Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When is enough really enough?

So I've kind of been called out on a comment I made about how I didn't wish one half of a couple well in their new relationship. Rather than fill up Dyami's comments, I thought I better do a post here. Plus I'm downloading songs, so you know, I have time.

From the post in question, it looks like we're being mean. It looks like we're making fun of her spelling just to do it. It looks like we're making fun of her without knowing her.

But the thing is, we do know her. In fact, we know her a little more than we'd like.

So this woman, let's call her Hester, showed up in SL around February with her RL husband. That's cool, many RL partners are in SL and lead completely separate second lives. They might hang out once in a while together, but I know many couples who have agreements about SL and what they choose to do in there. RL always comes first, and it's never an issue and it's never uncomfortable for anyone. Oh ho ho, not so for Hester and her husband. Hester and her husband were almost always together. And hey, that's cool too, right?

No, not really.

See, Hester and her husband are both very goal oriented - but the goal they were shooting for was finding a boyfriend and a girlfriend. And they had no shame about this. They came to SL not to explore, not to make friends, not to build. They came to find other people to be with. And I know what you're saying. Who cares, right? I probably wouldn't have cared at all except Hester and her husband, being horrible typists, preferred voice chat. Not that they spoke any better than they typed [they are both native English speakers, but you'd never know it], but they preferred it. And they preferred to leave their mics on all the time. This meant that all of us could hear what was going on in their house all the time. From their 2 young sons up and screaming and running around at 4 in the morning on weeknights to Hester and her husband up and screaming and calling the children all kinds of curse words. They were also very loud and open about all the SL sex that they had going on. In front of the kids.

I'm sorry, but I think this is bad parenting. Very bad. My SL friends with children are very discreet about what they're doing in SL when their children are awake and the children are always top priority. Hester and her husband couldn't have cared less.

Edited: I was reminded of this. The husband is also a soundtard - meaning he would come use about 25,000 loud gestures at once, and then hit on all the women at the pit. He even had Hester tell me that he thought I was hot! Class act!

Anyway, Cen and I had been helping Hester out since we met her. I can't tell you how many shapes and skins and clothes we gave her. She "lost" her bald base probably 2-4 times a week for almost a month, despite the fact that we'd given her MANY and despite the fact that we'd make them no modify so she couldn't even blame that. We'd come running whenever she'd cry that she messed herself up again, and we'd show her what to do, and fix her up again. Cen put in much more time than I did listening to Hester and her man problems, but I logged in my fair share of time as well. It was getting to the point to where we didn't even want to hang out at the pit, which is our HOME, because of Hester.

Finally Hester found herself a boyfriend. We figured, oh good, now she'll shut up. The boyfriend came to rent a house at the pit and all was right with the world for a little less than 2 weeks before suddenly the boyfriend was gone. Not just from SL. He had to stop answering his email and put himself on invisible on his Yahoo messenger. Poof, gone. And this was a man who had friends and was developing a business in SL! So Hester stuck around, telling everyone and anyone who would listen how much she loved this man and how she was waiting for him. But while she waited, she hit on everything in pants. That's where poor Dyami came in. LOL

Hester couldn't stop talking about this guy. She'd be dancing with Dyami or some unknown man and she'd be talking about him. Cen and I had to hear Hester's story at least twice a day up until the point Hester decided that Dyami was going to be her new man. Imagine our surprise when she said that! Imagine his surprise when he was told! LOL So he stopped logging in for almost a week. Just to get away from Hester.

During this time, Cen IMs me and says "Hester's getting partnered!" What the hell? To who?! Some random guy that she said she met. I never once met the guy because 2 days after they partnered, HE left Second Life. Left SL, and stopped answering emails and never came online on his messenger again. Well, that's two.

While all this was going on, Hester managed to make some people so uncomfortable, they no longer came to the pit. She also had us ban one of HER friends, one of her RL friends, because they were putting a cramp on her style and her man hunting. Hester kept saying how much her friend wanted to be like her because Hester has sooooo many men chasing her. Although, I rarely saw many of these men who were supposedly chasing her, and as she was always at the pit, you'd think I would have bumped into one or two.

Now I will say this about Hester. She doesn't hit on men when they have girlfriends. That is one redeeming quality about her. But the very night she was unpartnered, even though Cen and I had sat and talked with her for over an hour about how maybe this was the time to explore SL, learn a skill, and enjoy the virtual world without always being on the look-out for a man, she broke one of the biggest unspoken rules in the world. You don't go after your friend's ex. You ESPECIALLY don't go after your friend's ex-boyfriend when they have JUST come out of a long time relationship! But she did. He politely said "No way," but the damage was done.

It never occurred to Hester that this wasn't ok. It never occurred to her that people weren't hanging out anymore because of her. It never even crossed her mind that our male friends were staying far away or only coming to the pit if Cen and I were there because they no longer wanted to be around her. The stress level was getting higher at the pit because of Hester's relentless man chasing. And we couldn't just ban her because she hadn't really done anything ban-worthy and she was renting an apartment. Even when she was 5 days late with her rent, I just gently reminded her to pay. Someone else would have returned all her items after a day or two. Looking back, maybe I just should have.

Somewhere in her travels within the past 2 weeks, she found herself yet another boyfriend. He's newer to SL, only been here about a month. He's a good guy. He's intelligent and fairly well spoken. I got to talk briefly with him when I was taking their pictures. But we believe he's got the "white knight" syndrome. He's going to be the protector of this poor little woman who got her little heart broken by two big bad men and was pushed away by a couple of others. She was boasting yesterday about how he spoils her and gives her money. He even took her out of her apartment at the pit [I could kiss him for that!] and set her up in a castle. She's completely proud of herself for snagging a guy with money. Although he has not yet partnered her, which is a bit surprising given her history, I expect that they will soon enough because she will demand it.

So what we have here is a golddigger, a man hunter, a woman who can't be bothered enough to log off for a few minutes to get her children into bed at a decent hour, a woman who curses at her children using extremely foul language, someone who uses people and doesn't realize that what she's doing is not ok.

Is this enough? Is it enough to say "To hell with you" and ban her from our home? Is it ok that I do not wish her well? Is it time to remove her from my friends list and put her on mute? Before you make comments judging me or those close to me who have had to deal with this woman for far too long, you better read the story.

Just because you read a blog post or a comment by someone doesn't mean you KNOW someone or what they're really going through.


Dyami Jameson said...

Well said Alicia.....

Sehra Kauffman said...

it's okay alicia, i still luff ya.

dont let an anon comment get ya down, they don't really know you and it's not nice for them to judge so quick, w/o the whole story....

Alicia Chenaux said...

I didn't even really write this for me. I wrote it just in case someone else thinks that we're just being mean for no reason. There's a story behind every story. lol

Kharisma Llewellyn said...

Alicia, of course I only know your side of the story, but from what I can tell here you've had the patience of a saint this this girl. She would have been out on her arse a long time ago if it were me in your position, and I totally don't see the blame in coming to the conclusion that she's not someone you want around when she hasn't bothered to show otherwise.

Of course as I said I don't know the full picture, but if, as you said, she and her husband have been so relentless with their...overtures...that they've driven people away from the sim just to escape her, I think that's plenty grounds to ban her for harassment. That's your and CeNedra's decision if it's gone that far though, of course.

Casandra Shilova said...

If you friends are telling and Cen that they are avoiding your club because of the duo, they are at the very least they are both "disturbing the peace" at a your club. In RL that results in management calling the police for the person to be removed if they don't respond to requests to leave.

I am considered easy going, but I would have already refunded the unused portion of her rent (yay castle) and banned them.

Wrath said...

This is awesome!!

It's like thee most perfect SL® soap opera recap one could ever hope for. :-) I don't even care if the names have been changed, or if it's entirely fictional, or whatever, I read the whole thing and am sad the story ended!

Good stuff, Ali! :-)

CeN said...

You know what Ali?

I woke up today feeling like an "enough!" moment might be coming on.

Just so you can prepare and bring popcorn and a chair this time to watch the show LOL.

Bon Berman said...

I have to read the blogs more. I had no idea someone was griefing you about this. Maybe it is because I witnessed how you guys agonized over it, trying to come up with ways to handle the situation respectfully and tactfully. I like to think I am a nice guy and I put up with a lot (to the point of being a push over) but even I have to say you guys went above and beyond.

Iggy O said...

Nice to see that New World Notes covered this moral quandary.

I've gotten harder-hearted over the last 18 months about people like those you describe. And I'm a volunteer mentor.

These folks are not healthy. I'm just glad you don't have to deal with them IRL. I'd ban, mute, and move on. You might want to sit down with Hester and tell her WHY you are doing this. She obviously has no compassion for others, and she may turn vindictive, but, hey! If she cannot hold onto a baldie wig, she'll never figure out how to use an orbiter on you.

SL is too short to have to put up with energy-vampires and people who don't care about what their children overhear.

Good luck!

Dale Innis said...

Sounds like she sort of considers you a friend, and you should at least in theory be able to talk to her.

Maybe you've already done this, but you might just tell her straight out that the always-on voice and the constant hitting on the men is producing complaints and driving people away, and could she please stop?

She may be hurt or not understand or argue that you're wrong, but seems like you really need to do this before you can consider ejecting or banning.

"She also had us ban one of HER friends": Sounds to me like you're giving her a bit too much control here. :) Surely she shouldn't be able to "have you" ban people? Unless you just mean from her own rental...

Jane2 said...

Why would you tolerate behaviour in Second Life that you wouldn't in RL?

What iggy said.

CeN said...

@ Dale
Yes Hester does consider us to be her closest friends. I have spoken with her repeatedly regarding not only turning off her mic, but specifically not to IM certain individuals.

I've even told her what a difficult position she's put us in as we have friends who no longer wish to be around her.

Her answer is always "OK" and some behaviours have improved slightly, but after months of dealing with this I think Ali and I have just reached our limits.

@Iggy I am a little embarassed that our dilema has reached New World Notes. I don't think Ali normally would have spilled the entire story like this except for the fact that we had some fall out directed as us, particularly Ali, in some comments on Dyami's blog regarding this topic.

Sorry Ali - I'm taking up your comments here but I know you are sick in bed.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Welcome, NWN readers! :)

Yes, to go with what Cen said, we HAVE spoken to her. And the answer is always "Ok." In fact, that's her answer to almost anything that anyone says, no matter if it's telling her to take herself off the mic, or asking her if she prefers blue or red. It is highly frustrating.

As to why we've put up with it...well, SL has a different learning curve than RL. :) Sometimes people that we meet [Cen and I help a LOT of newbies] come into SL not knowing what it is. They come in as if it was any other game, not a place where real people are hanging out. We thought after the first month, that things would settle down. But after 3 months...what you see is what you get. Talking and explaining things to her hasn't helped because either she doesn't understand what we've said, or she forgets on a day to day basis, or she simply doesn't think we're serious and so she doesn't care. I don't know.

Ari Blackthorne™ (Patent Pending) said...

First red flag: any comment by an anonymous poster. I don't even allow it on my own blog.

Unfortunately, people allow one-sided comments (and full articles) to totally influence them. Then they jump on the flame bandwagon, riding the hearsay tidal wave because any reason to hate someone is good - it releases endorphins into the blood stream - which is candy your our brains.


Personally, I see a one-sided anything, I do a double take and take it with a grain of salt.

*Anything* posted by 'anonymous' is cast aside immediately without thought.

Mr. or Ms. anonymous can always put their name into the post itself.

Like so:

Ari Blackthorne

P.S. - Excellent and interesting article. :)

Gahum Riptide said...

I wandered in here through the NWN blog. I agree with you 100%. I see the situation like her being in your home. You don't have to accept inappropriate behavior in your house in RL, and the same as in properties you own in Second Life. I think that she went beyond the line and if she were in MY Property, the first sign she was driving people away she'd have been banned. You have much more patience than I do.

Anonymous said...

Nah. If I'm gonna hook up in Second Life, my philosophy on that is that it's not ME that's hooking up, it's my AVATAR. Similarly, it's not whoever's on the other end of the girl's avatar that's hooking up with me, it's the avatar herself. Anything that will ruin that kind of perspective, I'm not interested in.

Hey, don't hate the avatar, hate the game ;)