"You are cheating us"
When I was last CD for a couple of weeks, several people told me this story but I'm not sure how many of the recountings were Chinese whispers. However one person told me that it was her friend that had the experience so I will use that version.
A Monday night first-visitor came in while there were a number of people at the welcome desk, so she couldn't see what was going on there and continued on down the hall towards the gompa. Someone yelled out after her that she was cheating the centre and had to pay $5.
It may well have been a tongue-in-cheek statement by the greeter but it does indicate a bad lack of training and empathy to greet new people that way.
There were also emails saying that people felt uncomfortable at TI. I had no problem believing them because I have had my own experiences and I'm an old-timer at TI so I can easily accept how it can be for new people.
One person told me her story (I didn't know her by name) and she said I was welcome to use her story "but please don't use my name". She told me it had taken her a long windy (windey) road to get accepted into the clique and she didn't want to risk coventry.