A little controversy is healthy

Below is a post written and published on the Geocaching.com forums from a Volunteer Reviewer who has resigned for many of the reasons I have spoke about on the forums and elsewhere. However, I often was blasted and even suspended with a stern warning to not speak bad about “the company”. Sometimes controversy like this is healthy. It at least reaffirms some of the points I’ve made in the past.

Here is the post by Deceangi :

It is with a extremely heavy heart [in fact over the last 24 hours, I’ve shed many a tear, as I’ve told people, ad read messages] that of Midnight GMT+1 13th June 2014. I ceased to be a Groundspeak Volunteer Reviewer.

Over the last few months, the gulf between how I work to provide the best support the community needs and deserves. And how Groundspeak expect me to work in a Corporate manner. Has widened to such a extent, that it became irreparable.

The recent incident, which because I achieved a perfect result means I bow out on Cloud Nine,

Has show that Groundspeak has lost it’s way, it regards to it’s customers, who are hobbyists. And now instead requires them to be treated as business customers.

So it was with a heavy heart, that I found that I could not meet Groundspeak’s requirements to comply with a multi page document on accepted behaviour. Which override the needs of the community to comply with Corporate Ethos.

This issue being deliberately escalated to cause as much trouble for me personally, by a individual I will not name. Made me realise, just how much Groundspeak has lost it’s way.

The company which started off as one Owned and Run by Geocachers, has grown into one so large. That people with specialised skills have had to be brought on board, these people not being Geocachers, but being turned into Geocachers. Means that the true understanding of the Hobby and the people who form it’s community, has been lost to a Corporate Ethos. Where the Company comes before the needs of the customer.

Several months ago, Groundspeak were “requiring” a Cache Owner to post to a Cache Description, That is was “not” to be accessed, by RoW, because the Landowner of the property the RoW ran over, but not the property the cache was located on. Requested so.

Despite me sending 2 very polite and clear emails to Groundspeak, explaining that the “requirement” was illegal under UK Access Laws. I got the reply back “Groundspeak complies with all reasonable requests by a Landowner”, this showed a lack of understanding of Local Law, and a total ignoring of what I had explained.

To block the “requirement” I was forced to send a strong worded email, pointing out, that if the “requirement” was posted to the Cache Page. It would open the Cache Owner and possibly Groundspeak for requiring it to be posted, to Legal Action under UK Access Laws.

But despite the fact I had first made two attempts to politely and quietly resolve the issue. Having both being ignored. I became the person at fault.

From that point forward, I knew that the gulf between what was best for the community, and Groundspeak’s now Corporate Ethos was getting ever wider.

So I spent several months, dreading every direct email off Groundspeak, wondering when they came in, whether that would be the one to remove me as a Volunteer.

So when the current issue arose, and I did what I had to stop a small community from splintering to pieces. This was not taken into account, despite a offer to request those involved in the dispute, contact Groundspeak directly.

Instead I was informed that because I had failed to read the multi page document, on expected Reviewer behaviour, and comply. I had 14 days in which to resign or be removed as a Volunteer.

I chose the immediate option of resigning and set the cut off as Midnight GMT+1 13th June. Because I can no longer Volunteer for a Company, which has so lost it’s way, and instead become like any other company in that it has become a Corporate Entity.

I would like to thank my former colleagues, who are special friends. I have been blessed and privileged to work with you, and watch the team grow.

Not working with you, will just like no longer being a Volunteer, leave a huge hole in both my life and my heart.

To the community I can only say that I owe so much gratitude for the last eight years, which have been so special. That now words can adequately express my gratitude to you

So with tears in my eyes, and a heavy heart, for the final time I sing off with

Deceangi

..

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