Swap Drama (AKA If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then why’m I writing now?)

Ha.  Well, I didn’t have time to add text earlier when I posted those pictures, so now that I do, I thought I’d just rattle off a few things.  The first three pictures are of my contributions to the toadstool stuffie swap and the knit/crochet swap (beret).  I used Lion Brand Landscapes felting wool blend and I must say I loved it.  The one drawback was that the dark blue dye bled a little when I tried drying it by means other than air or dryer.  It did not seem to do so in the washer or at any other time, but the heat seemed to do something strange and make it bleed.  It didn’t affect the other colors or stain anything, so no big deal.

The last picture, the one of the Owl ATC, is a scan of an ATC I mentioned a few entries back.  I sent the sender a two sentence private message listing all the reasons (see entry link above) I was giving her a 3, then gave her a 3 rating, commenting publicly only that I had sent her a message…and then the drama ensued. 

She wrote back and said she knew she was late, but asked if I could tell her “how I used someone else’s work” because she had made the card herself.  I wrote her again and briefly explained how I knew it was someone else’s work, whose work it was (we’ll call her Blue),  and how I knew it came from the envelope (again, see previous entry for details) . 

She wrote a longer message this time, stating “There’s nothing in the swap description that says the owl has to be hand stamped by the person making the card”.  I mean, come on.  There’s nothing in the driver’s manual that says you shouldn’t steal other people’s license plates, but you still shouldn’t.  Since when are ethics dictated by swap requirements?  If you are using someone else’s work Give. Them. Credit.  And of course, no explanation for why she allegedly didn’t know what I was talking about when I said it was someone else’s work.  She went right from “how did I use someone else work?” to “this is why I used someone else’s work” with no admission of the contradiction or reason why she did not feel a necessity to give credit.  Then she mentions something about having seen swaps specifically about trading stamped images (as if that has anything to do with the price of Alex Trebek’s hair gel) and proceeds to tell me “This is just really blown out of porportion.”  As though I and not she were continuing discourse on what should have been a closed matter.  I opted not to respond.

Next, I get a message from Blue.  That’s right, she enlisted the person whose work she stole to fight on her behalf.  I don’t know what sob story she told Blue about what a big meanie I am, but, then, I probably don’t care.  Whatever it was, it must have been a great spin because she had Blue on her side.  I don’t mean Blue was rude to me or anything of the sort.  I just mean, Blue sent a message really championing this girl and nicely trying to convince me to give her a 5.  I can see where Blue was coming from, she was not privy to all the info, plus not only did someone like her work enough to steal it, I recognized it right away when I saw it and I am sure that was a really nice feeling.  NIce enough, perhaps, to overlook not getting credit, especially if the story is spun correctly.

Well, naturally, I had to disabuse Blue of the notion that the uncredited use of her work was the only reason for the 3 rating.  I also reminded her that I was not an unreasonable person, referring her back to when she herself had written to let me know she might be late with a swap.  My response was very much “No big deal!  Thanks for letting me know!” and other chipper exclamatory statements.  I must have done a fairly good job of convincing her that all was not the sunshine and roses picture painted by ATC girl because she asked for a picture, expressing doubt over the veracity of other statements made by the girl, which is why I posted a picture.  I hope I did not come across as being rude to Blue.  All my vitriol was intended elsewhere, but there was a lot of it and some might have appeared to spill over.  If so, I heartily apologize to Blue.  It was unintentional.

Actually, you know, I can pretty much guess a lot of what ATC girl told Blue, am pretty sure, in fact, it went a lot like this: “I loved the owl stamp, cut it off, and used it on the card… That was only one element of the card anyway… ”  I suppose, technically, that last statement is true, but I think if you look at the photo you will have to agree that the owl is most definitely the focal pointof the ATC.  As for the first statement, I think that pretty much answered her ownquestion of “how did I use someone else’s work?”, didn’t it? 

I concluded the exchange with a final message to ATC girl, stating that she had helped me decide to stop participating in swaps, that the exchange of messages had reinforced that decision, and that, since she knew full well why she was getting the 3, she should have accepted it gracefully and moved on.  I mean, if someone tells you, you are getting a 3 because you did do A, you did do B and you did not do C, the decision on whether to appeal the rating should be simple.  Did you do A & do B and not do C?  If your answers are yes, yes, and no, take the rating.  Don’t admit to A, pretend you don’t know what B is, and ignore C like it doesn’t matter to try to get something more than you’ve earned.

Now, I am happy to have this all off my chest and am all done ranting, except to say this: If you steal other people’s work I will call you out on it.  If you steal my work I might cause you bodily harm with office supplies (nothing worse than a papercut, baby!).  If you want to quote me, tell me and give me credit.  Simple as that. 

(Also note, if I have had a beer, I will write for a loooong time…)

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One Response

  1. […] Posted on March 2, 2009 by eloahjames The descriptions for these pictures can be found here. .gallery { margin: auto; } .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; […]

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