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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4151
Location: Maine
I'm on both sides of this story. Sometimes you honor a person's request to visit, simply because you want to offer a courtesy. We do this all the time in Hancock, with the 470. On the other, I always request advanced notice by email before visitors arrive and they must be escorted on the property. For a ticketed event, in my opinion, the visitor must pony-up. I been given guest status myself, but I usually wind up pay for a ticket or purchasing items from the gift shop.
With regard to a beer tasting event, I know it's a big money-maker for some railroads and museums. Frankly, I don't want to carry the responsibility for anyone driving away after consuming alcohol. It's not a matter of morals, it's a matter of public trust. Just my feeling. I know I'll get pilloried for this opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:28 am 

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 8:16 pm
Posts: 77
Dave hits the nail square on the head. I've gotten some great freebees over the years from having helped find resources for groups as an archivist. I've also helped groups get equipment/parts/etc. A few bucks in the donation jar is a great way of thanking them for their thanks for thanking you. I rarely go in with the expectation of special treatment and may not identify myself unless I know someone. I have gotten some great access at Otto's museum during Diesel Days a few years ago when a chance conversation with a member revealed we both lived in the same house, 40 years apart. I also know that during an event, from having worked my own, there isn't always time to roll out the red carpet, especially for a member, rather than a volunteer or employee of another organization. It's a would be nice rather than a must have.

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Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:40 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 384
Location: Northern WV
Did you hear about the lawyer on vacation whose sailboat capsized in dangerous, shark-infested waters?
He surprised his traveling companions by volunteering to swim to the far-off shore for help. As he swam, his companions were startled by the appearance of two dorsal fins -- great white sharks, heading straight toward the lawyer.
To their surprise, the sharks allowed the lawyer to take hold of their fins, and escorted him safely to shore.
When the lawyer returned with help, his companions asked him how he had managed such an incredible feat. The lawyer answered, "Professional courtesy."

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Roger Cole


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:53 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 31
The last time I entered a museum like that was earlier this year, but it was a pre-arranged case. My friend contacted Randy Hees at the Nevada Southern beforehand. We ended up getting a nice long tour of their shops, displays and storage areas with Randy personally leading us through most of it. It was such a quality tour I would have paid for it, but since I ended up getting it for free I tried to repay the favor by spending time on Facebook to talk positively of the Nevada Southern and espouse why people should visit it. I hope to go back someday and pay the train ticket fee for an excursion ride to pay back for the experiences I had earlier there.


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:54 am
Posts: 9
NYCRRson wrote:
Some percentage of folks will try to get stuff for free, get used to it.


This, exactly. He probably tries the same schtick everywhere. Hotels, restaurants, etc. Its not because he's a "railfan"; he's just cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9280
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Headend Shield wrote:
This, exactly. He probably tries the same schtick everywhere. Hotels, restaurants, etc. Its not because he's a "railfan"; he's just cheap.


This kind of reminds me of the "homeless" people that falsely try to claim they're a Vietnam vet or the like.

The best way to handle this is not only to demand a membership card, but to also grill the claimant on something they should know--and have someone knowledgeable do the grilling.

"Oh, yeah? Which unit? Where'd you do your basic training? How many tours?........... Ummm, Parris Island is a MARINE facility in SOUTH Carolina......"

"Yeah? You're from IRM? How's the work going on the Shay? And the Little Joe? How's Pete, the chairman, these days?.............So, you don't really know Nick, do you?"

"Oh, you're from the Baltimore Streetcar Museum? They getting anywhere on the Joisey snowsweeper yet? How's Buster doing these days?"

"Where the heck is Roaring Camp & Big Trees? Tell me about it...."


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 101
We use to let a person ride for free on our pass. Family, friends and people that said they were from another tourist railroad or museum or a prospective new member. But now they would have to purchase a discounted ticket with our pass. The reason given, is if they don't buy a ticket, they are not covered by our insurance. I don't know if that is the whole truth or not.
Tom Hamilton


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5697
Location: southeastern USA
There's nothing more likely to make for a good visit to a museum or tourist operation than previous arrangements, or if in an extremely different location, a more local referral. A couple decades ago, I got a call from Dan Ranger advising me that a gentleman from Puffing Billy in Australia was heading towards me in Colorado - a few days later at about 0600 as I was lighting up I was approached by a gentleman with a recognisable accent who i was then able to greet by name, and who hung around for a week and made himself a lot of new friends while getting dirty and being very useful in the process. A few years after is visit, he reciprocated when I was fortunate enough to be down under, and set up some very nice visits for me at other places down there as well. Of course, we were working guys, not foaming guys with cameras, who knew our way around a shop and operating railroad....... since then, the networking has been very productive as well as personally rewarding.

I think we need to start by networking in order to foster the process of continuing mutual support that makes us all smarter and stronger, and losing such opportunities to take in a few dollars costs more than offering hospitality.

Of course, we're talking about PROFESSIONAL courtesy here - not everybody who pays for a membership to a local museum but doesn't get involved ( which includes me in the past few years as family obligations have taken up all my volunteering time and resources) qualify as "professional." I wouldn't visit your place any more without the expectation of offering some support to your mission, be it a ticket or donation or otherwise

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Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 572
Location: St. Louis, MO
During the 10 years I worked at what now is the National Museum of Transportation we were approached by a number of guys claiming to be from other museums or historical groups. They usually wanted to arrange for the restoration, painting, or loan of equipment. But most of them were at most just a member, some completely unknown to the group. Before I arrived at the museum someone started working on a GM&O/former B&O observation car alone. All the seats were removed and stacked at one end inside when the GM&O Historical Society was contacted, and said they knew nothing about him. He quickly disapeared. Always verify the connection between the person and the groups before taking their word for it. There are too many out there who feel they can just speak with authority when they have none.

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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:16 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 558
Location: B'more Maryland
If the person were a professional they'd understand the importance of admission revenue to your bottom line and not try and weasel their way in.

No courtesy was due.


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:55 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1173
Quote:
"With regard to a beer tasting event, I know it's a big money-maker for some railroads and museums. Frankly, I don't want to carry the responsibility for anyone driving away after consuming alcohol. It's not a matter of morals, it's a matter of public trust. Just my feeling. I know I'll get pilloried for this opinion."


Caveat: I don't represent any museum or restoration effort, whether I volunteer there or not.

Frankly, there are enough hazards in a railroad environment to make consuming alcohol dangerous, and that applies to those 'familiar' with their personal response to alcohol too. While I realize there is little difference between serving beer in a train consist and serving wine, etc. and I acknowledge the beer 'tasting' probably intentionally doesn't involve too many fillings of the special glass, I worry that somehow, somewhere, somebody will be impaired and come to grief, probably very expensively when all is thrashed out.

To be honest, I was nervous at Steam in the Valley, seeing relatively unrestricted alcohol sales followed by mass detraining for photo runbys. Again, as far as I'm concerned I'd rather see the opportunity for incremental income ... just worried about some aspects of the implementation.

On the original question: for what it's worth, I don't think there should be 'professional courtesy' in the usual professional sense: if anyone wants "free" admission they should be prepared to 'work their passage' in some way while there, or provide something of value in return for the admission.

I am certainly in favor of reciprocity agreements, as there are many museums I'd visit 'free' based on belonging to another that I'd never consider if I had to pay something up front -- not that I won't support them at the gift shop or via targeted donation, especially if I find something of personal worth or interest. Note that the reciprocity can involve discounts or special access, if organizations are too cash-strapped to be able to afford full 'pass' access.

My 'take' on Otto's specific situation is very different, and likely unpopular: I see no reason why someone interested only in the prime mission of the organization should have to 'pay extra' for an event that is meaningless to them, whether or not it simplifies the logistics of event management. If that involves something like special pink wristbands or other identifiers, so be it ... but if they aren't there for the beer, or the Thomas ride, or the barbecue fundraiser -- why not let them in, "on their honor" if warranted, and then 'trust but verify'. Certainly eliminates the perceived need for them to do volunteer-swapping with a pity pitch, and leaves everyone feeling a good deal cleaner by the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2473
Location: Northern Illinois
I have a different take on "professional courtesy". It's not a reciprocal freebie, although those have been worked out at times in the past. Professional courtesy is free admission when I have business at your facility. I don't want the beer, I don't even want the ride, I just want to do my business. If you have a paving contractor coming to give you a quote on paving the station platform, you can hardly ask him to pay an admission to view the job, likewise a boiler contractor. This extends to boiler contractors you didn't call; people who are recognized professionals in the industry to whom you'd be happy to show your current project in return for their comments and insight. This can even extend to people working for others, say to gather information, photos, check dimensions for the production of a model. When I'm on one of these missions, I always make arrangements in advance, and I play the admission issue by ear. If I'm told to come in through the front gate, I figure I have to pay. If I'm told someone will meet me at the service entrance, likely not. Most of the people concerned are thrilled someone is going to do a model of one of their pieces, and an acknowledgement as a source doesn't hurt either.

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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 26
Dennis Storzek wrote:
I have a different take on "professional courtesy". It's not a reciprocal freebie, although those have been worked out at times in the past. Professional courtesy is free admission when I have business at your facility. I don't want the beer, I don't even want the ride, I just want to do my business. If you have a paving contractor coming to give you a quote on paving the station platform, you can hardly ask him to pay an admission to view the job, likewise a boiler contractor. This extends to boiler contractors you didn't call; people who are recognized professionals in the industry to whom you'd be happy to show your current project in return for their comments and insight. This can even extend to people working for others, say to gather information, photos, check dimensions for the production of a model. When I'm on one of these missions, I always make arrangements in advance, and I play the admission issue by ear. If I'm told to come in through the front gate, I figure I have to pay. If I'm told someone will meet me at the service entrance, likely not. Most of the people concerned are thrilled someone is going to do a model of one of their pieces, and an acknowledgement as a source doesn't hurt either.


Agreed wholeheartedly -- it's one thing if you're there as part of the preservation community, and another when you're visiting as a visitor, and that distinction is up to the owner of the property.


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 954
Location: Tucson, Arizona
From my perspective, I do not expect anything that the average visitor would get unless I contact a colleague at the museum beforehand. If I'm going to be passing through Fort Smith, Arkansas I will give the Fort Smith Trolley's general manager (friend of mine) a call and make arrangements to visit. Same if I decide to go to Seashore Trolley or National Capital Trolley-I'll call one of my contacts and make arrangements.

Whenever I go to another museum, I want to learn from the experience. In many cases, it's simply to see how someone else operates their road. Similarly, I've been contacted by people from other museums for information and am happy to provide whatever aid I can to their efforts. One of the guys at National Capital Trolley Museum reached out to our museum for information on the paint for their Belgian trolleys and I got the info from one of the guys that painted our car for them.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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 Post subject: Re: Professional Courtesy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:58 pm
Posts: 113
Otto Vondrack,
That's a good question you asked.
Read your post twice.

From a team leader's viewpoint, looks like a Teaching Moment.

Probably an issue with every rail museum in North America.
I think your instincts are correct.

Not the way you were completely happy with,
but would say....that volunteer deserves a pat on the back.
Dealt with an unexpected situation very professionally,
and reported to you.
And life quickly went on, in the middle of a "Zoo".

The really interesting thing is,
the volunteer paid the 15 bucks, out of his own pocket...
That's what jumps out at me.
The volunteer realizes...every dollar counts.

Not so the "visitor".
Who basically demanded access to a particular piece of equipment,
on his terms, for a project he was working on.
In the middle of a major fund raising event.

He went out of his way to avoid paying a lousy 15 bucks.
That tells you a lot about what kind of person he was.

Displays all the characteristics of a self centred....cheapskate, railfan.

Just my opinion, of course..

Old Smokey.


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