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Building a new club layout - Update: Moving on after the club

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, January 11, 2020 10:04 PM

I'm behind you 100% Dave. You have picked up a few of my own comments on the experiences I had with the small group I was involved in. Egos, politics, one-upmanship, jealousy. It was amazing to see what were presumably "mature adults" behave like bullys in a sandbox.

I'm glad you took a step away. It is truly the intelligent thing to do.

Give yourself credit for preserving your sanity and, in turn, making your life with Dianne wholesome and rewarding.

Get back to running your own layout for relief.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 11, 2020 10:49 PM

 Very sorry to hear how this has ended up, but you are most definitely doing the right thing. Your health is far more important than some model railroad club. Take care of yousrself. You do indeed have a bunch of people here who are behind you.

                               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 11, 2020 11:18 PM

Thank you Wayne, Ed and Randy,

Your support is helping me deal with this situation enormously.

I will not give up on the hobby. I am already considering my options.

One is to build a simple double track 5' x 9' oval with both HO and HOn30 tracks so I can run my creations. Years ago I had planned on building a large layout but my back problems have precluded that, but I am willing to try something along that vane ala Darth Santa Fe.

The other is to get involved with the Niagara Region NMRA. I have met several of the members including Richard Hatton, the President, and they are all nice people.

Dave

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Sunday, January 12, 2020 12:16 AM

Club members tend to change and that’s just how life is! The club my grandpa is part of has very few members, but has quite a few people who were once members and periodically come back and help out if the is an issue which needs their specific expertise!

So Dave, in your case I think you’be made a good choice, but don’t leave the hobby or leave social parts of the hobby. I find interaction with other modelers to be the most enjoyable part of the hobby, and wouldn’t want you to miss out on that! I’m sure you’ll find other ways to enjoy the hobby, and maybe someday the club will change, and maybe it won’t. Either way I hope you’ll keep enjoying your trains!

Sad to see this thread coming to a close, but that’s how things are! I guess when you reach 30+ pages it’s time for something new! Maybe you’ll have to make a new thread for your new layout...

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:30 AM

Thanks Isaac,

Dave

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Sunday, January 12, 2020 2:27 AM

Dave, as sad as it is, but you´ve made the right choice!

I was a member of a model railroading club some 40 years ago. When "club life" got in the way of enjoying the hobby, I left - and never looked back.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 12, 2020 2:56 AM

Thank you for your support Ulrich. It means a great deal to me.

I'm still sitting here in a daze wondering why things have gone so sour so quickly with the club. I guess I stepped on somebody's ego. I thought he was a friend. In fact, two years ago he asked me to join him in leading the club out of the quagmire it was in. I can only surmize that what I did offended him as deeply as his response has hurt me. It never intended to hurt him. I only tried to do what I thought was best for the club.

Dave

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Sunday, January 12, 2020 9:31 AM

Dave, I guess you did too good a job, so he felt set back by your success. His fault, not yours! One lesson I learned in my life is that sharing the same interest doesn´t make a friend. It takes much more than that.

 

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, January 12, 2020 9:33 AM

hon30critter

Hi folks,

Well, all good things must come to an end. I have resigned from the club for reasons of protecting my mental health.

Say what?

Before I read your post, I started the morning by reading the latest post on this thread only to discover that you were leaving the club and maybe the hobby.

Dave, step back from all of this and take a deep breath. In fact, take a lot of deep breaths. There is nothing to be gained by leaving the club in your current state of mind and for sure nothing to be gained from leaving the hobby. You may ultimately decide to do either or both but don't do anything right now until you can calm down and get back into the right state of mind.

Your passion for the hobby should be paramount in your thinking right now. It should remain that way. You are a good hearted soul, and I say that from my personal experience and interaction with you. Hang in there, and we will support you. You just need to get past this moment.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:02 PM

hon30critter

Thank you for your support Ulrich. It means a great deal to me.

I'm still sitting here in a daze wondering why things have gone so sour so quickly with the club. I guess I stepped on somebody's ego. I thought he was a friend. In fact, two years ago he asked me to join him in leading the club out of the quagmire it was in. I can only surmize that what I did offended him as deeply as his response has hurt me. It never intended to hurt him. I only tried to do what I thought was best for the club.

Dave

 

 It may not mean much right now, but based on your postings here, you sure did do a lot of positive things for the club. In your first posts about this, you had a group who seemed so indecisive about doing anything that they were doing exactly nothing. A nice home for a layout, but no one seemed to be able to get it together enough to get started. You got them going, and all moving in generally the same direction. Now there's a layout. And you helped get through all that crazy government paperwork. You definitely had a huge positive impact on the club. Hopefully they continue to florish. 

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 12, 2020 11:47 PM

richhotrain
Dave, step back from all of this and take a deep breath. In fact, take a lot of deep breaths. There is nothing to be gained by leaving the club in your current state of mind and for sure nothing to be gained from leaving the hobby. You may ultimately decide to do either or both but don't do anything right now until you can calm down and get back into the right state of mind.

Hi Rich,

I appreciate your advice very much. I have taken many, many deep breaths but my depression persists. In fact, trying to take deep breaths only increases the level of despair.

I have not felt like this since my son died in 2005. This is now the fifth day. I can barely interact with my wife. She is extremely worried and upset. I have had two meals in five days. Only today was I able to sleep.

The fact is that I can't cope with conflict. The perceived criticisms go right to my core. I can tell myself over and over again that the person didn't mean to upset me, but the depression will not quit. The critical comments trigger a very negative response that I am unable to control. I can't just 'get over myself'. That's just not how it works, and anyone who thinks otherwise has never felt the pain that depression causes.

Even when I get back to 'normal', there will still be 'the next time'. That means I have two choices. One is to stay in a situation where 'the next time' is highly likely to occur. The other is to say that I don't wish to take that chance.

I appreciate everyone's support very much. Sorry if I am repeating myself.

Dave

 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 10:17 PM

I am slowly extracting myself from the club. I have a ton of scenery materials, structure kits, ME bridge kits and files about everything imaginable that need to be transferred. I'm getting two or three emails each day regarding club business. Fortunately I am still on good terms with one of the Executive Committee members so I am forwarding everything to him.

Of course, I have begun to question my decision to quit, but each time I do I ask myself if I am willing to go back and the answer is 'no'. The crap that went on still bothers me deeply. Maybe I'll go back sometime down the road.

I won't post to the thread anymore unless there is some significant change in the situation. Thanks for all of your interest, suggestions and support!

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 6:44 AM

Well, you certainly merit a lot of thanks and congrats for your contributions to this thread. I did not manage to read all of it, but I did read most of the contributions and learned a lot from it. 

Clubs can be a tough environment. Our club was the theatre of major clashes last year, and I left the board to become a regular member again. Was the best decision I made. Because of hockey with my sons, and work, I only go to the club about once a month to see some of the guys I really appreciate. I also lend a hand for a few hours from time to time. There is only one mainline at a club, and that can cause a lot of conflicts. For me, the club is there for the social  - the real modeling I prefer to do at home. Life is just too short to argue about model train stuff.

Thanks again and I hope you stick around. I will get lonely here if we lose another HOn30 enthusiast! And a fellow Canadian one too!

Simon

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 7:28 AM

hon30critter
...  I cannot deal with personal conflict. When someone attacks my personal integrity I become extremely upset.

Just so you know, I'm sure there are many who would feel the same way; you are not alone.  I too have lost sleep over the way an overbearing personality has negatively affected me - so has my wife.  I suspect there are many who have experienced varying degree's of what you have but may not have been clinically diagnosed as well.

Anyway, Dave, you have personally experienced why clubs can be a difficult type of organization to make work.  People often don't get along or can be insensitive or worse.  The result in the hobby are "lone wolf" model railroaders.  You do your own thing at home and no jerks can be offensive.  It isn't unusual for those with type A personalities, even with somewhat narcisistic personalities, end up in charge and the rest must go along or as they way, "it's my way or the highway".

I've heard many stories of clubs with difficult social lissues and had a few experiences myself.  In one club I was involved with, I built the corner modules and one of them was to be mine.  Unfortunately I was in a failing marriage that eventually ended in divorce and the club took my module from me that I was scenicing.  It would have been my first effort at a senic'd module but this group had visions of getting in magazines and building contest winning scenes, and me being a beginner with difficulties at home wasn't up to their standards.  Due to that experience, and other life events, it was another 15 years before I got to work on a layout of my own and try my hand again at scenery.  The world isn't always a kind or patient place.

Anyway, I am sorry to read the downward turn of things with this club, but if you are in the hobby for enjoyment and stress relief, then the logical thing to do is to say adios, and cest la vie.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:01 AM

 I had the exact same experience witht he club I belonged to. Pretty much right down to the reasons and all, except in my case, it was a piece of my home layout, not something I built for the club. I donated it with just one condition - that when it was going to have scenery added, I wanted to help out and learn. Imagine my surprise when next week I went back to the club and it was all done....  is there any wonder why my previous layout never got past having the pink foam covered with brown paint, half the rail painted, and maybe 1/4 ballasted....

 And indeed, this is a hobby for relaxation and enjoyment. If you are being stressed, or not getting much joy from participating, it's definitely time to change the circumstances. 

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 9:17 AM

Having never been a member of a club this makes for fascinating reading.  Sorry about your recent experiences Dave.  It's a shame that "adults" can't rise above their own crapulence for the enjoyment of the hobby.  I read once somewhere that model trains are supposed to be fun.  If it isn't fun anymore then you either have to cut your losses with the club like you did, or try to tough it out until there is a "regime change."  Whatever you have to do for your own mental health.  Just remember: just because someone says something to you/about you doesn't make it true.  Some people are just difficult, miserable people and they bring that with them wherever they go.  ...And the rest of us have to deal with them.  Grrr.

Andy

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Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:02 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
I read once somewhere that model trains are supposed to be fun.  

If you've seen the cover of Model Railroader magazine, you've seen it more than once, you've seen it umpteen times.

Of course here, the issue isn't that trains aren't fun, it's people being party poopers, as sometimes they can be.  Best solution is to remove the party poopers or remove self from them.  Of course the problem can be if you don't have a layout at home, and that's can be a reason for going to a club.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:06 AM

riogrande5761
if you don't have a layout at home, and that's can be a reason for going to a club.

Good point.

(my comment about fun was tongue-in-cheek of course Wink)

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:57 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
 
riogrande5761
if you don't have a layout at home, and that's can be a reason for going to a club. 

Good point.

(my comment about fun was tongue-in-cheek of course Wink

Ah, missed that ...  will have to go back and reread.

I was just commenting on the old club thing in general.  It would suck if the only option for running trains relied on a club with jerks running it.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:15 AM

riogrande5761
Of course the problem can be if you don't have a layout at home, and that's can be a reason for going to a club.

I don't have a layout at home. I had great plans for one but my back issues put an end to that. I may try to build a small layout just so I can run trains.

I haven't given up on the hobby. I just bought a Rapido FP9A with sound and two True Line Trains CP boxcars!

I may go back to the club at some point, but only as a member. That won't happen for a while, if it ever does.

Thanks everyone for your support and kind words. You have helped me through a very rough time.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:35 AM

Trouble with clubs is they don't listen. They become non clubs because of this. Another is they become a type of dictatorship with the strongest member as boss, even with them being wrong on things.

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:42 PM

Dave,

I would take stock of the train guys you know in the area and in the club that you get along with and like. Hang out with those people.

I have had similar experiences in my journey through the hobby and I have found the best answer when its not fun anymore, is to avoid the people who are taking the fun out of it.

There are enough interpersonal issues with work, family and daily life that you cant avoid. The hobby should not be another of these.

I am sure there are people in the club who appreciate all your effort (this thread is huge - spanning years). I would take some comfort in the idea that you made a positive difference at the club while you were leading it.

Guy 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 23, 2020 8:02 PM

rrebell
Trouble with clubs is they don't listen. They become non clubs because of this. Another is they become a type of dictatorship with the strongest member as boss, even with them being wrong on things.

Yup! Sounds familiar.

My withdrawal from the club was caused primarily by one member's extreme responses to what I thought were legitimate suggestions on my part.

Since I have tried to be honest and open with my comments throughout this thread, I may as well continue. I am now at the stage where I'm feeling somewhat angry (more like severely disappointed) about the way I was treated. I have been trying to think of a way to approach the club so that I can rejoin and at the same time prevent this from happening again. I don't want a confrontation, and I certainly don't want to cause the person who upset me to quit the club. He is a driving force within the club and a highly productive modeler. Having said that, he is also too dominant IMHO. I'd like to find a middle road.

In any case, that's not going to happen anytime soon. I have to get past the angry stage first.

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 24, 2020 7:18 AM

trainnut1250

Dave,

I would take stock of the train guys you know in the area and in the club that you get along with and like. Hang out with those people.

Excellent advice.

Dave, if you can't build a layout due to back issues, perhaps you could enlist a helpful soul or two to help you do some key things like maybe erect some benchwork, to get you to a point that you can work on a home layout within your physical means.

I can understand probably benchwork is going to be the most physically strenuous stage of layout construction; I'm getting up there in years and can understand building benchwork is fairly physical - I'm using rubber mats for my knees and have some back problems too but not real bad so far. 

If you can design a layout that is sufficent to run trains and have some operational interest, but not be too complex and time consuming to build, say a couple of weekends to errect the basic benchwork, maybe getting a helper or two would make that possible.  That way you aren't committing anyone to too major a project and helpers may be more willing to lend a hand to get you through the hardest part. 

Thowing together 4 or 5 open grid sections, or a bit more, can actually go pretty fast - get'em up on legs and hopefully the strenuous part is done.  Then you can continue yourself after that.  Something fairly basic but sufficient enough to allow decent radius and track.  Something roughlly like this:

You could probably set up enough benchwork to have a folded dog-bone in a couple of weekends, maybe a couple of Saturday afternoons if you have it all planned out with the lumber and hardware etc.  Snicker Snack.  Once it is up, you may be able to work on it without too much help.  If standing too long is difficult, have the height set so you can use a roll around chair.  There may be yet a way to make it happen with some help of friends, especially if you keep the job fairly doable in a couple of afternoons time.

 

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Posted by saronaterry on Friday, January 24, 2020 5:01 PM

I'd help.

Terry

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 25, 2020 5:54 AM

hon30critter

I am now at the stage where I'm feeling somewhat angry (more like severely disappointed) about the way I was treated. I have been trying to think of a way to approach the club so that I can rejoin and at the same time prevent this from happening again. I don't want a confrontation, and I certainly don't want to cause the person who upset me to quit the club. He is a driving force within the club and a highly productive modeler. Having said that, he is also too dominant IMHO. I'd like to find a middle road. 

Dave, I am a bit surprised that you would even consider returning to the club at this stage. What has been the reaction of the club, and its other members, to your departure? Has the guy that caused the problem tried to reach out to you?

I like the suggestion that you build your own layout, or at least have it built for you. Have you considered looking for a professional carpenter who might consider building the framework on the side? Around my neck of the woods, these guys are always interested in side jobs. I would think that if you designed the framework, it wouldn't take a pro long to build it. Just a thought.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, January 25, 2020 6:42 AM

Dave,

With full respect for your feelings and who you are, I think Rich is right.

If you have the room and the resources, you need your own layout. I think it would be much better for you to build a layout, even if as others have suggested, you need help with the heavy work.

I know some people thrive at clubs, that's not me, I don't think it really is you either.

I have always seen clubs as something extra to my activity in the hobby, it could never be my primary participation in the hobby.

AFTER, you get a home layout going, then you could "vist" the club, be a "member on the fringe" (I'm sure the club has some of them already), participate without being a leader or boss in any way.

You will be happier.......

One last thought about dealing with people, there is a big difference between being selfish, and being "self envolved", there is nothing wrong with the latter.

Just as it is bad to not care about people, it is equally bad to have your self esteem too heavily invested in the opinions/reactions of others.

This is largely a solitary hobby in its primary activity of building things, imbrace the satisfaction that provides, do it on your own.

Just my thoughts,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, January 25, 2020 7:44 AM

Dave, I go along with Rich, Jim and Sheldon.  There are different community type on line resources, almost like a local community Facebook, where handyman type work is advertised.

The big one around here is called Nextdoor.com

I like the idea of finding a local carpenter that does "side jobs", especially this time of year, to help you out with the heavy part of getting some bench work going, for your own layout.  Even if he buildt you a couple of modular type sections, as Jim mentions, that you position as you want.

I've been through similar situations, like your dominant club member, in the building trades.  I've dealt with many self proclaimed foremans that "know it all, along with extra finishers brought in from the hall (the local union) that think they can take over the job.

I'm not sure how, or if you can get back into any situation with this guy, unless you have some allies in the club that will help you out.

I hope this all works out Dave, and hopefully you can get your own layout going, and put all of the excellent talent you have to work for you!

Then you can back into some build threads, like you usedto, the critters, the turntable, and others.

Just my thoughts,

Mike.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, January 25, 2020 8:40 AM

mbinsewi

............

I've been through similar situations, like your dominant club member, in the building trades.  I've dealt with many self proclaimed foremans that "know it all, along with extra finishers brought in from the hall (the local union) that think they can take over the job.

..........

Mike.

 

I've worked in the building trades most of my life, as everything from commercial project manager to just one of the worker bees. At a young age I was a project manager for union electricians, I was offered membership in that union.......turned them down........

We have a saying in the open shops I worked in, "there is only one boss on the job"........

For the last 25 years I have worked for myself restoring old houses, I don't miss commercial/industrial work one bit, or any of the labor BS that goes with it. On my jobs I'm the boss, and I don't put up with any........

I just spent the last 4 days installing historically correct replacement windows in house built in 1740, just me and the step son, no labor or customer woes.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 25, 2020 7:55 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Just as it is bad to not care about people, it is equally bad to have your self esteem too heavily invested in the opinions/reactions of others.

Sheldon,

Thanks. You make a very good point. I just wish it were that easy. That's the problem with depression. In some instances the disease won't let me ignore the criticism and confrontations. I can't just slough them off. I wish I could. The medications work but they have a limit, and when things go past that limit the feelings are overwhelming. There is no 'off' switch. Most people find that hard to understand because they haven't experienced it, and I don't recommend giving it a try.

Thanks for all the suggestions and support everyone. Having a layout built for me is an appealing possibility.

Dave

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