Classicbattletech.com was one of my earliest homes on the internet. For the balance of a decade, I’d gone there first when I logged on in the morning and closed that window/tab last when I logged off for the night.
No more. While I remain a die-hard battletech enthusiast, I have decided that my screen-name shall no more grace those forums. The reasons are fairly simple. Back when I started this blog, I had been banned for a month. My latest ban has ratcheted that up to a year, and the next one is permanent. With no response to my appeal from the administrators forthcoming, and an admission from Paul Sjardin (that would be the lead moderator) that I can’t expect fair treatment due to my long history of increasingly minor run-ins with The Rules
In other words, after waiting a year, I would be banned forever at the first occasion for the slightest mis-step (this last time, I said “shut up” rather than the apparently-more-respectful “cease posting.”) I don’t have a great deal of dignity, but submitting to this kind of treatment is firmly beneath it.
I’m still hanging out at btechunits.com, and I’m going to start re-connecting with some of the other peripheral Battletech Community, but I’ll be on classicbattletech no more. That means the end of a lot of things, and I’m going to miss them all (actually, I already am,) but it’s inevitable anyway. I’m obnoxious and disliked. Nothing to do about that.
I feel particularly motivated to respond to this post. Firstly, “Shut up” is usually, to be honest, well deserved on a forum. That is not to say it is graceful. That said, is there any graceful way to say “you sound like an imbecile, and you shouldn’t post on topics about which it is obvious, you know nothing about?” Not really. How would have a mod said it? Probably without any grace, as it would likely have been followed with a statement of infraction of the rules and threatening of banning. My point here is that if there is no graceful way to say it, sometimes, as much as it needs saying, we have to leave it up to someone else.
Secondly, regarding dignity. After this week in the office, I don’t think you can expect any company to allow it’s employees dignity much anymore. We, as a society, are losing all concept of a graceful workplace. I no longer think that we should anticipate being able to keep our lives private in the office, or much of our dignity as people there either. I, for one, think it’s unacceptable that I will most likely be required to explain why, with less than a day’s notice, I was unable to attend a five AM meeting, or 8:30 PM meeting. That seems inappropriate and somewhat dignity stealing. And I’m working in an office! I’m trying to create some boundaries, and I doubt it will go well. The reason behind saying that is that the internet is even less forgiving than here, and any forum has ‘company-like’ dynamics. Finding the right forum is just like finding the right job. No matter how much you might like a job, you may have to chose one you like less to maintain who you are. I think, actually, that some minimum wage jobs have a much more reasonable demand on the person on their off hours. You may find delivering pizza to be a reasonable job in that respect.
Finally, there are two distinct obnoxious people that I have run into. There are the people that are obnoxious because they are immature, ignorant and rude/inappropriate. You are not this person. There are the people that are disliked and told they are obnoxious because they do the hard stuff, and say the hard things, and in general have a tendancy to remind people of their own failings. You are this second type of person, for better or for worse. I am too. Emily, at work, said to embrace it sometimes. I think her advice is spot on.
@mame_snidely – To be clear, I didn’t use “shut up” in the imperative sense. I wasn’t telling anyone to shut up. Strictly speaking, I was informing him of his options. “Alternatively, you could shut up…” As I read it, this isn’t a violation of the rules, but the mods read in what they want to read in. In this case, disrespect being read into simple plain-spokenness. *shrug*
As I said, had I simply used a different phrase “Alternatively, you could cease posting…” I apparently would have been fine. Never mind that that’s basically bullshit.
For what it’s worth, I would have gone with (and I don’t think this violates CBT’s posting rules): “I would suggest you do a little research before continuing in this line of conversation, as it appears your information is somewhat lacking…”
Followed by examples. Being tactful isn’t actually that hard, especially when you’ve got all the time in the world and plenty of practice. Remembering to be tactful is harder, but not actually impossible. Dodging preconceptions caused by the contempt of the familiar is basically impossible.