A92: Dismissal from ticalc.org - Repsonse to ticalc.org's reasons
A92: Dismissal from ticalc.org - Repsonse to ticalc.org's reasons
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Subject: A92: Dismissal from ticalc.org - Repsonse to ticalc.org's reasons
From: "Bryan Rabeler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 16:20:47 -0500
Cc: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
ticalc.org recently posted a response to my article concerning
my dismissal from their site. I have posted here my response
to theirs. Please read it, I think some more things have been
cleared up by this.
You can also access these documents here:
Chris' clarifications: http://www.msu.edu/~rabelerb/ticalc2.txt
Response to ticalc.org: http://www.msu.edu/~rabelerb/ticalc3.txt
> So. To the point. Why was Bryan dismissed? Well. First of all, it
> was not because of the TI-Files "incident". Nor was it because
> of the recent backlogs in the filearchives. Nor was it because
> of any other member of ticalc.org. <BR> To put it all together
> very simply, the reason was a complete refusal from Bryans side
> to cooperate on the staff.
I would not say complete refusal. I compromised on many things
during my service at ticalc.org. If the ticalc.org staff members
still disagree here, I can go into some of the more "secret" stuff,
but for now I won't. The things I wasn't so willing to compromise
on where things directly related to the way I operated the file
archives. As I have stated before, I feel that these objections
> As Bryan mentions in his mail, we had a change in staff structure
> last autumn. However, we do not share Bryans view on what the
> situation was before. According to Bryan, the situation was that
> everybody was equal. According to the rest of us, it was just
> "he who yells highest and most often gets it his way". Also,
> Bryan stated that nobody could tell others what to do. Yet, this
> is exactly what happened. People were not "told" what to do. But
> they were nagged on until they did. We did not feel content with
> that, and felt the need for a change.
I never said everyone was totally equal. If you recall, I said that
Magnus, Chris, and the other veteran staff members, did have a little
more influence than the others. But it was nothing like a government
where some people had direct power over others. I don't believe I was
ever nagged and nagged to do something before the new staff structure
was put into effect.
> In the beginning (a long time ago...), the flat system worked fine.
> Everybody was able to discuss things through until we got do a
> decision. This no longer worked.
Of course it worked. Maybe you were unhappy with some of the
> To replace the old "flat system", we (mainly me, Chris and Isaac,
> the oldest members of ticalc.org) designed a proposal for a new
> staff structure, to keep things more structured than before, and
> hopefully bring back some of what we had lost. As Bryan said, this
> was posted on our internal mailinglist for discussion. Nobody
> (including Bryan) disapproved of this original proposal, which
> only listed sketched positions and not whom we recommended to
> hold them.
As far as I remember, I never read the original staff proposal. And
I surly never did approve of it.
> Including the "new staffers". Not all comments were posted
> "in public", because anything written there was usually
> hevaliy bashed down on. Eventually we held a vote, and a
More talking behind my back I assume? Just because something is
"bashed down", doesn't mean you can't discuses it on the list. Fear
of rejection is not an excuse for not talking about it in public.
> Thus, the new system was implemented. In the beginning, this meant
> almost nothing to the existing staff, except the amount of bashing
> on the internal mailinglist dropped rapidly. Also, in order to fill
There was not a lot of bashing to begin with. There is a difference
between personally trying to destroy another and objecting to an idea.
> Bryan voted yes. To the story is that some staff members changed
> their votes after they had been sent the complete original proposal
> (which they had not read, because they had not been on the staff
> long enough). But this did not change the outcome of the vote, it
> just made it clearer.
Still doesn't justify your motive for talking to Ahmed about his vote.
You didn't know he was confused about the vote until after you had
talked with him.
> The rumors say that the TI-Files incident does or does not have
> anything to do with it. Well, the TI-files incident does not have
> anything directly to do with it. The fact that we had to lean on
> Bryan very hard for a long time in order to make him apologize for
> it does. It is part of the reason, but in no way the whole story.
Yes, it did take me a week or so before I apologized. As I have said
before, I should have apologized right away. In any case, I did
apologize to hopefully bring closure to the matter. So now, when it
looks like my firing was for no good reason, you lean back on the
TI-Files incident? That is not fair.
> As far as I can recall, it has not happened more than a very very
> few times in at least 6 months that Bryan has backed down from a
> point. In our opinion, a site like this can only be run if the
> staff-members cooperate. And cooperation is based on compromise.
> And compromise requires people to back down from their standpoints.
The only things I have really "stood my ground" on where the points
about the file archive that I have mentioned earlier. These happened
in the last two to three months, not six. I didn't feel I should
compromise to something that would hurt our file archives. I tried
to explain my point of view on those issues when I was on staff, but
you didn't seem to care. You said that cooperation with Kirk on
the file archives was "non-negotiable".
> At several points, discussions brewed down to just throwing insults
> around. Or whenever somebody made a "bad comment" on one of Bryans
> sections, the result would be "but [insert somebodys name here]
> hasn't updated in a long time". Some people were "afraid" to post
> to the internal list, because they knew that they would get sawed
> off at the feet by Bryan. The general atmosphere on the staff list
> was not a friendly one, and we feel that we cannot operate under
> such conditions. This was not all Bryans fault, but in just about
> every case it started with Bryan.
Some of this is true. Once, when Kirk began to invade my space as
the file archiver (as I explained earlier), only 5 reviews were
added in the past month. That comes out to about one review a week.
Kirk was actually brought on to the ticalc.org staff to head up the
reviews, and so I felt I was justified to point out the fact that he
was slacking off in his main area and instead trying to do my job.
I think the characterization of being "sawed off at the feet" is really
unfair here. Yes, sometimes things were not always happy, but I was
trying to explain my position and view on the file archives, and you
would not listen one bit.
> On several occasions, Bryan either threatened to, or did, take over
> other members sections because "they weren't working fast enough".
> However, as soon as somebody even mentioned that he might need a
> backup (not to mention if somebody said it was time for the backup
> to step in) on the filearchive section (or any other of his section),
> things rapidly turned ugly.
I never did take over anyone else's section. My only two jobs where
the file archives and the news editor. I did suggest that maybe I
should start doing the reviews also since Kirk wasn't doing enough on
them. I mean, come on here... 5 reviews in 30 days? That's not just
slow, that's unacceptable.
The problem with the backup was this. I conceded that the backup
file archiver, however unnecessary I thought the job was, could step
in if I hadn't updated in 72 hours. Then Kirk said it should be 24
hours. I disagreed on that point. Cause for removal?
> Over the time he has been on our staff, we have also received a large
> number of complaints about his behaviour on the IRC. Channel-takeovers
> and generally bad behaviour against newbies have been the major
> reasons. When you are a staffmember of a TI site, whatever you do in
> the TI related IRC channels will be associated with the site you work
> for, and this is not what we wanted. This alone would not in any way
> warrant a dismissal from the staff, but it doesn't exactly strengthen
> the position in front of the other issues.
Ok, let me clear this one up really fast. I did take over the #ti-files
IRC channel a few times. That happened at least 15 months ago. I have
since learned my lesson and haven't done any obnoxious behavior on IRC
since then. The "bad atmosphere" that you refer to here is not caused
by the ticalc.org members. Most people on IRC know that #ti is the
place where most supporters of ticalc.org hang out. Well, I was the
only active member of the staff that hung out there. I tried to be as
kind as I could to the newbies. However, some of the other people,
mostly channel operators, were not. They would, and still do, ban newbies
if they ask stupid questions or appear to be annoying. These incidents
should not be blamed on me.
> First of all, let me say that this was not a "moments choice". A lot of
> people requested that we dismiss him after the TI-Files incident.
> Internally, such requests were voiced even earlier than that. Several
> times over, we decided "Bryan deserves another chance", and told him
> what was required to do so. One of the times, it was the apology about
> the TI-Files incident. Other times, it was just about cooperation.
It was never told or suggested to me that not cooperating and compromising
on the file archives would lead to dismissal. I also suggest that a
majority of these requests were probably from members of TI-Files (or even
Dimension-TI), since they would have a lot to gain if, IMHO, the most active
member of ticalc.org was fired.
> However, we repeatedly saw no movement towards a more cooperative attitude.
> The posting of the "file archive procedures" that Bryan did this february,
> was one of the few things he did. Chris did not, however, ask him to do
> that during january. It was a part of the original new staff structure
> proposal that was sent out in october last year. Nevertheless, while some
The part about me documenting my file archive procedures may have been in
the staff structure that was passed in December. However, it was not until
mid-January that Chris started to pressure me to do this. If you need proof
on this (speaking to ticalc.org), look at the ZIP file you sent me of my
home directory. The date on the fa-guide.txt file is 1/25/99. Now explain
to me and everyone else again how I did that in February and not January?
> After many of these repetitions, we decided we had no other choice than to
> let Bryan go. After this decision, things moved fairly fast. I beleive it
> took about two or three days. During this time, only the coordinators were
> informed. The actual disabling of his account was done at a time when Bryan
Only the coordinators were informed? Aren't those the people that must vote
to dismiss a member? Wouldn't they already know after they voted?
> Right after the mail was written to Bryan, a notive was posted on our
> internal mailinglist. A bit later, it was posted on the main site. We were
> very surprised that Bryan did not act, and now we know why - he simply was
> not there. However, we had done our best to time it to some point when he
> was usually on-line. Our staff is spread throughout many timezones, and this
> kind of coordination is very hard. It is one of the things we have always
> had trouble with, and probably always will.
You could have checked ICQ or AIM and noticed I was away or idle, which I
assume I was. You probably also even noticed that I was idle on my SSH login
> After the dismissal, some of our "junior staff members" expressed concerns
> about why this had been done. However, after the coordinators had explained
> what had happened, they all beleive that what we did was for the best of the
> site. It was not an easy decision, but it is what we all beleive is for the
Well, with all due respect, of course they are going to say that. If they start
to object harshly to the decision, they could be "the next one".
Bryan Rabeler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Former maintainer of The Fargo Archive
Former ticalc.org staff member