HOF Me – Guest Post

May 28, 2009 by admncc

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they would like to complain about.  Leo Nevoli submitted the below-Guest Post.  His complaint involves his recent Hall of Fame selection and subsequent events.  He told me it’s an open letter to my readers.  He wants to know what you think.  Enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Leo…

It is not everyday someone is informed they are receiving an honor and that they get to publicly thank family and friends for all they did to help them be successful.  I was informed in the middle of April that I was getting that opportunity.  My high school’s Hall of Fame.

When I received the call about officially receiving the award, it came as no surprise to me that I was a unanimous decision to be awarded it.  I asked for the information about the banquet that is held each year for the recipients of the award.  I was informed that the banquet was scheduled for Father’s Day this year.  I was a bit surprised that they would have it on Father’s Day, but when you consider that dad is happy to get a card with some lottery tickets or a case of beer for Father’s Day, while mom wants a full day of breakfast, lunch, and dinner events – you can get away with scheduling something on Father’s Day.  I made my family and friends aware of the date in case they were planning something for Father’s Day, and let them know they would be getting invitations to the event.  My parents even changed the plans of their vacation to attend the banquet.  I turned in my guest list, and began working on my speech.

Things were going good, until I received a message wanting to know if my guest list would change because of the date change of the banquet.  Date change?  What date change!  I talked to the President of the organization.  He told me that three of the four recipients were not able to make the Father’s Day Banquet; I was the only one that was able to make that day.  After discussing the situation with the other three recipients, the new date worked best for them.  I then asked why I was not involved in picking the new date, mainly because I would not have picked that specific day.  The new date is during my family’s planned vacation.  It is a vacation that my in-laws planned and paid for.  They want to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren on a beach.  The President told me he did not consider checking the date with me.  I told him I could not change my plans, because I do not own the airlines nor a jet.  He then said he never had this problem in the previous seven years of the award, and suggested that I have someone receive my award in my absence or do a video acceptance speech.  He told me to think about it and get back to him.

I am sure some people are thinking that if I really want this award, I can request they move the banquet up a day, which would delay my vacation by three days, get the award and be on my way – thus leaving us only four days to spend with the in-Laws.  Sure that may be the easiest solution, but it is not just me; my wife and kids that are involved in this.  It is not fair to my wife’s family if we weren’t there with them.  Another option would be for me to stay, receive the award, have the wife and kids go, and either not join the rest of the family on vacation or pay for my own travel to get there (but miss out on three days).  Now there is the option of what the President suggested, but to me that is an insult to me and the family and friends I would invite.  No one will want to go to a banquet in my honor that I am not there for to listen to me speak by a video tape.

My biggest complaint about the whole thing is not being called to be included with the discussion of a new date.  I feel like they do not want me to receive the award.  If they wanted me to receive it, they would have included my input for a new date, but they only discussed it with the other three recipients.  I firmly believe that all four recipients should be there, because I am sure that (like me) they want to publicly thank loved ones, because this is a once in a lifetime event.

Unless I get a call saying a new date has been decided that works for all four recipients, I currently have a letter addressed to the organization’s President informing him that I will not insult my family and friends with a video tape accepting the award or have someone accept it on my behalf.  I also am making him aware that I do not want my name mentioned anywhere in their program or said by any one that night, because I am technically not receiving the award, nor am I going to acknowledge receiving the award.  I am also no longer going to contribute to the organization.

Am I in the wrong for feeling like this?  Should I not be insulted by their action to not include me in the discussion of a new date?  Should I send the letter now, or wait and see if they will try to change the date again?  Or, should I just stay home while the family enjoys the sand and sun, just so I can receive this once in a lifetime award?  I’m Leo Nevoli, and I want to know your ponderings.

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  1. Sugar says:

    Congratulations on winning an award!

    The decision to switch the date should have included you also. You are apart of the ceremony as well. I don’t blame you for not wanting someone else to accept the award on your behalf, or video tape your acceptance.

  2. NeoConDon says:

    I gotta say, Leo, that this must be very frustrating for you. Here’s what I would do…

    It’s never good to burn bridges, so I wouldn’t cut my ties with the organization. You need to realize that you’re not the first person to ever have to miss a HOF induction because of someone else’s mistake, and you won’t be the last. Unless you have access to high quality video equipment, I’d skip that option since it would only look cheesy. Go about your plans with your family since that is more important than the HOF induction ceremony, and write a short and polite statement of acceptance that the emcee can read at the banquet. You’ve earned the honor, so you should accept it. Then you can decide if you’ll be a supporter in the future or not.

    My gut tells me that 5 years from now, you’ll regret not accepting the honor even if you didn’t get the opportunity to eat a bad dinner.

  3. Leo Nevoli says:

    Thanks Sugar. NCD, you are correct, it is very frustrating for not just me, but other family and friends who were planning to attend Father’s Day event. I have revised my letter to them a few times, because I don’t want to burn the bridge or sound like I am picking up my toys and going home. I could ask in my letter not to be recognized this year and request that I be part of the class next year, but then there is no telling what will happen a year from now. For me, I am very excited to be named to the HOF, when you consider the number of people that have been in the school, and this is the 7th year they are inducting a class of 4 people. You figure 1 of 28 people out of a few 1,000 people, so clearly I want to be there for it. Clearly the last thing I want to do is cut ties, because that is 4 years of my life they were a part of, and there is no telling if my kids will want to go there.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    I think you have made a great decision, Leo…talk to the person in charge, and accept the award this year, and ask to be recognized next year so you get the opportunity to make your remaarks and your family is able to enjoy it as well. That sounds like a win-win.

  5. Dan says:

    I want to watch your acceptance speech live on this blog. Haha!

  6. I like the idea of accepting the award next year and I agree with those that said you should have been included in the decision to change the date. You weren’t. Oh well. Acceptance comes into play here. If the win-win suggested by NeoConDon isn’t possible, I would do the video acceptance and move on. Take the higher ground. Yes, you were wronged but it probably wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time. No sense making things worse. Good Luck!

  7. Imagine this! I agree with Don.

  8. Extreme John says:

    Pretty crappy move on their part, even if it is something as simple as mis-mgmt. Either way if it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.

    They were wrong with this and the fact that they don’t understand where your coming from is unreal to me.

  9. Unreal John, but certainly not unbelievable 🙁

  10. The Constant Complainer says:

    Leo, as much as I think you should tell them to take the award and shove it, what everyone else is saying is true.

    Your feedback should have been asked in the first place. I don’t know what they were implying by not asking you about the date change. Let’s hope it was an oversight.

    But I think you have just as much right to be there as any of the other hall of famers. So I think they need to work with all of you and come up with a date that they then can market appropriately.

    Congrats on your award by the way!

  11. I don’t understand why the 4 of you can’t just get together and select a new date. They were out of line not to include your input. I’m guessing since you were available on Father’s Day, they figured you must be pretty easy-going and just decided without you.

    I would send a letter, but not the one you wrote. Request a date change in writing, stating your concerns and copy it to some higher ups. No need to be nasty, it’s a perfectly acceptable request.

    Congratulations to you, however you receive your award.

  12. Tristan says:

    What is this organization…? I’ve always had little interest in formalities, so I would no doubt say forget about any kind of proxy acceptance. If they aren’t interested enough in your contribution to the organization to include you in rescheduling the event, I wouldn’t be interested enough to set up any arrangement for the acceptance.

    That being said, others here are probably right about swallowing your pride and just going with it. I’m a contemptuous person when it comes to authority and care little for any award I’ve ever received. I think that means my advice is not going to be good in this situation.

  13. Leo Nevoli says:

    A quick Update for everyone. I did send my letter asking not to be recognized this year, but instead be honored next year. I did receive a phone call back, informing me that someone else stepped in, and made the decision to move the event again to a date that works well not only for me but for the other three inductees. Now it is just waiting on an official date that works for everyone.

  14. Zig says:

    Leo, the day I graduated was the last day I ever thought about “Highschool!” Congratulations on winning and award from your “Highschool,” but who cares? Tell those “people” that you are an adult now. You no longer dance to the whims of “Principals” and “Teachers.” You are being controled by these people.

    NCD, FU!

  15. NeoConDon says:

    Zig, do you need a hug?

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