wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
So, our struggles have come to an end. The executive committee and I, the league president, worked very hard - against all odds - to negotiate better pricing and expectations of our bowling league for the better part of three months. The first bowling house where we'd been for the better part of 10 years, AMF 300 NYC at Chelsea Piers, kicked out all their leagues. They have become "entertainment houses" rather than bowling establishments. Because of the new restrictions on bowling they implemented, we couldn't keep our USBC sanctioning there; we had to leave. If that wasn't bad enough, the ONLY house in Manhattan accepting bowling leagues was at Port Authority - Leisure Time Bowl (smarmy, slimy folks).

These guys knew they were the only viable option for leagues in town. They had us up against a wall. From the outset, they weren't willing to budge or give us anything within our pricing structure or expectations of the house - no food/drink discounts, starting 30 minutes later than at the previous place, inconvenient ways of holding make-up games, no banking provided to the leagues, etc. The place from the outset of our negotiations was difficult to deal with and they didn't care. We'd make a suggestion, they'd say, "No." We'd offer some other angle, "No, we can't do that." or "That's not what we normally do and we're not comfortable with that." Excuse me, aren't WE the customers??

Two weeks ago, the house sent me an email with an unexpected requirement - a deposit due to them in two weeks. Knowing our league and how unresponsive the captains have been to email requests for information (50% of the league captains drove most of the decisions for the entire league). Leisure Time didn't tell us what the deposit was, gave us no amount, and provided no guidelines on figuring out what the deposit was supposed to be, but it had to be to them by August 15. HOW, pray tell, can you run a business like that??

I replied instantly to the guy with copies to the league secretary and treasurer, and asked for more precise information. His response: "I'll be back in the office on Saturday and will respond then." I was fuming (mind you, this was during the week that I was leaving my firm in Manhattan). I called the guy on Saturday late afternoon after sending a follow up email Saturday morning. The first person that answered "accidentally" hung up on me, and then when I talked to the smarmy bastard, he was in a hurry (on a Saturday night) and would get me the information later in the evening. NO response. No response on Sunday, either. We didn't get the deposit information until Monday night at midnight, 6 days AFTER he sent us the timeline of the deposit - and he sent it only to me; I had to forward it to all the people that needed to help get the deposits from people.

The guy wanted 15% of the ENTIRE FUCKING YEAR'S GUARANTEED EXPENDITURES including the food and drink guarantee. FIFTEEN PERCENT as a deposit. That was equal to almost $8500.00 - and they wanted that in NINE DAYS. I fired of a very heated email to the salesguy and his boss copying the exec committee because the demands were highly unrealistic - during the summer no less - to get that sort of money so quickly. Leisure Time agreed to extend the dates, so that we had more time to gather the funds. The other leagues at the same house weren't being treated like we were at all. They weren't required to put down nearly as much deposit as us, though apparently we were being charged MUCH less than the other leagues. Then it hit me: They don't want us there because they're not making enough off of us and they're being ultra difficult to us so we'll not want to bowl there.

Sure enough: They admitted that there were "MANY other leagues and corporate events that were banging on their doors for the Tuesday night slot, all willing to pay MUCH more than you." Well, by the time I sent the email to the captains Friday, about 5 separate individuals had left their teams, and two more teams had dropped out leaving us with 11-12 teams out of 14 (we guaranteed 14-16 teams). After I updated the captains on the full deposit requirement, teams dropped off like bees getting smoked. Within two days we were only 7 teams. By dropping out, the league decided to disband because the price, requirements, and expectations we had to fit into were all too high and too great a change to move forward.

It was hard to admit, but at least it wasn't my decision and we did the best we could under the circumstances: the league has been canceled until further notice. I plan for us, the officers, to begin advertising the league again in October through January and thinking of innovative ways of garnering more interest in the league next year so that we can be a stronger, more committed/connected (and responsive) league. During the two weeks leading up to this, out of 48 people, we received three checks - and one of them was from a new person to the league, whom I'd never met. Even two days after the cancellation announcement, I'm still trying to figure out a way we could have negotiated differently, but my officers assured me there was nothing more we could have done.

The economy is causing the service industries to become more apathetic to serving and complacent in their customer base rather than becoming better at servicing their customer. It's an odd, tenuous relationship - service to economy. When things are great in the economy, service seems to get better because there's more competition. Then the economy gets crappy and service goes way down because competition is jumping ship and all of a sudden the one place left to serve can call the shots. Funny thing is, though, they're also typically the first to go when the economy's on the upswing and competition comes back - you reap what you sow.
wwcitizen: (Lincoln Tunnel)
Last night I was at Washington & Bethune at an apartment working on bowling stuff with the Exec Committee members. At 11PM in that building, a 12-yr-old girl fell down the smoke shaft into the boiler room - 13 stories - and lived, walking away with a hip bruise (as far as they know right now). The girl lives in the building and was on the roof deck with frineds.

This morning I found out that there's a (RARE) solar eclipse happening at the time I get into the office - from 9:30 till 11 AM.

Then I predicted something to happen on the CW morning news and it happened within 30 seconds.

What is the universe telling me? Things are going to change much for the better, and I'll come out with very minor injuries, and I'll be helping people make the right decisions. I'm sure that's it. Yeah, yeah, that's it.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
A few weeks ago, our bowling league waited for 3 weeks to hear from our bowling house about next season. It took them 3-4 weeks to get back to us, then they expected our decisions to them in a week, which was bullshit and ludicrous. Here is a short synopsis of what they wrote:
____________________________________________
The 300 Brand, of which 300 NEW YORK is an integral part (Chelsea Piers), is introducing a new league concept that will impact all current and future leagues at our establishment. The "300" concept is one of an upscale, trendy, club type atmosphere that we strive to maintain at all times.

This new league concept will include the following bowling environment: lights darkened OVER the lanes as well as all surrounding areas. Video screens ON (The ones down the lanes over the pins). Music on throughout the Center (this is VERY loud music). Cost: $24.00 per bowler per night (which is $8 higher per bowler than this season).

Obviously these are dramatic changes that are being implemented. It will focus
more on a relaxed and fun type league experience.
____________________________________________
Here is the letter I sent to 300 NYC concerning the Monday Night Madness bowling league last night:

"We are hereby informing you that the USBC-sanctioned Monday Night Madness bowling league is not returning to 300 NYC as our bowling house. Together with the 300 NYC's management business decisions to implement non-negotiable terms on our bowling experience and the massive increase in fees, we are leaving 300 NYC, actually with little regret, even though that location has been our bowling home for years.

The USBC responded to our inquiries about the 300 NYC's terms by stating that "Leagues could be certified through USBC as a modified bowling format league, but because it would be a modified [bowling] format, the averages would not be certified USBC averages." Many of our league members bowl around the country in USBC-certified tournaments and need to have USBC sanctioned averages, which at 300 NYC, we would not be able to secure. By our inquiry into USBC standards with the USBC, the USBC now knows of 300 NYC's management's terms and "new league concept". This "new concept" does not mesh with the USBC standards for a proper and certifiable league bowling environment."
____________________________________________
We went to the USBC, AMF, and IGBO about their "new league concept". The USBC was the only organization that got back to us, but of course, their response was the most pivotal. I sincerely hope that 300 NYC didn't do their homework on the sanctioning and that they'll be out all the $$ from the leagues. The 3 leagues at the Center brought in what worked out to be at a basic level about $100K annually; then add on the drinks and food and alcohol. All the leagues there are saying, "Yea, fuck you!" to 300 NYC. They're effectively kicking leagues out without telling us not to return. We've been in that place for at least 10 years. So, they can have their trends, lose money, and go out of business. Good riddance.
wwcitizen: (Lincoln Tunnel)
It's so easy to tell a waiter that you're on a diet for the summer beach loo. They understand that as the reason you don't wanna hear other spiels about other more caloric selections than a healthy salad and hummus. My calorie count today at 6:30 PM is a firm 650. I wanna try to make it to 1000 for the day but not much more than that. My weight loss been at a standstill for a good two weeks. I've been indulging in too many unnecessary things in the "oh-I-can-have-this-if-I-plan-around-it" category. Hopefully this week and next will scare my body into a fewer 30 pounds than I have now. Wanna lose another 30 before June. I guess it'll also mean a temporary moratorium on alcohol, too. Ho hum.
wwcitizen: (Gotham Bowling Tournament 08)
The afternoon was really great!! I actually got a red apple pin because I hit 40+ points over my average! My second game was a respectable 179, which surprised me and our opponents. Very happy and really looking forward to dinner.A business associate of Matt's invited us to dinner.
wwcitizen: (Gotham Bowling Tournament 08)
My morning games were OK. I ended with one pin under average, which is 118 (yes, know it's not great, but I'm ever increasing it). I'm expecting that the afternoon will be better.
wwcitizen: (Gotham Bowling Tournament 08)
The first games averaged out so far to be 1 point over average. My first game of the day was terrible, though, and for some reason, I was nervous!! I'm never nervous bowling. It might have been because I was the first in the lineup on my lane.

The cool thing is, though, we're meeting some really excellent people and other bowlers. This is so much fun, even though I'm kinda sucking right now.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
With surprising scores in the first two games, I ended the third game with my mainstay ballpark score. My spread was 130-166-90. Overall my average was 128, which is 9 points above the average with which I started the evening! So, in bits and pieces, I'm making progress.

Thing is, though, as with every year, the alley might not bring us back next year. The work and improvement I've had in my bowling over the last three seasons might end up being for naught. I've gone from a beginning score of 75 to 119 or higher in the last 3 seasons. My bowling style, focus, and understanding of the game have all improved and deepened. All that for me is good growth. I hope it can continue next year - even if not at Chelsea, then somewhere else - maybe in NJ?
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
Ok, at least I've been hitting most of the pins, but we started each game tonight waaaaaay in the hole: at least -100 given the other team's difference between our handicap and ours. Our opponents were fierce (to quote Christian from Project Runway). Ugh! And we came into the night 3rd in the league! Can't wait to see how low we can go cuz of this night's fiasco... I believe that even if we'd all hit 10 points above our averages, we'd still have lost. Ugh!
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
Last night I came into the bowling evening with an average score of 121. My scores for my games were 145, 127, and 150, which made an average for the night of 141. Made for an exciting and steadily improved game.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
115 - 169 - 122... those were my bowling scores tonight! I was essentially 49 over my average for the series (average going into tonight was 119)! WAHOO! And that with only 1.5 hours of sleep. Plus, apparently, that one 169 score at 50 points above average qualifies me for a patch of some sort. How exciting! Wonder where I'll stick it...

G'night all!
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
Here are the long-awaited photos from last weekend in DC. We went bowling, did horribly over all ([livejournal.com profile] madlizard keeps reminding me that my doubles weren't that bad). If you can't see any of the photos, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. They're in flickr.com, so I could just add you to my contacts list...

http://www.flickr.com/gp/10242246@N08/2MQnU6

Enjoy!
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
Home again, home again jiggity jig. Don't know where that originates, but my dad always said it. I'm waiting for Matthew to pick me up from the scary and eerily astrologically decorated Newark train station. We were here just a mere two days ago after fighting our way through traffic and rain for me to leave. We were so stressed that before I left and just after dinner, we bought a pack of Camels. We both smoked one apiece and I kept the pack, which I finished smoking today. And, no, that's not why I did poorly bowling, mind you; smoking helped me destress from my crappy scores, and they make beer taste that much better. plus, it was cool feeling like a true grit / redneck, smoking, drinking, and bowling for almost two days.

It'll be good to be home. It got cold here quickly!
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
The end of the tournament has drawn nigh. The banquet is later, but I'm not heading there - miss my husband too much and I just wanna be home.

My last score of the last of the three games today was 114 - my entered average. At least I did get up to that today - took a beer for me to slow down and concetrate. What does that imply about my bowling abilities? I suck without some kind of medication!

We're on the way back to the hotel where I'll pick up my suitcase and beat a trail to Union Station. It'll be great to get on that train and go to sleep. Guaranteed I'll be sleeping at least 2 of the three hours.

One of the coolest things about the tournament was winning the Washington Blade basket. The basket was MONGO. Full of CDs, DVDs (music vids), and literature. I was very surprised and found out (late) that for having registered early, we got raffle tickets for free and this was one of the prizes! We'll enjoy that stuff.

So, I'm $500 poorer and my weekend average was horrible. I learned a lot though, got lots of pics, and did have fun. Can't wait to get home and get a bear hug... or two... or three.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
I keep telling myself that, "It's just a game," but honestly I so want to do better and better. My average on the whole has been increasing over the years and sometimes that's solice enough personally. It just sucks that when in with my team, in a tournament, with everyone elses' scores and efforts on the line that I can't bowl better this weekend. I shoulda had less wine last night and gotten a better night's sleep. It's encouraging, though to have teammates like [livejournal.com profile] madlizard and [livejournal.com profile] peterpandanyc around to offer support, expertise, and observations for improvement.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
This morning's bowling festivities started promptly at 10:00 AM. The first team game has ended and [livejournal.com profile] madlizard has been giving very helpful advice and suggestions to improve my throws. Much to his and my chagrins, I bolwed only a 98 in the first game. Is it time for a beer yet? The alley's being kinda brutal today.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
I got bowled a 2-7-10 split as a spare!! [livejournal.com profile] madlizard and I are bowling doubles, and he's sooo encouraging and helpful. All he had to say was, "You can do this!". Well, I did it and it feels wonderful. Two times in my bowling history I've made a spare that was beautiful and this was one of them.
wwcitizen: (Feel Like an Ass)
There's an award for getting a score 40+ points below your average: an ass (a donkey anyway). I got a 95 the 2nd game this afternoon. I certainly FEEL like an ass, but alas, I didn't even win an ass pin much less achieve my average. Need a lot more beer.
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
I swear I posted a couple of renditions after the 2nd game post and friends got the notification, but nothing's showing up.

Could had a better run of this morning's games, but it didn't happen. Got a 112 in my last game of the first set this morning, which makes my avaerage in the singles a 104: 10 points down.

Right now, my first game this afternoon was MUCH better: 124. Sustenance is vital when playing sports. Yes, bowling is a sport! I'm sweating, ain't I?
wwcitizen: (BowlingSteve)
A girl we're bowling with had cobwebs in her head... Not sure why, but she needed a little boost. I suggested to her the Red Bull + 2 Advil remedy and she keeps bowling strikes and picking up spares... Maybe I should do one, too! Have stayed away from Advil / Ibuprofen for a while, since I discovered my legs' cappilaries were bursting, making little freckles over time. Don't think that's a good idea for me.

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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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