Should I file a complaint against Meetup?
March 21, 2014 10:05 AM Subscribe
There was a misunderstanding in a meetup group and the organizer publicly humiliated me and responded in a hostile manner. Should I file a complaint with Meetup or just forget about it?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was in a writing meetup for several months. During this time I dated someone from the group for a few weeks, but it ended when another woman in the group went around and told people she was afraid of me because I reminded her of her abusive ex. I want to stress that I never threatened or acted in an inappropriate manner, but somehow stumbled on a trigger that set her off. At that point I emailed the organizer to tell them what happened and avoided her from that point on (which I later found out was never received or was ignored).
The woman I was dating also had a history with abuse and hearing this from another woman set off a trigger with her as well. She stopped seeing me and treated me very oddly for a while until I asked that we not have any contact anymore as it would be better for both of us. We never had a fight or any kind of serious disagreement, but any appearance of danger was enough to scare off. As someone who also deals with emotional problems and spoke to his therapist about this, I understood where she was coming from and let it go.
In this writing group we wrote short pieces and shared them with one another. I tried to write a variety of pieces about many different characters and issues as a way of challenging myself. Some people were weirded out, but I tended to avoid anything graphic or offensive. One day I wrote a fictional story about two crazy people who are dating. It was overblown to the point of being ridiculous and most people laughed, and included details about mental health that I picked up from books and movies. The woman I had dated assumed I was writing about her despite there being no details about her in the story and told other people who all complained to the organizer.
The organizer's response was wait until the next event to call me aside where security stood by and a large woman threatened me while the organizer stumbled through her reasons for kicking me out. The organizer clearly didn't think this through; she never contacted me prior, I was never given a chance to give my side or explain, and the whole thing was done while the group was just a few feet away. I remained as calm as I could and kept asking why I was never contacted or a discussion never happened, but was just told to "Get out" by the large woman and the organizer said I could be making it all up. Later, I emailed the organizer and said that the whole thing could have been settled privately, but never got a response. One other member told me he went to the organizer and said she could have handled it better, but everyone else seemed to want to mind her own business.
Had I been contacted prior to the event, I would have explained that the story was totally fictional, that the relationship was none of their business, but was completely outside of the group. If the decision was that I could not return, I would have complied. However, it was humiliating to be dragged out in front of everyone and treated like a deranged sociopath. Everyone looked at my like I was going to flip out and start beating on people any moment based on a complaint that I wrote about someone else in the group. I feel bad that things played out the way they did, that these two women had horrific experiences, but the response was so awful and helped no one.
Should I file a complaint with the Meetup site? Do I have any kind of weight behind this or is it just a waste of time?