The Demotion of Strilo

Discussion in 'Communications' started by ObiWan506, Nov 9, 2010.

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  1. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    Hello, admins. You do know guesswork is pure poison for these kinds of discussions? Whip out the antidote already. A lot of "us" (...) know how you think in these situations, and it's usually pretty dumb.

    Also... is there an actual policy about discussion of mod demotions? I don't remember ever reading one and I don't remember ever discussing one. Surely MS and/or the admins (always loved that disconnect) aren't extrapolating from the discussing-bans-rule. It doesn't work with swearing rules, it didn't work with the posting-while-drunk-"rule", so stop making things up (or quote the rule if I just wasn't paying attention the day we created that one).

    When was it... early last year... when we (MS) had that discussion about mods needing thick skin? Maybe earlier. How bad can Tim have gotten since I last saw him "argue"? How bad have the admins gotten when the previous two head admins took me calling them something like "blind willfully ignorant idiots" quite well? If thing can't get heated in PMs, when can they? In Comms? You prefer that? Really? Cuz as far as you let everyone know, this was contained in PMs. Or most of it, but I doubt the comment that sparked the PM Conversation of Doom is all that relevant now. And a manager who prefers yelling at the head admin in private respects MS a lot more than, say, all the mods who never even post there.




    (clearly, none of this would have happened had I never stepped down...)
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    We were just waiting for you to go, TLJ. :p

    Seriously now. Grimby is still catching up on things and has said he will be posting here soon.
  3. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    +1
  4. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    I want everyone in here to know that this situation has made MS aware of some serious flaws in the way admins handle issues with moderators. If one thing is obvious, it's that dealing with a moderator exclusively via PM and not informing the rest of MS what is transpiring until action is taken really doesn't work in situations like this. I don't know exactly where this procedure came from, but it was the way ObiWan506 dealt with things, and I'm guessing it goes back much further than that. That being said, we are already taking steps to improve this process and come up with something that keeps MS in the know about what is happening and perhaps allows them to participate to some extent, so they aren't blindsided with the news at the same time the public is.


    Pretend for a moment that you are the supervisor. You have an employee under you who has been working there much longer than you have. He knows how to do his job, and he does it well for the most part. Then something happens. In a staff meeting, he calls somebody out in front of everyone for something he doesn't agree with. You know he might have a point, but he's making other people feel uncomfortable and unwilling to provide their opinions. You talk to him about it, but instead of coming to some sort of resolution, he tells you that he's done participating.

    Months go by, and he doesn't even show up to staff meetings anymore. What's worse, he ignores your emails even when they inquire about important issues. To top it all off, he tells you to your face on multiple occasions that he doesn't respect you and he refuses to be a active part of the office until you are no longer the supervisor. Now imagine that you look up his company file and find that previous supervisors have had to deal with him regarding similar incidents with his co-workers. And there's not just two or three entries, but at least half a dozen in the span of 3 years that show that this is a consistent pattern with him. You might give him the benefit of the doubt that he has the company's best interests at heart, but at the same time, you know something needs to be done because there's no way that you or the rest of the office can function properly when someone has an attitude like that and doesn't respect the people in charge.

    Sure, talking to him and trying to get him to be more of a team player might help. But when it's obvious he doesn't respect you, and refuses to cooperate with you and the other supervisors, and supervisors have been talking to him over and over again about his conduct, you decide that it's in the best interest of the company that he move on. You appreciate and respect everything that he did, you appreciate that he was there for such a long time, but at the end of the day you know that this was probably the best course of action for the betterment of the office.

    That's pretty much what happened, in a nut shell. The 3 admins reviewed Strilo's history, compared it to the current situation and came to the decision that it was best that he step down.
  5. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    Grimby, there is a REASON why he does not respect you. Did you read all the other posts in this thread? I'd really appreciate it if you at least addressed the other questions I had, because your explanation right there is entirely one-sided, from your point of view alone. If what you just said is the reason why you demoted him, then you just proved that it's because you did not know how to properly handle the situation, which again makes me question your capabilities as head admin. I don't believe for a second that your judgment is that poor, so I want a real explanation.
  6. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    While your metaphor is delicious, I still feel as though you are pussyfooting around the issue :) Further explanation would be most welcome.
  7. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    Respect wasn't the issue, SLG. Much more important was the affect that it had on everything else.
  8. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    That's a really complex extended metaphor you've got there Grimby, but this isn't really a time for metaphors, but a time for hard facts, and plain speaking. In these cases metaphors are an impediment to discourse rather than an expedient.


    You also allude to a history of problems, but I would ask, how long has it been since the last problem, and if it wasn't considered demotion-worthy by several previous head-admins, why is considered so now, without recourse to other intermediary steps such as suspension or banning? That makes it seem as if the primary factor in this case was less Strilo, and more the current administration. Considering a violation of the TOS by an admin was recently deemed worthy of a simple 48-hour ban (and HLAS raised a good question over whether there was special treatment in that, one way or another, in the other thread) it remains unclear to me how something as vague as this is worthy of unilateral demotion.

    Also, I'm not sure how dragging previous head-admin policies into this helps your position, it merely makes it look like you are trying to shift responsibility for the way things went away from yourself.
  9. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Respect is very much the issue. I cannot believe that after seven years of service to the JC, that me no longer modding in PT and Music are being announced in such a casual manner as side notes to whoever is replacing me. Talk about adding insult to injury. How can anyone look me in the eye and tell me this is not being done in a disrespectful and despite a statement from an admin that this was mishandled, continues to be handled in a completely incompetent manner?
  10. _princess_leia_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2004
    star 6
    So basically, you're saying that respect was the root cause of "everything else" but that respect wasn't the issue? How does that even make sense?

    Also, your earlier post failed to address most of what has been discussed in this thread and didn't really even offer much in the way of explanation (which is, I think, what you were going for).
  11. blubeast1237 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    I'm not that well known around the boards or anything, so aka I'm not involved or even know about Grimby's history or what's going on with the respect thing or any of these things. I read this entire thread and this is honestly an outsider's opinion:

    If Strilo wasn't even willing to cooperate, and I'm not even sure that was the case but if it was, then the Admins were right to ask him to step down. Reputations and tenure don't matter if the entire description of your job is to work together to find solutions and you don't want to do the work together part, then you deserve to be demoted.

    ^The above opinion is strictly applied with the idea in mind that Strilo wasn't willing to work with the team. If he was, then the problem here remains.

    However, I see a bigger problem: If that really was the issue and reason for demoting him, why was it so hard to just say that?

    Literally all that had to be said was "Eh, he wasn't willing to work with us so we asked him to leave."

    -b
  12. Im_just_guessing Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2002
    star 7
    Alright, Pretend for a moment you are a patron at some place like a library. You come everyday, because you enjoy reading and the library is a great place to do it. One day you come in and notice that the head librarian isn't there. You ask around, I mean, the head librarian is always there, what happened? Is he sick? You're told that apparently he said some inappropriate things to another librarian so he's on suspension. Makes sense, such things probably warrant suspension. Few days later you come back and the head librarian is back, and he's fired the guy in the CD section and no one wants to talk about it.
  13. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    You are still welcome to share your side of the story, Tim, since I have not heard it and am eager to learn both sides.
  14. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    What I take from Grimby's well explained post is very much that he and the other admins have been bending over backwards to try and accomodate Strilo (has this seriously been playing out for months?) but Strilo wouldn't meet them half way. The situation became untennable, particularly after all Strilo's other history. And thats pretty much the end of the matter?
  15. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Hey G-Fett, you want to let Grimby do his talking for himself? Because he didn't come out and say any of that for sure.


    This is exactly why metaphor is bad in these situations, because you can't actually call them any kind of good explanation. Rather they are simultaneously distancing, shielding, and disrespectful of the intelligence of their audience.
  16. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    You got all of that out of an extended metaphor? You must be a mind reader.
  17. ObiWan506 Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2003
    star 7
    Grimby, finally. Listen, you?re the guy that makes the final call, so I?m only interested in your participation right now, which I feel needs to be more active than it?s been so far. Now, I?m going to try to move this conversation to the next level. I told you in PMs, sometimes being right isn?t always enough and this better not be a removal because someone was simply a voice of disagreement or he hurt your feelings one time, which in my opinion, is starting to take shape. I also hope it?s not true that some mods are afraid to speak their minds in MS, or even Comms for that matter. If it?s not true, then great, but show me. Right now you?re painting over a bigger issue.

    I'm a broken record, I know, but I still don't get the demotion. Because he didn?t post in MS a lot? Because he says a few things that you don?t deem appropriate? Because he doesn?t like some people but continues to contribute to his areas of responsibility? You?d think he just killed your brother and watched him die on the street just because he wanted to see what it was like to kill someone. That?s how exaggerated the situation is. Famous saying: ?Does the punishment fit the crime??. I don?t even see a crime in that monsoon of words you posted, yet the punishment seems to be demotion, two paragraphs in a PM and a quick shove out the door before anyone notices. I have heard nothing that explains the actions taken. It?s no secret Stilo has a defined history of being difficult sometimes. He?s got a strong opinion, but managed to stay around during countless cycles of admins until now. Grimby, I have to go there, but I need to point out that you recently banned yourself because of a personal argument with Strilo and we're now to believe that this exaggerated demotion is unrelated and unbiased. There?s something to be said for a calm and measured response. It didn?t happen here. Admit that. Own it. We already know it.

    Now, maybe I?m not as cool and you don?t like me as much anymore since I?m not on your side on this. It?s okay. I can handle it. Retirement was boring anyway. But honestly, I don?t want to be divided and speaking like this might be the only way to get this concept through to you. In a perfect world we can come to some kind of agreement and realize that this was sort of drastic given the degree of offenses you described and I?m really trying to press that you reconsider. It doesn?t have to be like this. You don?t have to be stuck defending a bad position. If you want to show people you listen, re-think this. Take in the criticism. Ben, I?ve made decisions that I thought were right but took them back when I realized that they weren?t. I listened. You can too.
  18. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Since the cat's out of the bag now, I'm going to take this as open season to provide unfettered commentary within the limits of what I actually know.

    I have to imagine that the impact on MS is a concern too: several mods have said that they felt uncomfortable offering input that was contrary to that already provided by Strilo, because they felt he wouldn't permit them to disagree. That's not exactly good for MS. This, in my view, is a more serious issue than the one Grimby mentioned (but then of course it would be from my perspective; I'm not an admin).

    On the other hand, this is the kind of thing that should have been resolved a long time ago. Was there a way to allow differing points of view to be expressed without firing him? Maybe; it's something that might be worked through.

    The admins clearly felt that this wasn't possible. I'm sure some others feel the same way, and others disagree.

    I hate to sound so wishy-washy about all this, but I am more interested in what this reflects about the health of MS and the JC as a whole. I want to fix these systemic and structural problems. I'm friends with Strilo and have discussed MS issues with him from time to time, so I wouldn't want that sort of bias to get in the way of how I view things. But then I think he'd be the first to admit that he's sometimes hard to deal with, too, so.

    So as I see it, there are three issues:

    I. The demotion itself, and whether it was warranted
    II. How the demotion was done
    III. What the demotion actually reveals about the MS and how things are working

    I'm mostly concerned with III. It seems most people here are concerned with I and II.

  19. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    506: Didn't the Admins come to the decision together? I think its a bit unfair to pile all of this on Grimby. Yah, he's the head admin and he may be less than objective, but from what I've read here, it certainly doesn't look like a unilateral decision.

    -I_H
  20. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    Jello, I kind of agree. But I think dealing with I and II will bring about answering III. There is no doubt that the arguing with Strilo bit was an issue in MS and elsewhere, but as said before there really are other ways to handle it. And if I can think of other ways of handling it, I can't fathom why the admins couldn't think of any besides demotion.
  21. Jedi_Dajuan Admin: FanForce and Games

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2002
    star 6
    SLG, how do you know that other things haven't been tried over the years? There is a lot more history to the whole situation that has been brought up here.
  22. TahiriVeilaSolo69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2002
    star 5
    How about you enlighten us since you seem to know so much more then us? Since everyone just wants to give us tall tales of libraries and work environments.

    Also, Jello, I agree.
  23. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    I know, because I've been in consistent contact with Strilo since first registering on the forums - whether that be him banning/editing/lecturing me when I was just a kid, or when we worked together in MS, or when we later became friends off-site. I don't intend to let my friendship with him get in the way of my opinions on this, but I'm well aware of his relationship with the forums throughout the years. I think at this point, there is more to this situation than meets the eye and I just want to hear a concrete explanation.
  24. Tosser Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2002
    I really enjoyed Strilo's moderation in YJCC and I'm quite surprised over all this :)
  25. Grimby Technical Consultant

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2000
    star 7
    As Jello mentioned, there were many in MS past and present who felt Strilo made MS a less inviting place and it kept them from participating. This is well-documented in the admin forum and we took these issues very seriously because time and time again it kept coming up with him. In my own talks with him, Strilo was never willing to change his behavior. He would argue his position until the end and hardly ever conceded anything. This isn't much different than the other documented instances from previous admins. Instead of trying to compromise, he quit participating. He quit on MS. He began ignoring my PMs even when I tried to ask him about important issues involving his own forum. He had become a detriment to MS and we thought it was time for him to go.
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