Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Not to Treat a Radiophobe (or, why I will be scarce at SL10B)

This picture would just as soon never have happened.
 The following is a series of accounts which explain why I returned my SL10B parcel and why my presence in SL10B will be limited to a 7Seas freebie and DJing for Bay City.  There will be no presentation this year and I won't be playing tunes on a stage.  Since I was accused of lying and slander it's important that the actual documentation be presented. Fortunately none of the SL IMs are necessary and there are no restrictions on anything else.

First, some backstory. Last year's SL9B experience was marred by my having been assigned a stage consisting of dusty ruins in the middle of a lifeless desert. To some that was a grand build. To me if you're in a place like Second Life, make it the way it was during its heyday, when it was colorful and populated. But hey I'm not the artist. Also it was a culturally personal offense.

I think the key points missed in the selection process for stages are two things:

1. Unlike those who get free parcels, the entertainment is not "gifted" their timeslot. They're doing a gig for nothing and settling for whatever people choose to tip them. If anybody's taking a "we're doing you a favor" position then let's call it all what it is. This is free talent for SL Birthdays. That makes the gift from all of us to the residents.

2. Celebrating diversity doesn't mean dumping people randomly into environments they are not attuned to or actually find hostile. When someone is doing something they are otherwise paid for, don't you think there should at least be some consideration and a portion of the application which could glean what their style of music and interests in cyberculture would be?  Too much work? Okay. Well, the following links were posted on Twitter and are timestamped from June 2012. More people see my tweets about Second Life than anything else I type off the grid.

Fast forward to May 2013. I looked forward to SL10B like you wouldn't believe. It would be my fifth one as a participant.  When I got my parcel assignment I spent an hour on Memorial day flying through the sims to see what had already been built and what there were for public venues. Not surprisingly, in the same spot on the map (the two easternmost sims to the south) displayed discoloration which was reminiscent of that previous year's desert.  What I saw when I reached there was a bit shocking: twin nuclear silos in a desert devoid of vegetation.

My first thought: where the hell is the stage?
My second thought: oh god I can't be scheduled here. I just can't.

I really don't care how they relate such a setting to celebration or the future of Second Life.  Clearly this was a place for cyberpunks, of which I'm not.  In fact you'll find most people into Steampunk a bit on the resentful side that Cyberpunks call their dirty, post-apocalyptic aesthetic "Steampunk" to begin with. There is no doubt a subculture in Second Life who would appreciate that place and consider it a picnic. I should never ever be filed into that category is all, particularly with all the other options in evidence, such as:

 I dropped hints prematurely in the following exchange in group chat which many organizers saw. I got a talking to in IM by Dr G (I thought it was the exhibitors group and it wasn't, so my bad there) following which I ended with that last bit:

[2013/05/27 13:45]  Holocluck Henly: That tree stage like a mushroom tree thing looks great. Who made it? the one in the water?
[2013/05/27 13:45]  GOLAN Eilde: oh you holoc your about to get an email in a day or 2 :D
[2013/05/27 13:45]  Holocluck Henly: :)
[2013/05/27 13:46]  dudarling Supermarine: kaz made that one holo
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Holocluck Henly: Just so you know I have a phobia about radiation
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Holocluck Henly: even as a hologram
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Harper Beresford: exhibitors, read this:
[2013/05/27 13:47]  GOLAN Eilde: Harperrrrrrrrr yr here too :D
[2013/05/27 13:47]  Harper Beresford: i am EVERYWHERE
[2013/05/27 13:47]  GOLAN Eilde: just so you all know i havent seen my stage :D yet lmao
[2013/05/27 13:47]  Holocluck Henly: Kaz... is it mesh? it has that mesh look to it the mushroomy tree thing
[2013/05/27 13:48]  Holocluck Henly: Yay harper :)
[2013/05/27 13:48]  GOLAN Eilde: i will see you in my stage then :D
[2013/05/27 13:48]  GOLAN Eilde: right back to emails :D
[2013/05/27 13:49]  Holocluck Henly: so aboout the one with the Disney characters
[2013/05/27 13:49]  Harper Beresford: no disney.. walt may get us from his grave
[2013/05/27 13:51]  ChloeElectra Resident: EA available if anyone needs any help :)
[2013/05/27 13:51]  Holocluck Henly: shhh I'm trying to give people more false info
[2013/05/27 13:51]  Harper Beresford laughs

So I woke up late that night (early Tuesday morning May 28) and went to check messages as I often do if I have some medical symptoms (no need to go into specifics) and just distract myself till they subside. This took place in GMail...

Hi there! My name is GOLAN Eilde and on behalf of the Performance team, we'd like to welcome you as a performer for this year.

Using your application availability, we've scheduled you for June 21, 2013  Friday  8 AM slt on the  DJ Stage. You must confirm this slot prior to June 1, 2013 or we will reassign it. If the time does not work for you, we will do our best to reschedule but cannot guarantee an alternative slot.

< skip rules for bevity >

Congratulations, and thank you for contributing your talent to SL10B!


Thanks [Golan]. I confirm. I'm in the USA in NYC and I use winamp with a shoutcast plug-in to stream.

Could you please define "DJ stage" as I had a very unhappy experience last year. I do not play depressing, desolate or post-apocalyptic areas, and I saw this year there was an atomic power plant for a stage. I will not play there. It's a terrible place and not in the spirit of a celebration. If I've been exiled to this place, I'm sure something can be done to have me play at one of the more optimistic and alive stages.
Holocluck Henly


We're sorry you will not be able to join us this year.


Just like that. No "I'll see what we can do" and no switching with someone scheduled opposite on another stage. No recollection of what I typed while he was active in group chat with me the previous day. Nobody thought then "we should switch Holocluck with someone else. He shouldn't be assigned a nuclear power plant."

I was lifted high high up then dropped on jagged rocks. Or so that's how it felt. It was devastating. So keep in mind from here on how I feel and how I wanted to see a solution.

I spoke with an EA (exhibitors assistant) friend I knew and shared the email. She suggested assistant in charge of entertainment KT to speak with since Loon was majorly busy.  I posted the email exchange on my Facebook page since they had apparently hidden the Notes feature. This was because I didn't want to have to repaste or explain over and over what happened. My Facebook page is usually private and my status posts don't venture far from the source. Also most of my friends are either on staff, don't care, or are too busy playing Zynga games to care about manual posts.  I gave only KT the link to the post to explain what happened to me and how I had a phobia and didn't even own a microwave etc and that it wasn't fair that I was assigned that or nothing.  The post explained also that I am aware Golan was just doing his job and speaking on behalf of SL10B's organizers.  I went to bed after feeling some sort of optimism that someone in charge could be more diplomatic and help.

The morning brought more disappointment. KT had replied that she designed both stages and that she wouldn't be much help (aka lacked objectivity or the notion that maybe not everyone found a nuclear power plant to be an ideal place to throw a party). She seemed more concerned that I was "plastering people's names all over facebook."

So it seemed she was under all the wrong impressions.  And yeah it didn't sound like there would be much help to be had from her corner.

Loon IMed me on Facebook. By the tone of his message KT probably tattled in a dramatic tone instead of escalated my situation - as we do in the real world of customer care and damage control. Remember I've already been dropped onto the rocks by this situation. I'm coming to these people for help. It hurts to type the same junk over and over again. I intentionally used a low-profile place instead of this blog to keep the Email exchange.

5/29 7:47am EDT Loon: Open your post about SL10B up to comments if you want to be HONEST about what's going on.

Honest. In caps. Someone suggests I lied about something. Any idea from what you see where there is anything untrue? Were they going to disclaim that they could be callous, antipathic or incapable of actually helping people? Wasn't sure what he had to comment about other than 'we're sorry for any misunderstanding. Of COURSE we'll look into this right away' and really he didn't need to comment in the post for that. It was only for reference to show the exchange.

Here was my reply. We don't want anyone thinking I've lied about anything...

Me, 8:24am EDT - You'd have to be a friend to comment; it isnt a blog and normally my posts are not visible to the public, but I didnt want to have to write it over and over and over again. you want to give an explanation of why I was stuck there, good. you want to be good customer service and get me to a place that isnt about death and pain then fine. I made it clear how I felt last year, and that was a bit devastating and power to me I rose above it and played there anyway. But I am not about this. I am about light and LIFE. I am in SL to leave destruction and death behind. And I dont own a microwave. That mushroom stage is BEAUTIFUL. It's a perfect example of what makes SL worth coming to. btw here's last year's documentation: Sorry we have to friend under these circumstances. Frankly I wont go into how I felt and what I went through last night when I read the news

What he did before I even read his latest and add him was share the post on his newsfeed so his friends could say things like "well I think it's a beautiful nuclear power plant!" So basically what he did was abuse my trust and exploit my post and my pained situation to garner confirmation from his friends that everything was handled just fine.

Me, 6:12pm EDT - I looked to you as someone who could help and all you did was spread my post to garner sympathy for your friends. I was very wrong about you and KT and a lot of people. Not a problem. you can play god with other people and you can place them wherever you feel with as callous a regard antipathy can bring. I will not be part of it.

Loon 5/30 11:42am EDT - There is no help to be had, Holodoc.... Stages are already booked- there's no where else to move you. You made very inaccurate and slanderous statements about the team working on this community celebration- they needed to be addressed. I suggest that, in the future, you don't publicly post something on Facebook you don't want people to respond to.

Wondered at this point if he knew what "inaccurate" and "slanderous" meant. Or "honest" for that matter. btw it should be stated that wondering doesn't mean I've slandered. Not a word of this has been changed.

Me 5/30 11:56am EDT - You'll have to point out the inaccurate and slanderous statements.

I DID notice you missed that I said Golan was speaking on behalf of SL10B and wasn't personally at fault.

I did find it shoddy you couldn't swap me with someone on another stage, seeing as staff so easily play god and throw people into environments without an iota of consideration of culture, aesthetics or sensitivity.

Like I said: you're not my people.

Me 5/30 11:57am - btw YOU posted it everywhere. I posted it so I didnt have to relive the BS over and over again and it would be one place for it to be read. My own friends are either already on staff or dont care and play zynga games all day.

...Said as much earlier.

Loon 5/30 12:57pm EDT - I posted it on my own timeline since you disabled commenting- I did no further posting. If you had not disabled commenting I would have only commented on your message. You created the situation- blaming me for your mistakes will not change that.

This is where he's wrong. He wasn't a friend at first (remember this was just for display) and I eventually added him so he could comment.  The fact is he just didn't want to wait for me to have a lunch break before I could check Facebook that previous day. A bit disrespectful and a bit rude to think this touchy matter was available to fling about.  Sort of how this whole thing was handled. I suspect Loon is in a radically different timezone than I am - and lacks the consideration that maybe he should wait for someone to catch up. He said in the posts that I was bumped down to the bottom of another stage's list and not to expect to play unless someone cancelled. Well by then I wasn't expecting to anyway. I had given my parcel back and washed my hands of SL10B for allowing people like that to be in any form of authority - or allowed to interact with people in any helper capacity.

I had by about this time deleted the post since it didn't serve its purpose (presumably all shares of it disappeared with it) and unfriended the hostile.

Me 5/30 1:23pm EDT -  You asked me to add you so you could post. I did. so?

me 5/30 1:39pm EDT - I wonder whether you're ever wrong about anything? I bet you aren't

I mean, how can I write lies if I pasted the actual mailing. When the sims open to the public it goes to blog and people can see without editing how curt the rejection response was instead of "let's see what we can do to swap you with someone at that time" like real support would do. I dont have to say a thing, and you can't call the actual exchange "lies"

Loon 6/1 11:18pm EDT - You make it up as you go along. Nothing I wrote said you lied.

*Does a doubletake*  You saw that, right? I haven't been honest, I've made slanderous and inaccurate statements, but I haven't lied about anything.  This was getting beyond ridiculous.

Me 6/2 7:42pm EDT - " You made very inaccurate and slanderous statements about the team working on this community celebration-" Now go away. I'm done with SL10B and your drama. You just love to hear yourself talk.

I can admit that I was choking up earlier in the week when I gave back that parcel. People have been asking what happened and I didn't want to say anything because the stages weren't yet revealed to the public. But now that the power plant has been posted in their blog I'm at liberty to relate all this.

One final note.  Loon works for neostreams support, a company I've given 1000L per month for my audio stream for about a year.  I will not be renewing this month. It means Loon gets some of my money and that's just not acceptable. I will go to another stream service. Someone like that wouldn't have lasted here in RL.  The company I work for turned 50 this year. You think this sort of support for their field employees and freelancers would have gotten us this far?  We're ALL people here, and you don't diss someone for having a phobia - and for fighting the cancers those silos and more cause each year during Relay For Life. 

So no, other than some humane and civilized behavior and an apology for the shitty way I was treated, I don't want anything more to do with SL10B beyond what I mentioned.

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