The Unofficially Official Frequently Asked Questions About The December 15th Event Entry

Honestly, I thought we’d been pretty clear and up front with everything to date, but questions keep coming in onesie-twosie fashion, and so I thought I’d save us all some time and create a little FAQ doc to provide answers to some of them in a public manner.  That way, just in case you’ve been wondering or were confused about the same things as these folks were…tah-dah, the veil of mystery has parted…

What’s with all this touchy-feely “goodwill towards men” stuff?
Shut up.  We’re trying to be decent people.  Contrary to popular belief, we’re not jerks all of the time.  We may even try to do more stuff like this next year, so suck it up and get used to it.

FINE…okay, so why not Toys for Tots or something like that?
We tried.  Go read.

Is this a recognized 501c3 charity that you’re working with?
No.  It’s not even a charity group.  It’s something that we’re doing because it’s the right thing to do and it directly benefits and impacts people from right here in Michigan that are risking their asses so that I have the free time to do stuff like write FAQs for events in breweries.  And their families.

So…no tax write-off then?
No, no tax write-off then.  Just like we don’t get paid to run this group, and we don’t get kickbacks when people find jobs, and we don’t take a cut from the bars, and we don’t charge you to show up at our events, this isn’t about money.  This is about doing it because it’s the right thing to do.

Jeez…I was just asking.  Okay, so who are we helping?
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from right here in Michigan that are currently parked somewhere other than here.  Yes, they’re “overseas”.  No, we’re not giving you Google Maps of their location.  Yes, we will have more specific information on-hand at the event itself, but not here on the open internet.  And again, “and their families”.  Have you read our post about this yet?  No?  GO READ:  If you’re interested in specific people that we’re dealing with, you should start here:

Can I bring cash?
Of course you can bring cash.

Can I bring a check?
Yes, you can bring a check.

Can the check be made payable to
No, the check cannot be made payable to  We keep telling you that we don’t want your money…so then why, for the love of God, would we have a facility setup by which we could take your money?  Make it out to “cash”, make it out to “Russ Dotson”, or make it out to Bob, Jeff or Dave and we’ll just sign it over to him.

How do I know that this money is going where you say it’s going?
Seriously…Don’t Be That Guy.  We’ve turned down tens of thousands of dollars from recruiters staying true to ourselves and this group’s core.  We’re not setting up a pyramid scheme to fleece you out of $20.

Plus, fun fact – there will be t-shirts made up that are going into the boxes full o’ stuff that are being shipped over there.  They’re going to take some pictures and send ‘em back to us.  And none of us are that good with Photoshop.

And seriously…the fact that this even came up almost led to banishment from the group.  If you don’t trust us by now, you don’t belong here.

Can I bring stuff?
Yes, you can bring stuff.

What kind of stuff can I bring?
It’s all on the event listing.  Please…seriously…go read the event listing.

Can I bring stuff that’s not on that list?
Well…you can…but drop us a note first and ask.  There’s a good reason.  You’re probably thinking that it might be a good idea to bring playing cards…they get dozens and dozens of decks of cards on a daily basis.  You might think they’d want to call home, and so you want to pick up calling cards.  Their calls are free if and when phones are available, they don’t need calling cards.  So…not that it’s not appreciated, but we’d like to stick to being “us” and doing this right, and that means getting them things that we know they actually need.  But again, feel free to ask if you’d like.

Seriously.  You want me to give you an iPod?
No, we don’t want you to give anyone an iPod.  Read it again.  Yes, there are people that are donating old iPods that they have laying around.  This isn’t a competition, and you don’t have to keep up with the Jones’.  You don’t even have to bring anything if you don’t want to or can’t.  We get it, it’s not for everyone.

Yeah…but then you’re gonna write “Don’t Be That Guy – The Grinch” about me, aren’t you?
No, we really won’t.  It’s still just a casual networking event, there just happens to be something else going on as well.  We’re not keeping scorecards.

I can’t make it, but I want to donate.  How do I do that?
Send us an email at  A few folks have volunteered to be pickup/dropoff locations, and we’ll get you in touch appropriately.

Who’s going to be there?
The usual cast of characters.  Some recruiters, some people looking for gigs, some people just looking to meet other people in the industry…really, this is just one of our casual networking events…with a little something extra going on.

Rumor has it there might be people in uniform there.  True?
It is a safe assumption that for an event like this, yes, there will probably be a few folks floating around in uniform.

Sweet!  Navy people?
Yes.  And others.

Awesome!  Can I ask if they’re a Navy SEAL?
Don’t Be That Guy.  Or Girl.

What about the ribbons?  Can I ask about the ribbons and medals and stuff?
Well…sure, you can ask…but don’t be too surprised if you don’t understand the answers they give.

You know how when your computer-clueless relatives ask you what you do, and you just sorta say “computer stuff” or “web stuff” because it’s not worth getting into a comparitive analysis discussion of why you’re a developer and not a SysAdmin, or the difference between working the help desk and being a systems architect?  Same thing.

Besides…look, these are people that are defending our country.  They are not trained monkeys.  Of COURSE stop by to say hello and of COURSE you can talk to them about their experience…bearing in mind that they aren’t really coming down there to give interviews.  I would imagine that some, if not all of them have been to Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and they might not appreciate intimate questions about their experiences in those places.  They’re not there to discuss the global politics of the situations they’ve been in. They’re certainly not coming to get into any debates.  Calm, mellow conversations and questions?  I’m quite sure they’ll be more than happy to answer and participate. They are, after all, “people” first and foremost.

They’re people that are taking the time out of their own busy schedules and lives to be at our event to (pardon the pun) “Show the flag” as it were. They really appreciate that we’re taking the time to do this…let’s not make them regret it.

Fiiiiiiine…I’ll be good.  Can I buy them a drink?
Absolutely, yes!  So long as they want it.  Let’s try not to propagate any Drunken Sailor stereotypes.  The crack made to Russ was that we should make signs reading “The uninformed shall not overserve the uniformed.”

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