Exceptions
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Here is the SSQQ Rule for Exceptions:

"Each student gets one Exception per year.

Your exception can be used to switch a class to another month or make up missed classes for free.  It can also be used to take a class for half-price that you took before 2002 or a class that has disappeared mysteriously from your "history" 

Your Exception must be approved by Rick Archer in advance via email.  He reserves the right to deny your request if it seems unreasonable. 

If you show up at the studio to ask for your exception on the spot, you will be unsuccessful.  The only way to get an Exception is to email dance@ssqq.com and ask for it in writing."


All of our rules are easy to locate on our web site, they are posted at the entrance to the studio, and the most important ones are even printed on our receipts.  If you participate in SSQQ activities, then you have a responsibility as a member of our community to familiarize yourself with our policies.

That said, sometimes people simply do know what the rule is or where to find it and that is the absolute truth.

Therefore we have a Policy known as the "Exception Rule" basically allows our Staff to say,

"This is the Rule and here is where to find it on our Web Site.  But if you wish for us to make an Exception in your case, every one of our students is permitted One Exception per Year."

Just so you understand the Rules, we then put an "Exception Alert" in your permanent SSQQ database record.

From then on the smart thing to do is to check out our Rules in advance next time.

I challenge anyone to find a situation relevant to our dance studio on our POLICIES HOME PAGE that does not have a link.  Be sure to use "Control F" and type in a couple keys words. If you find one, email your discovery to dance@ssqq.com . We will give you an Extra Exception for your efforts.

That said, we do make Exceptions.


A Note From Switzerland
March 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Meyer (mailto:cmeyer@sunrise.ch)
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 7:25 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: stroke of a genius

Hi Rick

Here are some words of appreciation for you

I only had one double private lesson at SSQQ, april 2004, so I don't think I am in your database.  (but I still feel I am some kind of ex-student of SSQQ ;-) )

I wish I'd live closer (than 4000 miles) - there are a lot of classes I'd like to take.  I also wish I had SSQQ in my hometown.
Unfortunately, the only times I was in Houston the past couple of years was during Christmas break - no luck for me.

I still browse your website often and refer it to friends, especially the "Advice to men" and "Secrets of Following" articles.

I also read your general policies and keep wondering how often you have to explain the same, simple, reasonable rules over and over again.

I still don't understand how you can run a successful dance studio AND deal with all those entitlement -mentality idiots without going utterly bonkers.

I can only applaud you for your patience.

I have a comment I'd like to make:

The "one exception per student per year" is the true stroke of a genius.

I think its an absolutely brilliant way of honoring honest dancer's rare personal requests that still amount to a lot of work for you (many of them, few of you) in a way that cannot be abused by the cheap shots.

I am sure it helps every one, staff or serious student

Sincerely,
Christian Meyer


Exceptions

Everybody has got to die, but I always believed an Exception would be made in my case because I am so very special!!  - William Saroyan

Rules are made for a reason. As you might imagine, all of our Rules favor the Silent Majority over the Vocal Individual. However we understand it is the nature of being human to ask for "Exceptions".

"What will it hurt if you let just one Kid in?"
"What will it hurt if you let just one Guest in?"
"What will it hurt if you let just one Stranger in to Watch?"
"What will it hurt if you let just one Student Register in the Third or Fourth Week?"
"What will it hurt if you let just one Volunteer in even though I don't have written permission?"
"What will it hurt if you let just one Couple not have to switch?"

You are absolutely right. If we make one exception it probably won't hurt very much.

But you forget that everyone else is watching.

There will be someone in the building who left their kid home today who wanted to bring him. Next week, maybe he will...

There will be someone in the building who wanted to bring his girlfriend visiting from out of town. He didn't bring her today, but maybe he will tomorrow.

"What will it hurt if you let just one Kid in?"
And what is the Hall Monitor going to say about the Kid to the second person?  "Well, the lady on Sunday let some guy bring his kid in. Why can't I bring my kid in today?"

"What will it hurt if you let just one Guest in?"
And what is the Hall Monitor going to say about the Guest to the second person?  "Well, the lady on Sunday let some woman bring her family in. Why can't I bring my boyfriend in today?"

People who ask for an Exception are often amazingly self-centered. They only seem to see their side of the story. But what about the Dance Studio's side of the story?

Before you ask for an "Exception", we ask one favor: Please try to understand our position.

If we make an Exception for YOU, then we have to make an exception for everyone. When we make you happy, we end up making a lot of other people unhappy.

SSQQ is in the awkward position of wishing to please you and to simultaneously please every person in the building who have cooperated with our rules even though they would like to have the same exceptions made for them that you are asking us for.

  • Yes, we understand that you wish to have your friend from out-of- town watch your class.
  • Yes, we understand that you were gone for business and you wish to start in the third week of class.
  • Yes, we understand that your ex did not pick up the children and you have nowhere to leave them.
  • Yes, we understand that you would rather dance only with your wife and no one else in the class.

SSQQ is an enormous place. On any given night there are 100 to 200 people in the building. The odds are excellent that on any given night there are probably one, three, five, or ten more people in the building who were in the same position as you are, but abided by our Rules.

When we make an Exception for you, we show disrespect for every one of these people who tried to cooperate.

The most simple way to illustrate our point is to play "
It's a Wonderful Life". 

In this story, SSQQ Rules no longer exist. 

Each night when you come to the studio, there are two dozen children running around, a dozen guests of students sitting there watching and laughing, another dozen people who walked in off the street hoping to see what a class looked like, no one switches partners if they don't feel like it, a cell phone going off once every two minutes, six people in each class who are slowing everyone down because they are starting in the third or fourth week of class, unauthorized volunteers everywhere telling you how to dance whether they know what they are talking about or not, and hopelessly over-crowded classes because no one checks receipts or enforces the rules and anyone walks in who wants to.

Is this how the majority of our students want it?  You figure it out. 

Rules are made for a reason. Every one of our Rules was created because someone who lacked common sense or respect for others made it difficult for us to do our job and other students to have fun while we did it.

You have my word on that.
Rick Archer

Do we make Exceptions?  Yes, of course we do. We make them all the time.  Here are some examples:

  •  Patricia is visiting her daughter Jane from Boston. Jane wants her mother to watch her dance and meet her friends.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter.

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio.

     
  • Joseph has a friend at work who has just gotten a divorce. Joseph has been trying to talk his friend into taking lessons, but his friend is shy. Joseph wants to bring his friend to the studio just to watch.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter.

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio.

     
  •  Frank has taken Advanced Western Waltz two times before. He has been away from town on business and wants to start in the Third Week of class. 

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter or say, "No, Frank, sorry, but we have too many men signed up for this class already."

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio. You will be sent home.

     
  •  Ralph has heard about SSQQ and wants to check it out before signing up for a class. He just shows up one night at the studio one night and wants to watch for a while.

    Right way to handle it:
    Come say hello to the Hall Monitor in Room 6 who will allow to watch the class in Room 6 for a couple minutes and answer questions.

    Wrong way to handle it:  Don't bully the Hall Monitor into letting you pass by the Hall Monitor door. You will be sent home.

     
  •  Sophia is getting married and only wants to dance with her fiancÚ.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com  However the odds of getting approval are slim. Group Classes are for Groups, not individuals. The best way to handle this is to take a private lesson.

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio and demand to get your way. You will be sent home.

     
  •  Jeffrey has his kids this weekend, but the babysitter just called in sick. He wants to bring his kids with him to class. 

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com  However the odds of getting approval are slim to none. 

    SSQQ is a Playground for Adults. This is a place where boys meet girls and have fun. The moment one kid is in the room, Adults are forced to behave. Why would you do that to your fellow adults? 

    Wrong way to handle it: 
    Show up at the door with kids in tow, say "Surprise!" and try to guilt the Hall Monitor into feeling sorry for you. Please don't do this. You will be sent home.

     
  •  Rita has heard a class has six extra men in it and wants to help out by volunteering in the second, third, or fourth week.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter.

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio. You will be sent home.

     

  • After a trial separation, John and his wife Mary decide to try again. It is the third week of class, but John wants Mary to come with him.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter or say, "No, John, sorry, but we have too many women signed up for this class already. Can we reschedule you for next month?"

    Wrong way to handle it:  Just show up at the studio. You will be sent home.

     
  • Carol used to teach classes at SSQQ. She moved to Austin. She is in town and wants to see the old gang.

    Right way to handle it:
    Email Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com who will send an Email Approval Letter.

    Wrong way to handle it: 
    Just show up at the studio. You will be sent home. If you worked here, you should know better.

     
  • You show up at the door and you don't like what the Hall Monitor has said. You demand to see the Manager, the Owner, Rick Archer or anyone RIGHT NOW!

    Right way to handle it:
    Email your concern to Rick Archer dance@ssqq.com

    Wrong way to handle it: 
    Why stand there and argue?  The Hall Monitors are the SSQQ Managers!!  They know the Rules very well and they are paid to enforce the Rules. 

    Furthermore I am busy teaching a class. Whatever your needs are, they are not more important than the needs of my students. Please do not ask to see me during class.  I am doing my job!

    Hall Monitors are not empowered to make exceptions. That is not part of their job description. It doesn't do you any good to ask for an Exception at the studio. Even if you do see me, I will deny your request. The only way to get an Exception is to use Email.

    The Rights of the Group supersede the Rights of the Individual.  What good is it going to do the twenty people in my class if we give people the right to call me out?  The Hall Monitors have been told not to come get me during class unless it is an emergency.

    However if you think it is that serious that I need to talk to you, I will speak to you either at Break or after class is over. If you have been rude to the Hall Monitor, you will be asked to go sit outside. If you have been polite, the Hall Monitor will give you permission to go sit on the Room 6 couch. 
     
  • You have an Emergency and need to see someone in the Building immediately.

    Answer: The Hall Monitors are allowed to use discretion. Tell them the problem. It is their call. Please respect their decision.

     
  • George doesn't like what is going on. He walks right by the Hall Monitor.

    Answer: The Bellaire Police are five minutes away if we dial 713 668 0487. They are one minute away if we dial 911. The Bellaire Police like us.  The Hall Monitors have the authority to call them if they choose to.

    Please give the Hall Monitor your respect.
     

To Ask for an Exception, email Rick Archer, dance@ssqq.com

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Deal is Deal
 
Covers the reasons behind the Refund Policy and lists situations
Explains why Group Class Tuition cannot be switched to private lessons
Electronic Transactions
 
Discusses Online Registration and the difficulty of Electronic Transactions
Explains how to handle Double Charges and has the Courtney Walsh Story
Exceptions
 
Talks about our Credit Rules
 
Exceptions Overview
 
Talks about the History of our Credit Rules
 
REFUNDS
 
Home Page for Refunds. Covers the specific Refund Policy
 
Refund Arguments
 
A serious look at 5 case studies from 2005 that explains
why we will no longer even discuss Refund issues
Refund Defeat
 
Must Read for anyone frustrated with the ssqq refund policy.  At least you
can read with satisfaction about the only couple to ever win a refund argument
Refund Overview
 
How other dance studios handle the Refund problem
plus the real-life experience during a ski vacation that shaped our policy
Refund Struggle Easily the best article of the bunch. Two MBAs squared off in a battle royal over
$46 in 2005.
SSQQ Front Page Parties/Calendar Jokes
SSQQ Information Schedule of Classes Writeups
SSQQ Archive Newsletter History of SSQQ