Convention Season-"Saving Good Seats" & Other Embarrassing Behavior

by Darth Fader The Sequel 50 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Darth Fader The Sequel
    Darth Fader The Sequel

    Since it is the convention season (and I am not attending this year or ever again), and I have been seeing other posts about some of the goings on at the various IC's and RC's, I am reminded of some of the truly embarrassing behavior I have "witnessed" (pun intended) over my lifetime of being a JDub at the various conventions and assemblies.

    Probably the most disillusioning experience at a convention that I have ever had was one year when I volunteered to be an attendant. All of the volunteers were asked to attend a special meeting a few months beforehand to get instructions for our duties as attendants. I assumed there would be many instructions given and some sort of training on what was expected of us. It was nothing of the sort. In fact, the guy who was in charge of attendants and conducted the meeting spent about 90% of the time he had lecturing *the attendants* on seat saving policy and what we were and were not allowed to do concerning saving seats. I found this very, very odd. There was no instructions on dealing with unruly people, security issues should they arise, medical issues should they arise, cleaning issues.... etc. NOTHING!!!!!!! Just lecturing us on when we could select our own seats for ourselves and our families. The instruction was that the doors were to open to the public at 8am sharp. We were required to be in our sections at 7:30am. But, we were not allowed to choose any seats for our wives or family staying with us UNTIL someone from the public had already laid down something in our section to save a seat for themselves. This policy sounds utterly ridiculous, but it is true.

    So, we are all standing in our sections at 8am and we hear the doors to the public open. And then the sound of a thundering herd erupts!! I saw dozens of people in full sprints with their arms loaded with books or blankets. Some of the "sisters" had running shoes on (and later changed into their high heels after the stampede was over). I saw people THROWING their bibles and song books from the aisle way below to the preferred seats at the bulkheads of the inclined seat sections. I saw people throwing blankets and jackets onto seats from below to beat other "brothers and sisters" who were just about to reach the same desired seats from a different direction. I saw yelling and screaming. I saw morbidly obese parents yelling instructions to their quick-footed kids as to which seats to save as they waddled slowly behind. I did not see any fist fights (but I have heard first hand accounts of such) and I did not see anyone roping off sections (but I have heard first hand accounts from relatives of mine).

    This animalistic behavior was so repulsive to me. I had never seen it before, and thankfully, I never plan on seeing it again. Despicable!!!

  • jgnat

    Aisle seats preferred, right?

  • undercover

    To anyone who has never experienced the opening of the doors to the coliseum/arena/etc at a JW convention, they would surely think that you are embellishing the story, or taking poetic license to make a point. But I've experienced it personally. One of the most disillusioning experiences I ever had at a convention was the 8am stampede for seats, while I, the lowly attendent, tried to survive in the midst of it all, similar to Kevin Bacon in Animal House

  • Darth Fader The Sequel
    Darth Fader The Sequel

    Good one, Undercover!!! You know what I know what you know, you know?

  • Ucantnome

    if i couldn't find a decent seat i would go home. most times i couldn't.

  • OneEyedJoe

    The one time I was an attendant, the meeting you described happened at like 6AM on Friday. I didn't have any assignments Friday morning, so I had to get there, sit at the meeting, and had like an hour before the doors opened. At the time I also had an injured foot that made it painfull to stand for long periods, so I went to the auditorium and sat down. Almost immediately one of the power-trippers elders came over to me and told me I couldn't sit there until 8 AM when the doors opened. Even after explaining the situation, he insisted I stand for over an hour. I refused every request to be an attendant ever since.

    I can totally corroborate the stories though, it happens everywhere. I've seen old women with walkers con attendants into letting them in early to sit down at one of the attendant's charis near the doors, only to pick up the walker and RUN to the seats when the doors were opened.. They just wanted an 8 foot head start.

  • Darth Fader The Sequel
    Darth Fader The Sequel

    OneEyedJoe- you speak the truth!

  • nugget

    seating just seemed to bring out the worst in everyone. End seats or front rows were preferred and regardless of the needs of others were chosen first.

    Assemblies were bad for the children since we were often in the middle of a row and with an autistic child it was totally inappropriate. If we got up to take him for a toilet break or for a break from the noise or other hypersensitivity triggers I stayed out until the next song or break.

    They will break you and test you to the limit.

  • Darth Fader The Sequel
    Darth Fader The Sequel

    Sitting in a seat for 6+ hours a day and being expected to be quiet as a child is absolute torture. It is wrong. It is anti-productive. Thankfully, I have a great imagination. I would sail away in my mind and be having a great adventure while the guy on stage blabbered on and on. I did the same thing all through adulthood while I still attended these torture-fests.

  • steve2

    Truly, in the age if the internet, if it ain't videod, it don't exist.

    Has anyone ever captured on film this JW stampeding? It is well observed - but to date, awaiting capture on youtube.

    Any takers for discreetly filming the mad rush or other unseemly convention behaviours?

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