Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Freecycle, Redux.

I've posted before about my disgruntlement with my local Freecycle group. But over the last month, I've been pushed just about to my limit. It's probably my strong stubborn streak that's kept me going this long.

A bit of background, first. One of the main Freecycle rules is that you should not ask for high price items. It's a rule broken constantly and with impunity on our list. About six weeks ago, someone posted requesting a riding lawn mower, any condition as long as it runs. Her brother and her sons wanted to tinker with one for some kind of race you wouldn't catch me watching at the county fair. It so happens that I have a disreputable but running mower, and I offered it. Long story short, a week of telling me she'd be there, or her brother would...and I still have the freakin' mower. She claims to be in seriously ill health, her brother got stuck in traffic, yada yada. If she is ill, I'm sorry, and I've told her so...multiple times. Still doesn't mean that she couldn't have contacted me, or leaned on her brother to live up to his word.

Next, a woman posts that her new home only has wood heating. She wants us to donate deadwood to her, and she & her DH will pick it up, even cut down dead trees for the right to the wood. Okay, we have a couple of dead pines that need cleared out, so I emailed her. And heard nothing. One of our employees needed extra money for school, so we paid him to take down the most pressing one. Over five days later the wench writes back and says she THINKS they will take the wood, and she'll probably write to me at the end of the week for directions. I gave her a polite and pithy bit of advice - when someone offers you something, you doggone well have the courtesy to respond right away, and you do not leave them hanging!

Last, within the same month, I offered a lamp. It was too big, might need some wiring work, although it does work. A woman, who has been constantly begging for crap so we can all set her up in business in an ice cream parlour, jumped on it. Could be there the next morning. Fine, I gave her directions. I come home that evening, there it sits on my porch. No word from her, no apology, no nothing. I emailed the next person on the list, and she got it.

Now, we have seen a little more of the moderator than previously...BUT. She only appears when someone complains about an egregious violation of the rules, to scold the complainer! We should rest assured, sez she, that the rule breakers are being scolded off-list, and two strikes and they're out. I might buy that if I didn't see the same people doing the same crud over and over. Yesterday evening, someone had posted a service for hire, strictly verbotten, and several people (not I, I might add) jumped on her. The moderator, true to form, scolds them.

So, among others, I replied to that email today. I point out that if she told people ON the list when they were screwing up, others could take the lesson too, and maybe we'd have less of the violations going on. I also asked if there were something that could be done to cut down on no-shows.

I immediately got emails off list. First, from the tractor no-show, full of self-pity and sniveling that I should forgive her, and she'll buy me lunch. Of course, I really want to go to lunch and have this dingbat ruin my appetite. No thanks. If she were so worried about my forgiveness, she'd have emailed before, but not until I mentioned it to the list do I hear from her. I told her she didn't need me to forgive her; she'd taught me a lesson.

Another person told me that she found the onlist attacks more distressing than the original bad post...fine. Why tell me? I didn't post one! She then implied I was a moderator. Not. Any word over seven letters was misspelled. Having had enough, I informed her I wasn't moderator, I didn't respond to the original post, but simply asked the moderator a couple of questions. And feeling...you guessed it!....snarky, I told her to learn to spell, or to get spell-check.

Next, a woman who has attacked me off the list multiple times now. In fact, I have an auto-response sent up for when she emails me. She took me to task for responding to the moderator's message on the list...which is where it was posted! I did a little research, and pointed out that I wasn't surprised that she disagreed with me. Over the last several months, she has asked for, I kid you not, a set of left-handed golf clubs, if you please, a lawn mower (no relation to the other one), a Game Box, all the supplies to throw her brat a party, and diving equipment!!! And that's only a fraction.

She writes back, full of rationalizations, telling me that she and her DH are volunteer EMT/Firefighters. As my BIL, a professional in those fields, would say, they're probably worth every penny. After maligning my character to a fare-thee-well, and informing me how morally superior they are to me, she finishes up with this (directly copied, so sic ad infinitum)...

"I sure hope you or your loved ones never need medical help from us, transportation to the hospital, are involved in a motor vehicle accident, or heaven forbid your house catches on fire. If only you gave as much as we do....and not materialisticIy.....I wish you continued bitterness....and may all the unhappiness, negativity, and sarcasm you spread come back to ou 2-fold!"

Now, that sounds remarkably like a threat to me, and to anyone with whom I shared it. She better PRAY I never find out what firehouse she is with, because I'll just bet they don't condone that behavior. All because she knows she's a greedy glutton, and worse, knows it's obvious to me, and therefore others.

If karma is real, and I happen to think it is, it's positively frightening what she may have in store for her. While I've let everything else go by, this I reported to the Freecycle moderator. If it were my list, and I run plenty, anyone threatening another member would be gone.

Let's see if she has the cojones to do just that. If not, well, I'm stubborn, but I'm not stupid.

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