Oct 21, 2008

Duty Relief

I’ve been moderator for my local Freecycle group for over two years, and have done 95% of the work to ensure the group ran smoothly and according to the rules the Freecycle organization has in place. During the years I moderated, I tried on several occasions to contact the “owners” of the group with no avail. All I had was a generic “owner” email address and no one ever responded. So I used the website set up by the Freecycle organization to moderate the group. Several months ago, chaos erupted when the “owners” suddenly appeared on the radar and appointed a new moderator who caused all sorts of problems on the group. This person was banned, and others were appointed. In my mind, I often questioned *where* these moderators came from since there was never any posting on the group asking for volunteers. It has been brought up in the past that these mods were family members of the “owners”. In addition, they obviously didn’t read the moderator “rules and responsibilities” set forth by Freecycle. With the “owners” and new moderators, inconsistencies in moderation caused problems to arise. I did my part to bring these issues to the attention of the “owners” and was met with disapproval. It was at this point, I seriously started questioning my involvement in a group where the “owners” did not want input, nor were their intentions to be consistent in moderation or following the rules the Freecycle organization set forth in order to be sanctioned by them.

During this same time period, I was admitted to the international moderators group where mods “met” to discuss issues with moderating Freecycle groups, and found that my moderation techniques were in line with other Freecycle groups.

While I feel the premise of Freecycle is a good one, and I like to do my part in re-use/recycle, and helping the community in general… the mentality of my local group is “Gimme, gimmee, gimmee” and there are those who don’t have the common courtesy to pick up items when they said they wanted them (common complaint among members). The “owners” seriously lack communication, (Freecycle) education, and support skills.

Late last night, I received a generic message from Yahoo that my membership status on the Freecycle group was changed from “moderator” to “member”. Did I mention lack of communication on the part of the “owners”? Shortly after that, I received a short email stating: “You may remain a member, but your services as moderator are no longer needed.” LOL, this came from the “owner” who not even two months ago was singing praises to me about taking care of the group.

It really should not have come as a surprise to me, and I was a bit shocked at the time. I took a moment to write a well thought out response to the “owners” and the state outreach coordinator, not that I expect anything to come of it. That’s just what I do when I feel injustice has been done… I write letters.

Upon waking up this morning, I was kinda relieved that I didn’t have to deal with the complaints about other freecyclers and more recently, questioning from the “owners” as to why I rejected this post or that post. I am still contemplating whether or not to remain a member, whether to start a new group, or to become more active in the other group that works on the same premise but aren’t sanctioned by Freecycle.

18 comments:

timetostitch said...

Well that's NOT NICE!

Kristin said...

I hate people who behave like that. I'm sorry you are having to deal with that.

BTW, I tagged you on my blog.

Carolyn said...

Hard to be pushed out, especially for no reason. You go and write those letters. We need more people to speak up when injustices occur - might can make a difference sometimes. Hope you find just the right place to decide to put your talents.

Velda said...

May sound odd, but I'm glad to see other freecycle groups acting the same way as ours did. I finally quit as mod and

"become more active in the other group that works on the same premise but aren’t sanctioned by Freecycle."

and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new group! I hope you can find a much 'nicer' group to belong to.

Terry said...

Sorry to hear about all the crap you've had to deal with on your freecycle group. I wasn't a moderator but I got tired of all the crap on our local group and quit because it wasn't working as it should. You know, the whole pick up when you said you were going to or at least let me know why and set up a new time. Heck, I'd have stayed on if I had received some communication but alas, that was so not going to happen. Oh well, I'd love to know what the other group is so I can search for one in my area. I miss being able to throw stuff on the offer list rather than just throw it out. Glad you wrote the letters; someone needs to know about it and I'm surprised these "owners" are still allowed to be part of freecycle.

Sewunicorn said...

I know you've had to deal with a lot of crud from that Freecycle group. Personally, I see this as a blessing in disguise. Now you have a chance to get completely out of the Freecycle group with no need for explanations or anything else. Go seek out those other groups.

Chiloe said...

I think you should start a new group as you are very responsible. YOu seem to do a good job trying to be fair so you should start your own group. Some people have no education ...

Chiloe said...

You look good on your new picture !!! lol sorry couldn't resist ;)

Gabi said...

Sorry that this all happened to you. You do deserve a better treatment then that.

Barbara said...

Everything happens for a reason - I believe, so I think the reason for this is for you to get out of all this chaotic mess and start your own freecycle group. You're already in the international moderator's group, so go for it!
Barb in TX

Jennifer said...

People can be such jerks, especially when there's "free stuff" involved. Here's hoping the "owners" of that group get what's coming to them in the way of headaches and annoyances, and you find a nicer group.

mom2manyblessings said...

Good grief...I can't believe all the problems you've been having with this group. You'd think they'd be thrilled to have you moderating it....I just don't understand why they'd remove you as moderator, especially will no explanation. Hopefully you can either become active in the other group or start your own. Good luck!

Linda in MA said...

I still believe in the concept of Freecycle too but quit our local group after too many no shows on items. I know you are a wonderful mod and these people must be nuts!

Kendra said...

I'm still subbed to our local Freecycle group, but I don't even read the messages anymore. I got tired of the WANT ads - wanting iPods, electronic treadmills and elliptical machines, plasma TV's, Wii's/XBoxes/Playstations, and other high dollar items that normal people don't just give away. Also got tired of seeing the animal ads where people treated the animals like they'd treat an old household object.

All my unwanted items to to Goodwill/Salvation Army now. Kind of the same concept, but the small bit of money generated helps needy people and we get to put the donations on our taxes.

Deirdre said...

They are so not worth your energy. You deserve to be treated better.

Sharon said...

They are nuts! I say start your own group or change over to the other group. Life is too short to deal with that.

Linda said...

Our "real" Freecycle groups were having the same issues. The owners loved to be "the head" but didn't do much. Other groups began forming ReCycle groups now abound and Freecycle is the "craigslist". I am sick of the people who want things then don't come and get them. Last week a lady wanted a Swiffer. I have one I don't use. I offered it to her, she said oh yes, BUT I can't come until my DH gets home. Several days later she asked if I would hold it for her. Last night she posted a "Received: Swiffer. I can't thank you enough." I pounded off a terse letter to her saying I guess I could put it back into the closet. She replied, I just lost your email. Most times people just don't show up. Great idea being ruined by rude people.
PS I also write letters!!!!
Lynn

stitcherw said...

Unbelievable, it is amazing that they'd do that and have such little appreciation for all the work you've put in. It is certainly their loss.
Sue