Some more questions I asked myself.
Why is a character who has not posted for a month without an away allowed to have a proper death thread written by their handler, but Jeff and Aura have a death post handled by SOTF_Help mid through a discussion? Staff has the right to declare inactive characters dead, but at least let the death be handled by their handlers when they're active. Equality, guys. A month is the double of 2 weeks.
Why was staff's immediate solution idea to change the rules? This new rule 'PM SOTF_Help' in retrospective to me seems as staff going 'oh, well, this is an unfortunate event. Whose fault it is? Not ours, blame the handlers for having contacted a single staffer about this issue, how dare.' That rule to me is redundant and unprofessional. I want it to be changed, get undo'd. There is a staff forum to communicate things and people should know that there's a team. Being able to say 'I'll give that issue to the other staffers' is how things have always worked out whenever I had a thing to tell to staff. Don't change a running system. The problem is not the handlers having PMed a staffer. The problem was a staffer on their own giving the handler an answer in the name of all staffers without informing the others. I don't see why the rule should be changed to address the handlers to tell them 'you cannot do things you used to do, you are not allowed to PM a staffer on chat.' Why not just tell staffers on the their first day as staff that they have power, responsibility and don't have the right to decide things on their own, because Staff chat and Staff forums are a thing. As a staffer you know the rules kinda better than than newbies: if a newbie or a handler approaches you in chat, and you know the answer, because you are a professional, you can give them answer, and if you're 100% sure on a subject or a rule, you can handle things on your own. If the issue is something you're either not 100% sure about it, or you need to talk about it with another staffer or the whole staff team, you simply redirect the issue to the staff forum, where everyone can debate about the solution and inform the handler in question to hold the line. Your job as staff is to handle the issues of handlers, that's why it's called staff, like real life staff (guess what? I work as staff in real life). We have a chat, we are not a forum-only community, we have the ability to use chat to call out issues. Why would you change this system?
Changing rules to get rid of responsibility in my opinion hurts the site, because it always had been helpful in the past (for me, at least). Now things got more complicated and not in favour of the handlers. My reaction when I first read this was just being confused, angered and facepalming
. You say doing staff things as a staff member is awkward for the staffer in question? What? Being put on the spot is not a part of being a staffer? What? You are forced to give a speedy answer instead of just saying "I'll redirect that"? What? There is a problem of being unbiased, you cannot talk with a handler without ignoring the relationships, it's automatically unfair for the handler because of their relationship with the staffer. What the heck. Why do you care in the staff test about unbiasedness in theory when you say it's not your job to maintain exactly that in the practise? You want to impersonalise issues by telling handlers to write a letter to SOTF_Help? You really think this keeps relationships out? You realise things will never be anonymised in the staff forum and therefore you will know who PMed SOTF_Help or who approached the staffer? If you hate or love the person in question as a staffer, it will go away simply because it was written in a PM instead of it having being communicated with a staff member? You realise that it actually would be the other way around if the staffer who had been approached would anonymise the handler ('a handler approached me about issue x. How do we deal with it?') instead of using the name of the handler? You really think this is better for the handlers? Instead of approaching staff members in chat, to write a letter, because that creates such a 'fair difference', even though copypasting things to a staff forum thread would've been faster? Why would staff then have colours in chat? What's now the purpose of discord moderators? Does it even matter now? You guys know that dialogue is better to handle things, right? Communicating via PM is painful in comparison to handling it with a dialogue. Sometimes you just have to PM staff instead of chatting with. But that's always been the case, this ruled changed nothing, except that it now more things need to be handled via PM, which is not going to help staffers, nor the community.
No front at the staff, but that rule change just disappointed me hugely. Sorry to rant, but that really pissed me off when I read it. I lost some respect for staff after having read that, before even knowing what the heck is going on. But I went 'well, they have their reasons', /shrug, but now after having read Toben's topic and about the real issue as to why the rule was changed to be that way, this rule is disgusting to me. I work as staff in real life and it's really upsetting me.
Meanwhile in staff forum there's probably a thread called 'ban RC? yes or no'. I tried to word myself without insulting or fronting anybody. I just heavily criticised this whole approach of fixing this issue. Perhaps I will be heard by staff and hopefully they can agree with me. How I predict things are going to work out since Scout had been killed mid-discussion, though: Staff will say that Jeff went inactive, because he went inactive, and they have the rights to fix their errors, Scout's death post will still remain canon and that's the end of the issue. What I hope for: Staff will say that Jeff went inactive, because he went inactive, admit that killing Scout was wrong and that they did not handle the death of Scout and Bart with respect, delete the death post thread, let Jeff and Aura write a better death thread. Rewrite the "You have to PM SOTF_Help" rule into just a note that says "Hey, please PM SOTF_HELP when you have an issue, it's optional, but it helps us to handle things. We have good news for you, too and give you a reason why YOU should PM SOTF_Help instead of PMing a staffer on chat even though it's slightly slower! We aren't as slow as we used to be when it comes to replying to SOTF_Help PMs and you guys can PM staffers on chat to tell them to check the PM. We now care about SOTF_Help again! YAY!"
But I'm a dreamer.