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napaguy99

Make 'Em Feel Welcome

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Jim, I have to agree. A DZ is not a coffee shop. Most people at a DZ are fairly busy, doing what they have to (like some skydiving/packing) The staff are even more busy, doing what they do best. No one is ever going to ignore you, if you have questions.

Making friends and getting 'into the clic' is another story. This comes in time. You have to show your face around a DZ 3 dozen times before people remember you, that's just human nature. You also have to earn people's respect. If you where a 5 thousand jump wonder, would you go poking your nose and gushing at every new pimple face that showed up at the DZ.:S

I used to feel very 'out' at a DZ, until I started packing and talking to whoever would listen. but you gotta make that effort. No one's going to ring your bell for ya:ph34r:
As we in Africa know - "If you're going to be dumb - you'd better be tough."
- Tonto

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It's a big circle...... So, jump up and introduce yourself and flash a big smile....

Come to think of it, there are a few DZ's in Texas that could use a little warmer hospitality.........

I would take offense to this statement if you are speaking of either Spaceland or Skydive Houston or San Marcos all of which I regularly jump. I organise at all of them when I jump there if noone else is and regularly take on newwer jumpers with the right attitude!
I regularly stop and talk to the new tandem jumpers to even make them feel at home as a good will for the dz and to encourage them to take up the sport. If you want to get involved then make it known to the staff and you will probably get involved!












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friendly people is the secret for a good DZ (to me)
biggest DZ I've been is Empuriabrava (spain) first time didn't seem to be very easy... had 14 jumps... arrived there at night, knowing nobody... first thing I did was trying to find my key to the bunkhouse, but the office was closed... so went to the poolbar met a few people there who helped me out. did 15 jumps in 2 1/2 days... loved it. returned there 5 times in 1 1/2 years.
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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All I'm saying is at a Big DZ..If you don't take advantage of some of the LO's and such...I would not expect people to notice you.



Tue to a point. When I went to perris, granted it was a Friday, I was quickly introduced to a freefly LO. I thought that was great. Coming from a smaller DZ I certainly did not have any experience with LOs.

After some 30 second small talk with the LO, he told me he would be back shortly. He spent the rest of the day jumping with his buddies and I ended up doing solos for most of the day.......

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Tue to a point. When I went to perris, granted it was a Friday, I was quickly introduced to a freefly LO. I thought that was great. Coming from a smaller DZ I certainly did not have any experience with LOs.



So far so good. And this is what I am talking about...You took steps to introduce yourself. Your part is done. The Staff did its job of taking you to an LO.

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After some 30 second small talk with the LO, he told me he would be back shortly. He spent the rest of the day jumping with his buddies and I ended up doing solos for most of the day.......



This is where it turned to crap. Its not your fault...Its not the Staff members fault. This LO is an ass. And he should not be an LO. He is just using the system to get free jumps with his buddies. I see this a lot. I myself have been given the cold shoulder by a FF LO that wanted to jump with his buddies. Its harder to manage a FF LO. Most FF need to stay small to be safe. So it is easy to do 3-4 ways all day with your bud's and not lt it get bigger. RW I will let a group get to about 8-10 before I start just letting anyone on. But RW can handle that FF not so much.

The LO should have given you to someone else then....HE didn't do his job.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Making friends and getting 'into the clic' is another story. This comes in time. You have to show your face around a DZ 3 dozen times before people remember you, that's just human nature. You also have to earn people's respect. If you where a 5 thousand jump wonder, would you go poking your nose and gushing at every new pimple face that showed up at the DZ.


This attitude may indeed be human nature, but it is also a trap. Far to often people tend to equate skydiving ability with quality of person. I have met many students and junior skydivers who are not only cool people but people of such accomplishment that I would feel privileged to meet off the drop zone. The converse is of course also true. There are very good, very accomplished skydivers who are also petty thieves, wife beaters, perverts, drug dealers (no, really, it's true) etc. and deserve no respect whatsoever.
It may be that the most fulfilling period of your life is about to begin, and that nobody over there is the guy who is just starting the project that you are about to embrace.

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PLUS think of it like this.... you being the "new guy" (or girl) and you walk around introducing yourself & ask to get on a 4-way.



What you say makes sense from the perspective of "the" new guy. You are saying it as if there is only one new guy.

Here is my perspective. At my dz, there was over 65,000 jumps made last year. During the season, there is over 200 people camping in the parking lot from who-knows-where. Another 100 in town or trailers. During Christmas, we fly 3 Otters back-to-back.

Are you going to personally greet 300 people? (Also, 300 is a hugely conservative number.)

We generally have 30 tandems on a Sunday. These come with an SO and another friend. There is also another 100 locals from town who come out to watch. I can hardly keep track of the regular jumpers.

Here is the solution. The new guy walks up to manifest and asks for a load organizer. We generally have 3 organizers for flatflyers. Varying degrees of skill level and challenge. The load organizers also make announcements. " is on load 5 if you want to be organized."

The guy needs to take some initiative, we are adults.

I also organize for the Muff Brothers at the convention. We do whatever the group wants. Rafts, inflatables, small-ways. Easy, tough, weird. We make announcements over the loudspeakers all day long.

If the new person is an attractive woman, they should come find me personally. I'm just here to help. :ph34r:



SkydiveChicago is not much different in size to ZHills. The SOP there, fostered by Roger and continued by everyone, is to welcome new jumpers and make sure they have someone to jump with.

Any new jumper coming to SDC WILL BE welcomed by someone and pointed in the direction of someone they can jump with. The someone doing the welcoming may well be me if no staff are around. (I have no official position there except "paying customer").

One reason I continue to go to ZHills each winter (when I could go to any number of warm DZs) is that the first time I ever went there, someone walked up to me in the parking lot, said hello, and introduced me to a LO.

The reason I never went back to Sebastian is that I spent a day there and no-one except the manifest queen and rigger who checked my gear said a word.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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I look at it this way, if you came to my house or place of business, I would go out of my way to make you feel welcome because it is the Classy thing to do.



That is exactly what I was just going to say. If somebody I have never met came into my home, I sure as hell wouldn't wait for them to come to me. I would do what I could to make them feel as welcome as possible on my turf.

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I look at it this way, if you came to my house or place of business, I would go out of my way to make you feel welcome because it is the Classy thing to do.



That is exactly what I was just going to say. If somebody I have never met came into my home, I sure as hell wouldn't wait for them to come to me. I would do what I could to make them feel as welcome as possible on my turf.



Yep, and with an attitude like yours, you would be welcome in my home anytime.

I really find it hard to believe some of the attitudes I'm reading here. Nobody is saying you have to go up to a visiting jumper and fawn all over them. But whats wrong with a warm hello and a smile? If you are too busy to even do that, then you are a pompous asshat and really have no understanding of what the skydiving world is about.

Hint: It isn't about the money or the competition.

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Great post. I think I'll make an extra special effort to do that very thing this weekend.



I second this. I work at a DZ known for it's great attitude.. it's what we pride ourselves on.. but, I can always do better at this. I will make an extra effort this weekend to welcome the new person, whoever they may be.

blue ones !

Bryan

D27808

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Hey, everyone. Read the posts and agree w/ a lot of you, which by context, means I disagree w/ a few of you, as well. I just moved from Colorado to Southern California and went from a small--but kick-ass DZ: Denver Skydivers in Brush, CO--to Perris. Day 1 at Perris, I walked onto the DZ at 0700. I'd brought a friend w/ me who was going to do his AFF 1 (thus the early arrival time). A few people were up and moving about, recognized me as a new guy and stopped to introduce themselves. I stepped away for a few and left my friend standing by my rig. When I came back, he commented on how EVERYONE had walked by and said at least "hello", some of them even stopping to introduce themselves and talk to him about his level 1 when he told them why he was there.
Even still, going to a new DZ can be a bit intimidating. I'm generally pretty outgoing, but even I was kind of taken back when the place got busy. Everyone is doing their thing and planning their jumps. A larger DZ makes it especially more difficult. If you're uncomfortable interrupting a group on the groud, manifest and meet people on the way to altitude; introduce yourself to the guy or girl next to you while you're packing for the next load. You're there to skydive, so are they. Whodathunkit? You have something in common already.

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