Cyber Goddessess don't hang out just anywhere you know.
A new forum had opened up and they needed the help. It had a few areas in which I had been studying a long time. I thought I could generate enough messages in those areas, then I could learn about the others.
I submitted my application to the WIZOP. I blatantly declared my weirdness, and offered my services. I got lucky and got the job. I was literally jumping up and down when I found out. Ask my kids, they were witnesses, at the scene.
From then on, I found I had entered another dimension in cyberspace. I could no longer use my nickname as a staff member. My connect time was free, while in the forum. Yipee! I had to learn about different types of software, for use in doing my job. I learned the rules and regs on forum policies and procedures, too. Customer Service things and forum projects get addressed. I took care of my message board, my library and my conferences. Attended staff meetings, etc. It's a lot of work, but a lot of fun being a section leader.
It really is like going into an office building or somewhere, and going to work. You just can't see the other people you work with.
There is the same type of relationship/office politics that go on as well. Some places better than others. I've been real fortunate to work with people I can respect, and who demonstrate respect to me, and to each other. I've seen issues about ethics and conflicts handled by staff members in good and bad ways. Decisions to lock out people for inappropriate behavior is alone, an interesting topic for discusion.
I've only helped get one person locked out. I caught him trying to con a file, containing one's password, out of unsuspecting "newbies" and such. This would mean that if he/she/it talked you out of your file ("Help me! I deleted my xxx.xxx file by accident. Can you send me yours?"), he/she/it then could use your password and account number to go online and have it billed to you. I got him locked out in less than 2 hrs, I think. It was on a weekend.
Here's a Cyber Goddess tip: Record your chats if someone tries to pull a con on you. This way it can help determine the person trying to steal your password. Notify the nearest staff member if one is present. Chat them while the other person is chatting you. Try to get their UID#, it's like getting the license plate number of the guy that just tried to rob you then drove away.
There can definately be some interesting scenarios playing out in cyberspace. But overall, people on line are like people anywhere else. Some really great nice ones, and some real road kill jerks, and some in the middle.
Some really good friendships have been made in forums and in staff groups. They are as real a friendship as any I've had in the "real world". There have even been a couple weddings in one group of which I am a part. We had an online shower for one bride, complete with a hunky dancing cowboy and refreshments (plenty of chocolate on hand of course)! I brought balloons and streamers. (S)
The groom-to-be was in attendance for a while, as were a few of the other guys. One of the guys wanted to make sure we knew who he was by changing his handle to "Not the Stripper". The guys basically chickened out and left the women to romp. It was quite a party, and I think the bride-to-be felt well fetted afterwards.
The groom-to-be had a bachelor party on line as well. (I won't get into the details here, but I'll just say that I know there were 3 people there with the same UID#, so I think they slipped in a couple strippers. You know... it's a guy thing.) The bride-to-be knew about it so I guess it was ok. It did cause a bit of a ruckus however, when the "boys" didn't pick up after themselves in the staff library! "Somebody", and you know who you are...left a "party favor GIF" in the library. Tsk, tsk. This however gave me a wonderful opportunity to do a little "chain yanking".
The file was named "Lo and some number I don't remember". It was, I admit a very attractive woman. Much better than the OTHER little picture they forgot to get as well. Those boobs were definately hers, she paid for them. But I digress.
I proceeded to write to one of the party goers that the jig was up on the bachelor party and not to let the file name confuse anybody into thinking that it was a picture of me. I posted this in the staff message library and it was a hoot! Zip! That GIF was out of the staff library in no time and several attendees were adding to the thread on behalf of their good behavior at the party. "The girls" and I had a lot of fun with that party favor too, even though we weren't invited in.
With these and many other people in forums, and on email lists, I have welcomed new babies,and sent sympathy to those who are dealing with illness or lost loved ones. With them I have celebrated other's fortunes and grieved misfortunes.
I've watched TV together with them, experienced storms, and freezes and floods with them. Played cards with them. (Wink) One night, I even sat at my keyboard, singing the song "Y.M.C.A.", out loud, along with someone else in Texas, someone in Wisconsin, some one in New Zealand and a few others scattered around the globe, also singing it together, out loud. It looked really cool as it was being typed out. I think my kids knew I had stepped over the edge a bit that night. It was so much fun.
These people are my cyber-friends. I know the names of their children and other family members. I've seen pictures of them and their friends and families. We celebrate new cars and birthdays. We grow to love each other, and that's real good, for all of us.
I've learned so much since becoming a section leader. I've learned more about people, communicating, genders, belief systems, manners, responsibility, consequences, truth, and lies. I think I have definately earned a few Cosmic Cyber Goddess credit hours, for off-campus temple testing, by being a section leader.
I've not heard Ann Landers or anybody like that describe this side of cyber-space. It's not just chat rooms by any means. It can be like home.