Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Living with a Short Fuse

Many years ago, our refrigerator broke. It just stopped working with no warning, no buzzes, no thumps, it just quit. DH and I made a visit to a local department store and after a couple of hours (I'm terrible at making decisions) we picked out just the right replacement. This was before stores actually got competitive and started offering same-day delivery and such... so we had to wait three days for our new fridge to be delivered. That would be three days living out of an ice chest and eating frozen foods as fast as we could.

Finally, day three arrived as did our fridge... somewhere near the end of the 6 hour delivery window for which I had taken time off work and waited pleasantly and patiently at home.

It was the wrong color.

They had their shipping dept contact me and began arrangements to correct the mistake. They could get it out in two days which I said would be fine as long as it was not between 12-1:00. They assured me it wouldn't be a problem.

So the next night I get a computerized call telling me that my new fridge would arrive Friday between... 12 - 2. I called their shipping dept. who insisted that no force of nature or computer could change the scheduled delivery and the best they could possibly do was to reschedule it for the following week.

Well, naively unaware that the shipping clerk really didn't give a hoot if I bought the fridge or not, let alone if I was happy or not, I decided to charm them with threats and told them to keep their stupid fridge. I would get one elsewhere.

So they cancelled the order and hung up.

I triumphantly turned around to my husband with a "see, I told them" expression and he simply asked, "So how are we gonna keep the food cold?"


This is not the only time my short fuse has been lit and I've let loose before reason has kicked in... self-control is not my strength and often I've ended up kicking myself in the end for reacting too soon.

But for once... for once... I can look back with relief that I reacted when I did because although I am suffering greatly with my friends, I have actually saved myself some grief. See, I got really angry last month with a few decisions made by the owners of Ravelry, so I decided to go through and delete the photos and details of all of my stash and projects as well as any posts I had made that included even the slightest of personal information. Then I fired off a note to Casey demanding that he remove me from the site.

Since then, there have been many moments of regret on my part because all my friends were still on Ravelry having fun and I didn't even know if I had enough Silky Wool for a new sweater without digging into my stash. However, Ravelry let the other shoe drop last night with a letter to all the suspended members with accusations too ridiculous for me to take time to defend myself against. (I'm trusting most of you who read my blog regularly regard me as neither vile nor prone to malicious intent. Although, now that I think about it, Lynn has called me a rabble-rouser.)

Within the letter from their legal dept (a guy named "Craig"), was the following paragraph:

At this time, your user account will remain in permanent suspension and you will be unable to access the Website for any purpose. If you have patterns that you have purchased and stored on the Website, we will email these to you within seven (7) days of this email. For people who have advertisements on the Website, they will be immediately removed. Since these advertisements are paid in the arrears, we will not be seeking payment for removed advertisements from advertisers who had their accounts suspended.

In other words, everyone who has been booted is unable to access or remove any of their personal project data, stash lists, images, or posts... although the data is all there along with their username, avatar and a message informing users that the "User is no longer active".

A couple of our members sold yarn on Ravelry through paid advertisements... their ads have been removed simply because they (or a family or friend!) were a member of our off-site group... even if they never posted or linked from our group to Ravelry.

We have designers who have been affected, but apparently Ravelry is still selling their patterns (we're not sure where this money might go if patterns are sold at this point).

Reputations have been smeared not only on Ravelry, but across the internet... and for many of these women, their reputation is part of their livelihood. (For me it just stings a bit.)

Anyway, for once I am relieved that I pulled my own plug before being given the boot... but more importantly, if you are using Ravelry, you should be aware of your risk as a designer, advertiser, or ordinary fiber lover. These women I'm talking about have been blindsided... they were not involved in anything improper (of that I can wholeheartedly assure you)... yet they have been banned and have lost access to their own private information. (And if any of you keep project and stash data on Ravelry, you know the time and energy that goes into keeping things up to date.)

Now I have said my last bit on the matter and am off to baseball/basketball practices with my knitting in tote.


Bonnie said...

I'm telling you, great minds great minds. Must be the Girl Scout in us (always be prepared). I had also removed all of my pictures and posts. The only things I had left were some patterns in the Library which they have promised they will send within 7 days. They wouldn't go back on their promise now would they? I will be for letting the world know if their ethics slip even further.

Becky said...

You know, at the time, I thought you were over reacting just a bit. Now, in hindsight, I can see you were the wise one. I wish I'd done the same.

mom said...

Wow! I hadn't realize how involved all this had gotten. {{{Tammy}}} Definitely their loss....

Keep knitting with your head held high, girlfriend!

Tammy ~@~

Anonymous said...

Oh Tammy. I'm so sorry about all of this. I still hope to keep in contact with you via the blogging world! I'll be thinking about you and your family. You really are an amazing woman.


Sarah said...

At least you had the wisdom this time! I tend to react like you do when something ticks me off, not so much as I used to but still, I've certainly gotten myself in trouble a time or two...

But the least Ravelry can do is to remove all their info, not leave it out there! Annoying. I never use the thing, never have gotten that into it, I always found it to be more work then I want and I'd be even more mad at myself to see I have the yarn but not have a clue where it might possibly be in this house!!!

Charity said...

Urgh, Tammy, this whole mess makes me feel ill. I'm so sorry you and your friends (and their friends and family!!) are going through all this.

It's an excellent reminder for me, though - in years past, I kept a "stash notebook", where I attempted to write down all new stash and cross out all used stash. I have now become completely dependent on Ravelry for things like this, as well as storing my queue and list of free patterns, downloads, etc. Perhaps it's a good time to step back a titch from the technology, and take responsibility for my own stuff again.

Chrisknits said...

You were the wise one. I just wish I knew if my photos they used for patterns are still up? Were they saved to their computers?