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Unread 05-03-2012, 01:03 PM
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This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

I was checking in on one of the threads here in CD that I've been following and I came across Cat's post in the thread. This is a link to her post in the thread and I'm including the text here in this one.

This is scary, horrifying, and beyond the scope of rude. Those who behaved in this manner should be ashamed. This is an opportunity for team leaders to take note and take the time to talk to teams that travel to events about respect, patience, and kindness.

I am horrified. Sorry to bring this to light before asking your permission, Cat. It's too important to take a chance in having you say, no.

Cat's post:
Quote:
I went through the entrance a number of times and would like to give a slightly different perspective to everyone on the situation. Because I have to operate from a wheelchair or scooter, I am frequently blocked by people on foot and forced to sit and wait for someone in the crowd to stop and let me through. I spend a lot of time sitting and listening to how the crowd behaves.

While I agree with the OP that the behavior in the situation was not appropriate, please think a little about what the volunteers at the door have to go through. Taken over a period of time, the volunteers at the door were subjected to a great deal of hostility from the people trying to come in. If you observed the number of people at the door, you would see that the number of volunteers there doubled and then tripled as time went on, simply to try to handle the massive number of people trying to get through the door with sunglasses or nothing.

It appears to me that the volunteer coordinators actually did try to do something that would benefit everyone by increasing the staff and decreasing the overly heavy load on the volunteers present. It may not have been punitive enough for some, but isn't this supposed to be about teaching people?

Large masses of people moving through an area take on a sort of mentality of their own and believe me this can be INCREDIBLY intimidating. I know what great people participate in FIRST, but they all forget their manners sometimes. During championship, I had people in the crowd race in front of my wheelchair, jump OVER my chair and jump in front of me to get into the elevator because they were faster, forcing me to wait for the next one.

Many of the teams would come up at full speed while yelling "ROBOT" and never even pause to let me or anyone else try to move out of the way. I was hit by robots 3 times. When I attempted to walk the small distances that I can with my cane instead, it was kicked out from underneath me twice. No apologies.

In short, I don't think that everyone is taking into account the stress on all of the people involved. Take a step back from the arguing, look at the other person's perspective and realize what they are going through. It was not easy for any of the parties involved because they each have to look at it a different way from a different type of stress. Solutions are generally best reached with patience from all parties, regardless of how difficult it may be.
Please notice how gracious this 2012 WFFA is being and learn from it. I would love to spend a day with each one of the individuals that decided to jump the chair, cut in front of the chair, hit the chair with the robot, kick the cane, and block the path. I would NOT be gracious.

Jane
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 05-03-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 01:08 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

Quote:
Many of the teams would come up at full speed while yelling "ROBOT" and never even pause to let me or anyone else try to move out of the way. I was hit by robots 3 times. When I attempted to walk the small distances that I can with my cane instead, it was kicked out from underneath me twice. No apologies.
Im very sorry to hear this wow. You have a cane and got hit by robots on carts 3 times I hope you feel better Cat.

This attitude is not what First is about.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 01:29 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

To be honest, I see a lot of these core values being lost. It makes me very sad, especially because all of last night I was thinking, if I really want to stay in FIRST anymore. It's turning into just another robotics competition, where people only care about winning robots and building stuff.

On a more relevant note, I actually was a volunteer trying to handle crowd control for awards ceremony. Compared to non-FIRST people, several members of the crowd were super gracious. There were 4 students in particular, whom definitely were part of a winning alliance, but patiently waited on the side WAYY OUT OF THE WAY, to wait for their wristbands.

There was a similar person in a wheelchair that people literally jumped over, ALMOST tripped over, to get to the other side. I got pretty upset and carried out your wish Jane. Caught a hold of a few of those students (and one mentor actually), gave them a good lecture and made them wait for 5 minutes for the other crowd to go.

If you're a mentor, I beg you, lead by example. The core values of FIRST are what make FIRST so special, don't take that away.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 01:33 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

To the person in the quote, as someone that was stuck with a cane for a quite some time, I hope you were not harmed. Sometimes people do not think.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 01:35 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

This is appalling behavior ANYWHERE, not just at a FIRST event.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 02:07 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

Quote:
Originally Posted by popnbrown View Post
There was a similar person in a wheelchair that people literally jumped over, ALMOST tripped over, to get to the other side. I got pretty upset and carried out your wish Jane. Caught a hold of a few of those students (and one mentor actually), gave them a good lecture and made them wait for 5 minutes for the other crowd to go.
Thank you, Sravan.

You are right, Kimberly. Absolutely. It is appalling to me at a FIRST Event because I agree with Sravan to a degree - I'm seeing a change that I'm not happy with. If the leaders don't take the time to lead, using the Core Values of FIRST, then we're in a heap of trouble. If the young people don't use the Core Values to help them make their decisions in times of stress, pressure, and excitement - then we're losing ground year by year. We should not be losing ground, we should be gaining it.

I noticed a lot of attendees at the event using canes. All ages. I worried about them in the crowd but didn't think to worry about the people in chairs. Goodness. We need more 1902s around to help get this mentality/behavior nipped in the bud. There should be buttons that say, What would 1902 do? That would help to fix a lot of our problems with callous and hatefully obnoxious behaviors.

Challenge: If you can think of a team that exemplifies the Core Values of FIRST and has a reputation that reflects kindness, helpfulness, generosity, professionalism, and respect - post it in this thread. It might be fun to make a batch of those buttons with the team numbers. Mine is and always will be 1902, Exploding Bacon aka Exploding Grace.

Jane
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 05-03-2012 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Challenge
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Unread 05-03-2012, 02:12 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

There should be no teams yelling "robot".

This is a best practice that should be implemented on every team:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...4&postcount=35

We had the green shirts talk about this with every team at our local regional this year. It works.

Really not trying to derail your thread. But I do think the issues are related and one can help with the other. The mentality and "blindness" that comes with transporting the robot (and yelling "ROBOT") is ingrained in the culture of FRC. It needs to change.
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Last edited by RoboMom : 05-03-2012 at 05:12 PM. Reason: added last paragraph at Jane's request
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Unread 05-03-2012, 02:26 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

[quote=popnbrown;1166522]To be honest, I see a lot of these core values being lost. It makes me very sad, especially because all of last night I was thinking, if I really want to stay in FIRST anymore. It's turning into just another robotics competition, where people only care about winning robots and building stuff.

I don't even want to get started on this, but why do you think certain members of the GDC stepped down among other reasons. Jane, I agree with you as well, sometimes I question what direction FIRST is going as it grows.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 02:27 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboMom View Post
There should be no teams yelling "robot".
I agree with your conclusion and with the detailed recommendation in the post you linked.

It would be good to have best practices for moving robots to and from teams' pits covered in a section of the Manual, probably the administrative "At The Events" section. Do you know who to approach at HQ about making that change?

On a related note: a lot of people in the FRC community do not share our views on this. At several events this year I have observed well-intentioned volunteers instructing team members that they SHOULD be yelling "ROBOT!" while moving to and from their team's pit.

Back to the main topic -- the way Cathy was treated is certainly appalling. I feed pretty certain that it will be noted by at least one member of the FIRST board, and I hope that appropriate steps will be taken.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 02:36 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I agree with your conclusion and with the detailed recommendation in the post you linked.

It would be good to have best practices for moving robots to and from teams' pits covered in a section of the Manual, probably the administrative "At The Events" section. Do you know who to approach at HQ about making that change?

On a related note: a lot of people in the FRC community to not share our views on this. At several events this year I have observed well-intentioned volunteers instructing team members that they SHOULD be yelling "ROBOT!" while moving to and from their team's pit.
Changing the culture, even the FIRST culture, is hard work.
To me, this falls under "safety". The safety advisors at Chesapeake were happy to add this request to their meet and greet with each team.
But not really sure who to start with at HQ. Operations?
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Unread 05-03-2012, 03:26 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

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Originally Posted by RoboMom View Post
There should be no teams yelling "robot".
I agree completely. I can't tell you how many times while heading out to the queue in a line full of robots we had teams behind us pushing and shoving and yelling robot. I reminded several teams that we are all headed to the same place.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 03:36 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

There are several excellent discussions about yelling "robots", and the downside of that, already available in CD. This thread is not about that. This thread is about robots hitting/running into wheelchairs. I don't mind a little discussion about the yelling part but the thread is not going to move completely in that direction, sorry. You can color me furious.

Jane
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Unread 05-03-2012, 03:48 PM
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Now while I wasn't at champs this year, I was in complete shock this happened.

I must say ditto to the fact that this shouldn't be happening anywhere.

Now I know I'm just a HS Student and can't exactly take the mentor part of preventing this from happening, but I know I'm going to try to let my peers on my team know through our student leader channels about this and how it's not ok.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 03:49 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

There are thousands of FIRST teams who get core values. They are even judged on it.

FLL Core Values:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4zsy...ure=plpp_video

There were also complaints about scouting teams sitting in the seats reserved for handicapped. I sent a note back to volunteer managers to see if there were extra crowd control volunteers who could remind teams why these areas were set aside. I have no idea if there was follow-up.

I thank Cat for sharing her experience. I think posts like this can help remind all of us we are one big community, and individually and as community we can raise awareness to make sure this doesn't happen again at any FIRST event.
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Last edited by RoboMom : 05-03-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: finally finished thought
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Unread 05-03-2012, 04:02 PM
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Re: This Is Appalling Behavior At A FIRST Event

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Originally Posted by RoboMom View Post
There should be no teams yelling "robot".
Completely agreed, one of my biggest peeves. The entire season, when someone yelled "Robot" I would yell back "Human" and stand my ground. If they made eye contact, I would explain that Humans have priority over Robots, and if they would just say "Excuse me please" I'd move.

Best was the girl in Team 2557's pit in Archimedes who would yell "Robot" loudly any time she SAW a robot. ANY robot. From her seat in the pit.


Back to the original post: Those folks would be well-served by spending 2 days in a wheelchair. It is a real eye-opener.
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