Sunday, April 24, 2005

Week one.

I hate corporate idiocy. (Don't we all?) I now understand why it is the Evil Empire that is the Insurance Industry is as expensive as it is.

They pay good money to far too many people essentially doing the same job over and over and over again in needlessly repetitive ways, and do not encourage any sort of thinking or proactive efforts. I'm getting the impression most of it is indeed spread out over hundreds of cubicle farms just like the one I'm currently slogging it out in. I cringe to think of the money going out just to keep the paper trail moving.

We are in the Insurance business.
This by nature is benefiting from the woes of others.
We are not in this to be helpful.

We are here to make money.

I think that right there is the message being sent. Here's my reasoning for coming to that conclusion.

I do data entry now. No, it isn't much of a challenge, but it pays enough. More in fact than I made in previous management positions back West if you can believe. A sad commentary on both the job market back home, and the inequity of job to income ratios overall. It makes no damn sense - but that is another rant.

So yes, I punch numbers. About all I have to worry about is not making a typo - the most common mistake, that. What I've been told I can't do is think while I'm doing this. Intuitive action is not a part of the job description, apparently.


I type in a provider number. It comes up blank - no data for that number. I retype it to make sure I didn't screw anything up, and voila - still blank.

At this point, I'm supposed to just pull the order and send it back to the provider for the correct information. But wait! There is a way to do other sorts of lookups to see just what the problem is. So I do so.

Did anyone show me how to do that? No. I've worked with computers and mainframes and such enough to understand such a simplistic task as changing your search parameters. For hell sakes, if nothing else, it's right there on the damn screen. (No, some of my co-workers did not understand that and had no idea what I was talking about when I asked why we couldn't just do this later, or even if they did, did not understand what the shortened explanations of said codes meant.)

We are drones.
We are here to make money.
We are not here to think or learn.

So instead of searching by number, I search by name. Simple enough - the provider's name is right there on the claim sheet. Miracle of miracles, there's the information. With the proper provider code number. And all the rest. Am I allowed to type in the correct info and continue to process?

No. Why? "That just isn't how it's done. We have to send it back."

That's right, back. When I have the info right there at hand to move this bad boy along, I'm required to send it back. So they can retype it. And send it out again to be reprocessed to the point where I get it. After it's been sorted and batched and other such ridiculousness.

So, we're not allowed to change things. Usually. With one exception. Can you guess what that might be? Of all the information fields on a bill, the one thing we can screw with is ...

That's right. The money.

Why is that, you ask?

We're here to make money.
If you find a discrepancy on the money, fix it.
You know how to add - do so.
Just do it on paper because we won't let you access the calculator program or anything else - OPSEC, you know.

But ... shouldn't we be doing something with that 'amount paid' bit, so their payment shows up right?

No, don't bother with the amount paid already - that isn't our concern.
Total charges, itemized charges, make sure it's right.

You know, this doesn't make much sense. We could be saving time and money just by doing this right, not having to send it back and all ... Do you realize I'm working on some bills that go back to 2003? What, are these the ones that keep going through the system, never to actually reach the patient, while the credit folks harrass them for non-payment all the same? Surely we can do better than this.

Don't forget, you are here to make money too.
Now shut up, punch numbers, and make your money quietly.

I loathe bureaucracy.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The times, they are a'changing.

Shorter bit tonight. Shorter rant.

In three days time, my life changed rather quickly, it seems. Got a car, got it registered and licensed, am terribly pleased with the whole thing ... and now I've joined the working class again. You'd think I'd be terribly pleased with that too, neh?


I knew I wasn't looking at any dream jobs when I chose to go the quick and dirty route of agency work. The point was to get cash, get it fast, and not get stuck in something I had to work up to to meet those cash goals, or something I couldn't gracefully get out of if/when I needed to. It's not like I had any illusions.

Still, when the agency called late Thursday afternoon asking if I could start at 8am on Friday ... I freaked. The hell? That soon? Good lord, still didn't have a daycare locked down, though I had discussed taking the walkthrough with one just the day earlier.

Long story short there, the place was as awesome as I'd hoped, and though I have much guilt on some levels, the lil man has been thrilled with it all and I feel confident he'll be well cared for there, and that he'll be learning things and getting the socialization he needs.

Sound like I'm trying to convince myself? You try letting go like that after you've had 3+ years of having your lil buddy trailing you around, and knowing just how hard it is after having a daughter in day care for a good long while however long ago. Damn right I am.

So, the job.

First off, you have to understand that this job is B.F.E. from where I live. They gave me a position about as far out as I'd said I'd go for work. Takes a good 25 minutes to drive there. With gas prices where they are, yeah. It's a concern. At least I enjoy driving.

Second off, it's data entry. Now, nothing wrong with that perse, except for the fact that I'm on the computer for 8 hours a day ... and can't access mIRC or the forums (yet - checking on that later) at all. Yay, my own private hell of compy time minus the fun.

Third off, while all the folks working with me that I know of so far seem really nice, I don't get the impresion that I'll be having many deep philosophical discussions with them. I'm planning on bringing my tunes and just trying to soldier through the stacks of medical claims as best I can til I can move on. I walked in the door there and one of my first thoughts as I surveyed the cubicle farm was 'I so don't belong here'. Later on it was the realization that many of the good folks working there looked the types to have aspirations of paying off that Ford truck and settling into a nice double-wide trailer and calling it good.

Yes, folks. I have discovered that I am indeed an elitist prick. And I'm not sure I like that. C'est la vie.

Fourthly, more than half my $$ goes to daycare. Also kind of expected, but I'd hoped it wouldn't be quite that much. Caring for kids is expensive. Now, why homemakers can't get a good break from the government for doing what they do for no compensation is beyond me, but hey. That's a rant for another day. Bottom line is, it's a damn good thing this job is paying decently (it is in fact paying more than I've made at GOOD jobs previous to now), or I'd not have taken it. Should have plenty to work on getting things paid off, as planned. More importantly, should be able to qualify now for the house we want - which was the big push here.

In the meantime, I'm grateful for the cash, the opportunity to get what we want it's going to afford, and the fact this is only temporary. Because I tell you what, I'd slit my wrists if I had to think of the prospect of doing this long term, day in day out. Here's to hoping something better pans out in the meantime. If I have to do the time, might as well be doing something I enjoy. Self-imposed hell sucks.

So much for not sharing personal bits, neh?

Current mood: Conflicted.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

I hate the living.

It's been a few since my last rant, so I figure it's appropriate that this one is a doozy. And it covers several aspects.

As I mentioned in one of the IRC channels earlier, today has been one big exercise in 'how pissed off can we get Nathi before she finally snaps and kills someone'. Now, common believe aside, I'm not usually the truly violent type. Today, I could have gladly tried for some live rp'ing to go all 'Dread Lady' on several people's asses with little regret (til later of course, then it'd be All Over TM).

But I digress. I may seem to do that quite a bit in this one.

Ever have one of those days when you get up and you can just tell you would have been better off staying in bed and sleeping til it were all over? Today was just such a day, as you may well have guessed. Some dark, unheeded corner of my brain was desperately trying to hit the 'abort' key, while the rest of my conscious mind was yelling 'full speed ahead, and don't spare the whip!'. It was going to be one of those busy days. I had hoped to prepare for that by going to bed at a decent hour the night before, but was unable to sleep. Proper thanks goes out here, given the insomnia problem faded, and I slept like a baby. Until I had to get up all too early, and so didn't want to even move. Yeah, it was one of those where you swear, even breathing seems to take more effort than it's worth.

Usual morning routine of 'hurry up and get ready', then pile da lil one in the car and drive il marito to work so I could have the car - something which will soon be changing once I get my minivan.

Yes. Minivan. You got a problem with that, bub?

All seems to be going well - a bad sign if ever I saw one. Any time things seem to be going well in spite of that nagging feeling, one ought to be on guard for the sudden switches. Or in this case, the slow creeping doom. It began with little things. Like how the preferred daycare I'd looked into wouldn't have any openings til May. And then, only 'maybe', if they opened up a new class. The little man, also being impressed with the place, was none too keen on leaving. After a bit of conversation and promises of other fun things to do at home, he agreed that we could compromise on this - very advanced reasoning for a three year old, you know. Of course, on reaching home, he decided to withdraw from the agreement by grabbing onto the headrest slides in front of him, holding on for dear life, and screaming 'NOOOOO!' at the top of his lungs when I tried to coax him out. Thinking perhaps he just needed a moment to think about it and adjust to the idea that home is where we would be staying for a bit, I explained the consequences, then gently shut the door and walked into the house only to grab the bags of empty cans that were sitting just inside the front door so I could bring them out for recycling. (Yeah, go us. *waves a lil flag*) You know the reasoning here, yes?

"He'll want to come out because he won't like the idea of being left."

Didn't work. Or rather, yes, he didn't like it. But he liked the idea of just getting out of the car less.

I tried it one more time, this time going into the kitchen to retrieve the trash - a matter of mere moments, I assure you - then headed back outside to the dumpster, which is at the other end of our apartment building. He still wouldn't budge.

Well, that was enough of that, so I gently extricated him from both his seat and the headrest - a delicate task as he is one strong little cuss, and I had no interest in harming him in any way (though by this time I was starting to lose patience) - and then carried him into the house. He straightened himself out like a board, and I ended up having to cradle him in both arms, sideways. Yep, sideways like hauling lumber. I laid him down on the couch, and he went into one of his OMG TANTRUMs. This kind doesn't just get mad, he spits. He clenches his teeth and forces saliva through them, resulting in bubbles and bubbles that he somehow thinks are going to help him get his way. I really should have taken a picture. Maybe next time - there is always a next time.

I let him cry it off, which took him quite a while and somewhat ruined the plans for the playground. Not about to reward behaviour like that. Didn't matter what room I was in, he'd follow me in just to make sure he knew just how vexed he was with me not wanting to stand all day watching him sit in the car. Luckily, it didn't take too long for him to get happy again. Thank $diety.

So, life moved on. Thinking, as I had been told, that I was going to have guests today, I got my things ready to drop off at an agency office downtown, and I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Generally, when someone says 'see you tomorrow', and they have had a fairly steady pattern of when that time 'tomorrow' is, one expects that in some sort of reasonable time frame, one will indeed see those they are expecting to see. No dice. No phone call, no nothing. Ah well - not so bad, right? Still have time to take care of things before we pick up il marito, and time after to drop those papers off, seeing as how for the first time this week, he was getting off on time.

Now, in order to fully understand this next bit, I have to make one thing perfectly clear.


I hate 'em.

Thrice-damned, difficult, 'we aren't here to help you, we're here to see how hard we can screw you before you break and scream' sons of bitches, I say. Only redeeming quality of them is that sometimes when the stars are right, and the heavens are properly aligned, and after having signed over your firstborn in triplicate, they may deign to loan you some cash. If they feel like it at the time. Possibly.

Remember that minivan I mentioned earlier? (Quit it.) To get said vehicle, money is required. Now, previously, when I found a car that was less than half of what this one is costing (read: only $1500 for the cheaper one), this bank wouldn't give me a loan for it. Not even a short one. Regardless of the fact that we could easily afford the payments. They said that due to policy (remember this word - they use it a lot), they couldn't loan on a car for that small an amount without having something else of value attached to it.

"You're close, but you just haven't earned it yet, baby."

If I couldn't afford the other in one lump sum, how, you may well ask, can I afford to do it with a more expensive car? Simple. Daddy helped me out (Shut it, you) with an interest-free loan, which I will be paying back in full asap. He sent me out a check to take care of this, for which I am eternally grateful. Mad props to Dad.

The next thing you have to understand is that $Cash$ is what was required for this transaction to work properly. No, not checks, cash. C.A.S.H. And no, I'm not talking 'Johnny'. Reasons for this are unclear, aside from the 'this is how the bank wants it'. Said bank is holding the title to the car - a crucial part of this transaction.

Said bank is also three - count 'em - three hours away from here.

Now that we have the facts clear ...

I drive up to the bank, merrily pop my id in with the check and deposit slip, thinking 'my how convenient drive-thrus are', when a tinny voice crackles over the poor abused speaker system.

"Ma'am? I'm afraid we can't give you back that much in cash. It's our policy."

I blink. I ask her to please repeat that. I get more of the same.

Why is this, you may ask? Well, the bank the check was from was not theirs. This is something banks just can't stand, you know - the fact that they have competitors all over the place. "One Bank to Rule them All" you see. Further proof that they are an Institution of Evil.

For another thing, the amount. Good God Almighty, $3500 is just an earthshattering number to be tossing about, I know. How anyone could expect to be able to cash a check in that amount at their own bank with some degree of success is beyond me. Perish the thought. How arrogant of me to assume.

Yet another thing was the fact it was a 'personal' check. Had this been payroll, perhaps things would have been different. Perhaps. The respect for Authority and a fellow Institution Who Has Us By the Balls is how this all scans.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but there's nothing I can do. Perhaps if you deposit it here tonight? You could withdraw the cash in the morning. It's not our fault - it's Federal policy that it has to sit here overnight for reasons we cannot reveal to you."

Of course I could. If it weren't for the fact that the current owner, who needs the cash, is planning on making a three hour long drive on a Saturday - when banks close by Noon - and thus needs to be leaving from here no later than 8:30am ... and yep, you guessed it - the earliest banks open on a Saturday, and it's at least a 20 minute drive from our bank to the seller's house ... perhaps if this were not the situation, this would be a viable option.

At this point, it's about 3:30pm, and I'm late to pick up da hubby, and am increasingly Not Amused. "Would you like me to give you back the $600 and deposit the rest?" the teller asks cheerfully. No, I want my damn check back so I can see if there are other options we can work out. Intro drive down the freeway to the other side of town.

Thinking it best to check again with the owner of the vehicle, we stop over there first - it's easier to go there than all the way back to the bank to raise Cain, then drive back, especially considering the wonderful gas prices of late. Of course, said owner is not home. Granted, we're an hour earlier than we had expected, thus we figure 'she'll be here sometime soon, lets go check other options'.

Intro more driving, this time in a town we're not familiar with. Scanning the roadside for just the right sort of business ... and huzzah! We strike gold. Not one, but TWO quick cash places. We stop at the first.

"Of course we can cash that check! Just let me run this through the system to make sure it will clear."

At this piont, I'm wondering what the fuck my bank's problem was, given that they have an office in the same town my father's bank is, and surely ought to bloody well be able to run a similar check to prove that his account could indeed, at that very moment, cover the funds. Then the other shoe drops.

"Now, to cash this, we'll need ten percent of the total amount. That would be ... $350.00."

My jaw nearly hit the floor.

"Are you kidding me?"

No, he assured me in a chipper, friendly voice, he was most certainly not kidding. Was there perhaps any way my bank ... ah, no. I see. Sob story delivered, and no, thanks to policy, it was a 'pay to play' situation. We moved on to the next location.

These ladies were truly wonderful, if a bit scatterbrained now and then. No, no I didn't have an account there. Yes, I do need help. Intro sob story. Much commisseration ensues. Options are put forward. The fact that our bank has a location in this town just a few blocks away comes up. We head down to the bank to talk to 'Steve', because he is 'really a nice guy' and could possibly help us.

Steve was about as useful as a condom that's been designed with holes in it 'for more comfort and better sensation'. Couldn't do a damn thing for us, regardless. Didn't matter that it was obvious that the situation was becoming increasingly desperate as the minutes ticked by, nor the fact that the check was indeed good ... "We're sorry."

Mmmhmm. So am I.

Back to the owner's house. Finally there. It's about 5pm now, and I'm starting to feel a bit panicked. After much explaination, and not for the life of me being able to understand why we couldn't have just traded checks earlier, thus being able to have avoided all of this unpleasantness to begin with, nor why we couldn't just write her a check which she could deposit which woudln't go through til the next day, earliest, which would be covered, and then write a personal check from her account to the other bank that was holding the title ... Uh uh. More calls are made. To mother in law. To the 3-hours-away banker.

End result? "We need to have either cash, or a cashier's cheque. Think you could manage to talk your bank into that?"

Oh sure. Like I haven't just been the rounds with them for the past couple hours and gotten basically told 'no' a dozen different ways. The difference is the new option of that cashier's cheque. Without much choice, and hoping that this will finally be a solution, we head back to the bank. And wait in the drive-thru, which is really more of a 'come and park and watch every other line move foreward while yours sits' situation. On reaching the window, sob story related again. Can you guess the response?

"No, I'm sorry, we just can't help you."

"Not even if w--"


"But the ch--"


"You know, it'd be a damn shame if something were to--"


"Could you perhaps tell me why in hell I'm banking here when all I ever get from you people is 'no'?"


"Alright then. I was told that if I make the deposit tonight, I can still get the cash in the morning. We didn't know there was a bank this close, so didn't think we could make the deadline. Perhaps if the seller meets us right here, and we're here right at 8:30am tomorrow ... can you guarantee me I can get that money in the morning?"

"Let me check ... Oh, no."

"No?!? I was told at the other location I could? What the hell is this?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but since the deposit would be after 4pm, it wouldn't be available til Monday. Standard policy, you know."

"No, no I didn't know. HAD I known, or had you people bothered to tell me, I would have deposited it at 3:30 and not dicked around for going on three hours! I was told 'deposit tonight, get cash in morning' not 'this is a limited time offer'."

"I'm sorry ma'am, but that's all we can do. Would you like to make a deposit?"

Yeah. I made the thrice-damned deposit. And with the reciept in my hot little angry hand, I made my way BACK to the last quick check place to beg, on hands and knees if necessary.

It wasn't necessary. The ladies were still very nice. BUT in order to make this work, we needed a recent bank statement, and a paystub. Which of course, were at home and work respectively. All out of reach, as it was now nearly 5:45, and business closed at 6:00. We were told that if we could get at least a 30 day bank statement showing the auto-deposits, they might be able to help us.

We drove like hell back to the bank. And waited in line again. Cursing the whole time. Got the statement. 3 months worth, oddly enough. Drove like hell back to the quick check place, got there with about 60 seconds to spare before the deadline. Was assured that whatever info we were lacking could be gotten to them Monday - when of course, we would be paying off this little loan. Part way through the paperwork, you guessed it, disaster struck.

"Now, how much was this for, again?"


"Excuse me?"

"Thirty-three hundred dollars."

"Oh. Oh! We only loan up to $300!"

" . . . "

"Oh dear, I am so sorry ... do you want to--"

"No, no that's fine. No really, it's ok."

"I'm sorry, I misunderstood when you said--"

"Not your fault, appreciate all your help. You really have been very kind to go out of your way like this. No worries, we'll work something out."

"Um ... would you like me to shred those papers then ...?"

"Yes, please. Thanks again - going to go talk to the owner and see what if anything we can do."

"I'm sorry we couldn't help you. Have a good night!"

We drove back to the owner's house. More discussion ensues. It is decided that by hook or by crook we will attempt Operation Earlybird Money Retreival. And if that doesn't work? Got no choice but to wait til Monday, and whenever the next time she's able to take 6 hours+ out of her day to drive up north to get the goram title.

This had better be one helluva good car, I tell you what.

It's nearly 1:30am now. Been clenching my jaw so hard it aches. I've got to be at that bank, bright and chipper and acting like I had NO idea that after one of THEIR employees told me that I could deposit in good faith, then withdraw the next day, that there was a 4pm deadline. I will have tears prepared. The owner will be present to add extra sob-factor to the situation. It's gonna be an Oscar performance, I tell you what. Will update all this later with the results.

To you smartasses thinking I should have just deposited the check earlier? Would have, oddly enough - had not il marito's work kept him after banking hours every farking day this week, and father waited a bit to send the check out. Did I mention that since the check from my father was to me, I had to be the one to deposit/cash it? Remember that whole 'one car' deal? With the limited time we had to work with this, given the time constraints and when we got it, things just did not gel. Lotta 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' going on here, yes. But hey. Glass is neither half empty, nor half full. That which it contains is toxic sludge, thus making the choice moot, since I don't wanna drink it anyways.

You'll pardon if I'm feeling less than optimistic at this point.

No bankers, tellers, or loan officers were threatened or harmed in any way so that we could bring you today's rant. Unfortunately.

Things went pretty much as expected. Even after speaking to a manager, it was a no go. Even if this could have been avoided had they said something the first time. You know. Before the 4pm cutoff that I wasn't aware of until too late. Come Monday we will be looking into new banking options. Had this been the only thing, perhaps not, but it hasn't been.

Not happy with your situation? Change it. That's my policy.

Music: The Crow Soundtrack
Current Mood:

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Same Old Whine: Would You Like Some Cheese With That?

We've all had to deal with them, whether in game, in class, at work, on the roads, in lines at the bank or stores ...
  • The person who feels the need to point out why the rules apply to everyone but themselves.
  • The person who thinks that if they ask the same question twenty different ways, they might get a different answer.
  • The person who refuses to take 'no' for an answer.
  • The person who tries to find every possible way around the rules.
  • The person who would rather resort to ad hominem than add anything meaningful to the discussion.
  • The person who uses the same old tired phrases and arguments in every damn discussion they're in.
  • The person who pushes the limit everywhere they can, and then goes out of their way to look for offenses in others.
  • The person who feels they have more of a 'right' to an opinion on anything, just because it is their opinion. (Which of course, even when proven horribly wrong, is right. Always. At whatever cost.)
Are we getting a clear picture, here?

I was strolling through Moderation today, when I stumbled across a post that got me going. Big surprise there, I know. I'm going to edit and add to the content of my reply there to better fit the 'Daily Rant' that it inspired here, and take it from ... well, yes. There. *ahem*

We have complainers. And lots of them. Now, is it wrong to complain? Of course not. Question everything. Questioning is what gets us answers, and often clarifies the situation for everyone involved. It also lets those in charge know when there are problems that need addressing. And when there are problems that really do not need it, for that matter. Questions are good.

Stupid repetitive whining is not.

The fact that they may feel they have not recieved an adequate answer on some of these occasions is beside the point entirely. We've covered this before in other threads, with other posts, all saying basically the same thing, oddly enough. Many seem to be in the habit of belaboring a supposed 'point', misdirecting the conversation, resorting to ad hominem time and again, to the point where just about everyone reading it is more likely to want to tear their hair out than give them any serious second thought.

Let's not name names, here. I might be listing til the sun came up, after all.

In other words, the rude, presumptuous methods some folks keep using to pursue these issues is not helping them in the least - something they have repeatedly been told, and just don't seem to comprehend for one reason or other. It's also what is continually getting them into trouble.

Bear this in mind: Attitude, Presentation, Delivery, and Intent do have a lot to do with what sorts of response you get. In most cases you will get out of it what you put into it. Garbage in, Garbage out, to simplify.

Those individuals who seem to constantly be looking for a reason to argue are not the authority there on NS. Neither am I (all supposed Conspiracies aside). It's not that difficult to recognize that fact. The mods however, are. They have been appointed by the creator and admins there, who also oversee their actions. What they say goes. We do not have to agree with it. Yes, we do have the freedom to ask questions when we feel something hasn't been handled correctly. And when we get their final answer on it, guess what?

We get to deal with it. End of story.

Is this fair? Considering we don't pay one red cent to be able to enjoy the game, and agreed to abide by the rules of this site when we created our nations there ... yes, yes it is. Does it 'feel' fair all the time? Probably not, but this isn't about 'feelings'. It's about facts. And the fact remains that this is how it is. NationStates is not a democracy, is not a place created just for each and every one of us to use to forward our personal agendas, is not protected by supposed 'free speech' clauses, and is not our site to dictate how things get run.

"But I've invested so much time there! Surely that gives me a right!"
No. Your time, your choice, your problem. Suck it up.

"But without players, they won't have a game! They HAVE to listen to us!"
No, they don't. You don't like it, you're free to leave. Protesting by not posting? Great. Go for it. Free up some bandwidth for the rest of us to to mainline it like the addicts we are. More power to you, brother and/or sister. *waves flag and idly yawns*

"But letting we inmates run the assylum would be a NICE thing to do!"
Take your rose-colored glasses, and stuff 'em. NationStates wasn't created to be 'nice' to you. It was a marketing tool. One that ended up sucking thousands from our favorite fixer, the Immortal Tetragrammaton Lord Max Barry. (Yes, worship him, fools.) From everything I've seen, Mr. Barry is indeed a very nice man, and I'm sure that if this were not the case, he'd have yanked the game ages ago. I don't get the impression that he's out to cause distress or not be 'nice' to anyone.

People say they want more 'nice'. Gee, that's very sweet. Bear in mind however, that one man's 'nice' is another man's nightmare. Lots of us think it's 'nice' to have spammers and flamers and other folks shut down ASAP. Other folks think it's 'nice' to continue to let folks break the rules while they, meaning well and trying to crusade for the betterment of mankind and all other such Noble Causes TM, of course try to 'change' or 'help' the offenders while criticizing the rest of us for not being more tolerant. That whole 'punish the innocent to save the criminal' mentality, you know. I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into that.

"But I'm addicted to this game now! You HAVE to change it to suit my needs, for my own personal benefit!"
Not our problem. Not their problem. Your problem. Shut yap. Get help.

Look, people. It's a big board. We as a whole have proven that we are incapable of moderating ourselves. Order was called for, Order was delivered in the form of our Moderators (praise be their Holy Names), who volunteer their time to deal with all our piddly little traumas day in and day out. It's free. We're out nothing but the time we voluntarily put into it. Do us all a favor, ask what questions you need, if you really are looking for an honest answer, and not trying to just bait or be a total asshat, then when you get your answer - like it, feel it adequate, or not - and then go about your business. Those who end up spending more time grinding axes than playing the game have historically either gotten bitter and jaded and a) left voluntarily b) finally irritated enough people and got hounded into leaving c) got deated when they took things too far. Word to the wise, folks. It's your dime. You can spend it trying to play, or you can waste it trying to fight losing battles. (Not that all discussions or efforts are losing propositions, mind. Please tell me after all of this you know the difference.)

What part of all this is unclear? If people want their 'right' to speak their mind without censure, they can get themselves an online journal or blog or what have you, and rant to their little heart's content. Yes, just like me. Yay. Those who wish to continue participating on NationStates who fall into any of those 'profiles' I've mentioned here, I respectfully suggest they reassess their methods, and intentions, and learn how to try and get along a little better. If not, perhaps that is not the best place for them - said just as an observation, not in telling them all to 'get the hell out'.

It's late. It's really late. I feel like I've lost my steam somewhere in the middle of all this tonight, so I think before I get rambling on all over again, I'm gonna put it away and call it good for now, and possibly edit it properly tomorrow.

Oh yes - one last thing: Those who don't see the 'Max/mod-worshipping' for the good-natured fun it's intended need to stop taking themselves so seriously.

This .gif open to your own interpretations/reasons/explanations/guesses. I'll never tell.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Evil is Subjective. Here's my first Subject:

The Player Once Known as Decisive Action recently wrote: "What can I say, when I'm wrong or said something I ought not to have said, I say it, I'm not beyond admitting when I'm wrong. Hey, when you're wrong, you're wrong."

I've got news for you, boyo. You're wrong.

You ask "How dumb do you have to be" in one of your recent forum posts on the LOEL (affectionately coming to be known as Losers Only Everyone Loathes). I'll ask you the same in turn. How much of an utter idiot do you have to be to think that people don't see right through your bullshit? We're all starting to think there's a reason LOEL is one letter away from LOL, because you have got some comedic gold in those pages - all unintentional it seems.

The only 'mod bias' as you say, has been their usual bias against troublemakers and rulebreakers - even your own alliance buddies on NS turned against you folks over that last bit. Are you really that blind to think that this is all some grand conspiracy just to make your life miserable? I hate to break it to you kid, but you just ain't that important in the grand scheme of things. This little blurb here is just me letting off some steam, just because I can. You're nothing more than a worn-out speed bump in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Your claims of my continued hassling are empty. We spoke on IRC ages ago, cleared things up, and I - unlike yourself - left you well enough alone. As for Kahta, I've got every bit the right to comment that any other player there does. He wants to take his bs public, he can be a big boy and deal with the fallout. I call it as I see it - just like you claim to do. Is there a reason my (and other people's) opinions should be damned but yours are a basis for slandering, defaming, and lying outright about others? What a sad, pathetic little cretin you must be to carry your campaign of hatred, bigotry, and supposed martyrdom on the way you have. If it weren't so funny to watch you continue to make a complete ass of yourself, I'd have stopped watching this train wreck ages ago.

I don't think the mods are all angels. I do think they're all human, and rather respect them for trying to do their best in a thankless task that they have volunteered for, and carry no real power in having it. And I think that whether you, I, or anyone else likes it or not, they are the appointed authority on those forums. I'd like to point out that with as much patience as they have exhibited with you and your little friend (among countless others) that they have far and above behaved better than yourself - who has banned and deleted any opposing opinion from your boards rather than let any dissenting voice or defense be heard. There are dozens of posts still on NS where you both have had your say, at length. You say in another section "We're supposed to stand firm and make you face us as equals or not at all.". A bit hard when you won't allow any response from those you're trying to crucify, don't you think? How much of a coward does it take to hide constantly behind the lies, half-truths and hate?

Hypocrisy is seldom pretty. You are a prime example of that, at its worst.

You go on about this supposed 'cybering' on those silly boards of yours (that you didn't even have the intellect to set up in your own way, having to copy the NS boards in their opening content) while having nothing to go on but some stupid quotes that people have taken entirely out of context from IRC chat - a service that is NOT officially affiliated with the NationStates game, by the way. And then you have the audacity to claim this is worse than you and your very good friend Kahta going on about how certain people ought to be killed, what percentage of the populace ought to be hunted like animals, baselessly accusing people whom you know next to nothing about of being rapists and whores and any number of bad things?

How stupid do you have to be, boy? Yes, I'm using 'boy' here because I think you've shown us all you're not mature enough to be off your mother's apron strings yet. Obviously, neither she nor your father managed to instill in you the common sense God gave the lowly Ass. (Yes folks, for those of you behind the game here, that is in reference to the animal.)

Lets add a few more examples of DecA: Idiocy at Work, shall we? Just for giggles.

[fifthhorseman] hey, I've never called anybody an offensive term, unless called one first

Lies, as proven by you on your forums. Constant character assassination and libel there, unchallenged due to your efforts at keeping people out, it seems.

[fifthhorseman] care to see an example of myself and buddies using discretion in what needs only be posted on our private forum?

[nathicana] The stuff that doesn't make it to NS really isn't their problem, nor my concern.

[fifthhorseman] it's related to an RP I did on NS that raised a few brows

[nathicana] And if it is anything like what I've seen in some of the others, no thank you.

[fifthhorseman] it's not only like it, it's like 10 times worse

[fifthhorseman] Rped between myself, Kahta, and Democratic Colonies

[nathicana] And ... if the other did not appeal, why do you feel this would?

[fifthhorseman] good point

All of this after you've claimed nothing on your site was inappropriate? Emphasis, mine. Bravo on proving yourself to once again be a liar, not to mention, bragging about your rp's in private while trying to play innocent in public. That doesn't sound very Elect of you - unless by Elect you really mean 'do whatever the hell we want and insist we're perfect anyway, ignoring any scripture that doesn't perfectly support our claims'.

[fifthhorseman] bottom line is, from my pov, they've been out to get me since day 1, and they won't stop being ought to get me, ever.

[nathicana] That is your point of view. I believe it is mistaken. You, however, seem to have rather an axe to grind with them after having had run-ins with them. You also seem to have a problem with authority figures, given what you've said, and shown on the forums. I say 'seem', because it's just my take based on what I've seen.

[fifthhorseman] i have spoken on my views on gov't. I am opposed to tyranny, except my own :)

Thus we see, it's all fine so long as he is the one calling the shots. Anyone else is 'reprobate' and 'out to get him'.

[EDIT]: In an interesting twist, there seems to be more evidence that the player behind Decisive Action, Vote Early, and Communist Mississippi is a cheat and a liar. Grazie, James!

Enjoy continuing on with your tripe and drivel, while the rest of us watch, laugh, and go on our merry way content in the knowledge that you are doing more to figuratively slit your own throat than we ever could, were we actually conspiring. The only reason some continue to rp with you there seems to be for them to have an outlet to live out their fantasies and exhibit their submissive tendencies under the guise of roleplaying - just as you seem to need it for similar reasons, such as playing out your visions of rape, and abuse of power, and twisted view of these White Might Makes Right and pathetic Women Are Whores ideals you seem so fond of.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Again, we see your hypocrisy.

And to those who would like to turn that one around on me? I'm not the one sitting here proclaiming to be better than everyone else, nor being some religious giant who has Visions from God TM, nor going to heaven while the rest of you burn, nor shouting at the top of my voice that I never make mistakes or stoop or fling mud or act inappropriately.

I do. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. I however, make an attempt not to go out of my way to baselessly drag people through the mud while I'm busy playing in it. Choice and accountability - something some folks aparently have zero concept on.

This concludes today's little rant, given that it's been building for a bit as I've watched the utter tripe getting tossed around on the 'net of late, and having finally gotten tired of the bullshit. As always, feel free to respond at, or post your comments here so that we can all either bask in your wisdom, or laugh our asses off at your ineptitude - whichever applies, folks. Me, I'm gonna go cook me up some steak and enjoy it to the full capacity of my little black heart.

To those who have shuffled off this mortal coil this past week, be it in service to their country or beliefs, disaster, misdeed, old age, disease, injustice, casuality, or in the pursuit of Rock, we salute you.

UPDATE: LOEL has apparently been shut down. Earlier in the day, a letter from Invisionfree was posted there concerning content. DecA supposedly 'took care of it'. Later, the board was removed entirely. He seems to think it was 'hacked', and came onto the #nationstates IRC channel on to attack the one he felt was responsible - much to the dismay of many. (A subject for another day.)

This blogger has a differing opinion.

After all, I've only been sending in reports for the past week or so.

An introduction of sorts.

There are those who may wonder a bit at the title for my little corner of the web, here. Allow me to illuminate.

In flagrante delicto - In the very act of committing an offence.

There are, I suppose, several ways of interpreting that. I have always said that when it comes to human nature, 'perception is reality', so I will leave the answer to who or what the phrase applies to up to anyone who chooses to read what gets written here. Who knows? There may be times when several meanings hold pertinence.

What I plan on posting here are my opinions, offered plainly, perhaps bluntly, and with no apology. If you do not like what is written here, you are free to not read, or send me an email at and I will do what I can to address your issues, should I deem them worthy of a response. Arrogant? Perhaps. But then again, this is my blog and I suppose I've as much right to my opinion that way as anyone else.

We'll see how this experiment develops over the next while. I've never held much of an interest in online journals or the like, but then again, this really isn't what this particular blog is going to be about. Those of you hoping for an insight into my more personal life, prepare to be disappointed.

In any case ... here it is. Not in any way associated with the NS Mafia.