I recently attended a workshop about Final Cut Pro at the Apple Store SoHo. To my surprise, immediately following the workshop was a meeting of a a local Apple User Group called the Metropolitan New York Macintosh Alliance or “MetroMac” for short. I stuck around for the meeting since I had never been to one of these meetings before and there was going to be a discussion of the upcoming Macworld. The user group was made up of a wide range of people with varying ages.
There were two moderators. I didn’t get their names, so I will call them “Leader Guy” and “Second-in-Command.” I bet you can tell who did what with my clever titles for these gentlemen. The user group began with Macintosh problems. Members of the audience would ask questions and Leader Guy would try to answer the questions before opening up the question to other audience members. Leader Guy turned out to be one of the snarkiest human beings I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing in real life.
An audience member said, “I know you’ve never recommended Internet security software…” before getting cut off by Leader Guy who exclaimed, “I’ve never said that! You would be wrong.” The audience member replied, “I get things wrong all the time.” Leader Guy would not let this point go, “Then you would be wrong this time, too.” This did not seem like a friendly user-group. Considering the two’s dialog, it appeared they had a bit of a history. Maybe this was just sarcasm between friends. The same audience member asked about her G5 tower and how its CD-tray would open whenever she started the computer. Leader Guy’s response? “Congratulations.” Another audience member helped out by suggesting she unplug a peripheral and then see if the G5 had the problem. Again, I tried to write this exchange off as some kind of sarcasm between friends.
On the topic of Internet security, Leader Guy suggested turning off file sharing. A different audience member chimed in, “But I need to have file sharing on.” Leader Guy’s response? “No. You want to have file sharing on. You do not need it.” Terrific. Leader Guy seemed far from helpful. Second-in-Command was a rather nice fellow occasionally making good-natured security password jokes. When using a router was mentioned, Second-in-Command asked the audience if they knew what a router was — just in case. The audience seemed to reply with positive head nods. Leader Guy proceeded to tell the group how routers work.
After Leader Guy accidentally hit my MacBook Pro’s screen without apologizing, I had enough. I stuck around for forty-five minutes but Leader Guy was unbearable. Even the promise of a Macworld discussion was not enough to make me stick around. I have only been a Mac user for about two or three years. I had heard about snarky, know-it-all, Mac users but I had never actually experienced or dealt with anyone that fit that description. I have had several discussions with other Mac users over the past couple of months since I have been regularly attending my local Apple Store’s free workshops on Final Cut Pro. No one was similar to Leader Guy.
Looking beyond Leader Guy, the user group actually had some good information. Having a knowledgeable group of Mac users in one room has it advantages. Group members were able to solve problems of other group members. There was even a wireless microphone so questions could be heard by everyone in the group. Perhaps your past user group experiences were different; I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.