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Let's Calmly Discuss When........................


Snoogans
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Folks,

 

I count many of GC.com's volunteer approvers among my friends and this thread is by no means meant as an attack.

 

Let's face it. This whole process is voluntary. (Hide/Approval/Seeking of caches)

 

I love geocaching and Geocaching.com provides a 1st rate cache listing service, but in my tenure here, one approver has been banned from servicing my and my family's cache submissions for sending me personal insults and attempting to belittle me. I received a personal apology, by phone, from Groundspeak management in that case and pretty much kept word of it out of the forums..... Yet, that approver is still approving caches and some of the folks in his territory are still unhappy. No matter. That's old business.

 

Recently, a much less negative exchange happened between me and a local approver. In this case, a poor choice of words on the approver's part proved to me what many others had been telling me for some months. I'm not one to jump on a bandwagon. I like to make my own judgments. A further insult to my intelligence by this approver in a face saving maneuver sealed the deal.

 

I felt no need to hit the contact@Groundspeak link in this case. The situation wasn't that bad, but given the nature of the infraction and subsequent responses, I felt the need to let him go.

 

My future cache submissions will contain a note for this approver to disregard my caches like so:

 

XXXX,

 

KINDLY INGNORE MY FUTURE CACHE SUBMISSIONS AND LEAVE THEM FOR OTHER APPROVERS. Please take note that I hold no animosity toward your private user account. I still respect you as a geocacher, but where gc.com business is concerned we're done for good.

 

Sometimes "No" is the best answer an approver can give, but it's not what you say so much as how you say it. I can wait for a bit longer to have my caches approved not to have to take the bull I took in this most recent case. I'd rather have a cache denied in the future by a volunteer I can respect, or at least hasn't disrespected me.

 

Obviously, I'm not calling for a revolution, or heads to roll, but if you an intolerable situation, you CAN opt out without committing GEOCIDE.

 

Kudos to all the approvers/admin who volunteer their time and effort in a positive way.

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To my understanding, each approver is responsible for a certain geographic area so I don't know if you can request a different approver or not.

I happen to know that more than one approver covers my area.

 

There is always some truth to any myth. If enough folks opt to have an approver ignore their submissions, notice of a problem should be evident to tptb.

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To my understanding, each approver is responsible for a certain geographic area so I don't know if you can request a different approver or not.

You can, supposedly, ask for a different reviewer to look at your cache. We ran into this on a puzzle we didn't want the local reviewer to be both a reviewer and a finder--our prerogative.

 

If you couldn't request a different reviewer then each area becomes that person's own little fiefdom and if someone is prone to, shall we say, using unfortunate tone, then the subjects grumble.

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Greetings!

 

WOW! You received an apology for a nasty approver? Just for VERBAL comments?

That's amazing.

 

I have crossed wires with an approver who seems to have taken his "duty" far too seriously.

 

The same person recently resurfaced in my little geocaching world and defended an infamous, high-numbers geocaching team - with much more vigor than the laughable silly topic required. Seems that his personal friendship and affiliation with these king of the hill cachers got squarely in the way of his role as a quasi-official GC entity.

 

It seems to me like there is very little oversight of these volunteers.

 

Sincerely,

PULASKI

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For all any of us knows, any "alternate" cache reviewer could very well be be same reviewer with a second (or third) anonymous administrative account. Eliminate anonymous reviewer accounts.

 

I don't know if reviewers undergo a periodic review from TPTB, but they should (for their own protection, as well as an "assurance of quality" to the geocaching public) ... and the opinions of geocachers should be a major part of the review process.

 

One way to receive a steady flow of feedback from the geocaching public would be to link a survey to every cache page:

 

For cache owners, the survey could be accessible from the cache page at the time the cache reviewer had made a "final determination" on the cache. (It probably would be best if the survey became a permanent part of the listing, and included all reviewer notes, notes to the reviewer, etc.) The survey might ask a few basic questions like how long it took for the cache to be reviewed (and approved or rejected), what was the nature or extent of any communications with the reviewer during the review process, and was the cache owner satisfied with the performance of the reviewer.

 

For cache seekers, the log submission page could have two checkboxes for a simple "yes" or "no" question like "In your opinion, does this cache meet the listing guidelines of geocaching.com?" A "no" response could be linked to a box for a detailed explanation, or it could be left for TPTB to contact the individual directly.

Edited by Yankees Win!
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As the decision to remove a volunteer cache reviewer is left solely to the discretion of geocaching.com I'm not certain a discussion RE: removal of a volunteer in the open forums will lead to anything more than flames and ranting.

 

Pre-emptive request to keep this on topic and respectful as per the guidelines. Reviewer-bashing will not be tolerated, this is not the appropriate forum for criticizing your area volunteers.

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Good help is hard to find, and that's when you pay for it. Volunteers are harder to find. That's probably why GC.com keeps bad reviewers. However after many years they should have a process in place to get rid of bad reviewers.

 

Maybe I've been lucky. Overall I've only bumped into a few minor problem. Too many questions about caches that have nothing to do with the guidelines from one approver. Others never answering questions about placments that do have something to do with the guideliens. One approver who took the world should in a guidline and made it into must.

 

The one thing that really bugs me is I'm supposed to take reviewers seriously but they hide behind a sock puppet. I went round and round with a reviewer on a local issue. Never did I ever learn their name, their expertise, or what they know. All they did was prove they were smart enough to argue very well, but lacked the knowledge to understand the issues as they were, and that's where they were partly correct (and partly not). I essentially fired them from dealing with local issues. I'm not sure how that works since any other cacher at any time can invoke the approver who will step in and muck things up.

 

Having said all that there are approvers I've worked with who are gold. They keep a level head even when they don't agree and have always done a good job representing geocaching, and working with local cachers and on local issues.

 

Still: approvers don't get tenure. They can have a bad day, but not a bad year. A process needs to exist to remove the bad ones. You also have to allow for the fact that some personalities clash and that has nothing to do with good or bad. In those cases you should be able to request another reviewer.

 

Edit: I'll think about a list of 'when to fire an approver' and post it later.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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As I understand it, there are worse reviewers than your's, Snoogans. Yet, they remain a part of the fold. Whatever caught the eye of GC.com to invite them to volunteer was impressive enough that it outshines the situations where they go off the deep end. This includes using submitted data to get their player account FTF, abusing the trust of the local geocaching association, and more.

 

They volunteer for a company and as such it would seem the only way to get the point home would be to stop supporting the company. Otherwise, I don't see how you would have much say as to whom the company allows to do work for them for free.

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First let me say thanks to all who support geocaching and who make the volunteer opportunity of being a Reviewer available - I love this game and the people who play it (well, MOST of you! :rolleyes: ) and my experience as a reviewer has been great fun so far!

 

That said, someone posted, and I have heard simular comments to the effect of

It seems to me like there is very little oversight of these volunteers.
.

 

I beg to differ! Everything a Reviewer does is closely scrutinized by TPTB at Groundspeak, other Reviewers and the geocaching public.

 

As a matter of fact, after a decade in the military and almost thirty years in corporate and government IT, I have never been as closely watched as I am as a Reviewer!

 

The folks at Groundspeak obviously have a vested interest in us Reviewers, and while they do grant us certain powers and allow a certain degree of flexibility, there is little leniency in matters of professional demeanor and customer service (that's you!). They expect, nay demand, that all of us work on your behalf and treat geocachers always to the best of our ability. Trust me - they watch very carefully!

 

Every Reviewer needs and wants the cooperation and respect of our peers, and every Reviewer has essentially tha same powers and responsibilities in every area, so we all interact and collaborate to assure that every Reviewer understands the guidelnes and enforces them as evenly as is possible. It isn't until you start caching in multiple areas of the country that you discover the vastly different attitudes and manner of playing this game - folks in Arkansas and Washington and Maine play the game differently and Reviewers have to adapt to that. Again - we work together but we also watch what each other does - If there is a bad actor among the volunteer Reviewers we'll most likely know it and fix it before you do!

 

Much of the geocaching public has WAY too much time on their hands and spend quite a lot of it examining everything a fellow geocacher, and even moreso Reviewer, does or says. We embrace every level of education, every possible background, race, religion, you name a group or type and they are represented in this game. It seems every one of them watches Reviewers, sensitive to the slightest variation or interpretation of the guidelines! Again, everything we do is closely watched.

 

All that is not to deny that we make mistakes or get into conflicts; we're human, sometimes we run across a geocacher that makes it difficult if not impossible to work with them - there are an amazing number of angry and or ugly people out there! Once a Reviewer tangles with one of these folk and does his best to satisfy them they often take, as is their right, to the forums to rant about their perceived mistreatment, and the Reviewers side of the issue is rarely accurately portrayed.

 

If you have ever been involved in Customer Service you'll have some understanding that you can't please all the people all the time, though, like us volunteer Reviewers, you go way out of the way to try to do so.

 

Finally, if you believe that the reviewer has acted inappropriately, you may send an e-mail with complete details, waypoint name (GC****) and links to the cache, to Groundspeak’s special address for this purpose: appeals@geocaching.com.

 

TPTB at Groundspeak will review it and take appropriate action.

 

Little oversight? We're the most-watched folks around!

 

Eliminate anonymous reviewer accounts.

 

On the topic of anonymity, there are benefits that make it desirable to some of us.

 

I chose a semi-anonymous account because I want to keep all correspondence and communications related to my Reviewing work seperate from my business or personal, and because I attend quite a lot of events and frequently geocache with others and want to be known and treated as just another geocacher.

 

I watch the Reviewers that are known at events - they are inundated by geocachers looking to curry favor, wanting to discuss this or that issue, who want to complain about this or that, everything they do or say is sliced and diced for controversy - known reviewers are reviewers 24/7 and most would tell you they would, like me, like to just be a geocacher now and then!

 

The original group of Reviewers weren't offered anonymity, and many wish they had been. New Reviewers make the choice, and almost all, like myself, at least start out anonymous.

 

Certainly people are naturally curious, but only the somewhat paranoid or the conspiracy-theorist will see evil intent behind our choice of anonymity. Distrust of corporate and government actions is a good thing, if not carried beyond the realistic - in this case unrealistic is demanding to know who I am, what my find count is, what I have hidden and found, etc.

 

Realistic expectations are: Do I know and understand the guidelines, will I enforce them evenly, on average do my publishing behaviors show me to be dedicated to helping cachers get good caches placed? Am I here to help the community and support the game? Am I able and willing to help submitters modify guideline-violating listings such that they meet the guidelines and can be approved? Those are the things that matter.

 

Lastly on this matter, Groundspeak Reviewers are less volunteers than recruits.

 

Groundspeak and the Reviewer community watch for geocachers that are continuously active contributors to the game over periods of years, that are active in community building, that host and attend events, that have a history of helpful and instructive posts in the geocaching.com and local forums - in other words people that are respected among their peers and have a reputation as leaders and helpers.

 

When there is a need in an area for a Reviewer local cachers are examined - without their knowledge - by TPTB at Groundspeak AND by the entire community of Reviewers. Local well-known active cachers may be contacted to get their opinions, recomendations or words of caution.

 

Any issues are examined and, if the majority so votes, a phone call made to the unsuspecting candidate to see if he's willing (silly enough) to volunteer his/her time. You can't ask to be a Reviwer, and those that do are looked upon with suspicion as they are likely promoting some agenda!

 

I work hard, as a geocacher, to promote and support the game and its players, just because that's what I enjoy. I was stunned when I got a phone call asking me to be a Reviewer, and even more so when I discovered how much effort had been made to vet me as a candidate before that call was made.

 

Reviewers are not sycophants - we aren't examined on how much we agree with Groundspeak on anything but the guidelines. I have never met Jeremy or Hydee, I met Nate Irish for maybe two minutes at an event, I know only three other reviewers, and them peripherally...so it's not an "old boy" community by any stretch of the imagination.

 

We all, by our very nature, are quite vocal and independant. Suck-ups need not apply, as Groundspeak encourages and listens to the beliefs, needs and opinions of geocachers and Reviewers alike, even, perhaps especially, when we disagree.

 

As a result of that experience I cringe when I hear geocachers demanding that we all be public personalities. I know that the Reviewer body is examined, watched closely, and each has earned the trust invested in him or her. I think that ought to be all one needs to know about a Reviewer!

Edited by NatureFish
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Much of the geocaching public has WAY too much time on their hands and spend quite a lot of it examining everything a fellow geocacher, and even moreso Reviewer, does or says.

I think your post was very good, but it must be pointed out that the excerpt I quoted is a generalization not unlike the one that prompted your post.

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RE: anonymous reviewers, I can totally understand why some people prefer to remain that way. Recently, I was the subject of a very aggravating rant. I am not anonymous, but this incident was an excellent illustration to me why some of my cohorts are. The person made snide comments on their cache pages, in emails to me and presumably others, on the MiGO forums and that was only the stuff I "wandered into". While a vast majority of cachers are kind and decent people, even the best of the best can snap and really take their frustrations out on you in the most inappropriate manner. As a volunteer you should not have to be subjected to that kind of backlash and by maintaining a level of anonimity the volunteer can protect their personal reputation from the needless attack of the occassional irrational cacher.

 

And I concur with Naturefish. TPTB maintain constant vigilence over their staff, volunteer or otherwise.

 

Incidentally, reviewers *have* been removed from their duties in the past by Groundspeak. It's not important to share the who and how of that, but it is important to note that they *do* maintain oversight and *do* take action when a problem is chronic.

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I have a good deal of general respect for the approvers and volunteers. I have to believe that when one gets out-of-line repetedly that TPTB will deal with that person accordingly. I just have to trust that. We all do.

 

Sorry for your experience Snoogans.

 

***********************************************************

My reviewer/approver would NEVER beat up yours!!

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To my understanding, each approver is responsible for a certain geographic area so I don't know if you can request a different approver or not.

Reviewers can approve caches outside of their area, I had this happen with one of mine. I guess the approver for my area was on vacation.

 

We now have two approvers in my part of the geocaching world and most all the local who do lots of caches know them and as they attend at lots of the events in the area. I do not know af any one that has had a problem with them.

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As a volunteer you should not have to be subjected to that kind of backlash and by maintaining a level of anonimity the volunteer can protect their personal reputation from the needless attack of the occassional irrational cacher.

Of course, most users and reviewers already "protect their personal reputations" by selecting usernames different than their real-world identities. I think the use of anonymous reviewer accounts tends to erode the level of faith/trust people are willing to grant the reviewers, and probably leads to an increased tendency towards the type of behavior/backlash you mentioned.

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As cachers, we all live by our chosen monikers. In the Geocaching world, that is our "name". That is what I meant.

 

I believe the right of the volunteer to shield themselves from the backlash in question far outweighs the community's "need to know". You can rest assured that everyone serving in the role of reviewer is emminently qualified to do so.

 

I believe it's the lack of trust some people have in general that makes them immediately dispositioned to suspect or doubt if they don't have full and open access to an individual's identity. The "out to get me" syndrome.

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When to fire a volunteer approver. This list is not comprehensive, nor has it been adjusted to reflect actual practice. It’s a starting point for discussion.

 

Lack of Courtesy: Approvers should reflect forum guidelines. Abuses that would cause a member to lose forum posting privileges should cause a reviewer to lose their post. It doesn’t matter how rude some jackass is. The approver is professional. This goes for forum participation as well.

 

Abuse of the position. Using approver abilities to be FTF, allow others to be FTF, to delay a cache approval for personal conflicts, to approve their own caches in violation of the guidelines, approving their own caches before others, showing favoritism, harassing certain cachers, adopting out a cache against the wishes of the owner, and so on.

 

Not enforcing the guidelines. GC.com has the guidelines for a reason. While the forums contest them all the time, the approvers job is to cross check cache submittals with the guidelines. They are too as uniformly as possible enforce the guidelines while allowing the usual and customary exceptions.

 

Creating extra guidelines. Caches that meet the guidelines should be approved. Creating extra guidelines and enforcing those creates inconsistencies. For example requiring the removal of a spoiler pic because “it makes the cache is too easy.”

 

Taking bribes. It’s standing joke in the forums that a bribe will expedite your cache approval. However accepting any real bribe should be cause for immediate removal.

 

Political Interference: There are people who work with local, state, and national organizations. Where approvers interfere in the work of people and organizations recognized by the listing site they represent they should be removed. If they work at cross purposes to those same people they should be removed. If they falsely represent themselves as officials of geocaching when they aren’t they should be removed. It’s worth noting that who’s official is going to me a mishmash for some time as the various sites and groups figure things out. A GC.com approver who is also a leader in their state organization may be doing right by GC.com and so should retain their position with GC.com while at the same time be interfering in the work being done TC.com and vice versa.

 

Creating Bad Press: If an approver in the course of their duties creates bad press for geocaching they should be removed. For example if it was a reviewer who whispered in the ear of the state legislature in South Carolina. However it could be as simple as splashing a “bad cache of the week” in the forums instead of resolving the issue directly.

 

Leaking Secrets: All communications with an approver should be treated as confidential. The solution to puzzle caches, the final coordinates to a puzzle cache or multi cache etc. These items are confidential. When they are released by an approver the approver has breeched the trust that has been placed in them and they should be removed.

 

Not doing the job. Approvers are selected to approve caches. If they fail to do some minimum level of work they should be removed.

 

Unethical Behavior: If an approver is ever found to be a cache maggot, a pirate, a TB thief, or kept some Jeeps etc. they should be removed.

 

APD. Abrasive Personality Disorder. Virtually everyone has a personality type they can’t deal with no matter how hard they try. That’s normal. Recognize those cachers and pass the buck to another approver. Some people have as their gift the ability to get along with everyone, all the better if you are going to be an approver. Some people rub everyone wrong. Those approvers should be removed. This one isn’t because an approver is bad, wrong, or unethical. It’s just that their personality type isn’t suited for the job. If they are actually abusive they should have long since been gotten rid of under the first item in this list.

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As a result of that experience I cringe when I hear geocachers demanding that we all be public personalities. I know that the Reviewer body is examined, watched closely, and each has earned the trust invested in him or her. I think that ought to be all one needs to know about a Reviewer!

Wow, you added over 50% of that long response an hour + after it was originally posted. I'll comment on just that last little bit ... the potential cache reviewer must consider any/all possible consequences prior to accepting the position. It is also my impression that some reviewers seek precisely the type of attention you mention ... they want to be known and accessible to their constituency and thrive on their 'celebrity.' There's nothing wrong with that; in fact, I applaud it. It probably also goes a long way to increasing the feeling of "community" in their regions.

 

I think many people want to determine, for themselves, that their local/regional reviewer(s) is (are), in fact, deserving of their trust. I'd wager that uncertainty causes many geocachers not to submit caches for review.

 

(edited egregious spelling error)

Edited by Yankees Win!
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The issue of sock puppet reviewer accounts is separate from what should cause a reviewer to be removed. In their role as a reviewer I don't mind the use of reviewer accounts. When it extends to anything beyond "Published" though I do. It's now my policy to refuse to work with anyone who remains comfortably hidden by a fake name on a fake account.

 

On the issue of “Reviewer Scrutiny” brought up by NatureFish. That process is invisible to the geocaching community. What is visible is when a problematic reviewer remains in their post.

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Yeah, I'm OK with all that and all. Yep. Well, the taking bribes part, you know. Hint hint, nudge nudge. Say no more, say no more.

 

Should I remove my paypal address from my profile? Hmmm. I'll think about it.

 

:rolleyes:

 

So, where is the list so we can fire geocachers? :unsure:

 

 

By the way, the best way to deal with these issues is to write to approvers at geocaching dot com. That email address is specifically for issues such as this with reviewers.

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The reviewers already abide by an agreed-upon code of conduct.  All of these items are addressed therein.

Is this posted where garden variety cachers can see it?

No. If you have any questions please write to approvers at geocaching dot com please.

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...So, where is the list so we can fire geocachers? :rolleyes: ...

How to select finders is coveredhere: Members are already banned so we know the TPTB have that covered. But calmly discussing when to ban members is a topic for another thread.

But we can uncalmly discuss it here then? :unsure::unsure::unsure:

 

All I have to say is there are often two sides to the story. I tend to be skeptical of complaints following the denial of a cache. Often it is because someone wanted to bend the guidelines, got denied, and then is mad. Not always, but often.

 

Although there is nothing wrong discussing when to fire people in theory, and I think Renegade Knight's list is pretty good, the fact of it is that Groundspeak makes such decisions and I think can form their own criteria. I would also guess that the most effective way to resolve an issue would be through communication with the reviewer and Groundspeak. The public reviewer bashing threads posted after a cache denial just don't seem like an effective way of dealing with a problem. It usually just leaves all parties involved more annoyed with each other.

Edited by carleenp
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One way to receive a steady flow of feedback from the geocaching public would be to link a survey to every cache page....

 

...and anyone who gets their cache approved without issue will love their approver and those whose caches are turned down will call their approver everything from unreasonable to a Nazi.

 

Of course, most users and reviewers already "protect their personal reputations" by selecting usernames different than their real-world identities.

 

Don't we all "Yankees Win!"?

 

I think many people want to determine, for themselves, that their local/regional reviewer(s) is (are), in fact, deserving of their trust.

 

I think we should assume that Groundspeak and the staff will make wise choices and that they can trust their approver, until the approver proves otherwise.

 

This approver thing comes up from time to time. I've had 126 caches approved since I started this sport and in that time my interaction with the various approvers has been nothing but positive. Part of the reason, I think, is that I'm fully familiar with the guidelines and I make sure my submissions are in compliance. Those who continually push the limits and try to see what they can get past the approvers are going to run into problems.

 

Another reason is that I always treat them politely and with respect and I always get this in return. Those who are rude, or get defensive, or belligerant shouldn't be surprised if they get the same thing in return. The approvers are only human and can take so much abuse before lashing back.

Edited by briansnat
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Each and every time a reviewer has denied one of my cache placements, I have felt angry and humiliated. But looking back, I now realize they were totally justified as I ignored or forgot the rules or made other stupid mistakes.

We have a great reviewer in our area: Reviewer Jones. He is super fast and a real pleasure to deal with. We're lucky to have him.

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The reviewers already abide by an agreed-upon code of conduct.  All of these items are addressed therein.

Is there a mechanism for reporting reviewer/moderator violations of these rules of conduct whereby one could receive some kind of acknowledgment or response that the issue is being addressed? I haven't been successful in finding one.

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...So, where is the list so we can fire geocachers? :rolleyes: ...

How to select finders is coveredhere: Members are already banned so we know the TPTB have that covered. But calmly discussing when to ban members is a topic for another thread.

But we can uncalmly discuss it here then? :unsure::unsure::unsure:

 

All I have to say is there are often two sides to the story. I tend to be skeptical of complaints following the denial of a cache. Often it is because someone wanted to bend the guidelines, got denied, and then is mad. Not always, but often.

As is the case in this instance.

 

It is an event cache listed 5 days before the event is supposed to take place. The guidelines for event caches clearly say 14 days and have said that for months. From the notes posted on the cache page, I don't see the reviewer doing a thing wrong here. Honestly, I think your notes on that cache page are a bit over the line.

 

As usual, this is not a pretty situation in any case. I would definitely recommend that you take this up with Hydee. I'm sorry. I like you Snoogans, but I think you are wrong in this case. I would have archived the cache just the same. I really think you picked the wrong battle here.

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The reviewers already abide by an agreed-upon code of conduct.  All of these items are addressed therein.

Is there a mechanism for reporting reviewer/moderator violations of these rules of conduct whereby one could receive some kind of acknowledgment or response that the issue is being addressed? I haven't been successful in finding one.

You haven't read this topic then. I've posted the email address twice so far.

 

By the way, the best way to deal with these issues is to write to approvers at geocaching dot com.  That email address is specifically for issues such as this with reviewers.

There you go.

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One way to receive a steady flow of feedback from the geocaching public would be to link a survey to every cache page....

 

...and anyone who gets their cache approved without issue will love their approver and those whose caches are turned down will call their approver everything from unreasonable to a Nazi.

 

What a horribly cynical attitude to have towards your fellow geocachers! People might have critical or constructive comments to offer, regardless of whether their cache was approved or rejected.

 

Of course, most users and reviewers already "protect their personal reputations" by selecting usernames different than their real-world identities.

 

Don't we all "Yankees Win!"?

 

My social security card does not read "Yankees Win!" and yours does not read "briansnat." If either of us were a regional reviewer, why would we need even greater anonymity than that?

 

I think many people want to determine, for themselves, that their local/regional reviewer(s) is (are), in fact, deserving of their trust.

 

I think we should assume that Groundspeak and the staff will make wise choices and that they can trust their approver, until the approver proves otherwise.

 

I don't take such things on faith. You are free to.

 

This approver thing comes up from time to time. ...  Those who continually push the limits and try to see what they can get past the approvers are going to run into problems. ...

 

I think they prefer to be called "reviewers" these days. Sorry I shortened the excerpt, but it looked like you were running for political office. :rolleyes::unsure:

 

No doubt you are right that some people try to push the limits, but I don't get the impression that is at the root of most user/reviewer issues.

Edited by Yankees Win!
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No doubt you are right that some people try to push the limits, but I don't get the impression that is at the root of most user/reviewer issues.

Ah, but it almost always seems that when both sides of the story come that that is in fact exactly the case.

 

I see you do take some things on faith though.

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I sure did want to stay away from this thread, but here goes.

 

I've read a number of posts that say 'in most cases' blah-blah-blah. I don't belive that this thread is related to what happens 'in most cases'. It relates to those somewhat rare cases that the reviewer is out of line.

 

It certainly isn't fair that we cachers get to go off the deep end at a moments notice, while the reviewers (and moderators) are supposed to be calm and rational, but that is how it is. In order to give the best and most unbiased service, representatives of the company must maintain a level head. Luckily, communication from reviewers and mods is almost completely made through electronic means. This allows a person to proof what they type before sending it.

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No doubt you are right that some people try to push the limits, but I don't get the impression that is at the root of most user/reviewer issues.

 

Echoing what mtn-man said, in my two years here, whenever a topic came up about the evil reviewers, when the truth came out, the cacher was always in the wrong. People get bent out of shape when the guidelines aren't overlooked for their cache and come here to vent. It usually takes an admin's posting of the other side for the issue to be cleared up.

 

That's what seems to have happened here. An event was posted that didn't match the guidelines and it was denied. We almost had that happen here but were able to make it work. If we weren't, we were ready with a plan B, which didn't include coming here to stir up a hornets nest.

 

Geocaching is something we do for fun. If our event didn't get posted, the sun would still rise the day after.

Edited by robert
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No doubt you are right that some people try to push the limits, but I don't get the impression that is at the root of most user/reviewer issues.

Ah, but it almost always seems that when both sides of the story come that that is in fact exactly the case.

 

Echoing what mtn-man said

Interesting. My impression has been that a misunderstanding of how rules/guidelines were applied to a specific cache seems to be the predominant reason. The user usually seems to believe the rules/guidelines were applied unfairly or arbitrarily to his/her cache. But I suppose some limits have sometimes gotten unintentionally pushed because, in some cases, the limits were ambiguous or undefined.

 

I'm not saying that people never try to sneak something past the reviewers and then make a fuss to try to force their issue. That certainly happens.

Edited by Yankees Win!
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I hope this doesn't become solely focused on complaints due to a cache being denied.

 

I believe Snoogans is more disappointed/annoyed/problemed by the attitude of the reviewer and not that the cache was denied.

 

I also believe (as RK and other posts have pointed out) there are a number of other good reasons why a volunteer would need to be asked to step down so to focus on only unlisted cache issues or that particular fact of a case is unfair.

 

Also, while a volunteer may function appropriately nearly all of the time, I think certain abuses of their position should warrant their removal, especially repeatedly having problems (not necessarily the same problem each time).

 

Unfortunately, as I said, these people volunteer directly to Groundspeak and indirectly to the community. Therefore, the basest motivation for having them removed is if Groundspeak is impacted. That's not to say that Groundspeak doesn't look out for the community or that none of the volunteers use their position to better the community.

 

Also, on the topic of volunteer anonymity, if the volunteers really wanted true anonymity to buffer against their valid concerns of retribution and things, then reviewer/approver accounts would be universal for the approvers. If volunteer ABC needs to review a PA cache for whatever reason, then they'd use the Keystone account to do so (and log that fact somewhere on the corporate side of things for trackability). If they then need to review a cache in California, then they'd log into the CA admin account name. That's the real way to solve that problem. As it is, regulars here know certain cacher handles are certain admins and because we are a community that does not exist solely online, we know who these people are when they show up at the local meeting as a fellow cacher.

 

More public accountability would help this whole thing though. Knowing what the company requires of the volunteer's actions (this hidden psuedo code-of-conduct) and when a volunteer is asked to step down what the offense was would go a long way. For example, the MLB and the Baltimore Orioles have no public obligation to announce the steroid violation by Palmeiro but they do because it's better to announce when someone working for you; in a company/industry requiring public acceptance, attention, support, etc.; has violated the rules and put it out there for better or worse than to just have him disappear and come back a few days later like nothing happened. In the long run, we know the MLB is abiding by the rules that help keep the game level and there's no speculation and things.

 

Here, it's black box. Is there a particularly poor volunteer in Snoogans area irritating the community? Did British Columbia residents have very valid complaints against their reviewer at one point? Does Groundspeak really care about how the volunteers act to the community? The cases where a person was hot-headed have the "other half" posted here. The cases where a person was treated poorly have the "other half" hidden behind the "send mail to our abuseline" standard response just to have it disappear into the past (whether corrective action is taken or not).

Edited by ju66l3r
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Well, when you consider about the only time most folks have to deal with an reviewer is during the review process...

 

Most folks just want their caches reviewed in a timely manner and published. If there are problems, then obviously that's when you're going to hear most of the complaints. I would have thought that was a no-brainer.

 

Not all of the compaints, though, are because of problems with the cache.

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The reviewers already abide by an agreed-upon code of conduct.  All of these items are addressed therein.

Is there a mechanism for reporting reviewer/moderator violations of these rules of conduct whereby one could receive some kind of acknowledgment or response that the issue is being addressed? I haven't been successful in finding one.

You haven't read this topic then. I've posted the email address twice so far....

Mtn-Man, I think you missed some of Fizzy's post.

 

The feedback is what Fizzymagic was asking about. I'll take it one step further though. The end result should be known to the person making the complaint, be it the volunteer was removed, no action was taken or there wasn't enough info, or even "that's your 233rd complaint. By now you should know your the problem. Knock it off". It's not enough to say "We got your email and we will look into it." any robot can do that. It means nothing.

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I kind of disagree with this. In my mind, the only thing that should be communicated back to the 'complainer' is that the email was received and the issue is being looked into. If the approver changes his actions or suddenly disapeeres, you know what happened. If neither thing happens, well, you also know what happened.

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I kind of disagree with this. In my mind, the only thing that should be communicated back to the 'complainer' is that the email was received and the issue is being looked into. If the approver changes his actions or suddenly disapeeres, you know what happened. If neither thing happens, well, you also know what happened.

Ditto...discipline should remain confidential.

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I kind of disagree with this. In my mind, the only thing that should be communicated back to the 'complainer' is that the email was received and the issue is being looked into. If the approver changes his actions or suddenly disapeeres, you know what happened. If neither thing happens, well, you also know what happened.

Agreed.

 

If I complain about someone at work doing something inappropriate, I'm not due to know what happened to them. All I need to know is that they'll take care of it. If that person doesn't come in on Monday then I know what happened, otherwise it's none of my business.

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I can certainly sympathize with Snoogan's comments, although it's not something I can identify with, since I haven't had any serious problems with my local reviewers.

 

Slightly off topic

 

Before us Geocachers complain about reviewers' sock puppet accounts, perhaps we should look ourselves in the mirror first. It's typical on the internet for people to create sock puppets merely for the purpose of massaging their own ego without adding value to their respective community, contrary to what the volunteer reviewers do here at Geocaching.com.

 

I'd love to see a massive PURGE of Geocacher sock puppets first. Then, we can point the finger at reviewer sock puppets. :rolleyes:

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I kind of disagree with this. In my mind, the only thing that should be communicated back to the 'complainer' is that the email was received and the issue is being looked into. If the approver changes his actions or suddenly disapeeres, you know what happened. If neither thing happens, well, you also know what happened.

You have to know the outcome to know anything at all was done. The process is different. You don't need the 200 pages of internal emails, or the phone logs and so on. But you do need to know something did happen, or that nothing did.

 

In a court case you know the outcome (this isn't court but that there is a dispute is the same). They go to jail, they are aquited, there was a mistrial, the case was refused, you won damages, you have to pay damages etc.

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Echoing what mtn-man said, in my two years here, whenever a topic came up about the evil reviewers, when the truth came out, the cacher was always in the wrong.

When the cacher was right, how did you know?

you don't! the cache got listed and we never heard about it. :rolleyes:

 

there are two sides to every story--this story doesn't seem to have a big bad reviewer like you may be lead to believe. I tend to take complaints these days with a grain of salt until the other side gets published, if it ever does.

 

but that's just me.

 

are there cases where the cacher was right? probably, but we wouldn't see those, they'd be appealed properly and I'd be willing to bet the cache was listed without a peep of it being made here in the forums.

 

:unsure:

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...If I complain about someone at work doing something inappropriate, I'm not due to know what happened to them. All I need to know is that they'll take care of it. If that person doesn't come in on Monday then I know what happened, otherwise it's none of my business.

To use your example. If you complain and it all goes into the great black box that management operates in and come monday the person who was doing something inappropriate keeps it up, it remains your business and leaves you with a problme. At a minimum managment should be telling you exactly what whatever it was that you thought was inappropriate was exactly the right thing to do, or at least why it's not wrong.

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