and may put some teams at a financial disadvantage if they placed orders quickly after the kick off. That is why they have been working diligently with Poof-Slinky on behalf of all those teams to make a special arrangement. Teams that made inital 20-ball orders through the Poof-Slinky web site (at $9.00 per ball, for $180) are being contacted to see if they want to modify their orders to a 48-ball order (at $4.00 per ball, for $192). The fact that they were able to work this retroactively on existing orders is an indication of an incredible level of customer support from Poof-Slinky, and a great deal negotiated on our behalf by FIRST and IFI.

-dave

Andy Baker
01-10-2006, 02:00 PM
Greetings Teams:

Poof-Slinky has offered the following option for teams:

For a minimum order of 48 balls, teams can call customer service (800) 329-8697 with a credit card and order the #850 Basketball at the wholesale price of $4 each plus FedEx Ground shipping.

**Important** - in order to get the discounted price, you cannot place the order on-line; you must call the number above.

Go Teams!

Another note on this... to get this price, you need to order at least 48 balls.

Andy B.

Stu Bloom
01-10-2006, 02:01 PM
That's great news Dave. Thanks for that information. I applaud the efforts of everyone involved in that deal... and ... sorry for getting so worked up about this (see my last post).

ChuckDickerson
01-10-2006, 02:07 PM
I just called the Poof-Slinky 800 number to try to change our order from 22 balls at $9 ea to the 48 balls at $4 each deal but unfortunately our balls have already shipped so no can do. Oh well, lesson learned.

HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PLACED A WEB ORDER FOR BALLS AT $9 EACH AND WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE YOUR ORDER TO THE 48 BALLS AT $4 EACH CALL THE 800 NUMBER ABOVE AND ASK FOR PEGGY. SHE SAID SHE HAS A LARGE STACK OF ORDERS THAT HAVE NOT SHIPPED YET AND IF THE ORDER HASN'T SHIPPED YOU CAN CHANGE IT TO THE 48 BALL/$4 DEAL BUT YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY BEFORE YOUR ORDER SHIPS!

Peggy also said that these balls are made right there so there is basically an unlimited supply. Therefor there is no hurry to order a bunch of balls before they sell out.