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So would you have handle this situation the same or differently?

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#1 Kim2010

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Posted 07 November 2023 - 11:52 PM

So we are in a neighborhood now (airbnb) where the neighbors are kind of close to each other (more than usual I guess?). 

 

So last night/this morning, I setup my scope out while I waited for the clouds to clear, and I was checking every 30 mins or so. So after having the scope up for some time, and not much happening as the clouds are still being stubborn, I set my timer for 30 mins and thought, "If in 30 mins, still cloudy, then I am packing up." And by the way I set up my scope for EAA (so no eyepiece-- just my Svbony camera there). 

 

So as I was waiting the last 30 mins before I pack it in without being able to do anything, a neighbor (who I don't know-- remember we are just staying here in the airbnb for a few days) approached the yard and asked if they, especially their kid, can take a look. So I politely say there is nothing to look at and also the scope is setup for photography, so no we can't look at anything because of the clouds and of course no eyepiece. Note that I haven't turned on the scope mount and connected to the laptop yet because of--- yeah, clouds! So I was expecting him to say, "Oh, okay, hope we can try it next time." And I will have gladly suggested that they come back tomorrow if there are no clouds. BUT what made me a little annoyed was that he began to get insistent telling me maybe we can just look at ANYTHING for his kid and even suggesting we transfer the scope to an empty lot-- I mean, what? How will transferring to an empty lot change the fact that there are clouds? So basically, this person doesn't know astronomy. His tone was that he doesn't believe we will view nothing if there are clouds, and that maybe the scope can view THROUGH the clouds (yeah right magic!). I was still polite and told him, no we can't and the scope is also setup as a camera so no visual.

 

So to change the topic I asked if his kid is interested in Astronomy, and lo and behold he says yes because his kids like aliens.. Oh, here we go. Anyway, we just chatted but I was already annoyed because I don't like someone imposing or being persistent of what I should do with my scope. I when I politely say we can't use it now, that is it. But anyway, in the end the sky partially clears up where a few bright stars like Sirius is peeking out but nothing meaningful to use the scope on yet. And at this time, he says maybe we can use it now? I firmly said no, and I will be packing up actually. 

 

And anyway, we cordially said goodbyes and thank yous, but now I am no longer interested in setting up my scope here in this place as I just want to quietly work and not be bothered. I mean, I am not a snob. What ticked me off was the INSISTENCE even after I said NO, there are clouds and this is on camera mode. As I said, if he just said, okay maybe we can come back tomorrow, I would have been happy to accommodate. The kind of tone of entitlement to use my scope is what ticked me off even after I said no, not tonight, we can't.

 

In the end he just asked if he can take a photo of it with his kid. I said okay. 

 

Anyway, this has turned into a long post. Sorry! smile.gif

 

I guess, would you have done the same or anything differently? How do you handle such people who can't take no for an answer especially if you just want a quiet night and not be bothered?


Edited by Kim2010, 07 November 2023 - 11:57 PM.

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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 12:40 AM

Alas... it just goes with the territory. I live remote rural country and get rather frequent pitches (at irregular intervals) that go something like this > "I'll have to come over to your place and use your telescope sometime; when shall I show up with the kids?" For some reason even the most casual of acquaintances internalize any guy with a telescope as some kind of community volunteer service. A most peculiar thing. I used to host sizable events here (scout groups, schools, clubs, etc.) that went quite well. But that morphed into gratuitous suggestions as to how I should say this, couldn't say that, make the bathroom door wider, provide hot and cold drinks and a diaper-changing table, build lighting up to the dome, bed and breakfast next morning. What finally put an end to that is --- liability risk. Someone/anyone trips over a tripod leg or steps off a cliff and... you're on the hook. One of our neighbors nearly lost his house over something like that. So it's become exclusively ~friends and family~ forevermore.

 

On the other hand, bonafide, official, NFP clubs have all that stuff built in.     Tom


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#3 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 12:46 AM

Alas... it just goes with the territory. I live remote rural country and get rather frequent pitches (at irregular intervals) that go something like this > "I'll have to come over to your place and use your telescope sometime; when shall I show up with the kids?" For some reason even the most casual of acquaintances internalize any guy with a telescope as some kind of community volunteer service. A most peculiar thing. I used to host sizable events here (scout groups, schools, clubs, etc.) that went quite well. But that morphed into gratuitous suggestions as to how I should say this, couldn't say that, make the bathroom door wider, provide hot and cold drinks and a diaper-changing table, build lighting up to the dome, bed and breakfast next morning. What finally put an end to that is --- liability risk. Someone/anyone trips over a tripod leg or steps off a cliff and... you're on the hook. One of our neighbors nearly lost his house over something like that. So it's become exclusively ~friends and family~ forevermore.

 

On the other hand, bonafide, official, NFP clubs have all that stuff built in.     Tom

Oh my! Being an introvert, I see that I can consider myself luckier in that sense than the situation you handle at a regular basis! Can't imagine that! I will just coop up in the room and lock it :)

 

I feel good that at least I am in good company!

 

Thank you!


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#4 therealdmt

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 12:48 AM

Of course you don’t owe it to whatever random stranger to give them a view, especially if you aren’t specifically setting up for outreach, so it’s more of a general human interaction between strangers situation than an outreach situation.

 

I can kind of understand the guy’s point of view though — someone has a telescope set up and pointing at the sky, so that means looking at space. Clouds are a detail, as is "the scope is set up for photography". Huh? You have a telescope and I just want my kid to be able to have a look for a minute. 30 seconds even. Kid loves space and aliens and stuff. Cloudy? Okay, let me turn on my brain (looks up, thinks). Okay, I see your point. Well, just let him look at anything — like across the lot or at that tower over there. It’s not that hard, buddy.

 

But it was hard, and now there are some somewhat bad feelings on both sides.

 

Certainly the other guy has some responsibility to know when to back off. He’s asking for access to something that isn’t his and that he has no right to.

 

I don’t do photography or EAA so I don’t know how hard it would be to make a change to visual on the fly, but maybe going forward you could just keep a GSO 15mm Plossl or some such in the equipment case for just such a situation.

 

Regarding this particular situation, it’s over. You’ll probably never see the guy again, so just mentally move on. If you do see him again, you could either offer a look at a time convenient for you or just choose to set up elsewhere or do something else with your vacation time — no need to get stressed out. And then since these are Airbnbs, you will both soon enough be physically moving on


Edited by therealdmt, 08 November 2023 - 01:01 AM.

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#5 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 12:59 AM

Of course you don’t owe it to whatever random stranger to give them a view, especially if you aren’t specifically setting up for outreach, so it’s more of a general human interaction between strangers situation than an outreach situation.

 

I can kind of understand the guy’s point of view though — someone has a telescope set up and pointing at the sky, so that means looking at space. Clouds are a detail, as is "the scope is set up for photography". Huh? You have a telescope and I just want my kid to be able to have a look for a minute. 30 seconds even. Kid loves space and aliens and stuff. Cloudy? Okay, let me turn on my brain (looks up, thinks). Okay, I see your point. Well, just let him look at anything — like across the lot or at that tower over there. It’s not that hard, buddy.

 

But it was hard, and now there are some somewhat bad feelings on both sides.

 

Certainly the other guy has some responsibility to know when to back off. He’s asking for access to something that isn’t his and that he has no right to.

 

I don’t do photography or EAA so I don’t know how hard it would be to make a change to visual on the fly, but maybe going forward you could just keep a GSO 15mm Plossl or some such in the equipment case for just such a situation.

 

Regarding this particular situation, it’s over. You’ll probably never see the guy again, so just move on. If you do see him again, you could either offer a look at a time convenient for you or just choose to set up elsewhere or do something else with your vacation time — no need to get stressed out. And then since these are Airbnbs, you soon enough both move on

 

Yup, fair point. I guess I am not that kind of going-out-of-my-way guy for these type of cases :) I mean, if I see someone's sportscar parked, I don't ask them, "Can I take a ride?" LOL! So that too :) I am projecting what I would have done. If someone tells me no, I immediately am okay with it. I just don't relate well with people who insist like that because I am not like that with other people's properties.


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#6 SporadicGazer

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 01:08 AM

First, you didn't do anything wrong.  You weren't set up for viewing and there was nothing to view.

 

OTOH- for the sake of friendly relations, and maybe even recruiting for our hobby, "throwing them a bone" would have been nice.  I don't know what you had available.  E.g. if you had binoculars you could grab quickly, you might have let them see all you can see is clouds and helped them understand.

 

OT-other-OH- I too am somewhat of an introvert and I would have hated the encounter!  So my sympathy for you.


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#7 No N in collimation

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 01:26 AM

Is there a back yard? 


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#8 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:56 AM

First, you didn't do anything wrong.  You weren't set up for viewing and there was nothing to view.

 

OTOH- for the sake of friendly relations, and maybe even recruiting for our hobby, "throwing them a bone" would have been nice.  I don't know what you had available.  E.g. if you had binoculars you could grab quickly, you might have let them see all you can see is clouds and helped them understand.

 

OT-other-OH- I too am somewhat of an introvert and I would have hated the encounter!  So my sympathy for you.

Agreed!

 

Nope no binos, just the C8 and the EQ5Pro mount. LOL, them asking me to transfer that scope from the yard to a parking lot around 50 meters away to accommodate them and see clouds and some electrical posts or thereabouts? No way!

 

Thank you!



#9 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:59 AM

Is there a back yard? 

Unfortunately, nope. It's a small front yard. Needless to say, will cross this place off our "go-to" astro places.

 

The reason we keep travelling to use the scope is our home (condo) have no such good view of the sky at all. The roofdeck is closed at night as per admin rules. The basketball court is around 200meters away LOL. So we do spend just to have a place to observe. In the future, finances allowing, we are planning to get a countryside home specifically good for its view of the night sky :)


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#10 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 03:30 AM

And I forgot to mention, and good that the scope cap is still on, the guy then proceeded to light a cigarette a few minutes before we ended the chat and he left. I hate cigarette smoke, and he is at MY rented place, and he didn't even bother to ask me if it is okay to light a smoke.

 

Even my wife was listening to him talk and she says he sounded a bit arrogant the way he spoke LOL. 


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#11 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 09:22 AM

Some people are jerks. It’s expensive equipment, it’s delicate and kids are frequently not as cognizant of how they can potentially damage it. You did nothing wrong, you literally could not accommodate their request.


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#12 Kim2010

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 09:38 AM

Some people are jerks. It’s expensive equipment, it’s delicate and kids are frequently not as cognizant of how they can potentially damage it. You did nothing wrong, you literally could not accommodate their request.

Thank you! :) I mean, I like getting kids and adults into astronomy, but just the way he insisted with all the suggestions and pointing out that they can look at anything even after I said even I can't use it due to clouds got me annoyed. If he (and his wife) normally said, "No worries. Hope it clears up tomorrow!" I will definitely even be knocking on their door the next night if it clears up. It was just the way he asked, I responded, and he responded to my response. 

 

In the end we were amicable. But I will NEVER setup my scope out again in this neighborhood! On to the next airbnb! :)


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#13 ken30809

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Posted 10 November 2023 - 08:04 PM

Sorry to hear how some people seem to think they're so entitled. It's a sign of the times unfortunately. Hope you find a really nice place to observe.


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#14 TayM57

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Posted 11 November 2023 - 02:26 AM

Thankful I'm Deaf. All I have to do when someone approaches me, is sign in ASL. Then they usually walk backwards.... Slowly...

And that's the last I see of them.
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#15 DSOGabe

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Posted 13 November 2023 - 05:58 PM

You handled it as best as possible. If you are going to be there for a while and want to use the scope just hunt down a close by area  out of sight from that person and just do visual for the time being.


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#16 havasman

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:28 AM

All the available choices were yours to make. You allowed the guy to make an arse of himself and you did nothing remotely out of line.

 

But, yes. I'd probably have handled it differently. It's likely I'd have been inappropriately forceful at some point and increasingly insulting until everything came to an end in tension-heavy air. But there would have been good clarity. Another club member with famously terrible eyesight came over to observe with my scope one night, took the observing chair when it was offered, turned it around from the scope and started gossiping about other members. I told him if he wasn't going to observe, get off the chair and out of the way. Gentle enough I thought. And though I don't care for his company, I do know reasons to respect him. A pushy stranger would get less gentility. Observers are welcome at my scope and they regularly drop by at the club site. I constantly invite my neighbors over for a look through the Ha solar scope. But they are neighbors.

 

Between our methods the result would have been the same as far as any uninvited, unknown, pushy guest observers were concerned but your gentler approach was superior. Keep up the good work.


Edited by havasman, 14 November 2023 - 01:30 AM.

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#17 Kim2010

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 04:25 AM

You handled it as best as possible. If you are going to be there for a while and want to use the scope just hunt down a close by area  out of sight from that person and just do visual for the time being.

Its okay :) We are out of there!


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#18 Kim2010

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 04:35 AM

All the available choices were yours to make. You allowed the guy to make an arse of himself and you did nothing remotely out of line.

 

But, yes. I'd probably have handled it differently. It's likely I'd have been inappropriately forceful at some point and increasingly insulting until everything came to an end in tension-heavy air. But there would have been good clarity. Another club member with famously terrible eyesight came over to observe with my scope one night, took the observing chair when it was offered, turned it around from the scope and started gossiping about other members. I told him if he wasn't going to observe, get off the chair and out of the way. Gentle enough I thought. And though I don't care for his company, I do know reasons to respect him. A pushy stranger would get less gentility. Observers are welcome at my scope and they regularly drop by at the club site. I constantly invite my neighbors over for a look through the Ha solar scope. But they are neighbors.

 

Between our methods the result would have been the same as far as any uninvited, unknown, pushy guest observers were concerned but your gentler approach was superior. Keep up the good work.

 

Oh thank you! :) Sometimes I want to be ungentle BUT I can't! I feel too guilty! :(

I guess, he wasn't too bad though, so yup, I think that went well all things considered. The thing is, most folks here don't know about astronomy, so I can forgive that. I was maybe just expecting a little bit less pushy when I already told him even I can't view anything. I would have invited him and his family the next night if he would just have let it go and said, "Oh okay. Maybe you can let us know tomorrow if that is okay?" instead of insisting to view anything here and there just to use the scope or let his kid see something. Patience would have been appreciated. Reminds me of one abnb where I also had a couple get curious about the scope, and I invited them to take a look. So I am not unkind in any way. I just don't like it when they can't accept no for an answer and have to reason out instead of leaving me alone and saying, maybe next time :)

 

The next night it was a weekend, and him and his friends were out in the street (!!) drinking the night away! I mean, I don't have anything against people drinking over the weekend, but occupying the street? That is a not my cup of tea LOL! Get inside your property and do whatever you like-- but sadly, in some neighborhoods, that is common here, to setup in the street and go on a drinking session until the early morning hours. Wrong part of the neighborhood for me, the more introvert type I guess LOOOOOOOL! 


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#19 mogur

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 05:45 PM

Thankful I'm Deaf. All I have to do when someone approaches me, is sign in ASL. Then they usually walk backwards.... Slowly...

And that's the last I see of them.

That could work, even if you're not really deaf.


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#20 Richard Low

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Posted 15 November 2023 - 07:17 AM

Such scenario happened before. Parent wants to show her kid a view through my telescope but the sky is still cloudy. So I usually tell the parent that the sky is'nt good for viewing but just wait a moment while I re-aim the telescope at a distant lamp post and show them the lizard lurking next to the lamp. That way everyone is happy and satisfied.


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#21 Chris K

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Posted 16 November 2023 - 07:44 PM

I'm imagining a dad terrified that if he didn't get the kid a view through the scope he'd be tortured for the rest of the night!

 

I think you handled it perfectly... with facts, regardless of whether they were acceptable to the child, er, dad.

 

Giving the dad an out might have helped you. When colleagues or prospective club members ask about the hobby they're amazed to hear that any pair of binoculars they probably already have can be pointed at the stars.


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#22 Phil Cowell

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Posted 17 November 2023 - 12:34 AM

That’s why the RASA is the perfect scope when others are around.


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#23 Kim2010

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Posted 17 November 2023 - 02:38 AM

That’s why the RASA is the perfect scope when others are around.

Expensive solution, but nice! :)



#24 michaeledward64

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 09:26 PM

...  would you have done the same or anything differently? How do you handle such people who can't take no for an answer especially if you just want a quiet night and not be bothered?

I'm still a newbie. So, take that as is.  But recently, I was setting up, still in daylight, and a young man and young lady slowed their car and asked a question out the window. I walked over, answered their questions and invited them to come take a look at the moon - even though it was still daylight. I like the opportunity to engage.

 

I try to keep in mind the old adage, ... they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

 

 

What if you led with your 'change of subject'?

 

~ ~ Can the kid take a look through the telescope?

~ ~ Young man, are you interesting in Astronomy?

or ... Have you looked through a telescope before?

or ... What have you seen in the night sky before? 

 

It may not have made any difference. But ... it might soften the 'there is nothing to see because of the clouds' truth.

 

 

P.S. I am trying to work up a big catalogue of 'First Questions' 

to ask those who approach my telescope at a Star Party.

So if you have other good 'openers' .... please share.


Edited by michaeledward64, 10 December 2023 - 09:31 PM.

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#25 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 16 December 2023 - 11:50 PM

I'm still a newbie. So, take that as is.  But recently, I was setting up, still in daylight, and a young man and young lady slowed their car and asked a question out the window. I walked over, answered their questions and invited them to come take a look at the moon - even though it was still daylight. I like the opportunity to engage.

 

I try to keep in mind the old adage, ... they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care

 

 

What if you led with your 'change of subject'?

 

~ ~ Can the kid take a look through the telescope?

~ ~ Young man, are you interesting in Astronomy?

or ... Have you looked through a telescope before?

or ... What have you seen in the night sky before? 

 

It may not have made any difference. But ... it might soften the 'there is nothing to see because of the clouds' truth.

 

 

P.S. I am trying to work up a big catalogue of 'First Questions' 

to ask those who approach my telescope at a Star Party.

So if you have other good 'openers' .... please share.

But that wasn’t the situation, this was an entitled individual intruding on someone’s evening. I don’t get how the adage you cite applies here.


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