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Old 06-24-2013, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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LL, plz to quit firing people that actually give a shit about SL, nothxme.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear that you were treated so poorly Misty Mole!

I hope you don't mind but I think it's important to put your video into context so here's your description from YouTube:

Some snapshots from my five years as a mole builder for Linden Lab. I was fired as a mole last week because I declined to carry on making original music for less than I'd make in McDonalds, with no discussion or negotiation allowed.

The video shows work I did for Linden Lab in the past five years. The music is by me, and I have called it Misty's Goodbye. The stills in the video include:
Build and objects for Nautilus continent
Interior build for Hau Koda airport
Memorial - build of the central monument, build of some personal monuments and music
Small builds to fill in abandoned land
Linden Homes sims and transitionals - decorating and original games hidden in some of the sims I built
Pyri - build of the throne and burial room
Cape Ekim, original concept and project management and music
Build for Sea of Fables sims
Build for Coastal Waterways sims, including the White Islands game
Project management and music for the experimental game build Kneph
Project Management, building and original music for Linden Realms
Sounds and music for the Grid Hunt
Fireworks for SL10B

I'm most proud of some of the plants I made for the moles, including the olive and fig trees, rosemary and wisteria I made originally for the Sea of Fables (the olive trees were used for Linden Homes sims too) and the games I hid in Linden Transitionals and white islands sims.

There's much else I don't have photographs to illustrate, as they are on my inaccessible mole account.

I loved being Misty Mole and feeling that I was contributing to make the Grid a better place to be. I'm sad to be leaving that behind, along with many of my team mates, who will carry on the work I am leaving behind.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh, that really sucks. I'm sorry, Caliandris.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't want to tug anyone's heartstrings... but I had just found out I was in a pretty bad financial hole, and was hoping (vainly, clearly) that I might be able to be hired at a commercial-ish rate for original music because I thought the mole rate was too little for giving full work-for-hire rights over music composed especially for LL. And I'm the only one who was being asked to do that.

Instead, on receiving my note saying I'd make sound effects but not original music at the mole rate, Patch Linden fired me immediately (within 43 minutes of receipt). No warning, no discussion, just services no longer required. Which is the opposite of what I was hoping to achieve. Bah!

Hopefully, one door closes and another opens. It's probably time to move on anyway.

Thank you for the kind words and hugs.

Last edited by Caliandris; 06-24-2013 at 03:21 PM. Reason: typo/accuracy over time lapse
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh Misty, I'm sorry.

I quit the mole team for precisely the same reason. No possibility of raise or advancement, not even a comped account that they promised us for literally ever. I just couldn't anymore, my time and energy is super precious to me as I don't have much of either. You may remember me grousing on occasion about this.

When my account got locked I thought pretty hard about sending a Sternly Worded Letter, but wound up not doing it. It seems like they're phasing out the LDPW project, anyway.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Good luck , and one door closing always leads to another one opening.

And you may want to consider it an honor to be on the list of people that the "Lab" has let go (fired) as there are some really talented people in that list , sort of has something to say about LL.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Caliandris View Post
...I thought the mole rate was too little for giving full work-for-hire rights over music composed especially for LL. And I'm the only one who was being asked to do that.
Maybe not entirely accurate, but yeah... I'll just leave this here...

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Old 06-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had no idea that LL was doing this. That is, frankly, really shitty.

I'm so sorry you were treated like that, Ravenna and Misty.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Cali, I remember your helpful and unfailingly gently-spoken posts in SL's forums - you were there since before I joined in 2006. I'm so sorry to hear that your service to the grid has been so callously tossed aside.

Just a "services no longer required" notice? No explanation or acknowledgement of years of service?

One small benefit of rodvik's vendetta against direct contact between residents and Lindens is that his employees get fewer opportunities to behave like petty gods instead of community managers or, in this case, simple supervisors.

I remember a Linden complaining to me once in 2008 about how some of the older residents were uppity, thought they were oh so important. I think that perception infiltrated some Lindens' attitudes toward all residents and led to a general tendency on some Lindens' parts to slap residents down. I'm sorry if Patch has gone that way.

If I had a "door", an opportunity, I would open it for you, Cali.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow.

Linden Lab: Still treating people like shit, after all these years.

Sorry to hear about what happened. I hope you can take your talent elsewhere for fair compensation and some modicum of basic respect.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Io Zeno View Post
Wow.

Linden Lab: Still treating people like shit, after all these years.

Sorry to hear about what happened. I hope you can take your talent elsewhere for fair compensation and some modicum of basic respect.
This times one billion.

I know it's meaningless, but I wish you all the best.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Caliandris, thanks for all you've done for us residents. I recognized many of the builds from my exploration, and I hope you can get compensated more fairly for future work – where I can see and hear it!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am sorry that this happened to you but I hope that it's the beginning of wonderful things.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Fuck LL with a rusty pneumatic drill.

Shit like this was one of the nails in the coffin of SL for me.

Saw too many good people sacked by the lab over the years.

Poor policy decisions, treating users and staff like shit.

Yeah.

Fuck you LL
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yup, same as it ever was. Worse now, probably. They don't have external media watching or caring about them anymore.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Io Zeno View Post
Yup, same as it ever was. Worse now, probably. They don't have external media watching or caring about them anymore.
I don't have access to any insider knowledge but it seems to me that LL is simply following the same formula as most other corporations in this country. Profit must be served at any cost, even at the cost of good, creative people who actually add human value to the company.

Somewhere in the last couple of decades, we've turned the business world upside down. It's no longer about innovation and invention and stretching boundaries, it's now been reduced to profit margin calculations. We are all poorer for it.

It's why I left one such corporation 4 years ago and it's turned out to be the best thing I've ever done. Caliandris, I have a feeling that someone of your talent is going to find something even better and you will be asking why you ever worked for LL as long as you did.

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Caliandris, I have a feeling that someone of your talent is going to find something even better and you will be asking why you ever worked for LL as long as you did.

Well... I know why I worked for them for so long... partly there was a really selfish element in it, I love to build in Second Life, I like making things that other people will enjoy, and I like constant change and constant challenges... and if anything sums up Second Life, that's it: constant change, constant challenges.

Partly there was an altruistic element, because I did feel I was able to make things that would improve the world, give people things to explore, things there were more than skin deep. I'd been a mentor for four years (and still think they are the best way to introduce people to SL) and I'd been a builder for four years when I joined the moles, and I was following my bliss.

When I got into SL in February 2004, I felt like I'd been preparing for the experience all my life. It brought together all the things I loved in one package - I felt like a kid with every toy they'd ever wanted rolled into one big parcel. I've learned a lot, and been able to carry on being challenged to learn new techniques and new information in the nine years I've been in SL.

Years before I joined, I played Riven and what I wanted more than anything else was to be able to make similar games - not *play* more games, but create them. Not being a programmer, I didn't think it would ever be possible, then, but within a few weeks of joining SL, I'd made an entry for the game dev contest, with a team of people, and I was hooked. I felt I was in the right place.

The following year I made Numbakulla, which lasted seven years and was played by thousands of players. I failed to make that commercially successful, partly because I didn't like the idea of spoiling the game for the monetisation aspect and partly... well I don't think I am terrifically good at selling/monetising what I do. Some very generous people enabled Numbakulla to be in world as long as it was. I'm good at project management, I love team building, I have delivered my LL projects on time, but probably my main weakness is my inability to market the skills that I have.

The major frustration for me has been that LL generally has very firm ideas about what it wants built by the moles, and hardly ever gave them any freedom to be creative. Cape Ekim was one occasion when I was allowed to run riot, but there were always constraints of time and moving on to the next thing (usually with just too little time needed to make something properly).

If I'd been given 12 sims to make a game, and complete freedom to direct a team, I could have made something spectacular. Constantly directing us in a detailed and specific way, especially when it meant we had to build things we knew were the wrong thing to build... it gets old over time. Linden Lab seems to have a selection process which dictates that the person with the least experience in a particular field gets the job of directing a project - and then usually they fire the person with the most knowledge and experience. It's happened over and over again.

Not all Lindens are equal. I had a lot of respect for Blue, Ekim, Molly, Charlar and Gez. I'm a bit reluctant to single out currently employed Lindens in case my admiration is somehow a kiss of death for their careers. Those above are all ex-Lindens, either by firing or jumping ship themselves.

Sometimes, I'd build in little games to the places where I was just supposed to build out a sim, simply because I could do that as fast as others could build them out. There are a couple of games hidden in Linden transitionals, and on Coastal waterways sims. I'd always try to make things that would be fun to explore, and have some depth to them, but sometimes the sheer volume of work required in a short time made it impossible to do.

Over the first four years of moling, we'd built a team of people who knew each others' strengths and weaknesses, and knew how to pull together to get things done. The nature of the work was that the moles tend to be individuals and used to working and creating alone, and it took time for many of them to be comfortable with collaboration and co-operation, but it was coming together, actually, and we were communicating and beginning to function well as a team.

That all changed in the last year, as our method of payment changed from a system which worked very well through a third party to a direct system, where we could log hours against any project or activity, to reflect what we had actually done, to a system where we were issued contracts for specific things and had to log hours against them. Despite the moles previous role in maintenance and testing, we weren't allowed contracts for any of the routine things, and the contracts were very slow in arriving.

People who relied on mole work - some have long-term disabilities or other issues - found that they went from reliably having X hours a week, building, fixing, making, to finding they only had contracts for a few hours a week... and the conundrum of having work to do but no contract, and contracts only on things where you had no work, started to bite.

I don't understand why the system that worked well was changed - it wasn't clear to the moles why things changed - but everything that happened was presented as a fait accompli and not negotiable. It's no way to treat people, and most especially people who are working for semi-voluntary pay rates.

Having built up team spirit and our ability to communicate and collaborate, the new regime decreed that even discussing our hours and contracts was a breach of the NDA. I don't think it was, and I've read the terms and conditions of our contracts fairly closely, but it is an indication of the way they like to work that they *said* it was. Consequently, it put moles in a difficult position with relationships that had built up over years - we were supposed to regard as secret anything that we hadn't been explicitly told we could discuss.

The final straw for me involved four incidents, and was why I sent the email saying that I wouldn't make original music for mole rates. A Linden was overheard boasting about how cheap the moles are, after having made three of them work over a weekend to make an impossible deadline.

They'd started hiring people at commercial rates to work on projects that then had to be fixed by moles.

LL asked the moles to prepare proposals for free. When I prepare these for commercial clients, of course I do them for free, but would build in a cost to the subsequent project to cover the work entailed. When you're paid a fixed rate, that isn't possible. I don't know that they actually intended that we should produce a detailed proposal in the way that I would normally do that, but I didn't think it was fair, especially coming on the back of changes to the administration which were generating a lot of admin too.

Finally, I'd had the shock of finding that my husband hadn't been paying the only bill he was responsible for and I was really desperate for ways to sort that out. Thankfully I work for other people who were really wonderful and allowed me to invoice in advance for work I haven't done yet, in order to overcome my immediate difficulty. That result couldn't have been more different from the Linden response.

I know they're running a business, and will probably pay as little as they can get away with, and they've been getting away with it for years now. But whether they are getting the best out of people with the way they treat them... of course they aren't. People who are in fear of losing their jobs, Linden OR mole, are not likely to be doing their best work, or at their most creative. The team spirit has been strangled at birth, and the only thing which seems to interest the Lindens is whether they'll get a bonus for pushing something half-finished to a deadline to fit it into the quarter.

It seems to me that the Lindens are as bad as everyone else for not knowing what SL is good for... not only that, they seem unable to appreciate the community of creators that has built up there, or to understand how that community is supporting their work and their company. It's got to be a two-way street... what happened to me is of no consequence in the wider scheme of things, but as an indicator of how they deal with the people they do business with, it's an alarm call, because you can't go on treating people like that indefinitely and expect them to be creative, positive about your company, and loyal.

I believe in being open and honest, treating people the way you want to be treated, and paying people fairly. I truly believe it is a much more reliable recipe for success than screwing people over.

Last edited by Caliandris; 06-25-2013 at 05:29 AM. Reason: typos and more typos
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Good luck for the future Misty. Thanks to you for making the grid a better place over the years.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Caliandris View Post

The final straw for me involved four incidents, and was why I sent the email saying that I wouldn't make original music for mole rates. A Linden was overheard boasting about how cheap the moles are, after having made three of them work over a weekend to make an impossible deadline.

They'd started hiring people at commercial rates to work on projects that then had to be fixed by moles.

LL asked the moles to prepare proposals for free.
oh my GOD this this this this THIS THIS THIS.

It's not my place to tell other people how to work or what to do with their time. I'm not doing that. That said, I was really concerned when gigantic prototypes were suddenly being required from moles, without any increase in either pay or allowed hours. A lot of unpaid time was put in on those projects. I'm really not saying anything disparaging about that because people choose what they want to do. I honestly like and/or adore all the moles (I'm pretty easy lol) and I know some of them made that choice for reasons of their own. I was only worried that it was setting a dangerous new precedent.

And, well, it did and the next projects were equally as laborious. And then once we'd done work, we were often required to do it again because suddenly they decided to change everything. Or to do things that would have been extremely easy with a LITTLE more access than flat resident, but as it was, were just grindingly tedious chores requiring high level selection skills. (That's a joke...kind of.)

Or, as you said...redo, for basically-free, work that had been done at real rates by other contractors.

Oh my GOD the Lab has made me mad. What was once a really great little part time job for a bit of pocket money turned into ...something else.

I hope Rod reads this. I haven't been courageous enough to send him a letter saying all this.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:35 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I obviously don't know the circumstances surrounding any of this and I am sorry for you Caliandris if you feel you were not appreciated or rather that your work was undervalued. That must feel horrid.

However having said that I do want to say that I have known Patch Linden for many years ....long before he ever went to work for the Lab and the Patch you describe in your post is not the same man I know. If he had to make this decision then I am sure he deliberated long and hard about it and had his reasons. As his friend I wanted to state that for the record.

I want to assure you that I have not spoken to him about this nor would I.....not that he would say anything if I did. (That's the Patch I know.) In fact we don't communicate very often in world at all. We made that a 'thing' when he took the job.

However having been in the position myself where I have both been let go and have had to let people go every story has two sides in my experience.

It is easy for everyone to whip the Lab ......and hey I am not beyond that myself at times, but a really decent chap who I happen to know well was called out in a place where he can't defend himself. I am just saying that it seems uncharacteristic of the man I know to act without cause or reason. If he sees this I will probably get a ticking off for saying so but hey ho!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I obviously don't know the circumstances surrounding any of this and I am sorry for you Caliandris if you feel you were not appreciated or rather that your work was undervalued. That must feel horrid.

However having said that I do want to say that I have known Patch Linden for many years ....long before he ever went to work for the Lab and the Patch you describe in your post is not the same man I know. If he had to make this decision then I am sure he deliberated long and hard about it and had his reasons. As his friend I wanted to state that for the record.

I want to assure you that I have not spoken to him about this nor would I.....not that he would say anything if I did. (That's the Patch I know.) In fact we don't communicate very often in world at all. We made that a 'thing' when he took the job.

However having been in the position myself where I have both been let go and have had to let people go every story has two sides in my experience.

It is easy for everyone to whip the Lab ......and hey I am not beyond that myself at times, but a really decent chap who I happen to know well was called out in a place where he can't defend himself. I am just saying that it seems uncharacteristic of the man I know to act without cause or reason. If he sees this I will probably get a ticking off for saying so but hey ho!
Chances are, it wasn't Patch's decision. And it was dictated to him from on high.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oclee Hornet View Post
Decent chaps don't send off replies like that after having had a working relation with somebody for that amount of time...Without a valid reason
Fixed that for ya
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