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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Running AK

unprofessional?

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the site and I'm still learning how things work here but this is my opinion. I have read the recent post's bye sForza. Yes, I think he was wrong for what he was doing but I believe Johnny V (administrator) was very unprofessional in the way he took care of it. He made a joke out of it.

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To answer your question : No !

Johnny V has handled this problem the best way he could. From what i read, his intention was to bring things down to a lighter mood. It was necessary to bring the tension down in that thread.

I have been a member on this forum since for over 2 years and i have always respected JV's handling of difficult situations. Most people would make a run for it when the going gets tough, but he has always stayed put to help this forum to move forward. It's not easy dealing with so many different character types and bringing things back to a neutral mode in times of stress.

I'm sure you will find the help / support you are looking for on here. Stay positive :-)

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Oh, I don't know, the dismissal had a certain, "nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah-nyah" quality to it, but sForza's boasting and ego went so far beyond the pale that I thought he gave up any right to a more dignified dismissal. So, I wouldn't worry about it.

Besides, how could he be the most talented person on the planet when the voices in my head tell me I am? :rolleyes:

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Guest bearlover

I have been a amputee for 3 years now..And i still can't walk or stand very long...I DO try and push myself to the limit..He has to understand that no all of us amputees are whimps..We do try more than anything..Iam not one to sit around and baby my self. Some of us just have a harder time with it..Due to my stump being under developed and painful this is hard for me to walk any distance..Not that I don't I do!! We average amputees need more respect if we are havng prolonged problems. ;)

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Do you honestly believe this person existed???? Not in the guise he would have us beleive anyway.

It's all crap, we all feel that we can do better or would like too. There is no way on gods planet this man had a opertion to remove his leg and would be running on it later that evening.

Mike

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Hi Running AK.

What posting are we talking about it must be one I have missed.

But to say Johnny is Unprofessional well is a statement made obviously by a new member.

I was on this site before Johnny and since Johnny as been on this site he as been nothing but Professional.

So please dont criticize the man when you hardly know him.

Thanks Johnny for all the good you do for this site.

Pat.

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The thread AKRUNNER is refering to has been deleted but you can read the other one "struggling in the heat" Besides the threads posted online, there were PMs that no one knows but the people involved. So some people here do not have all the info to make a judgement. If you dont have all the evidence then you really dont know. Johnny HAS ALL THE EVIDENCE and nobody else.

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Hi Running AK.

What posting are we talking about it must be one I have missed.

But to say Johnny is Unprofessional well is a statement made obviously by a new member.

I was on this site before Johnny and since Johnny as been on this site he as been nothing but Professional.

So please dont criticize the man when you hardly know him.

Thanks Johnny for all the good you do for this site.

Pat.

Maybe that was the wrong word but it did not look right coming from a administrator.

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Hi

Thank you for telling me which thread I was to read.

How do we know that what that young man was bragging about was true to call someone a simpleton was very rude I could say I was a millionaire who would know if I was? Nobody I could also say I went to Oxford I did once on a day trip I wouldn't be lying would I ?.

If the truth is known the person he was portraying doesn't existed anyway perhaps he's a Walter Mitty type.

Pat.

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Guest bearlover

That is a good thought Mike! I agree who the heck could get up and run the same day? :rolleyes: :o Yeah right! Hmmmm?

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Guest bearlover

I really did not see what Johnny did as a joke..Maybe some people are to sensitive. ;)

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Having witnessed one “battle royale” here at HMM (circa 1st July 2006), it dismayed me greatly to see it erupt again recently, this time around Sam (Sforza). I felt that Sam was profoundly misunderstood, and that a tide of opposition grew against him which was based largely in his "differentness", and I was very sad to see it all become so destructive.

Personally, I like Sam – he’s clearly a winner, an achiever, and he has an aggressively achieving nature that is clearly a fundamental part of his success, both in competition as a professional athlete, and as an amputee.

But – speaking from experience of people I’ve known – the single-minded indomitability of professional athletes can be a character trait that is challenging to co-exist with - and for obvious reasons, when you think about it: in order to succeed in competition, you must think that you are the best, that there is no obstacle that you can’t overcome, nothing you can’t do, and these ruthless standards are applied dispassionately by athletes as much to themselves as to anything else – they are ruthless and uncompromising with themselves, until they win.

I’ve been very fortunate to have known some very successful and powerful people, and to some extent they have all been ruthless and uncompromising, and witnessing this dynamic in action has been both fascinating and informative – and, at times, very challenging. But this is the nature of these people, and if their presence is to enrich my life, I have no right to expect them to change, or to adopt my value-sets. If anything, their single-mindedness has helped make me more centred and more secure in myself and about the things I stand for, so the ways in which they have challenged me have been good for me.

One of my current clients is a retired professional athlete, and he is sometimes extremely hard work! But I have come to know that when he sees my very best effort as the minimum requirement, he's only extending his own extremely high standards to me, and rather than hate him for not appreciating what I've achieved, I remind myself that he sees more potential in me than I can see myself, and so he helps me raise my game. But it is not easy! He's very rich and he flaunts it, and I could despise him for that too, but once again I remind myself that by associating with me, he's implying that I'm capable of successes like his - if I extend his hugely demanding standards to myself. It is far from easy, but I do see it as an opportunity for me to grow (in tolerance, if nothing else!) by making the allowances I need to in order to work with this man's infuriating (but constructive) single-mindedness. I think we're all capable of great things, if we believe it, but another's belief in us may take unfamiliar forms.

There’s a classic psychological saying about how we relate to those we don’t like: “There’s something about you I can’t stand about myself,” which means we need to reflect very carefully about what it is we don't like about someone: could it be something in ourselves? Perhaps an insecurity that we rarely confront, but which is redundant anyway? It's inappropriate of us to think we are wimps because of what Sam achieves - if we had the means to devote as much time to training and professional-level fitness, we could do the same, but for most of us, our lives have taken us in entirely different directions, so any comparison is meaningless. Sam is rich, but many of us would similarly indulge ourselves is we were to win the lottery! It wouldn't make us into different or necessarily better people, so any material comparison is meaningless too. Perhaps it's the professional athlete's gung-ho "Just Do It!" attitude that makes us feel under-motivated, but our motivation is our own business, and unless we actively invite comments, we shouldn't feel graded or rated or compared - we should just be secure with how we conduct ourselves.

There were sticks and stones on both sides, but from what I saw, Sam was attacked by those whose feathers he ruffled, and instead of being gracious and indulgent of another’s nature, they reacted negatively, displaying another classic psychological dynamic: “You’re all right, I’m not all right” (insecurity), versus “You’re not all right, I’m all right” (demeaning another). But why should Sam back down? He’s just being what he is! In fact, it may not be possible for Sam to back down – as a professional athlete, he cannot admit even the possibility of defeat, and we need to understand that.

I think there are 2 ways of looking at this issue: firstly, as cultural; Sam is from a far more competitive and uncompromising culture than most of us, and we need to accept that this will skew his perspectives in that direction, and away from the perspectives of those of us who don’t belong to that culture. Individual cultures can exist without others, but if they are to meet, diplomacy and tolerance and celebration of difference should be paramount, even if it is not noticeably reciprocated - it may not be part of another culture to reciprocate.

Secondly, we should perhaps all agree that one of the rules of joining an international world-wide community should be to always exercise diplomacy, tolerance, and celebration of difference, because, apart from amputee culture (if there is such a thing), the very act of joining such a community will expose us to a great many additional kinds of culture, some of which we may not initially understand, but all of which have the opportunity to teach us something.

I feel it's a great shame that this opportunity has been lost with the barring of Sam from HMM, not least because all the new amps joining this forum will take their lead from the standards set and opinions expressed here, and I just don’t think that intolerance and bickering and ostracising differences is in any way a well-balanced or a good example. I agreed with Johnny's censure of the 4 antagonists, but the continued attacks on Sam made closing his informative thread inevitable - and totally wasteful.

Life is so short that we need to work on making the most of it, and each other; let's all try to make everything we do constructive, not destructive.

Roz.

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Roz, you make some interesting and valid points, but I do have to point out that "turn about's fair play." I think the thing that bothered me of what I "saw" of this controversy (and I think it's true that only Johnny has access to the ENTIRE story) is that Sam was not willing to extend the same consideration and support he thought he should receive from others. Yes, the conflict was a two-way street, but his manner was universally condescending to the point of being dismissive. It did make me wonder what he was doing here, besides wanting to promote himself and prop up his own ego. Yes, I think we all hope, when we post our thoughts and feelings here, that we'll receive a supportive reply from our fellow members... but we don't DEMAND it, nor do we (usually!) openly "attack" someone for not stroking our ego enough. We DO (usually!) try and offer what support and encouragement we can.

On those occasions when Sam would simply TALK about an experience, instead to issuing a cyber-press-release, I also enjoyed him. But those occasions were SO rare that I was often afraid to try and start a conversation with him... he simply seemed incapable of sustained human interaction. An occasional rude or dismissive remark, especially in someplace as large, freewheeling, and international as this forum, will happen... often by mistake, sometimes on purpose. But near-constant disregard for the other members of the forum, and the resultant, escalating animosity is a situation that needed to be addressed.

I wish that it could have been "addressed" without resorting to banning ANYONE... that part of the whole affair saddens me. But if it comes down to maintaining a viable group or removing one highly divisive member of that group... well... I feel I have to trust that Admin saw enough to justify the action, at least at this point.

Earlier today, I stumbled over an old thread here... one that preceeded the July "battle" and the "sFoza affair" both. I didn't realize it was "old" at first... and it was such a pleasure to just read something where we weren't all on edge and looking for "slights"... where we could joke and tease and still support one another wholeheartedly, even as we poked a little fun. I so hope we have not "lost" that spirit and that we can get our "balance" back!

Just my two cents............

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Very well put Roz and I totally agree.

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Hi

Sam may well have been a Winner and an Achiever I dont know we can only take his word for that.

But that doesn't give him the right to look down on other people.

Yes great Achievers just look ahead but please remember the people on the side lines have Rights too when it's said that's the way they are that is no excuse for being ill mannered to other people surely that shows a lack of manners and politeness which is usually comes with common sense. When you are growing up if you are always led to believe you are something special then you start to believe it yourself and become very selfish and thoughtless to others.

I think that's what was starting to happen when you start calling people a simpleton.

There is nothing wrong in being a Winner & being an Achiever but it shouldn't stop you being polite to those that dont appear to to be Achievers it may be there choice not to be.

Sam maybe a nice Guy and perhaps he should be invited back to make his remarks more clearer and given another chance that would be my way of thinking never close a door if you are not certain what's on the other side.

Pat.

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I suppose it depends on what one's definition of an 'achiever' is .... :lol:

In my opinion, it takes many, many more qualities to qualify !

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Sensitivity being one of them !!!

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Earlier today, I stumbled over an old thread here... one that preceeded the July "battle" and the "sFoza affair" both. I didn't realize it was "old" at first... and it was such a pleasure to just read something where we weren't all on edge and looking for "slights"... where we could joke and tease and still support one another wholeheartedly, even as we poked a little fun. I so hope we have not "lost" that spirit and that we can get our "balance" back!

I couldn't agree more, CherylM;

Where Sam was concerned, he shouldn't have been constantly attacked and sniped at, and we should have led by a good-natured example, turning the other cheek, so he would have been encouraged to join in with our benevolent, self-effacing, mutual support of each other.

If you look back to before the mud-slinging started, Sam behaved very well, but then he lost our support, and after joining us in search of support, he must have felt badly betrayed, so I'm not at all surprised that he became defensive and even hostile.

We failed Sam!

Please note that Sam said nothing about how his amputation had affected him, but coming from such an able background, it must have been frankly devastating for him. Perhaps his egoism was a defence mechanism, and probably a temporary one - he was a new member, after all - but we mistook this defence mechanism for security and smugness, and saw him as fair game for shooting down.

We failed Sam.

I wish it were possible to go back to the point at which someone started sniping about material things, and put a stop to it then, before it became a runaway train.

But the only way for it to work is if we are all well-disposed to each other - as we once were - and always support each other, never attack another, and indulgently smile past any faux pas by another member.

I also crave what we once had, and it may return, but we'll be tested again - how will we do next time?

Roz.

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/APPLAUSE

/bow

:)

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Historically speaking............"If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is."

I've met some superamps at the ACA conferences. They mostly seemed like good normal people who've picked up and moved on. They appreciated a handshake, pat on the shoulder and a good luck wish for their next race. In the end though, they could sit down at lunch and talk about something other than themselves.

As a 'Psychology professional' one would think that Sam could see that he was stroking his own ego by putting all of us down. He has a bad case of insecurity in my books. I'm a hairstylist and have some very wealthy clients. Most of them don't need to boast about what they have, nor do they flaunt it. They seem just like the rest of us.

All he would have had to do for me was substantiate his statements. No single human is that perfect. He does sound like an educated person, a good debater I'm sure, but he needs to reread his psych books on how to win friends and influence people. The worst thing in the world is to raise yourself up by putting others down.

He seems to think that this was all an act of jealousy on our part. I'm not a bit jealous of anything he supposedly has or has supposedly done. I simply don't believe that Superman is real.

I've restrained myself through all this, though hard it was. If all his statements are true, I apologize to him. He still needs his butt spanked for how he's treated some of our members whom I've personally met.

Let's move on with the job at hand. Helping new amputees realize their new life and veteran amps who've encountered new problems.

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Good effort, Neal!

Of course Sam's insecure - he's a new amputee!

He will probably become as able as anyone to talk about a range of subjects when he's been an amp long enough to have become an established amputee athlete, like those you've met.

I have to say that Sam never put me down - he was only friendly, supportive, and encouraging towards me.

And you're quite right to say that jealousy is redundant, but I think you need to be more tolerant of and supportive towards an insecure new amp who has been extensively attacked.

Your last paragraph was all you needed to say.

Roz. :)

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Roz, wow. You've really made me think about some things. I really respect everything you've said. I will say that if we are "tested" again, I will try to conduct myself differently. At the same time, I can look back and see exactly why I said what I did. But I still wish to put this all behind us. I'll try to be brief, but I would like to throw one other point of view out there.

I am a competitor in a very aggresive and grueling sport. I do not ride in a pro class, but my brother has, and I am friends with most that I have met. Most are extremely nice people and some are a little arrogant. I don't think I've ever met anyone quite as arrogant as sForza. At the end of the day, the humble ones are the most loved. They are always there to lend a hand, encourage, and try to build others up. It has been my experience that the most accomplished do not make a habit of throwing around every name brand or flaunt what they do. Except when they're in front of a camera, at which time it is their job. On the other hand, I also have seen the non-pro type that spend alot of time bragging. They have every sticker they can get there hands on pasted on their truck and will drive around all week with their bike in the back of their truck so that everyone can see that "He races dirt bikes, he's crazy, what a stud." Those guys NEVER go anywhere because they spend too much time working on their image instead of using up gas and tires, which is the only way to truly progress.

I by no means want anyone to think I am something I'm not. But, if I wanted to, I could throw out just as much "stuff" as he did. From time to time, I will post concerning my racing. If that inspires others, then I am very happy. But I also know that most may not identify with my activities, but they can identify with stepping on a shopping cart wheel, or falling, or those dark days we all have from time to time. Success stories are inspiring to us all. But one should be willing to give AND receive. I really don't think he understood that.

I really don't want anyone to think that I am putting myself up as any sort of example. For my part, I really should have handled the sForza thing differently. Roz is right. We, to some extent, failed sForza. I also think he perpetuated that failure.

This was a very different place just a couple months ago. We have lost some very fine people whom I really wish would come back, we have also gained some amazing people. I respect everyone's point of view and I hope to receive the same respect of mine. I think the truth is a combination of them all. At this point, I really hope we can put this all away and move forward. We are missing out on something greater.

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