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Resignation as a Volunteer


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It is with a extremely heavy heart [in fact over the last 24 hours, I've shed many a tear, as I've told people, ad read messages] that of Midnight GMT+1 13th June 2014. I ceased to be a Groundspeak Volunteer Reviewer.

 

Over the last few months, the gulf between how I work to provide the best support the community needs and deserves. And how Groundspeak expect me to work in a Corporate manner. Has widened to such a extent, that it became irreparable.

 

The recent incident, which because I achieved a perfect result means I bow out on Cloud Nine,

 

Has show that Groundspeak has lost it's way, it regards to it's customers, who are hobbyists. And now instead requires them to be treated as business customers.

 

So it was with a heavy heart, that I found that I could not meet Groundspeak's requirements to comply with a multi page document on accepted behaviour. Which override the needs of the community to comply with Corporate Ethos.

 

This issue being deliberately escalated to cause as much trouble for me personally, by a individual I will not name. Made me realise, just how much Groundspeak has lost it's way.

 

The company which started off as one Owned and Run by Geocachers, has grown into one so large. That people with specialised skills have had to be brought on board, these people not being Geocachers, but being turned into Geocachers. Means that the true understanding of the Hobby and the people who form it's community, has been lost to a Corporate Ethos. Where the Company comes before the needs of the customer.

 

Several months ago, Groundspeak were "requiring" a Cache Owner to post to a Cache Description, That is was "not" to be accessed, by RoW, because the Landowner of the property the RoW ran over, but not the property the cache was located on. Requested so.

 

Despite me sending 2 very polite and clear emails to Groundspeak, explaining that the "requirement" was illegal under UK Access Laws. I got the reply back "Groundspeak complies with all reasonable requests by a Landowner", this showed a lack of understanding of Local Law, and a total ignoring of what I had explained.

 

To block the "requirement" I was forced to send a strong worded email, pointing out, that if the "requirement" was posted to the Cache Page. It would open the Cache Owner and possibly Groundspeak for requiring it to be posted, to Legal Action under UK Access Laws.

 

But despite the fact I had first made two attempts to politely and quietly resolve the issue. Having both being ignored. I became the person at fault.

 

From that point forward, I knew that the gulf between what was best for the community, and Groundspeak's now Corporate Ethos was getting ever wider.

 

So I spent several months, dreading every direct email off Groundspeak, wondering when they came in, whether that would be the one to remove me as a Volunteer.

 

So when the current issue arose, and I did what I had to stop a small community from splintering to pieces. This was not taken into account, despite a offer to request those involved in the dispute, contact Groundspeak directly.

 

Instead I was informed that because I had failed to read the multi page document, on expected Reviewer behaviour, and comply. I had 14 days in which to resign or be removed as a Volunteer.

 

I chose the immediate option of resigning and set the cut off as Midnight GMT+1 13th June. Because I can no longer Volunteer for a Company, which has so lost it's way, and instead become like any other company in that it has become a Corporate Entity.

 

I would like to thank my former colleagues, who are special friends. I have been blessed and privileged to work with you, and watch the team grow.

 

Not working with you, will just like no longer being a Volunteer, leave a huge hole in both my life and my heart.

 

To the community I can only say that I owe so much gratitude for the last eight years, which have been so special. That now words can adequately express my gratitude to you

 

So with tears in my eyes, and a heavy heart, for the final time I sing off with

 

Deceangi

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I was very sad to read this, as Deceangi, has always from the day I started been most helpful, patient and friendly. He gave me advise on how to hide my first caches, and also how to input the information correctly, I am pleased to say that I was luck enough to meet Deceangi last year, and he is just as friendly and helpful in person.

Many thanks for all your help, and all the best for the future, geocaching will not be the same.

Take care,

Keithnipper49

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Dave it makes me so sad to read this. Thanks for everything you've done for the UK caching community. You will be sorely missed. I only hope that Groundspeak will realise what they've done depriving the UK caching community of a fantastic guy and an extremely helpful reviewer.

I took in a couple of stray ferrets last week, one I managed to name without much trouble, been wracking my brains trying to think of a name for the other one. As of a half-an-hour ago he's now got one.

Hope to cache up with you at an event somewhere... all the best for the future Sheila and Apollo Ferret. Thanks for everything.

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We've been caching for just over four years now - and this is a dark day for us and, in our opinion, a dark day for geocaching as a whole.

 

From our very first cache placements, our first faltering steps at creating and hiding caches for others to find, Deci has been there to steer us in the right direction - tirelessly investing countless hours of his own time to help ensure that we achieved the best we could - for the benefit of all. In fact if it wasn't for a prod from him our first circular series would never have had a bonus cache at the end - which is why that one was dedicated to him :)

 

From that point forward he's always been a pleasure to work with and the best supporter anyone could ask for - not that we've always agreed on everything - far from it in fact, on all sorts of different topics - and we still do - but our debates have always been on the basis of mutual respect and what's best for geocaching.

 

Around here' Deci's been woven into every fibre of the fabric of geocaching for as long as we've been in the game - in the review process, in the guidance and friendship he's extended to every member of the community, in the events that he organises and even in caches which are named for him - and to think that his involvement will be any less than that, for me at least and I expect for plenty of others, makes geocaching look just a little less special than it used to, diminished by the the loss of of an important part of the fabric.

 

Worst Friday 13th ever :(

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I concur with all I have read both on fb and here.

 

Dave supported me many times in the past, and I always was certain that Petr and I were right to invite him to be a reviewer.

 

He has served the Uk caching community selflessly. I am just surprised it has taken him so long to realise what we realised years ago. Gspisnow, and was then, too arrogant to accept thete were other cultures slightly different in many of their mores.

 

Cheers Deci, and ta for all you have done (except not answering my last email [:)] .

 

DaveD

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I read this earlier. And i must say that us in the UK have today lost a true icon. Geocaching in the uk will be a lot poorer following this news. I would like to thank Deceangi for everything he has done to enhance the hobby we all enjoy. I wish you well and hope you can spend more time doing what we all do best :D

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We are so sorry that the directions you have been required to take are so different from those that the UK caching community needs.

We have not met, I don't think (!) but we've been to your talks at Mega's and always respected the huge amount of unpaid hours that you have given to geocaching in the UK.

We hope that, with your agreement, that an event can be arranged (as for your old colleagues Eckington and Lactodorum) can be arranged to thank you.

We wish you and your family well. Linda & Henry, L8HNB.

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In most positions of authority, a sage person needs to undertake a fine balancing act between offering the appropriate gravitas and keeping onside with those he is there to help. In this, Deci has excelled. Like many, I have met him and whether in person or by e-mail, he has never failed to go the extra mile in explaining anything which needs further clarification, or in publishing what I have submitted for publication when the Scottish reviewers haven't been available. He has been a pleasure to deal with and this is reflected in the other posts.

 

For this reason, I add my voice in echoing genuine shock and sadness that the politics have reached this point. Perhaps Geocaching has become a victim of its own success - at least where its volunteers are concerned. Yes, new volunteers can step into the breach, but the wisdom and experience that Deci brings to this hobby is second to none.

 

I hope this resignation doesn't mean he leaves the hobby altogether.

 

From me and I'm sure many others, huge thanks Deci for all you've done to facilitate our way through the maze of rules and regulations.

 

TFTR.

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Such a shame. We have become somewhat disenchanted with the game and have only found 5 or 6 in the last 6 months and are slowly archiving our own caches.

No pleasure in hiding them any more as people just don't play by the guidelines and the quality of hides are disappointing. Probably do a bit when we go down to Cornwall as can normally expect a few good hides. Plus all the power trails are too much for our old joints, we used to enjoy the 2 or 3 mile circular walks but they seem to be a distant memory.

With Groundspeak's somewhat mercenery attitude we will probably let our Prem Membership drop as well. <_<

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I'd already been thinking about giving up on my Premium Membership when it was due renewal but will definitely do so now. Groundspeak has been slowly going downhill and the attitude displayed here by them is simply apalling and shows no regard for anyone. Good luck to Deci in future.

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I'd already been thinking about giving up on my Premium Membership when it was due renewal but will definitely do so now. Groundspeak has been slowly going downhill and the attitude displayed here by them is simply apalling and shows no regard for anyone. Good luck to Deci in future.

 

I personally wouldn't let membership lapse purely because of a single event, although from my perspective this just seems like yet another sign, as if more were needed, that Groundspeak have lost the plot.

 

The focus on ever-bigger events while saying we can't have virtuals because there's no physical container, the relentless drive towards quantity over quality, and the ongoing issues with non-validated members all point to a company that would rather have a steady turnover of people paying their $10 to try it out before realising it's not all that interesting, than maintain a loyal customer base of people who have been with them for a while.

 

The ongoing farce of communications (for example the whole issue of the differing prices for EU residents, where promises were made and then shamelessly broken), the relentless fiddling at the edges while not implementing ideas that would improve the game (e.g. the fiddling with redesigns while doing nothing about the problem of missing trackables), the apparent lack of testing and quality control (e.g. the recent unannounced change from "Unknown" to "Mystery" caches), all make me wonder just what the end game is.

 

I'm increasingly wondering if the game plan is to sell out to faceache. When you've got a large community who are willing to put up with all sorts of BS because they still think of the powers that be as if they were members of the group, it seems like a perfect recipe for a corporate sellout.

 

I've said for a while that what used to be called "Feature suggestions and discussions" was little more than a place that would-be competitors could visit to get some good ideas for avoiding the mistakes that Groundspeak have made. It's just a shame that Groundspeak appear disinterested in hearing from their customers.

 

Last year I renewed my premium membership thinking I'd give it another try, and had a few good caching runs that made it worthwhile. Having found three caches in the last six months, I think it's time to figure I've been premium for seven years but it won't become eight.

 

I don't suppose Groundspeak cares about the loss of one customer. I just wish I could see a future for the site other than a total disappearance of trackables, and a total transition from caches anyone might want to find to more film pots and nanos.

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Can we clarify the facts as they stand, please?

 

So, for our friends over the pond, a little potted synopsis of the RoW laws relating to the OP:

 

In England and Wales we have public footpaths, referred to as public Rights of Way. These paths can and do cross private land. Access to these paths are protected by certain laws (under certain conditions) and landowner must allow passage and access, by pedestrians. Pedestrians do not have a right to stop or make changes to the paths, but if they find their access blocked, they have redress by reporting it and it will be investigated and steps will be taken to make the path available again. The paths all used to be all documented on the detailed pathfinder printed Ordnance Survey maps (and I think the OS website is still kept as up to date as possible, for reference.). A landowner is not allowed to restrict access, a pedestrian does not have any right to make any changes (including leaving caches) without permission from the landowner.

 

So to Deceangi's dilemma. It appears that a cache was placed on a parcel of private land (in England) and you could access this cache via one of the Rights of Way. Apparently the landowner did not like people using this path. Since he was not able to legally do anything in England about this he wrote to GS demanding that the cache page states you can't use the Right of Way to access this cache. (Which in itself is an oxymoron. The clue is in the name...'Right of Way'. GS ordered Deceangi to require this on the cache page. Deceangi pointed out that there are legal consequences doing this and GS said they don't care (or words to that effect) and that they side with the landowner even though what he is doing is illegal in England. Deceangi will not tell the cache owner to collude with the landowner to break the law, and as such has resigned.

 

If the cache was on the land owners own land, it appears the land owner wanted a way to get someone else to tell people to keep off the RoW, and was attempting to exploit geocaching to do so, and so didn't want to cache removed.

 

I am surprised. I would have thought that there are enough lawyers working at Groundspeak to know that you don't tell someone to break the law. Usually lawyers like people to know their rights! I want nothing more to do with Groundspeak or US geocaching, I think you are despicable to treat a good man like this and push him to breaking point. he has volunteered so much of his time and effort and expertise, and you have made money from the hard work he has given freely. I think you are arrogant imbeciles to think you can ride over ancient English laws that common people have worked and fought long and hard for for generations. You have really got no idea whatsoever how important RoW are to ordinary people.

Edited by Mrs F.
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I'm really sorry to read this Dave. I'd like to say a massive thank you to you for all that you have done for the Geocaching community over the years. Some people just aren't appreciated, especially in particular with you is your knowledge of such access matters. Groundspeak are fools for not listening to you.

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So to Deceangi's dilemma.

Not really much of a dilemma, I'm afraid. I can't imagine many people making a different decision. (Hmmm... which reminds me: what did the reviewer that's now responsible do? Should we expect more ex-reviewers over this?)

 

I am surprised. I would have thought that there are enough lawyers working at Groundspeak to know that you don't tell someone to break the law.

I'm not sure I understand this statement. How is this against the law? Sure, they're telling the CO to lie, which is just as bad, but I'm not clear how that lie amounts to breaking the law.

 

I can't believe Groundspeak spun it this way. It seems like an easy case where a local complained, so the cache should be archived, since apparently while they can't restrict access, they can forbid caches. This position of forcing specific content in the description is just bizarre, even before consider that the required content is a lie.

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Recorded (Quoted in a new blog post, see link in my signature). I very much appreciate the posting. I have said some of the same things out loud but have been both chastised and suspended from these forums for outlying such (and given the warning to not speak bad of "the company"). Yes...the old geocaching is gone, LONG GONE. I will only take what I can out of the game until it no longer allows me to operate the way in which I want to play it. I have no reason to respect or honor the leaders, office staff, etc. of Groundspeak. They DO NOT respect its members, especially the old guard that were there at the beginning...before them!

Edited by TheWeatherWarrior
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So to Deceangi's dilemma.

Not really much of a dilemma, I'm afraid. I can't imagine many people making a different decision. (Hmmm... which reminds me: what did the reviewer that's now responsible do? Should we expect more ex-reviewers over this?)

 

I am surprised. I would have thought that there are enough lawyers working at Groundspeak to know that you don't tell someone to break the law.

I'm not sure I understand this statement. How is this against the law? Sure, they're telling the CO to lie, which is just as bad, but I'm not clear how that lie amounts to breaking the law.

 

I can't believe Groundspeak spun it this way. It seems like an easy case where a local complained, so the cache should be archived, since apparently while they can't restrict access, they can forbid caches. This position of forcing specific content in the description is just bizarre, even before consider that the required content is a lie.

 

It is against the law to stop people from using public rights of way, or to put signs up saying the public cannot use the RoW. It being on the internet won't make much difference. If investigated, the CO would point at the reviewer who told them to do it (although that won't wash) the reviewer would then have to admit to knowing that the land owner had told GS to change the wording on the cache page. The land owner should get it in the neck, but it does nothing for geocaching, and the reviewer and CO might also have to shoulder some of the blame (and fines).

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I've seen this topic on a few FB groups and now here,all I can think of is where are the other UK reviewers in all this?where and what is their stance are they backing their colleague,I remember the fiasco when Lacto and Eckington quit,but at least there was solidarity on that occasion.

Edited by fellsmanhiker
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a pedestrian does not have any right to make any changes (including leaving caches) without permission from the landowner.

 

I don't see what the issue here is, myself. This cache, if published, would clearly cause issues, so simply do not publish it. If the law is that the public can use a RoW but have no right to stop or make changes without permission, then that's it - end of story. I really don't understand the outrage here. Even if the landowner allows the cache to exist there, just as they can allow anything on their property to exist, they can still not allow pedestrians to stop and find it, because pedestrians have no right to stop. I guess I must be missing some finer detail (or not).

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a pedestrian does not have any right to make any changes (including leaving caches) without permission from the landowner.

 

I don't see what the issue here is, myself. This cache, if published, would clearly cause issues, so simply do not publish it. If the law is that the public can use a RoW but have no right to stop or make changes without permission, then that's it - end of story. I really don't understand the outrage here. Even if the landowner allows the cache to exist there, just as they can allow anything on their property to exist, they can still not allow pedestrians to stop and find it, because pedestrians have no right to stop. I guess I must be missing some finer detail (or not).

Yes, your missing the point. The cache is on an adjoining property, not the one with the RoW in question. The cache it self would not cause problems. What would cause problems is the land owner illegally trying to prevent people from using the RoW that they have the right to use.

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a pedestrian does not have any right to make any changes (including leaving caches) without permission from the landowner.

 

I don't see what the issue here is, myself. This cache, if published, would clearly cause issues, so simply do not publish it. If the law is that the public can use a RoW but have no right to stop or make changes without permission, then that's it - end of story. I really don't understand the outrage here. Even if the landowner allows the cache to exist there, just as they can allow anything on their property to exist, they can still not allow pedestrians to stop and find it, because pedestrians have no right to stop. I guess I must be missing some finer detail (or not).

Yes, your missing the point. The cache is on an adjoining property, not the one with the RoW in question. The cache it self would not cause problems. What would cause problems is the land owner illegally trying to prevent people from using the RoW that they have the right to use.

 

So the cache is on private property? With permission or not?

 

Regardless of permission, it still seems crystal clear to me, as explained by Mrs F, that pedestrians have the right to use the RoW but not to stop. That means that stopping to find a cache is not a right that geocachers, as a subset of pedestrians, have a right to do.

 

The RoW landowner can not legally stop people walking through the RoW, right? But they can complain if a pedestrian walks part way through and stops to search for a cache, which the pedestrian has no legal right to do, correct?

 

At times a geocache may meet the requirements for publication on the site but the reviewers, as experienced geocachers, may see additional concerns not listed in these guidelines that you as a geocache placer may not have noticed.

 

A pretty clear case of "additional concerns" = no publish. No?

Edited by funkymunkyzone
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So the cache is on private property? With permission or not?

 

Regardless of permission, it still seems crystal clear to me, as explained by Mrs F, that pedestrians have the right to use the RoW but not to stop. That means that stopping to find a cache is not a right that geocachers, as a subset of pedestrians, have a right to do.

 

The RoW landowner can not legally stop people walking through the RoW, right? But they can complain if a pedestrian walks part way through and stops to search for a cache, which the pedestrian has no legal right to do, correct?

 

At times a geocache may meet the requirements for publication on the site but the reviewers, as experienced geocachers, may see additional concerns not listed in these guidelines that you as a geocache placer may not have noticed.

 

A pretty clear case of "additional concerns" = no publish. No?

 

No.

From the op

Several months ago, Groundspeak were "requiring" a Cache Owner to post to a Cache Description, That is was "not" to be accessed, by RoW, because the Landowner of the property the RoW ran over, but not the property the cache was located on.

 

It appears that the cache is on an adjoining property, not the property the RoW is on. Since the placement of the cache on the property it is on does not seem to be an issue I will assume it was placed with permission. In fact thinking about it, it might even be the CO's property.

 

Since the cache is not on the property the RoW is on there is no need to stop and search. And if the cache were on the RoW property owners property requesting that the cache be archived because he did not give permission for the cache to be there it would be a slam dunk.

 

But in composing this response and stating the property the cache is on might be the CO's property we now have an interesting twist. We have a couple neighbors having a pissing contest with each other and one happens to be a geocacher and he placed the cache on his property just to piss off his neighbor with the foot traffic across his land to find the cache.

 

If this is the case I think GS taking the position they can not control access to a RoW contravenes the law and they can't do that is the correct response.

Edited by jholly
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You don't have the right to stop on a RoW if that means barring the way to others. You are allowed and sometimes encouraged to stop but it is not a Right, note the subtle difference. You can't camp on them without pwrmission. You can stop and rest (there are many seats encouraging people to on a lot if RoW.) Most land owners are reasonable and kind.

 

The cache is on adjoining land (I missed that in the op too at first) and with permission from the relevant landowner. With permission, people can stop there and find the cache. The neighbouring landowner sees extra walkers using the RoW they have every right to use and is trying to manipulate things to get a notice put up saying people cannot. He is in the wrong and is breaking the law.

Edited by Fianccetto
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I've seen this topic on a few FB groups and now here,all I can think of is where are the other UK reviewers in all this?where and what is their stance are they backing their colleague,I remember the fiasco when Lacto and Eckington quit,but at least there was solidarity on that occasion.

Yes, but I'd hope that is going on behind the scenes, amicably.

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I'm very sorry to hear this news, and respect to Deceangi for standing up for principles in this way. It's not a time for moaning in a general way about what we personally consider is wrong with geocaching; that's not relevant.

 

I've crossed swords in the past with Deci and we don't always agree, but I very much appreciate all the hard work he's put in over the years for us all in the UK. Some may not realise, but at one time he was the only reviewer - imagine having to cope with the whole UK and still get caches published in good time! I belive that he's been instrumental in the popularity of caching in this part of the world, and has always gone the extra mile when asked.

 

It's ironic that it's a RoW issue that seems to have finally been the last straw. Had I been in his position I certainly would not have agreed to Groundspeak's illegal requirement either, and it seems that they are not only accepting his resignation but don't even care. Which speaks volumes. They should be grovelling to him in an attempt to make him change his mind.

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I've seen this topic on a few FB groups and now here,all I can think of is where are the other UK reviewers in all this?where and what is their stance are they backing their colleague,I remember the fiasco when Lacto and Eckington quit,but at least there was solidarity on that occasion.

Yes, but I'd hope that is going on behind the scenes, amicably.

 

I must admit I was somewhat surprised that everything seems to be normal on that front. I wonder if Dave asked them not to take any action, it would be just like him to think of the cachers.

 

I wonder what the situation would be if the owner of the land where the cache placed had a gate to enable a cacher to access the cache. The cacher would, more than likely, have to stop walking to open the gate - would the landowner of the land on which the RoW is situated then complain to GS because a cacher had stopped to open a gate so they could stand on the private land where the cache is placed? Then having found the cache, make their way back onto the RoW via the gate, and coming to standstill whilst they ensure that the gate is closed properly.

 

Not all owners of the land which is crossed by a RoW whinge to GS although I have met up with two who objected but one cache was actually placed on the RoW and the owner of the land did speak directly to us and explained why he objected. In the second instance it wasn't a RoW but a Permissive FB with the cache placed on his land. We posted a NA on both caches and it was sorted out at local level and GS was not involved.

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I'm very sorry to hear this news, and respect to Deceangi for standing up for principles in this way. It's not a time for moaning in a general way about what we personally consider is wrong with geocaching; that's not relevant.

 

I've crossed swords in the past with Deci and we don't always agree, but I very much appreciate all the hard work he's put in over the years for us all in the UK. Some may not realise, but at one time he was the only reviewer - imagine having to cope with the whole UK and still get caches published in good time! I belive that he's been instrumental in the popularity of caching in this part of the world, and has always gone the extra mile when asked.

 

It's ironic that it's a RoW issue that seems to have finally been the last straw. Had I been in his position I certainly would not have agreed to Groundspeak's illegal requirement either, and it seems that they are not only accepting his resignation but don't even care. Which speaks volumes. They should be grovelling to him in an attempt to make him change his mind.

 

From Deci's original post:

 

Instead I was informed that because I had failed to read the multi page document, on expected Reviewer behaviour, and comply. I had 14 days in which to resign or be removed as a Volunteer.

 

So on that basis we can only assume his resignation was demanded rather than passively accepted. Groundspeak do seem to have lost sight of the fact they need us more than we need them, and without volunteers to act as reviewers the game is essentially dead.

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What a sad tale . A well respected , long serving volunteers experience , discretion and skill lost to the community he was such a central part of .

... I found that I could not meet Groundspeak's requirements to comply with a multi page document on accepted behaviour. Which override the needs of the community to comply with Corporate Ethos.

The position of 'man ( okay , person :rolleyes: ) in the middle ' between a business with its aims and ethos , and the wildly disparate community ( or , perhaps , customer base ) of cachers in the UK with its own complex local laws and evolved practices has to be , by its very nature , a difficult one.

This issue being deliberately escalated to cause as much trouble for me personally, by a individual I will not name. Made me realise, just how much Groundspeak has lost it's way.

It appears that personal animosity has been pursued , exacerbating the difficulty of Decis position ( Difficult to believe a member of our community would behave like that ? No , I've been , and still am , a target myself . A bully in real life will be a bully when caching and online too) . Deci was the last link in the UK reviewer chain , and fielded the tough problems . As such he had to have the confidence and the support of Groundspeak , otherwise every difficult situation would necessarily be referred 'upstairs' to the Lackeys .

Their work load will be climbing without Deci to intercept disputes before they cross the Atlantic.

So when the current issue arose, and I did what I had to stop a small community from splintering to pieces. This was not taken into account, despite a offer to request those involved in the dispute, contact Groundspeak directly.

Instead I was informed that because I had failed to read the multi page document, on expected Reviewer behaviour, and comply. I had 14 days in which to resign or be removed as a Volunteer.

If the Groundspeak corporate rules absolutely deny any room for reviewers to exercise discretion to handle things in a way appropriate to the local situation , and a long serving volunteer who had become expert at being 'the Reviewer with the big stick' was being reduced to reading off the script provided by the corporation , resignation really was the only choice .

 

To my mind , this begs some questions :

First : what is a reviewer ? Surely not a volunteer who follows the rules by rote with no application of caching nous ? Why on earth would anyone want to do that ? I understand the 'give something back to the game' motivation , but if by standing up to do that and making sometimes necessarily unpopular decisions you make yourself a target for malicious hounding , and are not supported by the corporation which is making money from your work , well , there will soon be no experienced reviewers left in the UK , and no-one with any sense will step in to take over the task ...

 

Second: Should a volunteer be expected to take on such an onerous task ? Isn't it time all those ( comparatively expensive) European premium memberships went towards actual Groundspeak employees based in Europe ? Some sort of chief reviewer/troubleshooter/manager who could , as an employee, authoritatively lay out the Groundspeak corporate line .This will not happen of course , as it would cost money , lots of money , to employ anyone with even half of Decis skill set .

 

Thirdly : A cacher I respect told me he thought reviewers are too visible now , and I wonder if he may be right . Part of the problem seems to be that their identities are known , they are on social media , so any problems can be made personal and escalated beyond simple cache review related matters by cachers with that particular mind set.

 

Of course , if everyone was pleasant and reasonable then the various social media would be lovely happy places filled with kind thoughts and positive comments :laughing: and reviewers could revel in the praise and admiration of us humble cache finders who would be constantly and effusively thanking them for their time consuming , boring ( power trail of 50 micros to review tonight ? zzz ) unpaid work on our behalf .

 

The fissure between the corporate Groundspeak and the UK caching community has been wedged a little further open by this needless , nasty episode . Disillusion seemed to be already affecting many of the experienced cache setters I know as quality is swamped by quantity and it becomes all about statistics rather than the experience , the special location the fun of the hunt.

 

So with tears in my eyes, and a heavy heart, for the final time I sing off with

 

Deceangi

"

I dont know how that one goes Dave :laughing: , to quote a well known chimp , "You hum it son , I'll play it ' :lol:

 

Sorry , no criticism meant , it's hard to type when you are full of emotion and everything is a bit blurry and that little slip did provoke a little wry smile which leavened my sadness a little .

Heres an appropriate lyric to sing off with

" Don't it always seem to go , that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone "

 

Thanks for all your years of work Deci , I hope you find a good , appreciative place to exercise all your knowledge and skill where it will benefit society .

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Having been a pm for 9 years I also have concluded that it's time to lapse. Groundspeak lost the plot so long ago it's now far away over the horizon. Might also test the archive button a few times to see how well it works

 

Edited for spelling

Edited by Kryten
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I have thought for some time that anybody who acts as a volunteer reviewer must need their head examining! Volunteering is normally undertaken for a charitable organisation, for instance, acting as a ranger for a wildlife association, or helping out in a Cancer Research shop, or delivering meals to the homeless. Volunteering for a money-making, corporate, non-charitable company - and in particular, undertaking a menial, sedentary and often thankless task - seems completely nuts! I wonder if anybody would offer their time so freely to, say, a supermarket, to help pushing the trolleys back into the trolley stand and "thereby provide a valuable service to the community that they serve"? All the customers in the town telling you that you are a wonderful trolley pusher would hardly make one feel any less of a mug! Less so when the supermarket told you you weren't pushing them correctly and you would be forbidden from trolley pushing at all if you didn't conform!

 

Mind you, who could blame the supermarkets for not paying for trolley pushers when there were people queueing up to do it for free?

 

Dave, channel your efforts into a charitable pursuit that gives a more holistic satisfaction!

Edited by PopUpPirate
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Having been a pm for 9 years I also have concluded that it's time to lapse. Groundspeak lost the plot so long ago it's now far away over the horizon. Might also test the archive button a few times to see how well it works

 

Edited for spelling

 

Groundspeak needs us far more than we need Groundspeak. If enough people feel the same way as you (and I) do perhaps they will be forced to take notice. We can but hope.

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You don't have the right to stop on a RoW if that means barring the way to others. You are allowed and sometimes encouraged to stop but it is not a Right, note the subtle difference. You can't camp on them without pwrmission. You can stop and rest (there are many seats encouraging people to on a lot if RoW.) Most land owners are reasonable and kind.

 

Fianccetto you are correct.

 

The actual footpath law does allow you to stop on any footpath as long as you do not block other users. The law states "Your legal right is to “pass and repass along the way”. You may stop to rest or admire the view, or to consume refreshments, providing you stay on the path and do not cause an obstruction."

 

So if i happen to stop and admire the view at the point where a cache is placed, that is my right. I can legally walk around in a small circle all day if i so desired. As long as i am on the footpath and do not block the path for other users.

Edited by dave-harris
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Thank you for the clarification dave-harris.

 

I forgot to add my thanks to Deci for the 8 odd years he has given as UK reviewer.

 

So sorry that your hand has been forced. However, as others have said, there are many organisations who will value your time and dedication. Or you could just kick back and do a bit more walking and spend less time on emails, how good would that be!

Edited by Fianccetto
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You don't have the right to stop on a RoW if that means barring the way to others. You are allowed and sometimes encouraged to stop but it is not a Right, note the subtle difference. You can't camp on them without pwrmission. You can stop and rest (there are many seats encouraging people to on a lot if RoW.) Most land owners are reasonable and kind.

 

Fianccetto you are correct.

 

The actual footpath law does allow you to stop on any footpath as long as you do not block other users. The law states "Your legal right is to “pass and repass along the way”. You may stop to rest or admire the view, or to consume refreshments, providing you stay on the path and do not cause an obstruction."

 

So if i happen to stop and admire the view at the point where a cache is placed, that is my right. I can legally walk around in a small circle all day if i so desired. As long as i am on the footpath and do not block the path for other users.

 

But don't lose sight of the facts in this case. The cache was not on the complainants part of the RoW, it was on land owned by someone else (we're assuming with permission) and the complainant was asking for the cache to be archived because cachers were simply using the RoW as a route to the cache. If the landowner had put a sign up on their land saying please do not use this RoW to get to the cache on the next property (or for any other reason for that matter) then their actions would be considered illegal. The reviewer having to insist the notice is placed on the cache listing is no different.

I would be very interested, as a member and customer, to see the multi page document setting out the Reviewers rules and regulations but I guess that this will always be 'for their eyes only'.

The other matter mentioned in the OPs post was an even more ridiculous case of not allowing an experienced and highly regarded local reviewer from taking steps to prevent a local disagreement into escalating. From what I have read the other parties appreciated the intervention and differences were sorted out. A good result except of course in Groundspeaks eyes.

A real shame that such a dedicated individual who worked tirelessly for such a great hobby was not listened to or allowed to use their discretion for the good of the game.

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Thanks for all your help over the years Dave, it's been much appreciated.

 

As for the angst above about RoWs we simply don't have enough info. The assumption is being made that a footpath crosses a field of a landowner and then through a gate into another landowners property where the cache is located. I suspect he reality is not quite so simple.

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Seems like Dave made it perfectly clear in his original post:

 

Several months ago, Groundspeak were "requiring" a Cache Owner to post to a Cache Description, That is was "not" to be accessed, by RoW, because the Landowner of the property the RoW ran over, but not the property the cache was located on requested so.

 

As already pointed out, that is an illegal request ... no one is allowed to stop people using a ROW, or suggest in any way that people cannot use it.

Edited by sussamb
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As already pointed out, that is an illegal request ... no one is allowed to stop people using a ROW, or suggest in any way that people cannot use it.

Since the claim is that GS is becoming too corporate, you'd think that pointing out such a clear legal problem would be a very convincing argument within the company.

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As already pointed out, that is an illegal request ... no one is allowed to stop people using a ROW, or suggest in any way that people cannot use it.

Since the claim is that GS is becoming too corporate, you'd think that pointing out such a clear legal problem would be a very convincing argument within the company.

 

Perhaps they don't have RoWs in the US of A and therefore didn't have a clue what Deci was on about i.e. if they don't have 'em in the US they don't exist!

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Yes, I would like to read that you too lego. Or if not, perhaps they would like to justify why they discounted 8 years of hard work and sided with someone who seems to have had it in for him, effectively dismissing him, to the UK customer base.

 

I think I would be looking at defamation, personally (Mrs F.'s words)...Not that I would have been kind enough to be a reviewer.

Edited by Fianccetto
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Perhaps they don't have RoWs in the US of A and therefore didn't have a clue what Deci was on about i.e. if they don't have 'em in the US they don't exist!

You could be right, but that would suggest they're operating less like a big impersonal corporation. A big impersonal corporation would run screaming whenever someone said "That might be illegal."

 

On the other hand, a big impersonal corporation would ignore a discussion about whether they've become a big impersonal corporation.

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I'd think, and hope, that people are withholding comment as they can't exactly understand the particular issue and don't want to speculate.

 

My outlook on geocaching is "woohoo, a free treasure hunt!" and don't want to get involved in politics - though I do have my opinions on megas, apps, premium membership and so on.

 

I know that in my area we've got great reviewers and a good community of cachers who give each other feedback, flag up cache issues and don't squabble. Occasionally someone drops out of the hobby - suddenly or gradually, loudly or quietly. But it's certainly a sad day when someone like the OP feels hounded out of it.

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I'd think, and hope, that people are withholding comment as they can't exactly understand the particular issue and don't want to speculate.

I'm from the wrong side of the pond to expect my opinion to have much weight here, but driving out a Volunteer with such great experience and input to the game just simply reeks. IMHO. But a question to clarify the speculation part...surely this cache has been published by now, even if someone at Seattle had to do it. Are there any likely candidates from June 13 or thereabouts?

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Seems like Dave made it perfectly clear in his original post:

 

Several months ago, Groundspeak were "requiring" a Cache Owner to post to a Cache Description, That is was "not" to be accessed, by RoW, because the Landowner of the property the RoW ran over, but not the property the cache was located on requested so.

 

As already pointed out, that is an illegal request ... no one is allowed to stop people using a ROW, or suggest in any way that people cannot use it.

You are assuming tha the RoW in question goes straight to the cache. The reality could be that the RoW is several metres away and there is a broken wall over which cachers have to climb, making it worse.

 

I'd think, and hope, that people are withholding comment as they can't exactly understand the particular issue and don't want to speculate.

I'm from the wrong side of the pond to expect my opinion to have much weight here, but driving out a Volunteer with such great experience and input to the game just simply reeks. IMHO. But a question to clarify the speculation part...surely this cache has been published by now, even if someone at Seattle had to do it. Are there any likely candidates from June 13 or thereabouts?

Now that would answer a lot of questions and remove all these assumptions.
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