[hackerspaces] dossier pattern

sheila miguez shekay at pobox.com
Tue Nov 17 15:16:40 CET 2015

On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 6:25 PM, Petr Baudis <pasky at ucw.cz> wrote:

> > Dossier Pattern
> > > Problem: The board has received a complaint about a member, but the
> member
> > > says they didn't understand the rules. The board members are new and
> have
> > > no way to know whether the member has been a problem before.
> > > Solution: Keep records of all member complaints in a system that is
> > > confidential and searchable. Even if someone doesn't want to make a
> formal
> > > complaint, leaving a note can help establish whether there is a
> pattern of
> > > misbehavior and help future boards follow up.
>   I just fail to see the problem here.  People have some reputation and
> if all people on your board are completely unaware of reputation of your
> members, I don't see how you can be reasonably settling any disputes at
> all.

I think people can know reputation and have a context for when someone is
having difficulties when there are 40 members, but once you get to 400
members you've exceeded Dunbar's number [1].

We hover around 400 members, and I don't know everyone. I've talked with
some long term members and former members about difficulties with people in
the space over the years because I wanted to know our failure modes to see
what we can improve.

Some case studies from over the years

* One member was bad at self care and had serious problems. People couldn't
help the member be functional, and the member was dangerous to themselves.
If they ever want to come back, I think people should know to talk to the
person to see if things have changed.

* One member was reckless and used equipment dangerously and did not change
their behavior after being talked to. If this person wants to use tools
again, people should know the background before re-authorizing the person
to use tools.

* A non-member at an open event sexually harassed and stalked a member
attending the event. The person was told not to come to the space anymore.
I know about this situation because it was an event I ran, but I also know
that we don't have documentation about this. It didn't occur to me until
recently that we should track things.

In the first two cases, I think they could improve. In the last case, I do
not want to give the person a second chance.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

shekay at pobox.com
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