Acceptable Conduct at Mobile Portland Meetings

Last night at the end of the Mobile Portland meeting, I was talking to a couple of male attendees about technical issues. As we were talking, a woman that I don’t know passed us and then left the building.

Because I consider it my responsibility to ensure the security and safety of our hosts property, I’m always watching what is going on at the ends of meetings. I noticed a person coming from behind me from an area that is secure and I glanced to see who it was. It was was the aforementioned woman who was actually coming out of the restroom, not the secure area.

So far, not a big deal, right? Someone walked past, I glanced to see who it was. I probably should have been focused on the conversation, but I have a dual responsibility to be a good host and also make sure the space is secure.

But what happened next stunned me. One of the attendees that I was talking to commented something to the effect that he and his colleague should let me go because he could see that I was “looking at the pretty girls.”

I was stunned. I did not know what to say. The comment was made loud enough that I’m certain the woman who passed heard it. She was on her way out and didn’t stop. By the time I recovered my senses, she was gone.

I extracted myself from the conversation shortly thereafter and walked away baffled at the lack of professionalism and general creepiness of that part of what had otherwise been a great chat about the challenges of dealing with device diversity.

I want to publicly apologize to the woman who had that comment made about her. I’m sorry I didn’t immediately redress the issue before you left the building. I’m sorry I was shocked and unable to act quickly enough. I need to be better and quicker at responding.

In addition, I want to state clearly and forcefully that Mobile Portland is a community accepting of all people regardless of race, gender, orientation, etc. We’re here to talk about mobile. We expect attendees to show respect and courtesy to each other. And people who don’t behave in such a manner will be asked to leave.

As far as Mobile Portland is concerned, an appreciation for device diversity goes hand in hand with an appreciation for human diversity. We’re committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for everyone who attends our meetings.

Sincerely,

Jason Grigsby
President
Mobile Portland