[From Rick Marken (2000.04.12.0840)]

I just got a post from Mary Powers expressing her alarm at
the cost of the conference. I thought I'd answer some of
these things on the net before I bug out.

I am suffering from sticker shock - how did the conference
get to be so expensive? Last year the conference fee was
$200 for both of us, and now you need $480??

The conference expense was determined by Boston College. They
told me the room rate but didn't show me the conference costs
until the package arrived in the mail two days ago. Shelley (the
person I was dealing with on the phone) would never tell me
the costs involved; not even _estimates_!!. I had to wait until
the mail arrived. And those were the numbers. I agree that it's
a bit high; but then I did a reality check by looking at the
cost of the RTP conference; that one is $235 per person so ours
is in the ballpark. I agree that $480 is way too much for couples
attending; maybe we can make it $240/couple.

I know that you said before that breakfast was included in the
room rate, and now you say it's part of the conference fee.

I misunderstood at that time.

In fact, please explain it all - how much for the meeting room,
the coffee breaks, the banquet, CSG membership, and anything else.

Unfortunately I don't have the contract with me. My memory is that
it was about $3600 for the conference facilities (room, etc), and
about $2400 for clambake, coffee breaks, and breakfast.

How clever of you to hit us with this and then leave town.

My trip was planned weeks ago. I called Shelley every week
or so since last October trying to get the numbers for the
conference. They finally arrived in the mail on monday. I
was pretty shocked too but that's what they were. I don't
know what leverage I have to change them. I have not signed
the contract yet; I can eliminate the dinner and maybe threaten
to pull out if they don't give us a better deal. It's all
fine with me. I put the announcement on the net because I
thought the price seemed in the ballpark, I think I was clear
in suggesting that CSG would provide financial help to those
who need it; I can work it out with people individually.

I'm not paying until I know more.

If people send money and the conference is canceled or
the cost revised they will be paid back; fear not. I may
not have a clue about how to arrange conferences but I
do know how to write checks!

I wonder how many people will drop out because of the
cost and how much more it will cost the rest of us when
they do.

If people drop out then I will make up for the difference
from the CSG coffers. I would not make it up by charging
people more.

And are all 100+ people on the net supposed to contact
those six guys? Why on earth didn't you just ask Lloyd
or do it yourself?

Because I will be out of town. And I don't know all the
e-mail addresses. And I don't know if Lloyd is back yet
(I just had a nice get together with him last week here
in LA LA Land).

One final thing: I, for one, am allergic to clams. What is
my banquet going to be? A peanut butter sandwich? Served
on a gold plate, of course.

There is a substitute meal for those who don't eat unclean
food (or are blessed by being allergic to it;-). The clambake
sounded good to me; I was tasked with arranging the meeting
so I made all the calls about what would be involved in the
meeting. When Shelley asked what we wanted, I tried to get
things the same as the last meetings; the catering at the
sessions, the lecture hall, the breakfast, the Saturday
banquet (they do a clambake; it's BOSTON!). We could do
away with the clambake but it's not really a big part of the
expense. The sticker shock for me was the conference room and
catering fees, which, I believe, were over $4500. But the first
time I saw the numbers was when I got the package this monday.

For now, why don't we just say that the conference is $240/
attendee. If you are a couple then it's $240/couple. Those
who can should send their money ASAP; they I'll have an idea
who is really planning to attend. I won't sign the contract
until Lloyd (the CSG president) and you (the conference maven)
approve. If the conference is canceled or changed I will
return money to all those who have sent in their registration




Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates mailto: rmarken@earthlink.net

[from Joel Judd]

I have to share this nugget of information with people I know will
appreciate it:

In the employment section of a large city daily comes this heartening news:
for every $10,000 of annual income you expect to get from your new job, you
should expect to be unemployed about 1 month. No problem! I'll just apply
for unemployment for about--oh--8 1/2 years, and then I'll land the job
that will make me a millionare. I knew there was a secret to this job
search stuff.