Thursday, October 21, 2010

A dilemma in our camera club ......

Over the past few months there has been a pot simmering away building up pressure and it's about to explode.  Let me explain - it's a bit complicated.

Dublin Camera Club is registered as a charity.  It cannot be seen to be making money from its existence.

We have a studio.  The studio is available to members who may use it under certain conditions.

They cannot use it for commerical purposes as it would violate the charity status.
They can only use it during one week.  Then miss a week before trying to book it again.
Booking can only be done in person on a Tuesday night.

So where's the problem?
Well, a number of members (myself included) were frustrated at the fact that we couldn't predict when we could book a time in the studio.  Forget about professional models that you might have to book weeks in advance - even friends you would bring into the studio would ask "when?" and you would reply "I'll let you know Tuesday night when I find out".  Trouble is you had to get a list of times they were available and you were available and then try and get to the front of the queue to try and ensure you got the time/day you wanted.

I proposed we have an online reservation system where you could see what other people wanted and could communicate with them if it clashed with yours and you could indicate your intention to use the studio on a particular day/time.  Booking would still have to be done on a Tuesday but it took the frustration and irritation out of the equation.  There was even a possibility that you could show your intentions 2 or maybe even 3 weeks in advance.

Cool?  Nope.

You see, there is a hard suspicion that a number of people ARE using the studio for commerical purposes.  The present system is seen to frustrate their commerce by virtue of the fact that they CAN'T book their clients in advance.  So you can see the advanced 'booking' system would play right into their hands.
So it appears a few amoral people are putting our club of over 60 years in jeopardy and screwing it up for the rest of us.

Any suggestions?

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