So, here’s how this goes.
By my very, very rough estimation, I probably engage in about three thousand transactions related to my projects in a given year. This consists of people who need information, people who want me to send them something, people who want to send me something, and so on – the normal back and forth of doing what it is I do. (I’m not counting mailing out the DVDs of the documentaries – that’s pretty basic.) Some of these transactions are as simple as responding with a number, and some of them are taking possession of materials and doing stuff with them. The latter take longer.
Most of these, I get done somewhat quickly, enough that I get complimented for it. But that’s definitely not the guaranteed situation – I’ve had cases of months getting back to people. I apologize, I try to make up for it somehow, but it does happen. I owe probably a half-dozen e-mail interviews, a couple pieces of hardware need mailing, I promised I’d get back with ideas about someone’s new business or to answer a tough question about the proliferation of various types of media in backup processes…. a bunch of stuff.
Some of this is just me wanting to get stuff right, and some of it is just some minor aspect, my saying “well, I can’t just leave it at that“, and then weeks go by.
Somewhere a ways back, I had a bunch of people involved in the Geocities Torrent, where Archive Team had generated this 647gb collection that uncompresses to about 900gb, and which basically requires a hard drive of its own to really keep a copy of. Some people started torrenting it, and we also ran into some hilarious case sensitivity issue.. and, well.. anyway, so all of it is now up on archive.org if you want a copy. (Hint, it’s huge.)
A number of people mailed me hard drives, about 10. I put a copy on their hard drives, and then mailed them back. Except one.
He was supposed to mail it in February, according to my records.
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 13:55:46 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> sounds good... give me a mailing address, I'm headed to the post office shortly anyway... I'll drop in a label and money for return postage, much appreciated. I'd be mailing a 1gig external usb... I'll delete any data, but the only data is from your torrent download anyway...
But things being what they are, he ended up not mailing it until a month later. These things happen.
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 15:58:00 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> Jason: Hi.. I completely forgot to ship this, put it in my trunk, then forgot it. Anyway, shipped now (see attached). However in my haste I forgot to put in a return label/postage/and something for your time. Have you got a paypal addy? If so I'll send some cash there. If not, I'll send out a money order, let me know. Have a good weekend. Best, Tim
The drive arrived on March 7th.
This drive was in a slightly different form factor than the others, and at the time I didn’t have a dock to put it into, so no way to really read it. I did eventually buy a dock, but only recently. Money was pretty tight for a while (I was unemployed) so I couldn’t really put anything towards a dock and the rest, so the project kind of laid dormant.
The hard drive owner, Tim, mailed me about it, a couple times. I’m sure if I looked at that whole mail spool at the time, I was doing literally dozens of other things.
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:24:45 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> so what's the status of things?
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 18:35:49 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> no word? This is surprising, thought all was cool... Am I going to get the stuff or not? Offered to send you some paypal... what's up? Long time now since the HD arrived. I'd appreciate letting me know what the status is. Tim
“Long time” in this case was 11 days. Not long for me, and as I guess I indicate next, I was also travelling at this time – I had just spent a week at GDC 2011, and was about to go spend another week down in Austin, TX for SXSW, and had spent no time at home between them. So things were now out of sync.
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 19:50:51 -0400 From: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Tim Traveling, back Sunday.
Here was my first mistake, because even if I was back Sunday, I was then stuck not only catching up with a pile of things needing my attention, but I was now going to start employment, and dealing with more travel and projects coming up. I’ve gone from being able to get things working on something like a hard drive, and doing the transfer of material, to heading down a path of more and more complicated projects. I am, in other words, fantastically busy.
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 18:00:30 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> Assume you're back and have been back. What appreciate the status please? Tim
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 23:31:28 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> this going to happen, or I shall chalk it up to life experience?
Here is, looking back, where it goes off the rails. Something about the tone, combined with the work I’m doing, and the whole situation, means that the priority this whole thing has, to go out and get the dock and find the hard drive with my copy of the torrent on it, and then to do the copy, and all the rest, drops noticeably. I’m focused on a lot of things, and something about “chalk it up to life experience” just makes my face scrunch. My mistake was then not just sending the drive back, saying “ah, look, it’s just taking forever”, and then knowing it would be up on archive.org soon anyway.
No, instead of that, I end up doing a non-committal “mmmmm”, e-mail style, which means “Look, yeah, I’m going to get to it, but I’m in the middle of a lot of stuff and I can’t set aside the day to set this all up, OK, just relax.” but probably comes off as “yeah, yeah”.
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 00:40:48 -0400 From: Jason Scott <email@example.com> To: Tim It'll happen.
Now in the low priority bin, Tim is left to flail. Again, my fault. And here, well, here you can watch what happens.
Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 16:04:12 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> my 30 day check in... any updates? T
Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 20:19:40 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> so now I don't even get a reply? If it's not going to happen, then please return the HD so I can put it to use. I'm not certain at this point if you're simply too busy, have forgotten me, or it's something else. You are the one that suggested your doing this, I have not asked otherwise. I need the files, my HD or pay me a fair price for the HD and keep it. Any of the three, but c'mon man, no word is just not right. T
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 17:41:50 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> Jason: I won't bother you again then... IF (and I doubt it) you want to do the right thing, get in touch. I've lost faith in you and this, so keep the HD and the files, I'll find a Unix guy and get the torrent myself. I really thought you were honorable (doing the torrent and all) but WAY too much time has past, this is a very sour deal. Enjoy the HD (life lesson for me). Tim
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 21:29:01 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> Happy July 4th... As the fireworks explode... think of all the honest, good, hard working Americans who lived and died for this country. Then think of those who NEVER follow through, who make promises they never keep or intended to keep, who take merchandise under false pretense, who ruin the integrity and spirit of the net... Have a good weekend. Tim
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 00:48:02 -0500 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> just thought I say hi and let you know I haven't forgotten you. One day... in some way... you will be repaid. Dishonesty is too nice a word for you... Have a happy holiday season... NOT.
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:03:47 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> Happy holidays thief. Hope Santa chokes on your cookies.
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:10:43 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> see you on kickstarter, I'll be sure to follow you CLOSELY.. and help out with comments whenever I see your name online. $100k... yet you rip me off, hard to believe. .
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:14:44 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> ah ha... I see Kickstarter has a link for "reporting projects".. wonder what I can stir up by pasting our long thread... we'll see if you respond or not. Sweet dreams. Tim
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:16:46 -0600 From: Tim To: Jason Scott <firstname.lastname@example.org> even better.... think I'll donate $10 so I can comment about the project... social media... love it.
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:39:13 -0600 Subject: kickstarter project From: Tim To: Jason Scott <email@example.com> Jason: This is Tim, the guy whom you do not answer at my main email ( XXXXXX). Here are two options. *1.* Return my money via paypal (it seems you have PLENTY of money now). The money I speak of is the cost of the hard drive I purchased and mailed to you (at your request). The cost of my postage to send it. The frustration you have caused over a LONG period of time. We'll call it $200 or *2.* I will do my utmost to share our complete and long thread with (including many quotes from you saying you would fulfill your promises) with the Kickstarter administration as well as becoming a small partner and sharing my comments (and links to the full thread) in your section. Your choice, all I want is to resolve this To be clear... at this point I am ONLY interested in the return of cash, the hard should remain in your possession. You may use XXXXXXX as the Paypal email and IF the funds are received promptly, this will bring this matter and our communications to an end. If not, then (see #2 above). Best, Tim
It’s an interesting study, to say the least. I’m hardly blameless, and the whole thing going off the rails as far as it did is definitely my fault. But the gentle traipsing into blackmail and sinister threats are also prime demotivators to following through, so I decided to split the difference. Post it all here, let you see how not every person who deals with me is 100% satisfied, and then, when I get back to my home office later this week after Thanksgiving, find the drive, mail it back, and never think about it again. Perhaps not the best solution, but about what I’m into doing, all things considered.
And to my other friends who I owe a few things for, I’m sorry for the delay. It happens.
I’ll do my best to improve.
Categorised as: jason his own self
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