If you ask for it, you should also return it

It seems as soon as one BBQ competition season ends I begin to think and plan for the next. Reloading the KCBS recently added events page becomes an instinctual part of my web browsing. I am always updating our schedule with competitions that are closer to home, making sure I don’t miss an early bird discount and making sure I don’t miss a deadline to enter.

The person in charge of scheduling vacations knows when our season begins as requests hit his desk on a pretty regular basis. This, other than an empty bank account, is about the only reason to prevent us from attending an event on our schedule. I do this so that I don’t make plans and financially commit to go somewhere only to be told you can’t have that day off.

That would create a bit of unnecessary grief for us. We would have to tell anybody going with us to change their plans, potentially have a brisket aging for no reason and also have to explain to an organizer that I needed my money back because I didn’t think to make sure I had the day off before committing to your event.

No what do you think an organizer is going to say to that request? I would hope they would be sympathetic, but wouldn’t blame them if they said “sorry about your bad luck, maybe next time plan a bit better”.

Now here is another scenario

As a team, I make sure I have the time off, the money to travel and follow the event’s updates. I have a planned date to mail my entry fee in 2 days before the deadline, (Again I am constantly checking for closer events), and if possible I try to let the organizer know of my intention to attend and when I will send my entry in. That way if there is a concern about making a minimum of required teams they can unofficially count us in the tally.

One of the events that we planned to attend posted on their Facebook page that “only X amount of spots are remaining (theoretically plenty but didn’t want to chance it) you better not wait until the last minute or you might get left out”. As soon as I read that I let them know they could subtract one more spot because our entry fee would be mailed out that day.

I filled out our entry and to the post office it went. Signed, sealed and mailed.

As each day passed, I looked for updates to their page. I would see other teams being added but not our’s. I check my bank account and the check hasn’t been cashed. So I send an email making sure they received it and to see if there was a problem that I didn’t notice because it’s now a little over 1 month away and wanted to resolve it before the deadline.

I finally get an email response saying “I received your application last week.  I am holding it until I kknow for sure that I have a spot for you.  Should know by the end of next week.  Hope to see you soon.”

I think to myself “Crap!! I somehow was too late” I send a reply asking “Are you full?”.

“Not yet but close”

Seriously?!?!? You have my paid entry and I am assuming open spots, so why are you holding it and not confirming it?

My actual response was “I guess I’m confused then. What is the concern with having a spot for us?”.

I am still waiting to hear back.

So in theory I now have to wait until then end of next week when they figure out where they plan to fit us, if they can, before I can make plans to attend. Maybe I am not a big enough or popular enough team to matter as to whether or not they’ll have a spot for us.

The first thing I did was reload the KCBS website and see where the other comps for that weekend were. I am nearly irritated enough to drive an extra 200 miles.

That might be a bit overreacting and dramatic, but organizers would hate if the teams started waiting until the last minute to say whether or not they were coming. Have the same respect for the teams. If I have sent in my entry on time and you have spots open, then I feel I shouldn’t have to wait until the last minute to be told I can make plans to go.

Although I do hear Georgia is nice this time of the year.

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