Rantings of a Crazed RA or Really? You Must Be Kidding Me!
[sigh] My average day: Get coffee going. Feed Wally. Take fresh coffee to den. Turn onthe computer. Click on tab marked marked "The Newstalkers". Get greeted with an average of 6-9 emails, all of which need immediate attention with few being very pleasant. Most are complaints about fellow members or complaints about
comments made or bad moderation... or spamming or..... you get the idea. But my personal favorite type of email, I call "The Fan Letter". It is a litanyof complaints about what I am doing wrong and how I should fix it, usually accompanied by a vague threat of doom. Those I cherish the most, since usually within that bunch of emails, there is one telling me the exact opposite advice from another member, which, btw, the irony I still find mind blowing... but there you have it! I answer all as best I can and give each one them proper attention in a timely fashion, since most of us know the frustration of writing administration without a response, much less timely.
Time for my second cup of coffee. I go into the kitchen and check my back to make sure that no one has affixed a "Kick Me" sign to it and head on back into the den. Next I check out new members and delete the obvious spammers. Deal with the tech problems that go unnoticed by many of you, since they are plentiful but minor. Answer all IM's that pop up, sometimes as many as four at a time. Deal with the ad companies that keep this site free yet high quality and remember to make sure that I haven't forgotten to put the original articles on the "NT Columnist Board".Get more email, pretty much like the stuff previously described, more IM's and while remembering that I have to check the "Report an Issue" box. Repeat all of the above till I go to bed. Repeat again the next morning. And let's not forget, that I actually do go out to clients to do some accounting, be a mother, and feed the hubby. He gets very crabby if I don't and I have to go to bed with him at night, so it's in my best interests.
So why do it? That's a question I ask myself on particularly bad days. Believe me I don't do it for the glory. There is very little to be had. I used to do it for the love of writing and socializing. Again, very little to be had these days. I have recently lost a lot of mods for one reason or another, and so that is now a newly acquired full time task that I have. So what started off as a dream of a better place, where the community mattered, has turned into my own Frankenstein Monster. I now have lots of obligations and very little fun. Now there is a word I take seriously. Obligations. The idea that if you make a promise, you carry through. That one means a lot to me, like the concept of ethics. I have an ethical obligation to this community. Which brings me to this next question. Does a community have the same obligation to itself? That's an answer only each member can give and not necessarily to me.
There are moments during the course of any given day that I ask myself, "You Must Be Kidding Me!"Usually it's a situation that I deem so petty that my 4th graders wouldn't do it and yet there I am having to deal with it, and still being polite. Thank mom for that. I say polite things... but oh if you could read my thoughts....
Now please don't get me wrong. Being the RA does does have it's rewards. Friendships I have made or watching friendships bloom between people who thought they had nothing in common. Watching groups of the community come together for the help of another member. Some outstanding discussions and amazing articles on all topics. Even some hot button issues that have been handled with such grace, that I am amazed. These wonderful events do happen. And when they do, I feel good all over and know that it's all worth while.
So why did I write this piece, you might be asking yourself? Believe me, it's not for pity. I did this to myself, so I ask for none. It's not for praise, either. Although it's nice to hear, it really doesn't do anything to change the situation. I wrote it so that you would get an idea of what I do around here. I wrote it so that some of you might take mercy on me when you feel the need to express yourselves. I wrote it because everyone else gets a chance to B&C here but me... and sometimes it's just nice to B&C.
You can now go back to your previously planned programming and know that I find you all amazing in your own special ways.
Your Resident Adviser,