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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why I Won't Join Saw You At Sinai

At least one of the reasons. I was on Saw You at Sinai (hereinafter referred to as "SYAS" to save my fingers some typing) when it first was being developed, but cancelled my membership around the time they went to a system where payment was required. I think that was about a year and a half ago, but I don't remember clearly. My cancellation had nothing to do with the requirement to pay - I quit for various reasons, such as the fact that it had garnered me exactly no dates, no phone calls and only a couple guys who I would even consider going out with. But I also quit because of the mistreatment I received from several of the shadchanim on the system. Not every shadchan on SYAS was rude and mean. There are some who really are well-meaning, helpful and making real efforts to make shidduchim, which I definitely agree is an important task. But I had a couple of interactions where the shadchans made rude comments to me about my declination of dates and about my profile on the site. What I didn't receive, but what I have heard story after story about, especially recently, was grief about the pictures I posted on the site. I count myself lucky. In the past month or two, I have been told numerous stories from friends about shadchanim on SYAS berating pictures on the site. I have heard requests for professional photos, suggestions on better photos and I have heard of rude criticism being sent to singles about the photos they chose to post. But last night's story is the absolute worst. A friend was telling me about a friend of hers (who I have met several times) who recently got dressed up, put on make-up, did her hair, and had someone take a very nice picture of her. She posted this photo on SYAS and received an incredibly rude e-mail, completely unsolicited, from a shadchan on the site. This e-mails subject line itself was "EW." The e-mail consisted of berating and ridiculing remarks regarding this woman's picture. Name-calling was even resorted to. The woman who received this e-mail was in tears after reading it. This is the worst e-mail I have heard of, but not the only one. Who on earth gave the shadchanim the idea that it is okay to treat anyone in such a manner? Who taught these supposedly frum individuals that it is under the guise of Torah to give unsolicited criticism in a mean and cruel manner? What on earth was this woman thinking in writing such an e-mail? Just because a person is single entitles no one, not even a shadchan who is "helping" that single, to be rude and cruel. I know many shadchanim received less than grateful responses from singles, and that is absolutely not justifiable either. But calling names and breaking down the self-esteem of women, for no reason that I can fathom, is ridiculously disgusting. What worries me the most is that this is not an isolated incident. As I said, I have heard numerous stories of my friends being criticized for the pictures they chose to post on the site. I have also heard stories of shadchanim who badger women into going out with guys that they are uninterested in, and who make abusive remarks to my friends regarding their decisions. One of my friends questioned whether men on SYAS get the same treatment, considering the fact that I have heard there are many more women on the site than men. I honestly don't personally know any men who are on SYAS, but I would be interested to know whether any of them have received such e-mails. I don't like being critical of a program that whose mission I do believe in. I do think it's important to make introductions between singles and to encourage marriage. I do personally know of a couple or two who was introduced through the site. But I think they need to be doing something in order to make sure these abusive e-mails are not being sent, especially since it seems to be a regular occurrence. I think the shadchans need to remember what it was like being single, and to use sensitivity in their treatment of the singles they are trying to help. I hope something changes soon, for the sake of my friends. Because for now, I stand firm in my decision to refrain from joining SYAS.

3 Comments:

  • r u married by now ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/11/06, 2:26 PM  

  • Well I am a guy and I had an extremely bad experience and the lack of professionalism of the site is appaling to say the least. This happened in August 2007 and really was just terrible what they did to me. There were some nice matchmakers but there were some that I thought weren't respecting my requests and if I honestly told them that they would give me a snappy answer.
    However, I got annoyed and all I did was tell a matchmaker that I thought their profile was more like a resume then relating to help people get married and 3 weeks later I was suddenly removed from the site at a time I had 3 approved matchtes and was completely locked out of the system. They also said none of the matchmakers could help me (which wasn't true) and she did not like the reason's I was decling matches. I was honest enough to give reasons and it usually had something to do with the atitude I sensed from the profile I was reading but they decided they didn't like my reasons. I did accept about 40% of them so it wasn't like I was being unrealistic. But the women who made this decision (who isn't married by the way go figure)but speaks for a few of the matchmakers who all have to be married. No warning or anything or even a way to contact the matchmakers or the women who we both approved the matches but I didn't write down the phone numbers yet. This was the letter I received. This was to get back at me for some of the reasons I declined some matches I believe and complaining about this matchmakers profile. I find that intersting though that they think all the men care about is the women's looks because I always took time to read the profile and usually declined because of the profile not because of the picture. This is the letter I received. I thought it was really MEAN SPIRITED and showed know sense of compassion to a guy who took a lot of time on the site and was honest enough to explain why I declined certain matches but felt a few matchmakers were harassing me and telling me about certain matches that didn't impress me nor was this attribute something that I wanted and if they even bothered to read my profile they could see that. Here is the letter.

    Hi Adam

    This is Rebecca, I work with the matchmakers. You recently declined a match on the site, and in declining insulted the matchmaker saying “I also really don't know if you are a matchmaker or interviewing for a job reading your profile. It seems the latter to me.” Our matchmakers are all volunteers who do their best to help singles connect. Based on this response as well as multiple previous decline messages, the matchmakers feel they can’t help you find what you’re looking for. We will not be renewing your membership, but as your current month’s membership expires today we will not be issuing you a refund.

    Regards,

    Rebecca"

    By Blogger Analytical Adam, at 12/7/07, 12:12 AM  

  • I think Rebecca is right, you have to give the matchmakers a chance, they are only human. They don't like to be insulted since they know what they are doing.

    Menachem

    By Blogger Marc, at 12/2/09, 8:25 PM  

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