Courtesy While Visiting A Layout

BarstowRick Oct 2, 2009

  1. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

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    I merely point out to the parents that the 'railway room' also contains a potent selection of hazardous substances, very sharp tools and electricity. Completely true (I just don't tell them how hard it would be for their kids to get hurt by them when I hide them away :) ).
     
  2. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have found that a very young child will follow the rules much more easily than some of the older ones.

    I let my four year old nephew run my trains. He listens when told not to go past X on the throttle, will start and stop to load and offload cargo, etc.. I am N scale. I assume his father lets him do the same on his HO layout.
     
  3. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got my kids acquainted with N scale when they were still three years old. This, I think, was important because the rules were impressed upon them at that still very impressionable age. Now, even though they can sometimes seem like the sauciest six year olds on the planet they will ALWAYS ask before trying to touch something. Dad may as well be playing with rat poison, as cautious as they are about it.

    Here's a suggestion. If you are concerned, put a sliding bolt or hook-and-eye lock on the door but simply put it up high so that mom or dad can open and close it but curious little kids cannot.
     
  4. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    I can appreciate all the stories. I've hesitate to go on layout tours with my kids because even though they've been told not to touch or the Angel of Death will decend on them like a plague of locusts (well, maybe not that extreme), they're kids and they sometimes "forget" when they're excited.

    I used to belong to a N scale club and we had a layout in a mall that was open to the public every Saturday. One of the guys was running a silver-plated brass California Zephyr set (OK Hemi, stop drooling) and despite the barriers, as soon as the parent sat him down to walk, a kid about 3 years old ran under the ropes and was reaching up to grab it with both hands as it went by. I instinctively yelled "NO don't touch!" and somewhat startled the kid, but he didn't cry, he just stopped in his tracks. I then smiled at the kid and said calmly "please don't touch the trains little man". The father turned to me as he picked up his son and started saying I had no right to yell at his son. I told him I was sorry, but I'd just saved him 3,000.00 and asked him to kindly make sure his son didn't go past the rope barriers. He then told me I couldn't tell them what to do and said he would basicly "take care" of me if I didn't shut up. At that point, I stood up and advised him I wasn't standing on a platform behind the layout (I'm 6'8" and 235lbs) and if they didn't leave he'd be the one being taken care of. They left, but I couldn't get over the fact he'd actually threatened me physically for stopping a mishap because he wasn't watching his kid. Just goes to show you get all types when you set a layout up or invite someone to view yours.
     
  5. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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    Wanna borrow my rabid Rottweiler? :tb-biggrin:
     
  6. Bruce-in-MA

    Bruce-in-MA TrainBoard Member

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    ** Note to self: Never open your layout to public display (not that it's really worthy of showing anyway). ** :shock:

    It never ceases to amaze me how clueless people can be.
     
  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Harris,

    Here's an idea for you. What you have here is a basic confrontation. Each club should have a plan they can initiate to secure the layout and equipment and protect each other. Most club members usually stay alert and are able to respond to assist or back you up. Should you have an off duty deputy in your group it would be best to let him or her move in to back you up. If the confrontation continues allow the deputy to move in as he or she is trained to handle an aggressive situation. By all means back him or her up.

    The next time someone threatens you draw yourself up, as you did to your full height, a intimidating move unless you two are matched in height and girth. After it's clear he is threatening you express to him he has two choices. Keep his son under control or he will be speaking to the local bull's (police department) as you will have him and his son removed from the train display area. Once this is initiated, a club member needs to be on a cell phone to call for back up while others move to the front of the layout to protect you and each other, the layout and the equipment.

    While the above confrontation is occurring. Other club members need to be ever vigilant watching the rest of the layout as this maybe a ruse so an accomplice can steal something off the back side.

    I used to work security for a hospital, I was also a night supervisor for non-nursing personal (I could be very mean ...sometimes)! I was the one they called in to back up the nursing supervisor. Usually the nursing supervisor had already given a warning and the offender was continuing his or her offensive behavior. The nursing supervisor would usually have a nurse on the phone calling for the Sheriff to back-up us both up. Now back to the offender. I would confront the offending party stating I was hospital security, asking the offending party to consider two choices. I would explain, "You are welcome to stay and abide by the rules of the hospital or I can call the Sheriff and have you removed from the premise". This gave them a choice and most often they changed their behavior.

    A few times it turned into a tussle with the Sheriff deputy arriving to cuff and haul them off. The thing you need to be careful with is you can't detain them but you do have the right to protect your property and others on your property, as needed.

    If a child is misbehaving and they allege you don't have a right to holler at the kid. You need to know and they need to be reminded, it's the parent who will be prosecuted...should you file a complaint. And, feel free to do just that... I would encourage you to always follow through.

    We used to say if in doubt...don't. Don't start a confrontation. Don't apologize, you weren't the one who's child or adult was acting out, committing the offensive act.

    If you are alone. Easy there you don't have a back-up. This may take some sophisticated bluffing.

    You can also address the little ones as "Hey there little man that's a no, no" or "Little lady, that's not allowed".

    I can only hope you never need to resort to any of these tactics and that most of your guests are courteous and polite.

    Something to think about.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2009
  8. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

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    I am an engineer at the Trains @ Northpark display. This is a large O scale display layout that is open from Thanksgiving through New Years. Even though we have Plexiglas around the edges of the layout, I see kids as well as ADULTS (or people posing as adults) reaching into the layout to touch something. It happens every day and on multiple occasions during the day even though there are signs asking not to touch posted all around the layout. After reading a couple of the post, I must confess that it's the ADULTS that are the problem.
     
  9. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    If I had a layout, the only way I'd let kids (and some grownups) visit is if I can master the Vulcan nerve pinch beforehand.
     
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    My biggest problems have been my ships in the harbor on the front edge of the layout. I have a large sign on the door to the layout: "Warning! Eye danger from masts!" I stop people, explain what it means, and offer them safety glasses.

    Visitors still lean over the ships to see the action, or point through the masts at the action. Upon the latter, there's usually a snap. I'm gracious about it, saying "I built it, so I can repair it." But it sometimes pisses me off. My tanker needs a complete repair. That's sort of OK, because I was going to refurbish the deck completely.
     
  11. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Reading all these stories just baffles me. I wonder, do museums have this much trouble with mischievous people?

    Do any clubs or any of you guys who hold open houses require people to sign wavers or terms of entrance? Something that states the guest knows the rules and that they are responsible for replacing any and all items damaged or lost due to failure to follow the rules.

    After reading these horror stories, I certainly would have no problem requiring such a signature, explaining that one guy ruined it for everyone.
     
  12. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    For our percentage of problem people to good people, I don't think it would be a wise use of our time to do this. Most everyone is just fine.

    As a parent, I know that even though I am watching my kids those little hands sometimes dart out so fast. My kids are pretty well-behaved. They know that they have to each hold a hand or else we're going to leave. By holding a hand I can at least pull them back quickly if necessary.
     
  13. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ouch!

    I've used the same reasoning with those I felt just didn't know better. It isn't fair that hours and hours of work can be messed up in one fell swoop.

    While visiting a layout I was working on a switch when my elbow found a smokestack and sent it crashing to the floor. That's a sickening feeling to have and know... I did it. I apologized profusely and he was kind enough to say this has happened before. Pointing to the glue residue as evidence. Honestly, I didn't feel any better about it. I offered to get a replacement kit...problem here...they don't make it anymore. Now what do I do.

    Stuff can happen despite our best efforts. I'l find a way to make this up but I'm just not sure what and how...yet. You know what I mean?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2009
  14. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    About 20 years ago and another state I belonged to an N-Trak club. When we did a show we put our boundary about 3 feet from the layout. Within the 3 feet boundary we had 6 to 8 members patrolling the area with the premise of being there to answer any questions while at the same time keeping an eye out for hands and little persons getting too close the layout.


    Gary
     
  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    It looks like we have pretty much wore out this subject.

    One last parting shot or salute,

    Gary wrote: About 20 years ago and another state I belonged to an N-Trak club. When we did a show we put our boundary about 3 feet from the layout. Within the 3 feet boundary we had 6 to 8 members patrolling the area with the premise of being there to answer any questions while at the same time keeping an eye out for hands and little persons getting too close the layout.

    This is an excellent idea, boring for those providing security but sometimes essential.
    You can appoint someone to act or be security for your display. Be sure the person carries I.D. and/or a type of badge identifying him or her as security.

    Just remember you don't have police powers but you can call in the police should it be necessary.

    Enjoy your visits, be courteous and may you meet new friends. Thanks for participating here on this thread. As always it's been fun. Now stay safe, have fun and keep those trains running.

    See yeah!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2009
  16. Odd-d

    Odd-d TrainBoard Member

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    CAVEAT!! Some years ago here in Georgia I was present at the organization of a modular O gauge club. It was stressed that we should incorporate and get liability insurance because all members are liable either singly or as a group for any harm even accidental. Even if it is not your fault they can sue you as an individual if they think they can make a quick buck off of you. NEVER TRUST THE PUBLIC. They are just out to get your money without working for it. I do run my trains at train shows but I am never really comfortable with it. Odd-d
     
  17. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    We have insurance just so that if someone does slip and hurt themselves we are covered and we don't lose our homes.
     
  18. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    That raises another question. How many people insure your trains from theft or damages? Does such a policy even exist for unintentional damages?
     
  19. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

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    Most insurance policies (I think) will cover your trains as a special rider on your homeowners policy. I know that the Trains @ Northpark (public display) has liability coverage just in case someone tries to hit the jackpot lottery. However, I don't know how that is done for layouts that are set up to display at a train show. Does the show's sponsors carry the insurance or does each group carry their own policy. I for one would like to know who to sue in case I trip over that rope stanchion that keeps me away from your layout ;-)
     
  20. MisterBeasley

    MisterBeasley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not so much layout visit behavior, but more train show behavior, where the numbers are much larger, and people often don't know one another:

    Watch out for the little kids. If you've got a "prime" railfanning spot, yield it to a youngster so they can see better. Remember that they lack your advantage of height, and have to be in front to see.

    And, take a shower before you go to the show. Model railroaders don't have a very good public image. We're often seen as anything from awkward social misfits to psychopaths. No sense reinforcing those generally inaccurate impressions.
     

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