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!!!