[Noisebridge-discuss] Sleeper problem.

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Fri Jul 15 19:37:22 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 11:55 AM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
> I came to Noisebridge this morning to check for sleepers. I haven't
> done so in a while. There were about half a dozen people up and
> working on stuff, and two people crashed on couches and chairs.
> One them was Lennie, who's a new guy who started coming to the space a
> month or two ago. I bring this up in particular because this is the
> third time I've found him sleeping at the space. As usual, I woke him
> up and talked to him a bit about Noisebridge's sleeper problem and
> then asked him to leave. (When I wake people up and don't ask people
> to leave, they just go back to crashing at Noisebridge when I walk out
> the door. I've checked.)

Hey Al,

As I've said a couple of times in private email, and several people
said in the meeting, it'd be useful to coordinate so you don't end
being the only person turning up in the mornings or checking up on
these things.

I think what you say and do to people who are just using the space to
sleep in has added force if others are doing it also, and also having
some co-operation on this also helps prevent burnout or the idea that
this is just something you're doing off your own bat. It's a lot
harder for someone to protest that you're exclusively conducting a
guilt trip when there are several others talking to them about their
behaviour. It also means that they are reminded about it when there's
no Al around.

My understanding was also that one of the reasons why you're unhappy
about the lack of a concrete rule about opening times or whether it's
appropriate to sleep in the space, is because without such a rule, you
feel diminishes your capability to actually ask people to leave, and
it makes you feel awkward because you are unsure of the level of
support. Many people at the meeting said that you do have support, and
that the NB way to provide that support more concretely was to provide
some structure and co-operation for what you're doing.

Some people also wanted to know who was sleeping at the space, because
it was confusing to hear rumors and conflicting reports. You said that
you felt uncomfortable giving names in public because of the criticism
over privacy that you received last time this had happened.

In response to that, I agreed to act as a resource so you and others
could inform me of who you've seen, and I could keep a tally and
publicise in a way to nb-discuss of the level of the problem that
would both help preserve people's privacy and Googeability, actually
collect them some concrete data,  document whether this problem is
getting worse or better, etc. I willing to spend some time working out
how to be both public about the facts and protective of privacy,
because it's actually something I face pretty repeatedly when doing
the secretarial tasks.

I'd like to repeat, in public, the offering of both of these
solutions: people to help you, and some system to track and publicise
the level of recurring sleeping. What do you think?

> I was polite, he was polite. He explained that he was just taking a
> short nap and not sleeping (which was the same explanation he gave the
> first two times, and it wasn't very believable then either.) He said
> he thought it was disrespectful to wake people up and ask them to
> leave. He implied that people stopped hanging around the space because
> I was waking up sleepers in the morning (I usually arrive between 6am
> and 7am), and some other guilt-trip remarks. His stalling went on for
> about half an hour, but I kept replying that he's free to work all
> night at Noisebridge but needs to make plans for getting home before
> he gets sleepy, and that he still had to leave this morning. Lennie
> packed up and walked over to Mitch and spent another half hour
> explaining himself, and finally left. I left a little bit later. After
> I got on my bike and was riding away I noticed he was back at the
> Noisebridge gate.
> This isn't a one-off thing, and Lennie never said he'd stop doing it.
> Talking to him about doesn't phase him one bit. If this becomes a
> problem again (and tell me if it does), I'm going to tell Lennie to
> stop coming to Noisebridge.
> -Al
> Also, the sinks were full of dishes, there were fruit flies hovering
> around food that had been left out, and vegetables are being stored in
> unsealed containers again where the rats can get to them. On the plus
> side, the kitchen counters were clean and the hackers-to-sleepers
> ratio is a complete inversion of what it was a couple weeks ago.

The kitchen, and a lot of the space was *really* clean yesterday
(though I noticed as I left that fruit was being brought into the
space). A couple of people commented to me on how much more organized
and tidy the place is  looking, and as I left, Espen was finishing on
his work tidying up the workshop.

I think maybe we get a situation where plates are left in the sink
overnight, but cleaned afterwards (whether by the same people or just
grumpy/generous people cleaning I don't know).


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