Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wavering Admiration

Sometime last year a job opportunity inworld was announced.  This was during my temporary exile from bedbugs.  I was living with my father while my apartment underwent several stages of treatment.  I was broke from the expenses preparing for treatment & owed the co-op 2 months' maintenance.  I know: too much RL. Well, that part of it is documented in the archives anyway.

Anywho, here was an interesting opportunity to work part time at a second job, not only at something I liked but in a place I liked as well.

I went all out and updated my resume.  I revealed my RL identity. I expressed how I could use the extra income while engaged in a pursuit I'd enjoy in a field I enjoyed etc etc.  Because let's be honest: After a hard day's work and with dubious health, it was going to have to be something I'd enjoy.

I didn't expect the answer I got.  They thanked me for applying of course.  Then said there were any number of people who would jump at the chance to work for the organization for nothing.

That had to be just about the most off-putting blow-off I'd ever gotten for a professional job.  Why offer a salary then?  Sheeeeeesh.

So many thoughts come to mind.  Their hiring a groveler for less than the offered fee.  It's fine until the fan's lofty misconceptions are pierced.  Play Misty For Me meets Mark David Chapman chosen over someone appreciative but mature & objective, who has their heart for the genre.

You know what they say: You get what you pay for.

This reminds me: I've cowered over the prospect of selling my art as mentioned back in October.  I guess I'm shy about the wrong things.  I still need money to catch up on living expenses as well as offset medical bills.  I guess I'd better hop to it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winterfaire Continent: Second Life's White-headed Stepchild

Just as with last year, people bought their land, plopped copies of their shops down with a little Christmas decor, then forgot about them. 

The people across the way from me proved somewhat clueless.  First, there was this dark castle which they took off after a day.  Then, they made this absurdly tall building with superglow on top.  That old "they'll see it from a kilometer away" mentality.  Does it ever occur to such people that MOST viewers are NOT set to any great draw distance?  By the time the building rezzes folks are already in Turtle Dove.  Not only that, the top of their building is too high to rezz and fades away into the sky.  At the bottom in an openair plaza they had a sexbed.  One of them was seen parading around topless. Yes, in a PG region.  They were ARed by a few people. Gone. 

This went for several prefabs which included the sexbed.  They settled on a chalet behind some Linden pines until  after New Year's, when they derezzed everything but some dual dancing poseballs.

The guy who outbid me for the south lands put ugly cubes and temprezzers, which bogged down the land and were returned to him after several complaints. He has replaced this with an irritating "art" installation of noise and temp rezzers which once again hog the region's resources.  Guess he thought no one would notice.  Well maybe on Prancer they wouldn't.

I consider the diner idea a success.  Unlike last year's makeovers, customizing The Golden Yak for an event or holiday amounted to sticking new cutouts on the window or updating its sign.  March will see me at sandboxes perfecting the build, adding a counter and stools, designing a retro neon sign, and so on.

Until then I have one more event planned before my winter getaway closes.  Mark February 27th down and watch the Yak's illuminated sign for details.

At the moment the diner is in Mardi Gras mode.  Cap'n Shinez' ship is on the roof. That extra piece of land for prims has served me well; last year I had to make sacrifices to keep the noobs. 

You have through this Sunday to get beads from the float noobs and original Mardi Gras shirts from the freebies replicator inside.

I've just learned the final weekend has 2 reasons to celebrate: Purim and Holi.  I'd better get the decorations ready :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Someone Get LL to TRULY Help My Friend

I have a friend from my VRML days whom I persuaded to try Second Life. She had spent the last four years in an immersive MMORPG and was pleased she could be her character in SL too. She got land and enjoyed getting back into 3D creation. Things seemed fine.

She plunged back into her game for a couple of months for whatever reason and found on her return to SL that access was blocked until she paid back tier. This is entirely understandable and she was ready to pay.

She's not in the USA, and initially used gift cards to pay for tier. For some reason the payments weren't going through. She put in a ticket, spoke with live chat... inexplicable error to staff it seemed. For TWO WEEKS and many many hours of live chat, phone, and tickets, it became apparent that gift cards were no longer accepted. They gave her an extension while she set up a PayPal profile. Except not being in the USA and not having a credit card, extra time was needed to verify her bank account. Finally 3 months of membership and tier was paid.
It became clear that owning mainland was ill suited for her needs. She had to sell her land and get down to basic as soon as she got back in.

She got in. After one day: BAM! She was locked out. She owed the new month. She had to wait for payday.

What happens next seems a bit foggy, but by this time we were in early December. She would systematically pay, get in for a day, then be locked out for some other fee which wasn't presented previously. She could barely get in long enough to set the land for sale (which sold in a day) before she was locked out and she couldn't access her account on the site to change her membership status to basic.

She was finally able to do this. She found a rental and enjoyed it for a week or so, then:

BAM! Locked out for the umpteenth time.

They wanted one more tier and fee out of her in February for January.

But wait: if she wasn't perpetually locked out, she would have gone basic in December.

SL is **liable** for her inability to change her status with them.  This has nothing to do with using the grid's resources. She was not allowed to edit her membership.  Can you believe such a thing?

This can't be legal.

SL should and MUST waive that month.

"my ticket has said work in progress for over a week"

She means her latest ticket.  Yes, they are lingering on this. Thank goodness she got out of premium when she did or they would have filched another month of money from someone for whom money does not come easy.


Someone in the organization must be able to do right by her. She doesn't deserve this. Tickets didnt work, phone didnt work, and chat didnt work. There must be a responsible Linden who can reach out and end this AND satisfactorily compensate her by waiving this latest charge.

I work in Tier3 support for RL. That translates into "damage control." A subscription site. If there's one thing we can give people whose account or service was botched, it's free time. I would have had these people's ass in jeopardy by now believe me.  And that restriction from account status is damning and would have long been fixed.

So Linden Labs: Please be professional. Reach out to her. SL is a wonderful place where she can truly flourish. Don't ruin what little spirit or faith she has left in your organization. Don't break up friends from a place they can both exist. Be the good guys you see yourselves to be.  Pick her up off the floor and let her back in. 

Thank you.