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View Full Version : Question - should I complain or just deal with it?


BrisketBelly
04-18-2010, 09:21 PM
I wasn't sure if I should even post this, but it has been eating at me since yesterday and I wanted to get some feedback from folks who are familiar with KCBS competitions. I signed up to judge a competition a few months ago, was accepted and sent a packet for the event. I took a day of vacation from work to attend and packed my family into the car and drove to the competition, approximately 90 minutes from my home. I knew that we would arrive close to the start time of the judges meeting, giving me approximately a 15 minute window upon arrival. As a new father, getting on the road with the baby put us behind later than I intended.

We were just outside of the venue at 10:45am, the judges meeting was at 11. Unfortunately, the entrance we used to get in last year was blocked by the police this year and were directed to another entrance. When we got around all of that, we were directed to a public lot instead of the judges lot. I got out of my car at exactly 11. I left my family behind and got to the tent 6 minutes late. When I got to the sign in table, I was told that the judging was full. I thought she was joking but then I saw 4 other people also standing there being told the spots were filled. About 10 minutes later, the gentlemen running the event approached me and I questioned him about my spot being filled. He reminded me that I was late and told me all judges spots were filled. Since the meeting had not yet been started, I asked if he overbooked judges or if they just took volunteers willing to stand in as a judge. He said that the event was 100% certified judges. He then said that I could help at the front table if I wanted, but I declined. At that point I was upset and would rather spend the rest of the day at the festival with my family. So off I went to track down where they set up camp for the day. It ended up being a nice festival and the time spent there with my family was great.

But, the entire reason the agreed to go there was so that I could judge the competition, as it is one of my hobbies. Getting there a little late and being told I can't judge was frustrating. I am usually in the judges tent well ahead of the set time, and the judges meetings never really begin until well after that set time. I'm sure the event coordinators could have judges on standby in the case of no-shows. And, I was certainly late to the 11am set time. I understand their need to fill the spots, but I feel slighted for the way I replaced as I stood there before their meeting even started.

I just thought I would put it out there and if I get any feedback, I would like to hear what you think. Thanks for listening.

BBQ Grail
04-18-2010, 09:26 PM
Complain or deal with it....

Given those two choices I say deal with it. You were late.

MilitantSquatter
04-18-2010, 09:40 PM
Frustrating, yes but aside from being late...even if you weren't late, you still may have been one of the four judges who were signed up to judge but not selected and still asked to help in another capacity. The others may have been certified judges as well.

Seems that overbooking judges is somewhat common considering that no-show judges are just as common. The organizer has too much on the line to take a risk.

Just a thought... KCBS should warn prospective judges of these types of scenarios at the certification classes.

Rookie'48
04-18-2010, 09:49 PM
I can understand the frustration of driving 1 1/2 hours & not being able to judge. And I think I can understand how you must feel about getting there before the meeting started & having been bumped out of "your" seat.
However, the fact is that you weren't there at 11:00 (as you readily admit) and the organizers and/ or Reps have no obligation to "hold" your spot for you. At most of the comps that I have judged when the set time gets there the Rep starts getting people to thier seats and filling tables as needed, lining up Table Captains, etc.
Admittedly, 6 minutes seems awful fast for all of that to happen, but really there is no one to complain to and you have no valid complaint. It's kinda like the cook who gets to the turn-in table with his chicken at 12:05:09 - he has no entry in that catagory. Arbitrary? Maybe, but the rules is the rules :rolleyes:.
On a personal note, I always carry the cell phone number of the organizer or one of the Reps just in case of an emergency. Luckily I haven't had to use that yet. I hope you have better luck in the future & don't let this one episode sour you on that comp or judging in general.

CivilWarBBQ
04-18-2010, 10:44 PM
Typically judges are instructed to check in well before the official meeting - this gives those in charge time to fill the seats of the no-shows. As Rookie suggested, if you are unavoidably detained but you know you will be just a few minutes late the best thing to do is call the Judging Coordinator from your cell phone and let them know you are on your way.

Though I sympathize, as someone who plays the role of Judge, Cook and Organizer I can honestly say there are only two things you are expected to do as a KCBS judge: show up and follow the KCBS judging criteria. In exchange for this you are provided with admission, bbq, refreshments, goodie bags, etc. all at no cost.

Expecting judges to be on time isn't too much to ask, IMO.

BRBBQ
04-18-2010, 10:47 PM
I can fill your pain, but check in time is check in time.

BrisketBelly
04-18-2010, 11:09 PM
I understand everyone's response and I'm thankful for your input. I suppose the part that bugs me, and I didn't detail earlier is this: I've judged competitions where there weren't enough judges and my table judged 7 entries to compensate. I've also had it where there were too many judges and sometimes we only got 5 entries. Knowing that this competition turned away (at least) 5 judges who all were at the tent before the meeting got started just doesn't seem right.

yelonutz
04-19-2010, 12:08 AM
If you were competing and turned in your entry 6 minutes late, would you expect it to be accepted? Sack up and be on time next time.

NUTZ

Grillman
04-19-2010, 12:32 AM
IMO...this situation is far too insignificant to even worry about you getting
bumped for being a bit late.
I'm sure you would have had fun judging the contest....but; as luck would
have it...you were given a gift of unmeasurable value....you got to spend
the day with your wife and children.

There is nothing; that is more important; or valuable than that.
It wont be long; and your kids will be out of High School; starting
their own lives.
You will be asking yourself, where all the time went; and wishing you
could have spent more time with your family.
Enjoy the time you have together; and treasure it; because it will be
over much too soon.

bodcat
04-19-2010, 12:49 AM
I can feel your pain. I was suppose to judge an event last year(drove an hour for it) and there 4 or 5 of us that got bumped even when we were there by the time we were suppose to. We were told their were a few townspeople that wanted to judge, hence we got bumped. I would imagine many of the teams competing would have been pissed if they knew certified judges were bumped for townspeople. I just went with it and helped in the back room, in the end it was nice to see another part of the judging process.

Rookie'48
04-19-2010, 01:17 AM
I've judged competitions where there weren't enough judges and my table judged 7 entries to compensate. I've also had it where there were too many judges and sometimes we only got 5 entries. Knowing that this competition turned away (at least) 5 judges who all were at the tent before the meeting got started just doesn't seem right.

Ah ha :shock: ! Now this part does make a BIG difference because under KCBS rules you MUST have 6 judges per table, no more, no less. If they had five extra judges they can't put them in - there's gotta be six. Maybe that had something to do with it :doh:.

Mo-Dave
04-19-2010, 06:22 AM
This has happened to me once and at first I was a bit upset but I got to volunteer for other duties and found it to be a lot of fun and got to taste a lot of food at the grazing table, so I guess deal with it.
Dave

The Pigman
04-19-2010, 06:46 AM
I would DEAL with it and thank them for a wonderful thing that they are doing. So you were late and got to spend a day with family. The promoters and those helping run a comp have their hands full and have to do what they do to pull this off.

RobKC
04-19-2010, 07:33 AM
IMO...this situation is far too insignificant to even worry about you getting
bumped for being a bit late.
I'm sure you would have had fun judging the contest....but; as luck would
have it...you were given a gift of unmeasurable value....you got to spend
the day with your wife and children.

There is nothing; that is more important; or valuable than that.
It wont be long; and your kids will be out of High School; starting
their own lives.
You will be asking yourself, where all the time went; and wishing you
could have spent more time with your family.
Enjoy the time you have together; and treasure it; because it will be
over much too soon.

^^^^^^this^^^^^^

Jeff_in_KC
04-19-2010, 07:57 AM
As an organizer also, I'd do the same thing - you were late. We cooks are expected to be on time for turn-ins and late is late. Same applies to judges. I require 100% CBJs at the contest we put on. I treat them all well with goody bags, opportunities to sign up for the same raffles the teams sign up for, veggie and fruit trays after the last category, we do what we say we will do, etc. In return, I expect fair judging and to check in on time. That's not too much to ask.

About this judging seven entries thing... was this not a KCBS sanctioned event? There isn't even enough spaces on a score card for such an occurance. And you can't compare the contest you went to this weekend with the others and make a broad statement that it isn't fair that these judges were turned away before the meeting started.

I'm in the "deal with it" camp on this one.

KC_Bobby
04-19-2010, 08:09 AM
Jeff. I've judged 5 and 7 entries per category before too. It has to do with the number of teams. Now, we didn't get 5 or 7 turn ins for each category, just one. I think it's fairly common for that to happen as not all comps have 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 84, 90, 96, 102, 108, 114, 120, 124, 130, 136, 142 (well, you get the picture) teams.

As far as the topic, sorry it happened but the organizers and reps have an obligation to get things going to insure fair judging for the teams. I'm surprised the judges meeting didn't start until 11:00. Seems like a lot to get done in one hour and a lot of fast scrambling if they are short judges.

Big George's BBQ
04-19-2010, 08:09 AM
You have to deal with it. I can see them over booking judges to make sure they have enough. As a competitor if I am a few seconds late I can can not enter my category and then have no chance of doing well in the Comp.

Jeff_in_KC
04-19-2010, 11:33 AM
Jeff. I've judged 5 and 7 entries per category before too. It has to do with the number of teams. Now, we didn't get 5 or 7 turn ins for each category, just one. I think it's fairly common for that to happen as not all comps have 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 84, 90, 96, 102, 108, 114, 120, 124, 130, 136, 142 (well, you get the picture) teams.

As far as the topic, sorry it happened but the organizers and reps have an obligation to get things going to insure fair judging for the teams. I'm surprised the judges meeting didn't start until 11:00. Seems like a lot to get done in one hour and a lot of fast scrambling if they are short judges.

Bob, as far as I know, you should never get 7 entries in a category. You would have to get a second judging plate and slip. Doesn't seem possible to me. Now five or fewer, yes, definitely. But seven? I can't picture that ever happening. Maybe I'm wrong here though.

Lake Dogs
04-19-2010, 12:13 PM
Jeff, as I understand it, it's possible to have more than 6 entries. Not desired, but
possible.

To the original post, it can be very very tough to miss out for being late by a few
minutes. However, the same goes for the teams, etc. 1 second late and the
entry is NO GO; DQ. I'm afraid that timeliness is a big key. Live and learn. Hope
to see you at another comp.

Best of luck.

Exe-que-tioner
04-19-2010, 12:27 PM
I have judged 7 entries in one category before at a contest. Two entries shared the last space on the mat, and we were instructed to divide that space with a slash-mark (/) and write in the last entry at the bottom of the scorecard. :confused:

Bunny
04-19-2010, 04:22 PM
This has happened to me once and at first I was a bit upset but I got to volunteer for other duties and found it to be a lot of fun and got to taste a lot of food at the grazing table, so I guess deal with it.
Dave

MO DAVE: That was at Hermann and I bumped you there but you and your buddy were great volunteers!

We had a phone call when in Dillon CO that there was an accident on the pass and we allowed time for the judges to get there. They called and we knew they were on their way. The call can make a difference but it's up to the Organizer. So sorry that happened to you.

Bunny

Mo-Dave
04-19-2010, 04:34 PM
MO DAVE: That was at Hermann and I bumped you there but you and your buddy were great volunteers!

We had a phone call when in Dillon CO that there was an accident on the pass and we allowed time for the judges to get there. They called and we knew they were on their way. The call can make a difference but it's up to the Organizer. So sorry that happened to you.

Bunny

Yep that was the one, Jim and I had a good time despite not getting to judge.
Dave

stlgreg
04-20-2010, 06:51 AM
I would say deal with it.

As an oragnizer we are told to sign up an additional 10% in judges. Last year i had 9 that judges that didnt show up.

i am counting since Friday morning when they started calling.

Tweedle
04-20-2010, 08:56 AM
I would have to say deal with it as well. I understand your frustrations with not being able to judge but late is late in the bbq world. I know how tough it is to get a baby out the door, but you have to accept the fact that you didn't make it, this time. But like they said before you did get to spend the day with your family and family is all that really matters in life.

my grandfather always told me "If your early your on time, and if your on time your late." I try to live by that, my kids on the other hand .....

daedalus
04-20-2010, 10:45 AM
Bob, as far as I know, you should never get 7 entries in a category. You would have to get a second judging plate and slip. Doesn't seem possible to me. Now five or fewer, yes, definitely. But seven? I can't picture that ever happening. Maybe I'm wrong here though.
I have had it happen more than once. Once we just put the 7th entry right below the 6th(it was a tight fit, but it worked), and once we were told to to the slashmark thing. It is a little weird, but it does work.

As to the lateness. Maybe set all of the clocks in your house 30 minutes ahead the night before.:wink:

BBQ Bandit
04-20-2010, 11:49 AM
Enjoy the outing with family and put it out of your mind.

If the KCBS rep did permit you in... you would probably be separated from your family for the duration (no guest/family members allowed in the Judging area) - unless they are also Judges... to be at separate tables.

Also been those other Certified Judges... arrived without previous application to the KCBS rep... who did ask me to step in for no-shows... on a couple of occassions.

It does happen... just SOP... no harm meant.

markpmc
04-20-2010, 02:50 PM
Dude - you were late.

watertowerbbq
04-20-2010, 08:38 PM
Bob, as far as I know, you should never get 7 entries in a category. You would have to get a second judging plate and slip. Doesn't seem possible to me. Now five or fewer, yes, definitely. But seven? I can't picture that ever happening. Maybe I'm wrong here though.

I've judged as many as 9 entries in a category. We were the first table to get that entry and we also got the last three boxes that were turned in. We receivd new slips and new placemats. It happens.

My bad on the hijack.

You were late. It sucks, but it happens.

rweller
04-20-2010, 10:03 PM
I have judged 7 entries in one category before at a contest. Two entries shared the last space on the mat, and we were instructed to divide that space with a slash-mark (/) and write in the last entry at the bottom of the scorecard. :confused:

Have done this a couple of times before. Exactly like mentioned.

CivilWarBBQ
04-21-2010, 12:20 PM
Yep, there is no rule that defines the number of entries that hit a table. 6 is the optimum number, but I've seen as few as 4 and as many as 8. With over six entries you divide the last line (or two) on your scorecard in half and the same with the plate. It's cramped but it works. Never seen 9 though - that would be crazy!

Jeff_in_KC
04-21-2010, 01:08 PM
Wow... I've never heard of judging more than six entries until now. I would think that having a slash or whatever on your scorecard and/or plate would create all sorts of opportunities for errors and mistakes! As much as I emphasize having 100% CBJs at our contest, I think I'd pull in non-CBJs before I'd go that route. Thankfully, I haven't had to worry about that yet. We've always had too many CBJs wanting to judge here.

BrisketBelly
04-21-2010, 09:49 PM
I appreciate all of the feedback. Yes, I understand I was late. My contention was that I thought it could have been handled better than just turning us away. After all, judges are there as volunteers to assist with the competition. Many people go to a lot of trouble to help out and turning them away for being late seems harsh. Should the person running the competition be booted since his 11am judges meeting didn't start until 11:20? Yes, I was there before the meeting actually began.

Comparing my lateness to a turn in box is absurd. In the competition, the rules are very clear about turn in times and the consequences of being late with them. From what I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong) there is no set procedure or rule on how to address late judges. Someone wrote that as an organizer, they were recommended to staff 10% additional judges to replace no-shows. Apparently, very common and probably necessary. But what happens to the extra judges when they aren't needed? Do they just get shown the door because an organizer was playing it safe?

BBQ Grail
04-21-2010, 09:56 PM
I appreciate all of the feedback. Yes, I understand I was late. My contention was that I thought it could have been handled better than just turning us away. After all, judges are there as volunteers to assist with the competition. Many people go to a lot of trouble to help out and turning them away for being late seems harsh. Should the person running the competition be booted since his 11am judges meeting didn't start until 11:20? Yes, I was there before the meeting actually began.

Comparing my lateness to a turn in box is absurd. In the competition, the rules are very clear about turn in times and the consequences of being late with them. From what I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong) there is no set procedure or rule on how to address late judges. Someone wrote that as an organizer, they were recommended to staff 10% additional judges to replace no-shows. Apparently, very common and probably necessary. But what happens to the extra judges when they aren't needed? Do they just get shown the door because an organizer was playing it safe?


It's time to let it go...

BrisketBelly
04-21-2010, 10:03 PM
It's time to let it go...

I'm sorry I am not here every minute to respond to what was written in my thread. I have questions and I am asking them to better understand.

MilitantSquatter
04-22-2010, 06:40 AM
Mod request - please keep it civil.

Lake Dogs
04-22-2010, 06:49 AM
BrisketBelly, please understand that most of us "feel your pain" an actually do
understand your frustration. Many of the competitors here also judge or have
been judges; we know. Each comp is run slightly different. You'll find some that
you prefer, and some that you dont. Sounds like this one is possibly one that
you dont.

As for the comparison to turn-in times, you're correct, there is not 100% defined
how to handle judges being late. However, most organizers are running around like
a chicken with their heads cut off; being pulled in many directions at the same time.
To them, the ONE main thing they can depend on, is timeliness of things happening
and staying on schedule. Otherwise, one small slip here adds to a longer slip in
time there, and it all falls apart. JMHO. I agree, they could've handled it better.
However, sometimes it just doesn't work well for 'ya. I suggest live, learn, and go
on.

Best of luck.

DocStl
04-22-2010, 07:33 AM
As an organizer, we are told to overbook judges by 10% due to no shows, But we also tell judges that if your going to be even 5 min late to call one of our contact numbers, we have no way of knowing whats going on with you if you dont call. We register judges as they come in, we dont save spots on a maybe they may be here in 10 more minutes. If you arrive late and we have all the judges we need, we will have something for you to do, be it the leftover table (which most like because you eat all you want) helping the reps with box turn ins, working the number change, or a few other jobs. You still get your book signed by the rep as judging that event.
As a cook, we spend 5-600 per contest, yes we want 100% certified if possible.
Sorry for your experience, We (Doc and Susan) are both CBJs and have been on time to judge a contest and were told they were full and didnt need anymore judges. I worked the leftover table and Susan worked the number change table.

HBMTN
04-22-2010, 02:27 PM
They overbook judges, I judged one last season and all the judges were there on time. The KCBS Rep said we don't need 3 of you, who wants to volunteer not to judge and proceed to send 3 judges out when noboby volunteered. If I had been asked to leave I would not judge again as I drove a considerable distance to judge.

KC_Bobby
04-22-2010, 02:46 PM
I hope the three that were volunteered were not CBJ's (that is unless they had 100% CBJ already)

Divemaster
04-22-2010, 03:56 PM
BrisketBelly, you bring up many good points as well as a few that I don't agree with. First a bit of background, I am a CBJ, I have Judged, I also have a Comp Team.

I appreciate all of the feedback. Yes, I understand I was late.
I guess my biggest bone to pick is that you didn't call. You didn't call at 11:00, you didn't call when you thought you would be late which I'm sure was at least 15 minutes before that when you discovered that you were at the wrong entrance.

My contention was that I thought it could have been handled better than just turning us away. After all, judges are there as volunteers to assist with the competition.
Based on your first post, they didn't just turn you away. They asked if you would be willing to help in another area but you declined.

As I recall my CBJ training, this was explained. The need for certified judges goes beyond the tables as you stated above. It was you that rejected their offer.

Many people go to a lot of trouble to help out and turning them away for being late seems harsh.
Yes, unfortunately, there needs to be that over booking because 'No-Shows' are a real problem. In fact it's such a problem that it was brought up at the banquet in January.

Should the person running the competition be booted since his 11am judges meeting didn't start until 11:20? Yes, I was there before the meeting actually began.
And the other 36 judges that were needed for the tables got there before you did. Again, there were other positions that needed to be filled, you turned them down.
Comparing my lateness to a turn in box is absurd. In the competition, the rules are very clear about turn in times and the consequences of being late with them. From what I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong) there is no set procedure or rule on how to address late judges.
Actually, I think it's very accurate. If we as competitors are forced to use non-certified judges because you and or others were late or worse yet, maybe we should just hold the food until the missing judges show up.

Come on. We all know that a comp is like walking a time-line-tight-rope. I really don't think you are being fair.

As for your statement of 'no set procedure or rule on how to address late judges' I again think your wrong. They are the ones that most often end up working the other areas of the judging.

Someone wrote that as an organizer, they were recommended to staff 10% additional judges to replace no-shows. Apparently, very common and probably necessary. But what happens to the extra judges when they aren't needed? Do they just get shown the door because an organizer was playing it safe?
No, they get offered other areas to work.

In my opinion, if the only reason you went to the comp was to eat, you got into the wrong hobby.

I'm sorry if it upsets you but, you asked for our opinions, now you have mine.

olewarthog
04-23-2010, 10:40 AM
I like the way GBA handles overbooking judges. If a certified judge has taken the time to travel to a comp, he will be allowed to judge. For example, if you have 30 teams & 35 judges. The last 5 to sign in would sit out the first category. The 5 would be seated to judge the second category & 5 from the first group would be asked to sit out. You would continue to rotate the extra 5 in. At the end of the day, some would end up judging all 4 categories, but everyone would have judges at least 3 categories.

ieatbbq
04-24-2010, 10:29 AM
Bottom line is ....
Early is on-time
On-time is late &
Late is unacceptable! :doh:

Merl
04-25-2010, 03:23 PM
I guess at this point you realize you have two choices.

1. Never go to another contest to judge, or

2. Show up early to a KCBS contest
Offer to help in every way you can.
Don't bring the largest ice chest in the tent.

Be prepared not to JUDGE, but have an expectation that you will
help in any way you are needed, Table Captain, Turn in Table, Left
over table, Computer entry or other needs of the contest.

DO YOUR BEST! Be fair!
Reward excellence in the culinary art of BBQ cuisine.
Do not act like a BBQ policeman.

And after a great afternoon, say thank you to the Reps and the
Organizer, and hope to get invited back next year.

I hope you select the second, option, but if you can't do it, then being a CBJ may not be the best Saturday hobby for you. Please come to a contest I am the Rep. Would love to work with you.

Merl Whitebook
KCBS Contest Rep