Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Devon, U.K.
René van der Steen responded
AN OPEN LETTER TO PETRO T. TYSCHTSCHENKO
As most of you are aware, I am part of the team behind the Amiga: 30 years event in Amsterdam which took place last Saturday. Ever since the event, we've been reading negative comments about it from Petro Tyschtschenko. Those comments surprised us, especially since Petro had told us (privately, through Facebook messages) that he enjoyed the day and wanted to thank us for organising it. When he started saying that "the organisation was lousy anyway" yesterday, on his own Facebook page, we as a team felt the need to respond and tell our side of the story. I took to writing the below letter and replied it to Petro's original post. At the time, my fellow organisers Marcel and Marvin had already been unfriended and blocked by Petro - they couldn't see the post. Unfortunately, even though I believe I wrote a fair and decent letter, Petro's next step was to also block me from seeing his page and reactions. As we, as a team, feel that Petro is telling an unfair story about the event - to which he is entitled, of course, as everybody has the right to voice their opinion - I am now sharing my letter to him here so that you, the Amiga community, are at least aware of our part of the story and event.
Note: I don't want to start fights. What I do want, is that the community hears both sides of the story. We are truly sorry if Petro feels he was mistreated, but cannot for the life of us imagine why he would feel that way.
Thank you. The original message is below:
On behalf of the organisation of Amiga: 30 years in Amsterdam, I once again want to thank you for taking the time and making the effort of visiting our event and helping to make it more interesting for all those Amiga enthousiasts that came by. We had hoped to create a very special event and make every single one of our visitors, guests and VIPs happy and overjoyed with positive Amiga feelings. By now, however, it is blatantly obvious that you are and were very unhappy with the way things were arranged. Although we certainly appreciate your opinion, publicly stating that “the organisation was lousy anyway” based on some of the things as experienced by you, seems a tad bit unfair. To shed our light on the situation, I’d like to state some facts:
1 - You e-mailed us last week that you’d arrive on saturday morning, 8 AM, with the Walker and other things to be shown. Yet somehow, you manage to arrive on friday afternoon only to be surprised and upset that nobody was there to help you - in essence, doing something completely different than what you had said yourself only a few days earlier.
2 - You were the first one to send us an invoice, way before the event. Although I (I can only speak for myself in this case) found that a bit odd, we happily accepted it and promised to pay you a few weeks prior to the event. When the funds weren’t deposited the friday you had expected them based on earlier conversations, you immediately threatened to cancel your stay and not show up - all the while the money had indeed been transferred on the day as discussed earlier, and was in your account either the same day or the next.
3 - You offered, again over e-mail, to do a presentation of approximately 45 to 60 minutes. We then asked you if you could squeeze your presentation in 30 minutes (as most of the VIPs had either 15 or 30 minutes of time unless they decided to combine sessions) because the schedule was packed as it was. You then - and very firmly, I may add - said no, that was not an option, but it was okay since you’d prefer to relax and enjoy the event anyway. When we tried again to convince you to do a 30 minute session you again said no - and added that we had to “respect your wishes”. At the event itself, several people mentioned that you had said you did want to do a presentation after all. When we politely asked you, you - again, very firmly - declined even when we said that some of your fans were asking us to arrange it.
4 - We tried our best to make your stay a pleasant one. Marcel in particular was going back and forth with drinks and other things for you. We made an effort of praising your book in the hope you’d sell a few more. We explicitly told people to go visit you and your impressive setup in the tent - a place which we offered you because it was the only place with enough space and a better location for a chat with the public, for which you are known, compared to the crowded main hall with a lot of loud presentations.
5 - You made a big deal on Facebook the other day how none of the VIPs had visited you, ignoring the fact that you didn’t make an effort of visiting anyone yourself. Although I am sure you are used to being the center of attention on many Amiga meetings, this time there were many people who shared that spotlight with you. You then mentioned that those same VIPs had to visit you, since you were clearly the older person and the elder should be respected… Only to be confronted by the fact that several VIPs did indeed visit you!
6 - We invited you, a long time ago already, to be part of the VIP canal cruise in the evening. It was a fantastic opportunity to sit in a smaller group, enjoy some food and drinks and actually talk to some of the other people - including the likes of Mr. Dave Haynie and Mr. Carl Sassenrath, who you mentioned earlier hadn’t made an effort of visiting you. This would have been _the_ opportunity to chat with them! Without informing anyone of us, you just took off only to leave us with the costs for your cruise and no idea what was going on.
There’s more - but I think this is enough. Please stop making yourself look ridiculous by stating false facts and negative comments about the event. We’re sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you had hoped. And yes, maybe the organisation was lousy by your standards - then again, we did what we did in our spare time without quitting our actual jobs. I am proud of what we organised and pulled off as a team and it hurts to see somebody, who is very well respected in general, so bitter about what roughly 95% of all visitors seems to have thought of as the Amiga event of a lifetime.
Petro, I apologise if this message upsets you, but your messages have upset us too. It is only fair to tell both sides of the story. I wish you nothing but the best and hope that, the next time we meet, you’ll be happier.
On behalf of the entire Amiga: 30 years team and with kind regards,
René van der Steen